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.
Bachelor Degree In Nursing Sciences
The bachelors degree in nursing is generally a four-year-long course that is offered by most public universities in South Africa: UCT, Wits, Stellies , UP, UWC, NWU, UKZN, UNISA, etc. The degree consists of both a compulsory practical clinical training component and a theoretical component. Once you have completed a BCur , you are able to register as a professional nurse and midwife with the SANC.
It is recommended that you take Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences, but this is not compulsory at all institutions. You will need a National Senior Certificate or equivalent qualification at exit level 4, with:
- First additional or home language
- Life Sciences
What does the course look like?
The BCur usually prepares students to work in four specific fields:
- general nursing
- community nursing
- psychiatric nursing
Your course will have a practical component. You will learn how to do the kind of practical work you will need to be able to do when you become a nurse. In the theoretical component, you will learn the theory of what it is to be a nurse and you will study medical, biological and natural sciences, psychological and social sciences, and pharmacology so that you have the knowledge you need to be competent and successful healthcare professional.
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.
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Army Nurses And Officer Commission
Army nurses are commissioned officers and, as such, enjoy the salary and benefits commensurate with their rank and pay grade. As explained by Nurse.org, nurses typically enter the Army with the rank of second lieutenant , which is equivalent to pay grade O-1. In all branches of the Armed Forces, service members are paid according to pay grade rather than job title or rank name, as these can differ from one branch to another.
The Defense Finance and Accounting Service publishes a chart annually that shows earnings by pay grade and years of service. As an O-1 with less than two years of experience, an Army nurse earned $3,385.80 in basic monthly pay, effective January 2021. That’s about $40,600 per year. A nurse who attains the rank of major and has between 10 and 12 years of service earned $7,684.20 per month in basic pay as of 2021, equaling approximately $92,200 per year. In addition to basic pay, Army nurses receive a housing allowance and health benefits. There may also be opportunities for tuition reimbursement, incentive pay and hazardous duty pay.
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.
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Joining The Army Nurse Corps
The best way to join the Army Nurse Corps is to contact your local Army healthcare recruiter. He or she can tell you more about the program, help you figure out what requirements you need to meet and walk you through the process of signing up. If you’re not sure who you should contact, visit www.goarmy.com to find your local recruiting office.
Since the Nurse Corps is a branch of the military, recruits need to meet some of the basic requirements for military service, including U.S. citizenship, the ability to pass a security clearance and passing a physical exam. You won’t attend the Basic Training camp that enlisted soldiers do. Since Army nurses are officers, you’ll instead be required to attend a Basic Officer Leader Course to acquaint you with military life. In addition, Army nurses must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited school and must be between the ages of 21 and 42. Army nurse recruits are also expected to write a motivational statement explaining why they want to join the Army Nurse Corps as part of their application.
Even if you don’t join the Army Nurse Corps through an Army ROTC program, the Army offers loan repayment opportunities to help you pay back any loans you may have taken out in order to pay for nursing school.
The Army offers many flexible options for military service — both full time and part time — and Army nurses can choose from several concentrations. In the next section, we’ll take a look at some of the jobs Army nurses do.
What Is It Like To Be A Military Nurse
Nurses in the military provide nursing care for wounded and ill soldiers wherever they are stationed around the world. During combat, military nurses provide care on the front line overseas.
In peacetime, military nurses work in a variety of settings providing ambulatory, maternal/child, acute and rehabilitation nursing care.
Military nurses sign-up for a period of service and can be assigned to any position based on ability and need. They have the opportunity to travel to different countries as well as different states to live, work, and complete assigned training.
Your clinical skills will be kept sharp, your ability to think critically will develop quickly, and your time-management skills will be tested in such a fast-paced environment. Being a military nurse is one of the highest levels of nursing care one can achieve.
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Why Become A Military Nurse
As you see, becoming a military nurse is anything but easy. Your efforts will pay off, though. You’ll not only learn new skills and gain experience but also receive a competitive salary, bonuses, scholarships and tax-free shopping privileges at military clubs and other facilities. The median pay for military registered nurses starts from $58,000 per year.
Those who pursue this career path may receive financial assistance for continuing education as well as generous retirement plans and insurance options. As you gain experience, you can move up in rank and enjoy more privileges. If you decide to leave the army at some point, you’ll find easy to land a high-paying job and grow your career.
Working as a military nurse will also give you the opportunity to travel, meet interesting people and explore new cultures. Plus, you can specialize in various areas of practice and expand your knowledge. In this role, you’ll gain valuable leadership skills that can enhance your personal and professional life.
Top 10 Military Nurse Programs
This list is based on a number of factors including:
- Acceptance rate, when available
- Only ACEN or CCNE accredited schools are eligible
Because military nurses can attend any school, earning a quality education best prepares students for a career as a military nurse.
This list also takes into consideration schools with approval from NROTC, Army ROTC, and similar military scholarships. By accepting these scholarships, nurses commit to a minimum time commitment of working with the respective military branch.
Our selection panel is made up of 3 Registered Nurses with years of experience and multiple degree:
- Tracy Everhart, MSN, RN, CNS
- Tyler Faust, MSN, RN
- Kathleen Gaines, MSN, BSN, RN, BA, CBC
There are numerous programs fit for future military nurses and our panel of nurses ranked them based on factors mentioned in the methodology. Because individual nursing pathways and careers take various forms, the top 10 military nurse programs are ranked in no particular order.
Program Length: 4 years
Annual In-State Tuition: $15,230 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $50,872
Program Length: 4 years
Annual In-State Tuition: $11,734 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $42,358
Program Length: 4 years
Annual In-State Tuition: $11,214 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $37,914
Program Length: 4 years
Annual In-State Tuition: $10,746 Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $38,634
Program Length: 4 years
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South African Nursing Council
The South African Nursing Council is the body entrusted to set and maintain standards of nursing education and practice in the Republic of South Africa. It is an autonomous, financially independent, statutory body, initially established by the Nursing Act, 1944 , and currently operating under the Nursing Act, 2005 .For more information and inquiries, you can contact the South African Nursing Council by visiting the official website or campus. Please use the comment section for your queries regarding the Military Hospital Nursing School.Dont hesitate to like our social platforms in order to share, discuss & get the latest updates of the Military Hospital Nursing School.Be Social By Sharing This Post With Others Via:
Job Outlook And Salary
The job outlook for military nurses is good and theyre compensated according to grade and rank the nurse holds. In addition to great salaries, military nurses receive special pay and bonuses for many types of activities. Military nurses also have opportunities to have their student loans repaid by government programs. Many branches also offer a sign-on or ascension bonuses of $20,000 to $30,000 and yearly bonuses according to type of degree a nurse holds.
Some other benefits military nurses receive are low-cost or free health care insurance, 401K programs, housing stipends and hazard pay when assigned to combat zones. They receive 30 days of vacation per year and they can retire after 20 years of service and receive a pension.
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Complete Tests And Undergo Training
There are usually several tests that army nursing candidates complete to ensure their suitability for the role. These tests can include an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, a physical examination, a physical fitness test and an online aptitude test .
Upon gaining acceptance into the ADF, there is generally a requirement to undertake military training. This training can provide fundamental knowledge on leadership, command and control, unit and personnel administration, basic military skills and the ideals of officer attitudes and behaviours. After finishing training, you may undertake nurse-specific employment training. This training often runs for three weeks and provides you with the necessary information to apply professional nursing skills in a military context.
Military Nursing: How To Become A Registered Nurse Working In The Military
Military nursing is one of the most fulfilling and challenging career paths a Registered Nurse could explore. Theres no doubt about it: working in the military can be stressful and even dangerous, but, in the end, it brings together two of the noblest actions any person could undertake: helping others and serving their country.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore some subtleties of this career and, more importantly, what makes military nursing such a sought-after profession. In addition to that, well discuss the steps to t a Military Nurse, the benefits, salary prospects, and much more.
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Why Do Nurses Join The Military
The decision to join the military is a personal one, and no two people are likely to join the military for the exact same reasons. However, the military offers nurses a set of opportunities for career advancement and professional development that cannot easily be found in a civilian context. In addition, the military gives nurses the opportunity to travel and provide a meaningful service.
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.
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Becoming A Military Nurse: What They Do And The Branches They Serve In
Military nurses work in the uniformed services, including army, navy, and air force. They may opt for active duty or the reserves. Theyre in demand many places, but the army employs more than any other branch.
The armed services recruits nurses with differing specializations. There is need for nurses with expertise to care for the critically wounded. Nurses, though, also help service members with routine care and non-combat illnesses and injuries. They support their families as well. Some, for example, work in labor and delivery or neonatal care. Some even work in mental health.
Military nurses go on deployments and humanitarian missions. Theyre also needed at military bases throughout the country. Some work on ships.
Nurses may seek military careers for multiple reasons, from patriotism to monetary rewards. The armed services are known for generosity to those who are in alignment with their mission and ready to make a deep commitment. There are scholarships available to individuals at different stages of life from those who are still in high school to those who are already serving in the military in other capacities. Some nurses receive loan repayment in exchange for their commitment.
Nurses are commissioned officers. They must hold degrees at at least the bachelors level to be eligible for commission. Requirements are similar, but not identical, from one branch to the next.
What Did You Do Before Joining The Military
Before joining the military, I was a student at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, SC. I had excellent professors that taught me all throughout my undergraduate career. I graduated USC Upstate December 15, 2015, studied for the NCLEX and passed in January of 2016.
In February of 2016, I moved from SC to Rochester, MN. I had accepted a new grad position in the Medical/Surgical ICU at the Mayo Clinic. It was there at the Mayo Clinic that I began my true nursing career.
The immense knowledge and guidance I received was far beyond what I could have expected as a new graduate. It was during the year of 2016 that I also was presented with an opportunity to join the Air Force. This opportunity came sooner than expected but I was thankful!
After a long application process and with the help of a recruiter, I found out I was accepted into the Air Force Nurse Corp in the beginning of 2017.
After working over a year and a half at Mayo Clinic, I said goodbye to the best hospital foundation I could have had a new graduate.
Beginning in Aug of 2017 I completed my five-week training course at Maxwell AFB in Alabama and from that point on I have been Active Duty in the operational Air Force as a Critical Care Nurse!
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An Overview Of A Military Nurse Salary
Most military nurse salary data falls between $58,000 and $100,000 per year, with the bulk of military nurses making around $70,000 annually. But where does this data come from?
Well, military pay isnt based on job description. Its based on years of service and rank . The higher your rank and time in the military, the more youll get out of your military nurse salary and benefits.
This also means different subclasses of military nurses wont receive different pay. So a military registered nurse salary wont be different from a military CRNA salary .
With an average salary of around $70,000, that means the monthly pay is about $5,800. That would put the majority of military nurses somewhere between the ranks of O-1 to O-4, since military nurses all enter the Armed Forces as commissioned officers and not enlistees.
In addition to your base military nurse salary, the Army Nurse Corps offers nurses opportunities for continuing education, accession bonuses of $20,000 to $30,000, and other incentive special pay.