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The MILITARY and NURSING???

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Ok so I'm a 19 yr old girl who is currently at a community college. I am not in the military right now. I'm still in the "pre-nursing" stage and doing my absolute best to get into nursing school. I'm doing very good when it comes to my grades and have a 4.0 GPA. So far, I've gotten nothing but A's in the nursing pre-reqs! I also have some volunteering done and will continue to volunteer some more. I'm quite proud of myself and hope that I will successfully become a nurse.

However, my parent recently suggested that I think about taking the ASVAB and think about the military (he said Air Force..). He was going on about how the military can not only help me become a nurse, but also pay for everything (is that even true?). He thinks that the military can also help me become more "independent", travel more, and experiment with life?. This sounds tempting.. but also scary.

I'm a shy girl who stays cooped up in her room most of the time. I go to a community college so it's not as fun as a 4 year Uni; I don't meet many people and there aren't many organizations or sororities to join. I am in the process of looking for a part-time job to increase my independence, especially now that it's summer (I chose not to work during the semesters, bad idea or no?) I basically go from school to my room. I don't do much. I have very little friends and a boyfriend who lives far. I also have not seen most of the world.. sadly. THIS is why my dad suggested I think about the military. He's looking out for me, I guess.

I have some questions and need advice.

How would I get myself into the military to become a nurse? Is that even possible? Don't you need to become a full-fledged nurse first and then join the military? -- what my father told me has me tempted, but I'm not sure I'd go through with this honestly. It would be nice to get my education paid for, but I know the military is not all ***** and giggles. I know I'd have to go through some hard times. How does this all work? If the benefits are good and this would eventually lead me to become a nurse.. I'd definitely think about it.

Would it even be a good idea to get into the military? Should I just continue the path I'm on right now? Or go off track a little bit and follow my dads advice?

If you need clarification-- let me know.

Edited by Gabriela06

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 32 years experience.

Moved to the Government/Military forum

Pixie.RN, MSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 12 years experience.

No one here can say if the military would be a good fit for you. Do you want to serve your country and give up your personal freedoms and choices for a number of years? That is the biggest question.

Yes, you would need a BSN/RN to join (commission into) the military as a nurse. You might consider combining the goals and looking for a university that has an ROTC program. There are ROTC scholarships that come along with that pathway to BSN. If you join as an enlisted member, there is no guarantee of future educational funding and your goal of being a nurse will be delayed. Does your school have a guidance counselor who can help you explore options?

If you go to an enlisted recruiter, they will say just about anything to sign you up. Take any promises/claims with a grain of salt.

The military is not the only way to become more independent, travel more, and gain life experience. If you want all of that and be a nurse then you can have both with a BSN. Become a travel nurse, see the world. You'll become independent.

In the military, if you join before you get your BSN then you'll go in as an enlisted. Sure the military may pay for your tuition. But you won't likely start a nursing program until after you complete your 4 year contract. Nursing programs are demanding and with the military controlling your schedule there won't be any time left for nursing school.

If the military is something you really want and join as a nurse then you're better off getting your BSN and possibly getting in as an officer. The military can pay for your student loans but make sure it is stated in your contract before you sign.

Or you do as what the pp stated. Find an ROTC program and join from there.

But first figure out if joining the military is something you want to do.

PK_ICU RN

Specializes in Cath lab, ICU. Has 10 years experience.

One thing is for sure, you will be financially independent after working as a nurse. However, I can't spoke for military nurses but I can definitely speak for civilian nurses. I also heard that nurses in the military get treated better in comparison to civilian nurses but less pay. Some of the civilian nurses I know only go into nursing for the money because you can really make as much as you want. Find out where your passion lies and keep your options open.

I know it is hard to make decisions based off of what your heart tells you but try your hardest to make these decisions because nobody can make these decisions and obligations but yourself.

Giving you some insight on my personal experience, I am currently an RN, BSN in the Navy Nurse Corps. I started off enlisted as an HM Corpsman and was accepted into MECP, a medical enlisted commissioning program to become a nurse. Highly competitive. I am telling you that it is not easy to become a navy nurse from being enlisted despite what your recruiters will tell you. Hell, it isn't even easy to get a corpsman rating (another term for job) as enlisted because the rating is severely overmanned. YES, you can "cross rate" into the corpsman rating from another rating-- this is what your recruiter will tell you. HOWEVER, this is also VERY difficult and if you enter a rating that NEEDS you, you most likely will not be able to cross rate out.

As for traveling and making friends, YES, you will do that. MAYBE. Being in the Navy will not mean you will be guaranteed to make friends. Perhaps you won't even like where you will travel. You will gain more independence, however, you will also gain an immense load of responsibility. You need to do what your heart tells you to do supported by educated decisions.

There is a military direct accession program where you go to nursing school, receive your BSN in nursing and then join the military. THIS is the route that is IDEAL in most situations if the Navy is a choice you would like to do. You will have the best of both words, travel, nursing, and co-workers that may or may not be life-long friends.

Best of luck with your future endeavors!