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Wanting to join Navy Nurse Corps - But have Spine Fusion?


I'm a student in college right now with scholarships, and when I finish my BSN in 3 years I want to join the Navy Nurse Corps. However, I have a spine fusion from scoliosis that was done when i was 16. It doesn't affect me, and I'm physically fit. I would like to think of myself of as an excellent candidate. I'm in an early entry program at the college, where I will be earning my AA along side my highschool degree next year. Does anyone know, or have ever heard of, or know the chances of, ect, of me being allowed to be a Navy Nurse with this. I know under the navy standards it says that any surgical fusion of the spine vertebrae is cause of disqualification. However, I can do anything another person can. I can run just as far, do just as many push ups, ect. Because of it's location, really the dead middle of my back, I can rotate all around on both sides, bend straight over and touch my toes, ect. I'm actually an accomplished belly dancer, which takes tons of core strength and flexibility. . Do you think they would issue me a waiver?

I'm sorry but, It's just been my aspiration to 'be all I can be' ( sry army guys.) and I don't want to just be a civilian nurse. :redbeathe If I'm going to put my time into schooling and such, I want to know that I'm doing all I possibly can do with my education by helping as many people as I can and I know that joining the Navy Nurse Corps will take me there.

athena55, BSN, RN

Specializes in critical care: trauma/oncology/burns. Has 38 years experience.

You are being proactive! My best suggestion would be to contact a Health Care Recruiter. Have any latest x-rays and maybe even a letter on offical letterhead from your physician which states that your fusion from x number of years ago does not in any way impede your activities of daily living etc

If you make it as far as getting an appointment with MEPS make sure you have those documents with you. Be prepared for the initial DQ but hopefully your Health Care Recruiter will be "on the ball" and request a waiver - if waivers are still be given for a prior spinal fusion....That is the big question. I can only speak for the Army but many of the waivers that were being accepted are no longer. (Although I still feel that sometimes the Army just wants a body with a pulse, ha ha)

Hey, good luck to you! Keep us posted with your progress, okay?



Thanks, i've heard so many mixed messages! Some say that the navy isn't even handing out waivers anymore for medical, because there are already too many people in service. I would be interested in joining any branch of nurses ( i've heard there are army nurses too ). Some say because I have hardware ( rods ) that I could be auto DQ'd. Anyone else have any insight on this?

I know this is an old thread and you were asking about the Navy, but I wanted to add this.

I have wanted to become a nurse in the Army Nurse Corps for a long time, but I also had a spinal fusion for scoliosis (when I was 12). And since that's a disqualifying factor, I'm not sure there's a chance it could be waivered.


I did e-mail someone from the Army Medical Department's website, and this is what he told me:

"Your spinal fusion will have to be evaluated by our medical

professionals and they will make that determination. What I can tell you

is that when applying for AMEDD, there are a lot more opportunities for

waivers, because the Army gives AMEDD more autonomy over what they can

and cannot waiver."

I am not latching onto that as a guarantee that it will happen for me, but I'm at least going to try. :)

If you haven't done so already, I highly suggest contacting a Navy medical recruiter and see what they tell you. Good luck!