Thinking about becoming Navy Nurse (officer)

Specialties Government


Hi all, I have a million glad I found this board on allnurses!

Well, I graduated with my BSN a year ago (and unfortunately haven't been able to find work) and I'm strongly considering joining the Navy as an officer. I have always been drawn to the Navy (both of my grandfather's were Navy men.) My dilemma is this: I'm a single mother. My son does not have a father, well he has a biological father...but he isn't in our lives...he left us when my son was an infant.

How does it work if you are a single parent? I know you don't get to choose your base...but how soon ahead of time do you know?

What is officer training school like? Is it as rough as I am thinking it will be!? haha Like bootcamp?

Would I be able to see my son while there (I assume not, but I thought I'd ask.)

I also would like to note that I plan to obtain my master degree while in the Navy and plan to specialize in Nurse-Midwifery

Any advice and info you could give me would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you.

No experience with Navy nursing here. I hope you get some specific advice. (Don't believe your recruiter).

I just wanted to encourage you.. it's something I wish I had done. I'm sure you can't beat the benefits! I remember nurses start out as Lieutenants.... which is better than a lot of things I've been called lately;).

As far as your son,I know a few people brought up in the military life style and they are strong well- rounded people.

Good luck... keep us posted!

From what I've heard you are not allowed to enlist as a single mother. You would have to sign over your parental rights to someone else before your allowed to enlist. And I could be 100% wrong but this is the way it is if i remember correctly.

Hello Smurfette752,

I wish I could provide you with all of the correct terminology for what I have heard through various sources. I heard at first that single mothers could not join, however, I recently heard about a single mother in the Navy who was able to join because their child was also under the custody of their grandparents. In the event of deployment, the child must be under the care of a legal guardian.

I hope someone with more knowledge can provide you more specifics.

Specializes in critical care: trauma/oncology/burns.

NO, no NOOOOO you do not sign away your parental rights!!

You will have to fill out a family plan.

And as an commissioned officer you do not enlist, you commission

My suggestion: Once you are about 1 year from graduation with your BSN then start the application process to the service of your choice. Right now with all the drawdowns in the various services I just read from another poster that there are only 10 slots for the Army Nurse Corps - if I remember correctly...

I am already a BSN. I want to apply to the Navy Nurse Corps. I know I don't have to sign away my parental rights....I just have to share them with my parents in the event I am deployed, etc...

Any other info would be greatly appreciated! :)


I am a single mother of 2 boys and in the Navy Nurse Corps, although I was still legally married when I joined. The thing to remember is that although the Navy has a great support network for families, the needs of the Navy still come first. When sailors are asked to leave their families for long periods of time, the Navy cannot have you worrying about what is going on at home. If you are distracted, the mission is not your main priority.

I am fortunate that my kids' father is very involved and that I have a lot of additional family support. I know there are single mothers in the Navy, but it is very difficult and I give them a lot of credit for the time and energy it takes to manage their kids and their Naval careers. Like everything else, you can do whatever you set your mind to, but clearly single parenthood makes things exponentially more difficult. If there is not a regulation prohibiting single mothers from commissioning, go for it! There has not been a single day I have regretted joining.

Btw, as a nurse with no or limited experience and no prior enlisted time, you would come in as an Ensign...wish we could come in as a LT!



Forgot to add: You "earn" liberty privileges as you progress through ODS (Officer Development School). If your son or family is near Newport RI, you could possibly see them the third or fourth weekend. But they can secure liberty at any time, so if family travels to see you and you get secured...then sadness for everyone!

You may have somewhat of a say where you are stationed, especially if the Navy has a need for where you want to go. You usually will have a period of at least a couple months of knowledge prior to moving when you switch duty stations, unless of course you get called up in the event of an "event". I know nurses who had 24 hours to mobilize when the earthquake in Haiti happened.



Thanks, Cyn! Clearly I have a lot to think about....I'm trying to contact a recruiter now. :)

I REALLY want to join, and my parents are very supportive and my son and I live with them already. I know I will have to leave him at times, and I know that is going to be hard....but I feel like it is a really good thing for both of us.

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