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View Full Version : Is it hard to get a job in the military in nursing?


mommy22pumpkins
04-13-2010, 04:17 PM
I am considering joining the armed forces- navy possibly- or maybe army. and haven't talked to a recruiter yet but was wondering if anyone has had this experience and what to expect. And if they are in need of nurses right now. Thanks for any info you can give me. :thumbsup2
Danielle

SunnieRN
04-13-2010, 04:20 PM
They are always in need of RN's and I have several friends who are being paid to get their BSN's (from ADN) and will then go in as officers. Good luck and it's awesome that you are considering service to our country! Thank you!

stm61
04-13-2010, 04:37 PM
don't limit yourself to one or two branches, go talk to a recruiter for each of the branches. Each has different needs at different times and one may offer a better package then the others. Remember, the army considers everyone a soldier first, where a branch like the AF has a different way of looking at things, if that makes any sense. Conditions tend to be better on an AF base then an army base. Go talk and remember to get everything in writing!

MomRN
04-13-2010, 04:41 PM
I am going to tell you about expeiences of friends...what branches of the army they served I do not know...

I graduated with my BSN in May 2009. In my class there were 2 students that were in a military branch. I'm not sure if it was full-fledged Army, Reserves, or what.

Girl 1 had 2 deployments during our 4 yr degree... this meant 6+yrs for here to receive her degree. If this bothered her, she didn't let it show. Maybe it was her intentions to plan it that way. I'm not sure. However, I could not imagine leaving a nursing program for a year and getting back on track. She did it though, although it was difficult for her. I know she failed a couple of classes, and in our program there is a limit to the amount of classes one can fail. She was almost cut from the program. Almost, but wasn't. She made it through. Truly an inspiration.

Student 2... I think she was in the reserves. Her unit was to be deployed the last smester of nursing school. She triend to get it waived, but there was problems with the paperwork, it wasn't filled out correctly, it was late, etc. Very difficult time for her- she shed many tears over this. She ended up not being deployed- not because everything finally fell in place- but because she became pregnant. I would imagine becoming pregnant was her recourse to finish school, but I don't know. Maybe it truly was accidental.

Student 3 graduated the summer behind me. He was a former Marine. Did not enlist during school, but wanted to afterward. Graduated August 2009, and was just shipped out this week. It took 8 months to get going. Typically that would be 8 mths of no work, because no one would hire a new nurse that was leaving so soon. But he didn't mention that in his interview. Of course, once he did mention it a month ago he was let go.

Just my experiences with friends.

jsmith
04-13-2010, 05:40 PM
what people are not telling you-Combat nursing is one of the most emotionally grueling jobs in the world-you will be dealing with soldiers who are horribly wounded and dieing-horribly wounded and want to die-and those who have terrible emotional scars from what they have seen and done.
Yes there is a huge demand-and you could wind up never having been deployed-but you will still deal with the scars of combat in military hospitals everywhere. The demand is huge-but its stressful.
I can also tell you that all of the individuals cited in the above post about nursing school were reservists-i know this because if you are going to school in a military program they want you to finish-they dont interupt training to deploy you-they train you and then deploy you-reservists on the other hand are basically on call personnel and are in school as civilians.-Lots to think about -if you decide to do it you should be congradulated for your strength and determination.

auralia
04-13-2010, 05:50 PM
If you have children be kind to them and don't join the army/navy/marines. the most stable life for a family will always be with the Airforce they deploy less for shorter lengths of time! the average AF deployment is 6 months the average army is 15 months and you WILL deploy, everyone does at some time, your turn will always come up... hubby was suppsed to be in a non deployable position, i got pregnant now they are trying to send him to iraq despite being promised a 2 year reprive from deployment. If you are already a RN and got good grades you shouldn't have any problem getting into the Airforce.... i wouldn't be willing to join any other service.... if you are looking at army because of that base next to your home town or somethign like that it doesn't work that way you might get stationed there once in your career but odds arn't good, they send you where they need you want you want or think is taken into consideration but never really matters unless what you want matches what they want. It is a huge decission i could never be away from my children for 6 months let alone 15 months and i know it hurts hubby to miss things, but it is the life he chose when we were daiting and i willingly married into it and uncle sam wouldn't let him get out when he wanted to and next thing we knew he had 10 years in and hell what's another 10... keep that in mind just because you want out doesn't mean you will get out and if you enlist for 4 years thinking that will be it and you will get out remember you will be inactive reserve for 4 years after that and they can call you for deployments any time with in 8 years of your origional enlistment date... look up inactive reserve for more information (all services have this rule).

ekatiel
04-13-2010, 06:43 PM
Are you already and RN or are you wanting the military to train you and/or pay for your schooling? If you are already an RN, the likelyhood is that you will make better money in the civilian world, and you won't have to worry about deployments, etc.

If you are looking to join so that they will train you, you have two routes. You can enlist, hoping to get a medical job (but watch out, recruiters are tricky-- one tried to get my DH to enlist as a COOK in a hospital :sad2:-- calling that a medical job, even though he had great asvap scores!), then once you've put in your 4 or 6 years, you can use the GI bill to go to school. Or you can take the ROTC route-- let them pay for your BSN, and then go in as an officer.

My DH did the former-- he enlisted as medic in the army, ended up getting into an army-run LVN program by sheer luck (or the grace of God, as we like to think). Then, once his four years were up, he used the GI bill to go to school. The GI bill lasted him all the way through is bachelor's degree and two years into his master's degree. We had to pick up the tab for his final year of his master's degree. He is a nurse practitioner now. If DH could do it all over again, he says he would have done the ROTC route, AND he would have done Airforce instead of Army.

If you are already an RN, I would stay in the civilian world. You couldn't pay DH enough to join up again. The military provided him with a college education, and for that we are extremely thankful, but it is a tough life, and we are glad to be civilians now! --Katie

iheartdisney
04-13-2010, 09:34 PM
When/ if you talk to a recruiter, let them know up front that you want to be a corpsman. If they don't have any schools open, then tell them thanks anyway (chances are, a spot will open)
Navy deployments are typically 7 months on the ship.
Also, how do you feel about cold weather? Bootcamp and corpsman school are both in Great Lakes, Illinois.
The military is a great choice for alot of people, just make sure you are making an informed decision.

Millermom0606
04-13-2010, 09:41 PM
if you want to/have your BSN do not go talk to an enlisted recruiter, go talk to an officer recruiter... it does make a difference.... check out Military . com for other things too, there is a lot of helpful information there.

rparmfamily
04-13-2010, 11:03 PM
If you already are an RN, talk to an officer recruiter, though not all branches have officer recruiters. The Navy has them, and I think they have specific medical recruiters.

DO NOT tell them you want to be a corpman. It's not the same as a nurse! HM is an enlisted rate, somewhere between nurse and emergency paramedic, and while highly respected, they are not nurses and are not officers. They deploy to warzones often, with the Marines. They also deploy on ships. (I'm talking Navy)

Honestly, I'd go AF or Navy first, unless you want to deploy to a warzone for a longtime. I have complete respect for Army families and soldiers. Their deployments are long (12-15 mo) and often. Navy normally doesn't go longer than 6-7 mo, though I think only a hospital ship or maybe aircraft carrier has actual nurses. The rest have corpman only. AF normally don't deploy long either or often though they can do year remotes to Korea. Natually there are exceptions.

I know an Army nurse, she is getting ready to deploy now. She's only been in about a year.

http://www.airforce.com/opportunities/healthcare/careers/nursing/
http://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/nursing/
http://armynursecorps.amedd.army.mil/

surfergirl602
04-14-2010, 12:56 AM
If you have children be kind to them and don't join the army/navy/marines. the most stable life for a family will always be with the Airforce they deploy less for shorter lengths of time! the average AF deployment is 6 months the average army is 15 months and you WILL deploy, everyone does at some time, your turn will always come up... hubby was suppsed to be in a non deployable position, i got pregnant now they are trying to send him to iraq despite being promised a 2 year reprive from deployment. If you are already a RN and got good grades you shouldn't have any problem getting into the Airforce.... i wouldn't be willing to join any other service.... if you are looking at army because of that base next to your home town or somethign like that it doesn't work that way you might get stationed there once in your career but odds arn't good, they send you where they need you want you want or think is taken into consideration but never really matters unless what you want matches what they want. It is a huge decission i could never be away from my children for 6 months let alone 15 months and i know it hurts hubby to miss things, but it is the life he chose when we were daiting and i willingly married into it and uncle sam wouldn't let him get out when he wanted to and next thing we knew he had 10 years in and hell what's another 10... keep that in mind just because you want out doesn't mean you will get out and if you enlist for 4 years thinking that will be it and you will get out remember you will be inactive reserve for 4 years after that and they can call you for deployments any time with in 8 years of your origional enlistment date... look up inactive reserve for more information (all services have this rule).

How can you say that to someone? Do you know how many military families are this board? Do you know how many of them you just slapped in the face with that statement? Just because you seem to be a very bitter person towards the military, you shouldn't make a statement like that against the rest of us. My children have a future because of their father's service to your country. a very KIND one. :mad:

rparmfamily
04-14-2010, 01:53 AM
LOL yeah I was ignoring that comment myself. My husband is active duty Navy right now, we are stationed at Pearl Harbor/Hickam Joint base and have LOVED and enjoyed our Navy life. :) Almost retirement time!

ClarabelleCowFan
04-14-2010, 10:17 AM
If you already are an RN, talk to an officer recruiter, though not all branches have officer recruiters. The Navy has them, and I think they have specific medical recruiters.

DO NOT tell them you want to be a corpman. It's not the same as a nurse! HM is an enlisted rate, somewhere between nurse and emergency paramedic, and while highly respected, they are not nurses and are not officers. They deploy to warzones often, with the Marines. They also deploy on ships. (I'm talking Navy)

Honestly, I'd go AF or Navy first, unless you want to deploy to a warzone for a longtime. I have complete respect for Army families and soldiers. Their deployments are long (12-15 mo) and often. Navy normally doesn't go longer than 6-7 mo, though I think only a hospital ship or maybe aircraft carrier has actual nurses. The rest have corpman only. AF normally don't deploy long either or often though they can do year remotes to Korea. Natually there are exceptions.

I know an Army nurse, she is getting ready to deploy now. She's only been in about a year.

http://www.airforce.com/opportunities/healthcare/careers/nursing/
http://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/nursing/
http://armynursecorps.amedd.army.mil/

Army does have medical officer recruiters as well. My friend used to be one. :)

Be sure to get any information you get from ANY recruiter in WRITING.

How can you say that to someone? Do you know how many military families are this board? Do you know how many of them you just slapped in the face with that statement? Just because you seem to be a very bitter person towards the military, you shouldn't make a statement like that against the rest of us. My children have a future because of their father's service to your country. a very KIND one. :mad:

:hug: Army wife here. I agree although DD16 hates the Army right now since we are PCSing this summer and she has to finish high school away from her friends. (Mind you these are friends in a place she didn't want to move to 3 years ago....). Thanks to your family for your service.

LOL yeah I was ignoring that comment myself. My husband is active duty Navy right now, we are stationed at Pearl Harbor/Hickam Joint base and have LOVED and enjoyed our Navy life. :) Almost retirement time!

My Dad was a Navy man. :thumbsup2 Our good friends just left Pearl and miss it terribly! Hope you enjoy your time there.

OP - good luck with your decision. I would try to find someone that does the job you want to do and talk with them directly. You will get much more accurate information from them than a recruiter. Any branch of the service would love to have you but make sure you make the right decision for YOU.

KATIESMOMMY
04-14-2010, 11:20 AM
My sil just retired from the Air Force. She went into it as soon as she graduated from college with her BSN. You come in as an officer out of college. She spent time in mnay places including 6 years in germany. She has loved it and has nothing but good things to say about it.

locolala
04-14-2010, 11:34 AM
How can you say that to someone? Do you know how many military families are this board? Do you know how many of them you just slapped in the face with that statement? Just because you seem to be a very bitter person towards the military, you shouldn't make a statement like that against the rest of us. My children have a future because of their father's service to your country. a very KIND one. :mad:

Honestly, if my daughter wanted to join the military I'd push her towards the AF, even though I'm a Marine. The deployments suck, the bases suck, and the AF has much better opportunities for women. It's just how it is..

surfergirl602
04-14-2010, 12:07 PM
LOL yeah I was ignoring that comment myself. My husband is active duty Navy right now, we are stationed at Pearl Harbor/Hickam Joint base and have LOVED and enjoyed our Navy life. :) Almost retirement time!

I can ignore most of the negativity on this board - everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but when you start flaming the military when you are IN the military, that is a big no-no. Especially when its the families that you're dissing. That is such a lack of respect and really rubbed me the wrong way.

LUVMYTINK
04-14-2010, 12:44 PM
If you have children be kind to them and don't join the army/navy/marines. the most stable life for a family will always be with the Airforce they deploy less for shorter lengths of time! the average AF deployment is 6 months the average army is 15 months and you WILL deploy, everyone does at some time, your turn will always come up... hubby was suppsed to be in a non deployable position, i got pregnant now they are trying to send him to iraq despite being promised a 2 year reprive from deployment. If you are already a RN and got good grades you shouldn't have any problem getting into the Airforce.... i wouldn't be willing to join any other service.... if you are looking at army because of that base next to your home town or somethign like that it doesn't work that way you might get stationed there once in your career but odds arn't good, they send you where they need you want you want or think is taken into consideration but never really matters unless what you want matches what they want. It is a huge decission i could never be away from my children for 6 months let alone 15 months and i know it hurts hubby to miss things, but it is the life he chose when we were daiting and i willingly married into it and uncle sam wouldn't let him get out when he wanted to and next thing we knew he had 10 years in and hell what's another 10... keep that in mind just because you want out doesn't mean you will get out and if you enlist for 4 years thinking that will be it and you will get out remember you will be inactive reserve for 4 years after that and they can call you for deployments any time with in 8 years of your origional enlistment date... look up inactive reserve for more information (all services have this rule).

How can you say that to someone? Do you know how many military families are this board? Do you know how many of them you just slapped in the face with that statement? Just because you seem to be a very bitter person towards the military, you shouldn't make a statement like that against the rest of us. My children have a future because of their father's service to your country. a very KIND one. :mad:

LOL yeah I was ignoring that comment myself. My husband is active duty Navy right now, we are stationed at Pearl Harbor/Hickam Joint base and have LOVED and enjoyed our Navy life. :) Almost retirement time!


Daughter of a retired Navy officer, former Army soldier, a wife for the past 15 yrs to a Marine and a mom of 3 here and I took major offense to that post too.



OP- Which ever branch you choose thank you for your kindness of wanting help and take care of all our service members :hug:

arihillfarm
04-14-2010, 03:49 PM
Honestly, if my daughter wanted to join the military I'd push her towards the AF, even though I'm a Marine. The deployments suck, the bases suck, and the AF has much better opportunities for women. It's just how it is..

Army family here too (with DH also being ex-Navy) and I'd push for Air Force also if you can get in. When DSiL was considering the military, we really talked up the Air Force to her. DH has been sent to school on various AFBs (he's Army Aviation) and he's always raving about the bases, the housing, the dining halls, the positive working environment, etc. When he was deployed to Iraq he was on the smaller Army side of a huge AFB and spent most of his free time riding the buses over to the Air Force side which had all the amenties of home including a movie theater and a Burger King. At the time, it was probably the only BK in all of Iraq and the Air Force had it. :thumbsup2

To the others who are getting so offended, it's pretty well known to all in the military that some of the services and MOSs/specialties within those services are more family-friendly than others. It would be wrong NOT to point that out to someone considering joining, especially if family stability is a consideration, which I'm sure it is as the OP is female with two children. Not all of the uniformed services will be the right fit for every service member and their families. That's not a slam or a slap or a flame; it's simply the truth.

-Astrid

eeyorethegreat
04-14-2010, 04:32 PM
I don't think the PP who mentioned "being kind" meant offense. I think the words were chosen poorly. My DH is a reservist who has been activated. 4 months into his tour he is already being told to expect a lengthy extension. This isn't the first time he has been "away" on military duty. I think her comment comes from her frustration of having to "do it all" when her Dh is away and perhaps did not fully understand the stressors that can come with being a military spouse.

Now that isn't to say I agree with the statement, like I think the wording was rather poorly chosen. I married my dh knowing his commitment to the Army and serving his country whenever he was called beyond his reservist duties. I also knew he fully intended to stay in until and beyond his 20 years (and we are past the 20 years, he doesn't have any intention of leaving at this point- not until he has to). These were things I knew when I married him and as such his commitment became my commitment. Sure it is hard having him away missing important events in the kids lives. By marrying a soldier you agree to take on the honor and the hardships of such. I would never dream of thinking that we have been unkind to our children by DH service to our country. On the contrary, we have a stronger marriage and family because of it. Despite the trying times during deployments, I can say I am truly proud to be a miliary wife and I wouldn't change it if I could.:love:

ETA the question the OP asked was about what she should know while considering joining the Military as a nurse. Sounds like she is getting some good advice. She wants to get well informed before she makes any major, life changing decisions and that is very wise on her part! I wish you the very best and I appreciate that you are considering being part of our Military!

stm61
04-14-2010, 05:25 PM
I agree with most of the earlier posters, go AF if you can! They have seperate recruiters for officer and if nurses are recruited the same as doctors and dentists, you only have a few weeks of officer basic to teach how to wear the uniform, who to salute, what's the BX, etc. I've been AF, then Army, and could not wait to go back to the AF lol. It's a whole other world, you are treated much differently then the army treats their people, and we all make the same pay for each pay grade regardless of what your job or branch is. (That's not including any special pay) Even on state side bases the AF usually has nicer housing and there's not as much difference between officer and enlisted housing. They call us the chair force, but we're the ones in hotels with hot water and tv when the army is on the floor of the armory in a sleeping bag. I'm not knocking the army, thank God there are people who do the job, but my kids will never sign an army contract, they'll be in the AF or navy.