Education In The Air Force
Airmen enlisted in the Physical Medicine or Aerospace Medical fields may be eligible for credits for their training and experience awarded by the Community College of the Air Force . By combining that with resident and distance-learning courses, airmen can earn an associate degree in the CCAF Allied Health Sciences Program.
While not a nursing-specific degree, this may help fulfill some of the requirements to earn a BS in nursing, since it includes a variety of liberal arts credits and electives in biology, chemistry, psychology, and pharmacology.
How To Become A Military Nurse: The Definitive Guide
Have you always wanted to be a part of the United States military, but were torn because you also want to work in the medical field?
What if we told you, you could do both?
Military Nurses are powerful men and women who help soldiers both at home in the US and across the sea in foreign countries.
Becoming a Military Nurse is a long road, but those who are determined can make a great addition to this career.
Benefits Of Becoming A Military Nurse
Becoming a military nurse provides ample benefits. In addition to providing an opportunity for prospective nurses to contribute to a cause that is bigger than themselves, it also provides numerous tangible benefits that can be put to good use for those looking to advance their careers, broaden their expertise or expand their knowledge base.
Military nurses are offered competitive salaries. Each persons salary is dependent on their education and experience and they are eligible for incentive pay and retention bonuses commensurate with their service amount and job title. You can take a closer look at the breakdown here.
Of course, the benefits available go beyond signing bonuses and salaries. Military nurses also have the opportunity to take advantage of loan repayment programs. The active-duty health professions loan repayment program can earn participants up to $120,000 to pay off their nursing school tuition. Education benefits also extend to nurses who would like to further their education while employed as military nurses, with opportunities for continuing education and clinical specialization so they can take the necessary steps to advance their careers.
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What Kind Of Jobs Are Available
Jobs for travel nurses are available in a wide variety of areas. Youll find patient populations ranging from the very young to the very old, and any number of conditions or diseases. You may find yourself working in a range of medical settings, from low-income clinics to state-of-the-art facilities.
International travel nursing is common. The World Health Organization reports that, one in every eight nurses practices in a country other than the one where they were born or trained. This is largely due to nursing shortages around the world. While you might have a heard a lot about the nursing shortage in the United States, there are areas around the globe facing even greater shortages.
A recent report by the WHO and the International Council of Nurses found that despite recent increases in trained nurses there is still a large need: There are just under 28 million nurses worldwide, the report states. Between 2013 and 2018, nursing numbers increased by 4.7 million, but this still leaves a global shortfall of 5.9 million. The greatest gaps are found in countries in Africa Southeast Asia and Eastern Mediterranean regions and some parts of Latin America, according to the report.
Six Military Nurse Career Advancement
Pay increases in the military rely on many factors. Moving up in rank is the number one factor. This will increase not only your pay but also the stipends that you are allotted. Deployments will offer you things such as hazardous pay for the time you are deployed.
In the military, nurses have many opportunities to advance their rank and assume more responsibilities. Commissioned Officers in the Army Nurse Corps hold the following ranks:
- Second Lieutenant
There are three pathways for advancement: Clinical/Operational, Staff, and Executive/Leadership.
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How Can I Get A Military Contract Job As A Nurse Or Civilian Nurse
To get a job as a military nurse contractor, you need a nursing degree, a license, and the willingness to travel and accept assignments in other parts of the world. Like enlisted nurses, civilian contractor nurses need the qualifications and skills to provide patient care. To qualify for these positions, you need a degree and nursing license. You must earn an associate or bachelors degree in nursing and then pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a licensed RN. Some positions require a bachelor’s degree in nursing or previous military experience. Depending on the assignment, you may need security clearance as well.
How International Travel Nursing Works
As with travel nursing in the U.S., international nursing jobs are typically found through agencies within their home countries. You must first be licensed to work as a nurse in the U.S. Then you must meet any requirements in the country or countries in which youd like to work. Each country will have its own guidelines, so its up to you to do the research.
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Obtain A Nursing License
A military nurse needs to be licensed before applying to work for the military, so obtaining your registered nursing license directly after your undergraduate degree can increase your chances of finding work more quickly. To earn a nursing license, candidates need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination and fulfill any state-specific requirements they might have. Once you get your nursing license, you can begin practicing as a nurse in the field and prepare to apply to the military.
Labor And Delivery Nurse
Labor and delivery nurses guide women through childbirth, coaching them through sometimes difficult contractions, administering medication, watching for any potential complications, and helping new moms breastfeed their newborns for the first time.
Its a nursing role that can be by turns intense, stressful, and joyful. Every new moms delivery is different, and that means labor and delivery nurses must be critical thinkers who can quickly switch from coaching a laboring mother to taking charge if a complication arises.
They must also be prepared for the times when there is a heartbreaking outcome and be able to accept loss.
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Want To Make Yourself More Marketable Here Are A Few Tips
- Learn another language: Many hospitals need nurses who speak more than English, with Spanish being the second language in highest demand.
- Get certified: If you have expertise in a specialized area, earn professional certification.
- Be flexible: Be open to working for different employers, even if you have your heart set on one in particular. The experience you gain could be valuable.
Average Training Program Duration: 4+ Years
There are many types of programs for people who are interested in becoming Military Nurses.
The only difference is that some of the programs last about 6 weeks, while others can last for 6 months.
Each training program you attend will tell you how long it takes the earn the certification.
Also, most boot camps last anywhere from 6-10 weeks, which is about as long as a typical certification program.
Online certification programs are often quicker than ones that meet in person, but both will do the trick.
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What Are Military Contract Jobs For Nurses
A military nurse contract position involves providing medical services on military bases, installations, hospitals, or clinics. Your duties include providing healthcare services for military personnel and their families. Your responsibilities can vary depending on the nature of each assignment. You can work on an army base or in a government facility, such as a consulate or embassy. A contract nurse on an overseas deployment may work in a field hospital. You can also work with civilian populations when medical care is a part of the military’s mission in another country. In these situations, you may offer immunizations and treatment to local people.
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.
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Advanced Practice Registered Nurses
Military communities need highly educated and skilled nurses to provide direct patient care this is the role filled by Advanced Practice Registered Nurses . They work alongside healthcare providers to administer care on bases all over the country and the world and theyre dedicated to ensuring everyone’s wellness and providing treatment.
There are a number of specialties available to APRNs who wish to have a more targeted career path. For example, they can pursue careers as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners , who provide a high level of care to troops in rehabilitation programs, mental health clinics and combat stress units. They can also pursue a Family Nurse Practitioner track and specialize in care of individuals and families or become an Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, who focuses on young adults, aging adults, and older adult populations.
Regardless of which track they choose to pursue, APRNs are required to have an advanced degree such as a Master of Science in Nursing.
The Air Force Nurse Corps
Air force eligibility age is 18 to 47. Some air force nurses work for aeromedical evacuation units as flight nurses. One will find emergency/ trauma nurses and critical care nurses. Air force nurses are employed in a number of other capacities, though, caring for military families as well as soldiers. Among the careers listed are pediatric nurse practitioner and even neonatal nurse practitioner.
The air force offers critical care/emergency trauma nursing fellowships.
An article in Minority Nurse features an air force nurse who manage a Aeromedical Evacuation Liaison Team, or AELT .
Some nurses transport wounded and ill service members through the Air National Guard.
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Enlist In The Military
After you have obtained the nursing experience that you need, you can think about enlisting in the military.
The first thing to do is talk to a recruiter, these are the people who help you get all of the paperwork and information that you need in order to enlist.
Once you decide on a branch of the military that youd like to serve, you must make sure you meet all of the minimum requirements.
After you have met all of the requirements, you will start working on an application packet.
Your recruiter will help you make sure everything is correct, which will take about a year to complete.
Once your application is finished, it will go to a commissioning board, they will accept you or deny you into the military.
If you are accepted, you will be sent to a military base and start boot camp. Boot camp can last anywhere from 5-10 weeks and will test your mental and physical capacity as well as introduce you to military life.
After you complete the military training, you will be considered a Military Nurse.
Five Salary And Benefits For Military Nurses
The salary range of a military nurse ranges from $58,000 on upward. Your salary as a military nurse is based on your education level upon commissioning, your rank, and any special certifications you may hold.
In addition to your salary, you will have the option to accept a sign-on bonus or student loan repayment. A person who is a registered nurse and agrees to accept a commission as an officer may be paid an accession bonus of up to $30,000 for a four-year contract or up to $20,000 for a three-year contract.
Nurses who choose to accept the student loan repayment have the option of having their loans repaid up to a maximum of $40,000 per year.
A Brief History Of Nursing In The Military
In the early days of the United States military, nurses were civilians who volunteered their services but were not enlisted officers. However, that changed in 1901, when the United States Army Nurse Corps was established. Today, military nurses hold military rank and can be part of any of the Nurse Corps of any major military branch, including the Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
In some ways, a military nursing career is very similar to a traditional nursing career. The main goal of all nurses is to care for their patients and help them get better. However, in many ways, a military nursing career is very different than a traditional nursing career. For instance, instead of caring for civilian patients in comfortable hospital settings, military nurses care for current or past military members, sometimes in hazardous settings.
As with all nursing careers, there are several disadvantages and advantages to working as a military nurse. First of all, a military nursing career can be very stressful and sometimes heartbreaking. It can also be somewhat dangerous since its not uncommon for military nurses to be deployed to foreign war zones with troops.
Types Of Work Visas For Nurses
Mexican And Canadian Nurses – TN Visa
Mexican and Canadian nurses may work in the United States with a special TN visa if the individual has an offer of employment, a license to practice in their home country, and pass the NCLEX and state licensure requirements.
H-1B Temporary Work Visa
Nurses who hold a four-year degree and fulfill a specialized nursing role may qualify for an H-1B temporary work visa and then apply for a green card once stateside. These specialized roles include critical care nurses, emergency room nurses, and/or cardiology nurses.
It is important to note that there a very limited number of H-1C visas available to nurses who want to work in very specific hospitals in underserved communities.
Permanent Work Visa
The majority of foreign-trained nurses will need to obtain a permanent work visa, otherwise known as a green card. This application needs to be completed prior to travel to the United States and the visa must be obtained before immigrating legally.
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Q What Is The Demand For Military Nurses
Nursing, in general, is going to have a huge boost over the next decade.
Military Nursing will be necessary for the foreseeable future since we will always need our armed forces and medical staff.
With a projected growth at around 12 percent, this career will have more opportunities than many other careers in the medical field.
This can be due to the older population retiring, as well as the older population, getting sick and needing medical care.
Career Changes Within Nursing
Nursing is infamously rewarding and challenging at the same time. After years of bedside care, some nurses look for a career switch within the field. Often, going back to school is the way to make a change.
- Specialize: Earning a masters degree allows you to choose a specialty such as midwifery. If an MSN isnt what youre looking for, you can enroll in a certificate program, which takes less time to complete. You can choose from a variety of specialty certificates.
- Teach: If you enjoy guiding new nurses in the workplace, you might be a good fit as a nurse educator. Colleges and universities hire nurses who hold a masters or doctorate to teach nursing courses.
- Research: A Doctor of Nursing Philosophy or Doctor of Nursing Science qualifies you to work in medical research. Your work could help make advances in the nursing profession.
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Up Next: Artificial Intelligence
Now, artificial intelligence is emerging as the next frontier of healthcare. Some healthcare systems use AI-supported virtual nursing assistants to direct patients to appropriate healthcare providers and help with time-consuming administrative tasks. The result: Managers can assign nurses to positions where direct human interaction is most critical.
How Long Are The Assignments
While travel nursing assignments in the U.S. typically last between eight and 26 weeks, nursing jobs abroad are often longer. Youll likely work for at least a year in destinations like Australia and Europe, while its common to commit to at least two years while working in the Middle East.
If youre curious about international travel nursing but not ready to make a long commitment, there are numerous volunteer opportunities. Non-profit and charity organizations all over the country have opportunities for nurses to volunteer overseas. These trips generally last anywhere from three to six weeks. While you wont earn a salary for this work, it can be a great way to make a difference while seeing if international travel nursing is a good fit for you.
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What Education Do Nurses Joining The Military Need
You will need to be a licensed registered nurse with a BSN in order to serve as a military nurse. A BSN program will involve clinical experiences, rigorous training, and will prepare you to take the National Council Licensure Examination exam.
Once you decide which branch of the military youd like to serve in, youll be required to take a training course to get you up to speed on the military life, helping you to develop leadership skills and prepare you for the pressures of working in a military environment. You may also be required to take a physical fitness test just to make sure youre ready for anything, whether youre on the front lines or working closer to home.
Another benefit of becoming a military nurse is that the military offers a multitude of options for those who are looking to advance their careers. There are opportunities for continuing education and clinical specialization, with the option to choose one of three career tracks: Clinical/Operational, which can place you in advance practice nursing, clinical specialization, and more the Staff Track, which can help you branch out into a variety of departments such as case management or education and training and the Executive/Leadership Track, which can elevate you to the role of colonel.