Can WGU RN-BSN be completed while actively enlisted in the Navy?

  1. I'm currently a nursing student on my way to completing my ADN. I planned to try the 1 yr RN-BSN option that WGU was offering. I was wondering, can it be done while actively enlisted in the navy? I'd like to hear any advice.
  2. Visit Robins19 profile page

    About Robins19, LVN

    Joined: Feb '12; Posts: 52; Likes: 5


  3. by   RN*mommy
    First of all, thank you for your service to our country!

    About WGU, I'm no expert by far, but seeing as how much of the program is based online I don't really see any barriers there. The only issue I could possibly imagine deals with the practicum, however I'm imagining there are ways the school would assist you in being able to accomplish that goal as well. I would highly recommend speaking with an enrollment counselor. They have most likely dealt with situations like yours and can accurately give you information on the ins and outs for someone whose in the military.

    I do recommend the program and feel that a year is an acceptable amount of time for sometime in your position to pursue.

    I hope this was somewhat helpful and congratulations on nearing completion of your ADN program!
  4. by   medicmatt44
    Are you enlisting as a Corpsman? I do not know if the Navy has LPN's.

    I sincerely hope that someone hasn't provided you with inaccurate information regarding a licensed RN serving in an enlisted position in the military. For example, if you enlisted as a Corpsman- you are a Corpsman and you will NOT be practicing as a RN.

    Just wondering why you would enlist instead of seeking employment as a RN, instead of completing your BSN and submitting a packet for commission as an officer.

    Something to consider, although there may be extenuating circumstances for your reason/desire to enlist vs commission.
  5. by   Robins19
    I was thinking about enlisting once I completed my ADN to work as an RN in the navy and pursue my next degree. But enlisted as an officer may be the right choice.
  6. by   medicmatt44
    1) I would like to clarify enlisting. When one enlists, they are either an Officer rank or Enlisted rank.

    2) If you enlist as an ADN (which isn't possible), you will be considered an Enlisted rank (instead of an Officer) and you will NOT be practicing as a RN (as I stated above).

    3) In order to commission as a RN in the Navy (or any military branch), the applicant is required to complete their BSN and have a minimum of 2 years of critical care experience.

    You can most certainly enlist in the Navy as a Naval Corpsman, but you will NOT be practicing as a RN. I know that this is difficult for civilians to understand. For example, I am a civilian Respiratory Therapist and a Medic in the Army Reserve. I am not authorized to practice as a RT in uniform. Likewise, we have some RN's in my unit that are medics and they are not authorized to perform as a RN.
    Last edit by medicmatt44 on Jan 3, '13 : Reason: more info required
  7. by   Robins19
    By enlisted I mean enlisted rank. If I enlist as a Naval Corpsman and become a medic, will I be able to attend school to complete my bachelor's degree?
    Last edit by Robins19 on Jan 3, '13
  8. by   medicmatt44
    I don't see why not, but- it would be difficult. I would contact WGU and ask what their policies are concerning military taking classes in terms of deployments, etc. I completed six years of active duty and pretty much all I did after the completion of the duty day was drink beer and hang out. Some of the more forward thinking Joes took college classes online or at the base education center.

    Also- you would be eligible for tuition assistance while a member of the armed forces. I do not know what the amount is for active duty. The TA reimbursement for reserve is ~5 K.

    Have you considered the Naval Reserve? If I were in your shoes, I would enlist in the Naval Reserves as a Naval Corspman. Utilize the Reserve GI Bill and Tuition Assistance.

    BTW- The Army has LPN positions that you can enlist for.
  9. by   Robins19
    Civilian tuition assistance is the same 5k. And can you clarify on exactly how the navy reserve works?
  10. by   medicmatt44
    Because you sound very interested in military service, I would advocate contacting a recruiter and explaining that you are interested in one of the medical specialties. They will be able to answer your questions more in depth

    I can only speak for the Army Reserve: I am on active orders for 3 weeks per year and train one weekend a month (which sometimes is thursday- Sunday) at my reserve unit, which is located in my community. That being said, I have deployed to Iraq as a Reservist- so it's not really the old "weekend warrior" that it once was.

    Hope this helps you out. Best of luck!
  11. by   NCtoRN12
    OP, the previous post about contacting a recruiter is accurate. I am a prior Navy Career Counselor, AKA recruiter, and I am now a practicing RN in the civilian world. My suggestion would be to inquire about your eligibility for NROTC. I have been out of recruiting for almost 4 years and things change constantly so I don't want to give inaccurate information. However, it is possible to complete your education while on active duty on your own time. So things will factor into that such as duty assignments, etc. I did not pursue my RN while on active duty due to the clinical requirements of nursing programs. I did complete a BS in Business though using tuition assistance and completed many of my nursing per-reqs.
  12. by   NCtoRN12
    Sorry...fat thumbs and I sent too soon.
    As mentioned earlier, my suggestions would be first NROTC and then Navy Reserve. If you absolutely want active duty now, don't plan to use your RN license until you obtain your BSN and are commissioned as an officer. Either way you choose to go, serving is well worth get what you give. I started in nursing school prior to enlisting and dropped out of my first semester of nursing school to enlist active duty Navy. My plan was to serve for 4 years and return to nursing school...well my plans changed and I made the Navy a career. I retired in 2009 and returned to school for nursing as a second career. I do not regret for one moment my decision to enlist or to stay as long as I did. If you have questions about the process, please feel free to Send me a PM. Your first step is to talk to a recruiter. Keep in mind that the first recruiter you come in contact with is most likely an active duty recruiter. While most of them will have your interests in mind and genuinely care about helping you, they do work for the Navy first and foremost, so they will be trying to match your wants with what the Navy needs now. Many times when I was recruiting the corpsman job was not readily available...just like in the civilian world needs change based on multiple factors. Best of luck to you.