RN Starting out in the Navy


Hi allnurses military community!

I was informed yesterday that I've been selected for commission as an active duty RN-BSN in the Navy. I was hoping that someone out there has recently gone through the selection/commission/starting as a new RN in the Navy process and might have some insight for me. A little bit of background on myself, I'm 24 and female with no attachments aside from my dog. I have 9 months experience as an RN working in a large teaching hospital that is a Magnet status, Level 1 trauma center, with excellent benefits and great opportunities for further education and career advancement. The floor I work on is an acute surgical floor. I somehow managed to land in an ideal work environment for my first job. I have fabulous co-RNs, a great boss, solid support staff, and work on a floor that has a very good relationship with our doctors. I started the application process for the Navy Nurse Corps before I began my current job, and put my application on hold for a while so that I could get some experience. Now that my application has been submitted and accepted, I'm wondering if I'm crazy to leave such a great job. I look forward to work, which is something I only hoped I would be able to say when I first started. The only problem with my job is the location, I was born and raised within 30 minutes of the hospital. I love my family, I love my hometown, but I'm not ready to settle down here long-term.

I have a big decision to make over the next week or so. My family has a long history of serving in various military branches (both officer and enlisted). I would be the first woman to serve in my family and think that would be an amazing honor. The opportunities that the Navy offers for career advancement, training, further education, and travel are big draws for me. It doesn't hurt that a stable salary and signing bonus come along with that. I feel very honored to have been offered the opportunity to serve my country and feel that this point in my life is the best time for me to do so. I realize that the image of military life presented to me by my recruiter may be a little more charmed than the reality, but I feel like I've done good research and have realistic expectations.

I'm hoping that somebody out there can give me an idea of what starting out in the Navy as a relatively inexperienced RN is like. I was told that due to my New Grad status (


2 Posts

wow, first congratulations for getting accepted. I dont have any advice yet but like you I want to join the military either airforce or navy. I also have a 1 year and 6 months experience in Medsurg but do not have my citizenship w/c im about to apply. What I would like to share to you is the reason why I want to join them.

1. Sense of pride for the title that you will earn (for you being the first female)

2. the benefits that they offer including the paid continuing education

3. adventure of living a different kind of lifestyle.

It would be good for you to do pros and cons. That is what i am doing to. I'm 21 years old, female and no attachment yet. What discourages me right now is just how hard will it be to wait and wait to get in into either the Airforce or Navy. You are about to make a big decision that can change your life. Again Congratulations for getting in.


21 Posts

Specializes in Labor and Delivery; Orthopedics. Has 2 years experience.


I just graduated nursing school this past May. I received my orders in April which included my ODS class date and the assignment of my first permanent duty station. I was commissioned a few days after passing my NCLEX-RN which was 2 weeks after graduating nursing school. The Officer Development School is 5 weeks long and is training to accustom you to military (Navy) customs and courtesies, leadership, physical training, etc. While in ODS, you will be given the opportunity during "track day" to talk with some of the upper level officers of the nurse corps to discuss your education and career management issues. You will also submit letters and preferences to your gaining command indicating your previous experience. Also try to get in contact with your sponsor at your next command as soon as you can to ease your transition to reporting. I just completed my "nurse grad" residency program and will be attached to my ward for a few more weeks of further orientation. While in the nurse grad program you will need to demonstrate competency in skills such as med admin, IV/IVP therapy, venipuncture, etc along with pediatric, maternal/infant and medsurg competencies. I was assigned to a few different wards for orientation, such as pediatrics, ER, wound clinic and finally to the orthopedics floor that I am going to be working on.

As far as furthering you education, you are your best advocate in knowing what you want to accomplish, but your leadership (DIVO) and hospital climate should be supportive in assisting you in achieving your goals and assisting with planning and career guidance advice.