Why Consider Military Nursing
People join the military for various reasons. For RNs considering a military career, incentive might come from:
- Pride that comes with serving your country
- Education benefits, including loan repayment programs
- Low- or no-cost healthcare
- 30 days of paid vacation
- Government-funded retirement benefits
- Built-in opportunities to advance in leadership roles with increases in salary and rank
Earning potential is another benefit of a military nursing career. RNs earn a median annual salary of $71,730, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Todays Military puts the average salary for military nurses at $108,838. Sign-on bonuses offer added incentive. With the Army, RNs may see a sign-on bonus of up to $30,000.
What Are The Educational Requirements For A Military Nurse
The first step in becoming a military nurse is obtaining your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, also known as a BSN degree. Typically, BSN degrees take around four years to complete. Although the military prefers their nurses to have BSN degrees, the Army Reserve accepts nurses with only Associate’s Degrees in Nursing or ADN degrees. However, these RNs are expected to have a BSN degree by the time they’re ready for promotion as Captain. Once you have obtained your bachelor’s degree in nursing, you are then permitted to sit for the state board examinations.
Once a civilian RN has undergone the primary educational processes involved in becoming a military nurse, they will then also need to undergo officer training through whichever branch of the armed forces they wish to serve in. Officer training educates newly admitted RNs on leadership skills and military life. Additionally, during officer training, RNs are also required to show their proficiency in various physical fitness exercises.
Types Of Military Nurses
The ADF provides opportunities to work in specialised nursing roles within a military environment. Specialised nurses often train with and work alongside general nurses and usually do so in a part-time capacity. Below are some of the specialised fields of nursing in the army you may like to consider:
Mental health nurse: Mental health nurses assist with supporting a person’s recovery from illness or injury, enabling them to have greater control over their condition.
Peri-operative nurse: Peri-operative nursing involves assisting surgeons in the operating room and providing care for patients before, during and after operations. These nurses often work as scrub nurses, who select and pass instruments to the surgeon, or as circulating nurses, who help to manage the operating room by ensuring a safe and comfortable environment.
Intensive care nurse: An intensive care nurse provides nursing care to patients with life-threatening conditions or illnesses. Their training is highly specific to this area and requires specialised experience, knowledge and skills.
Accident and emergency nurse: Working as an emergency nurse can be a highly demanding role and is integral to the army. An emergency nurse undergoes training to provide acute care to injured patients. Their duties include taking patients’ vital signs, observing their physical condition, administering medication and performing procedures.
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Military Requirements And Training
All military RNs are commissioned officers, and so unfortunately, RNs with an associate degree are disqualified. Any civilian who’s earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and received an RN license in their state can apply for a direct commission. RNs, doctors, lawyers, and other licensed professionals in this pipeline receive a somewhat abridged version of officer candidate training to orient them to the military culture and their role in it as officers.
There are also programs that help civilians offset the cost of nursing education in exchange for serving once they graduate. The Navy, for example, offers a full tuition ride to high school students going into a nursing program, or up to $34,000 to current student nurses through their Nurse Candidate Program. The Air Force also has a scholarship program for health professionals and each branch may offer college loan repayment incentives.
Scholarship programs are generally only for civilians aiming for a military career as RNs, but what about those already serving in the military? As with other college degrees, those who serve can receive tuition assistance or use their GI Bill benefits to pay for off-duty courses in an accredited nursing program.
What Does A Career As An Army Nurse Involve
What you can expect to do day-to-day as a military nurse can depend largely on your location and specialisation. As a full-time or part-time regular army nurse, you can expect to gain deployment to a large variety of units, where you may provide hospital trauma and primary care. You may also provide in-patient field hospital-level care.
Where you work as a nurse in the army often depends on the current operation of the military. You can expect to spend some time working in local defence bases, where the focus is usually on training for operations and maintaining clinical skills. You may also deliver primary health care and low acuity in-patient care. There may be exciting opportunities to work as a nurse overseas during combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian relief operations. In such environments, you can expect to work in pre-hospital settings providing primary health care and immediate resuscitation or helping in surgical field hospitals.
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Civilian Nurses In Military Healthcare Facilities
Many temporary staffing companies and travel nursingcompanies provide nurses to military facilities on a short-term basis. Forexample, NEXT Travel Nursing company matches the needs of the government andmilitary medical facilities to the skills and expertise of the nurse. Being a travel nurseis a great way to experience military medicine with all the perks of atraveler.
The Veterans Health Administration , Department of Defense Air Force Medical Corps and the Navy Medical Corps utilize usajobs.gov to hire nurses and staff to their medical facilities beyond what is available from active duty and reserve nurses. Nurses who wish to provide care via this pathway for the listed organizations must pass rigorous background screenings in addition to the interview process.
Nearly 60% of some military hospitals are staffed with civilian workers. The Army refers to this work as Civilian Corps and offers a connection for those interested in becoming a non-military healthcare professional in a military setting. From RN to LPN to Advance Practice Nurses, working with military service members and their families requires commitment and additional competencies. You can also search our RN job board for possible options.
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Responsibilities Of A Military Rn
More than 1.3 million active-duty soldiers and 800,000 reserve forces were serving our nation in 2017. Military nurses_are respected members of the armed force_s, caring for those who put their lives on the line. They serve all branches of the military, including the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy. During wartime, they travel the world to provide medical care.
As a military RN , you’ll enjoy the same perks as any other member of the military. Free healthcare, exciting educational opportunities, bonuses housing allowances and competitive pay are just a few to mention. Nurses who choose this career path work in military hospitals and clinics, medical facilities around combat zones, military bases and other facilities at sea or on shore. Their duties and responsibilities include:
- Treating military members and their families.
- Assessing and treating wounds.
- Preparing service members for medical examinations.
- Providing emotional support to soldiers.
Military nurses work in h*igh-stress environments,* and must have the ability to make quick decisions in case of emergency. In certain situations, they may be required to command an entire hospital, travel or relocate to foreign countries and work in war zones. These healthcare professionals can specialize in pediatrics, critical care, psychiatry and other areas of medicine. The skills they develop in the army open up a world of opportunities later in life.
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What Is Military Nursing
The United States military tasks some of our best and brightest citizens with protecting our country, regularly asking its members to put themselves in harms way for the benefit of our citizens. These valiant men and women often need medical care, and the United States Department of Defense places a skilled group of American nurses at their disposal. The military offers some of the most challenging nursing careers, both active duty and reserve, and rewards its nurses with competitive pay and a comprehensive benefits package. Do you think you may have what it takes?
Are Any Certifications Or Credentials Needed
Before an individual becomes an official military nurse, they must already have graduated from a nursing program approved by their state’s Board of Nursing and have taken and passed the National Council Licensure Exam . Once you have passed your state board examination, you are eligible to obtain an RN license. After this, RNs can apply to a particular branch of the military, and if accepted, sign the necessary contracts and be sworn in.
Read our Guide to Military Nursing Education & Service – Click the Banner!
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The Job Of A Military Nurse
Nurses work in military hospitals, clinics and combat zones. Their patients include active-duty personnel and military retirees. In the case of war or a natural disaster, military nurses may administer care to civilians.
Their responsibilities consist of treating wounds for infection, monitoring pain, dispensing medication and providing care for preoperative and postoperative patients. Their patients may suffer from cancer, broken bones or common aliments like the flu or pneumonia. Nurses in war zones deal with life-threatening injuries that may be the result of gunshots or explosions. They may also work with patients who have gone through amputations.
What Is The Salary Of A Military Nurse
For some nurses, the question How much does a Military Nurse make? may be the determining factor in pursuing this career path.
Military Nurses are competitively compensated, with the pay rate increasing with the grade or rank that the nurse holds. On average, ZipRecruiter reports that Military Nurses earn between $50,000 and $100,000 annually. The job outlook for Military Registered Nurses is particularly excellent. They are in demand in all the branches of the military. Still, the Army remains the largest employer of Military Nurses.
Competitive salaries arent the only benefit. Registered Nurses who are enlisted in the military have the opportunity to have their student loans repaid by the Government, which is a tremendous financial advantage. Other benefits include housing stipends, low-cost or free health insurance, hazard pay when working in combat zones, and retirement plans. Military nurses can retire after 20 years in service and are entitled to receive a pension.
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S To Becoming A Military Nurse
The other option is to apply to one of the military academies including West Point or the Naval Academy prior to becoming a nurse. Then, you can have the military pay for your nursing school tuition and put you on a path to becoming an officer.
How To Become A Military Nurse: A Step
There are many specialisations to pursue within the nursing field. Nursing in the army can be a great way to gain a wide variety of new skills and experiences while working in the field you love. If you have an interest in becoming a military nurse, learning more about the role can help you decide if it’s right for you. In this article, explain how to become a military nurse, discuss what that role can involve and show you how you can apply.
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Why Did You Choose To Join The Military
I chose to join the military because I always wanted to serve my country in a larger capacity. I knew I wanted to be a nurse and I knew that being a nurse in the military would come with great benefits.
On top of my own personal goals of continuing my education, I have family members that are prior military as well as a brother who is currently still serving 20+ years in the Army. I was able to look at what the military has offered him in helping to formulate my decision.
How To Excel As A Civilian Nurse On Military Bases
Having taken the first step and spoken to Loyal Source, youll find that we can move quickly to place you in a nursing role on a military base. But we dont stop there. We understand that the way the military operates is very different to how civi-street works.
We want you to be successful, every bit as you desire success. Thats why we are always only a phone call away from our candidates you can approach us with any questions, concerns, or queries you may have .
To help you hit the ground running in your new contract, and to ensure that your work is career enhancing, weve complied these five tips:
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Join As A Registered Nurse
As a Registered Nurse, you’ll command a team that provides the highest standard of care. You can choose to join as an Officer or Soldier – both roles will stretch your clinical and leadership abilities. As a soldier you will follow a regular nursing career pathway. Officers will take on additional leadership and management responsibilities within the Army, alongside their nursing duties.
Army Nursing can be tough, so we’ll give you the best possible military and professional training. You can develop your skills throughout your career with further study up to and beyond MSc level, funded by us. It’s not all hard work though. You’ll also get to travel, take part in Adventure Training and play sports for the Army. With a competitive salary, non-contributory pension and free healthcare too, you’ll get great rewards – and an amazing experience.
During your Army Nursing application we will advise and support you in making the right career choice for you so that you can realise your true potential, whether that’s as a Nursing Soldier or Nursing Officer.
Step 1 – You join the Army and complete your initial Soldier or Officer military training.
Step 2 – You then complete a short Transition to Military Practice Course, after which you will be assigned to a Joint Hospital Group to commence your preceptorship and rotation programme and begin life as an Army Nurse.
The Work Of A Military Nurse
First and foremost, military nurses are trained, like any other nurse, in basic nursing skills, according to EveryNurse. They treat military members and their families for a variety of concerns, from acute conditions to general wellness.
However, military nurses are faced with very specific conditions not encountered by most nurses. They may be deployed to war zones, where the work is much more stressful and extremely dangerous at times. While they may still treat colds and administer stitches, they may have to do their work under threat of enemy attack.
Because they are military members and care for the wounded during wartime, they are often the deciding factor in life-and-death situations. Military nurses face a great deal of pressure and they must be able to focus on patient care in distracting and dangerous environments. Gunshot wounds, lost limbs and other life-threatening injuries are not uncommon for military patients.
Not all of a military nurses work will take place in war-torn areas. Military nurses often treat military members and their families for common ailments like colds and injuries not related to combat. Military nurses work on military bases, as well as in military hospitals and clinics.
Military nurses often have the opportunity for adventure, seeing different parts of the world while deployed. Military benefits are very good, as is the compensation.
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Do You Need Certifications For A Career In Military Nursing
Other than holding a BSN degree and having an active and unencumbered RN license, there are generally no additional mandatory certifications for nurses who want to work in the military. Still, some credentials may be highly encouraged for particular nursing specialties and positions. These are very specialty specific. Examples of potential certifications employers may ask for are: Acute Cardiac Life Support , Pediatric Advanced Life Support , or Critical Care . It is useful to remember that each military nursing job will come with its own set of requirements, so its essential to check what they are ahead of time.