What Do I Need to Know About Working as a Nurse in the Military?

The passion to inspire and motivate other people in a health care setting is what drives some individuals to become a nurse. Others individuals want to serve their country and be part of a larger picture of American history. If you have found both of these desires coming together, you may find serving as a nurse in the military to be extremely rewarding.

Research Financial Aid Programs

If you are thinking about becoming a military nurse, you can start to look into opportunities before you even enroll in college. Some programs provide tuition reimbursement if you make a commitment to serve after your schooling is finished. Therefore, you need to be positive that you want to go into this type of program. When you are registering for such a program, find out what the stipulations are and what will happen if you change your mind during the course of your studies. Doing so could cost you your career and degree.

Understand the Responsibility

Working as a nurse in the military is an honorable and respectable job, but you need to know what to expect of the position. The responsibility is a tremendous one, and you must realize that you do not have complete control over your circumstances. For example, you could be sent to any number of locations, and you would have to go for the specified duration of time. Additionally, you will likely enter into some tough situations that you might not encounter as a nurse at a local hospital. Military nurses serve in active duty, National Guard and the Reserves. They work in everything from large medical centers to small community hospitals. During deployments, military nurses also serve in Combat Support Hospitals.

Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

In general, to be a nurse in the military, you are going to need your bachelor’s degree in nursing. Some military nurses obtain their associate’s degree in nursing, and this is okay for some positions. However, many positions are now requiring individuals to go back to school to obtain their bachelor’s degrees even if they have been working in the field for some time now. Therefore, opting for the bachelor’s program from the start is a smart idea because whether you stay with the military permanently or not, you will be able to work as a registered nurse and not necessarily have to worry about going back to school.

The Types of Nurses

As with many fields, you have a variety of different niches into which you could venture as a military nurse. Anyone who is interested in becoming a nurse with the military should look into the Army Medicine webpage on the United States Military website. Reviewing this page will not only show you what types of positions are available, but what requirements, training, and skills are necessary for each position. Conducting thorough research before, throughout, and during your nursing program will help you to have a more solid idea of what to expect of the career.

Working as a nurse in the military is a rewarding job, and you will be out there saving lives. However, this job is not necessarily the right one for all people, so be sure you are willing to make the commitment.

Are you already serving in the military and looking to earn your nursing degree? See: How Can I Obtain My Nursing Degree While Enlisted in the Military?