It’s in human nature to have a longing for more than one thing. If you’ve ever had this love for taking care of people, the human health and the nursing practice and there’s still this itch for the military, it’s important that you know that, that desire is not out of place. You can be both. Wondering “HOW?” This post will teach you how to become a military nurse in 2020.
The need for Nurses in the Military can not be overemphasised. There is need to have medical practitioners who can serve as Caretakers for the heroic men and women who fight to defend our freedom. It’s possible to be a hero in the heroic world. The requirement is to become such is to become a military nurse.
In this article, you will discover the guidelines to become a military nurse,the requirements needed to become a military nurse, the average salary earned by a registered military nurse, how a civilian nurse practitioner can migrate to the military to practice and lots more.
Let’s get started!!!
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What Is the difference between Normal Nursing Practice and Military Nursing?
We could refer to the normal nursing practice as Civilian nursing. Military nursing shares many similarities to civilian nursing, the common goal is to treat patients and promote their well-being.
However, military nursing is a career under starkly different circumstances. The most common settings for military nurses to work include military bases, military hospitals, and clinics. Military nurses may also work in hospitals or global response centers alongside deployed military personnel during natural disasters or times of war. Military nurses can work in potentially dangerous environments, like foreign war zones, and work under extremely stressful conditions which the civilian nurses will not have a glimpse of all their working days.
Military nurses also have to be prepared to deal with the emotional demands of working in war conditions. As a reward for the extreme sacrifice and dedication of military nurses, the career also comes with amazing access to healthcare benefits, education, and the opportunity to rise in rank.
What is the Job description of a military nurse?
As much as there is a similarity in roles as stated above the job description of a military nurse differs. Here is a list of some of what they do;
- Treat wounded soldiers and other military personnel
- Treat service members’ families
- Set up military triage in war zones
- Treat patients worldwide
- Provide vaccinations to children in developing countries
- Assist in any humanitarian relief efforts the country’s military might be engaged in
- Provide emergency care to victims affected by natural disasters
- Prescribe medication
- Work in pre-operative settings applying anesthesia
How to become a military nurse
Definitely you don’t just join the military and start practice as a nurse. There are processes required to be followed sequentially to become a military nurse. These are steps on how to become a military nurse;
Obtain a Nursing Degree
First things first, in order to become a military nurse, you must earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an advanced nursing degree from an accredited school. (Because military nurses are commissioned officers, an associate degree will not be accepted).
Take and pass the NCLEX
After you earn your BSN or advanced degree, you must pass the National Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to earn your certification as a Registered Nurse. Registered nurses have more chances to be enlisted in the military Service.
Gain civilian experience or decide to enlist
At this time, you can begin working as a Registered Nurse (RN). The essence is to gain experience and mastery. But you can choose to work and gain experience in the civilian nursing field first, or you can decide to join the military as a new graduate nurse.
Talk to a recruiter
After you have obtained the above requirements then you’re almost ready. When you are ready to enlist, you should speak to a military recruiter of whichever branch you have interest in. Once you decide on a branch, make sure you meet all eligibility requirements determined by your recruiting branch. Requirements differ from branch to branch.
Complete the application packet
Once you’ve met all of the eligibility requirements, you can begin to work with your recruiter on your application packet. This process will take about a year from initial onset to final approval from the commissioning board.
Complete an Officer Basic Leadership Course (BOLC)
If you are selected, you are required to complete a 5-10 week commissioned officer course. Training includes education on leadership skills and an introduction to military life. You will also perform some amount of physical training during this time. Upon completion of this required military training, you will be a military nurse.
You must ensure to pass the last requirement. If you don’t fit in the military you won’t be allowed to work in the military.
Note: You 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.
Military Nurse Requirements
Are there Physical Requirements that would make one eligible to become a military nurse?
Of course there are physical requirements to be met to become a military nurse. For you to be part of the military, you have to be fit. And becoming a military nurse is no different.
Army nurses must meet the same physical requirements as all Army members. This includes meeting the height and weight standards and being able to pass a physical examination. Nurses are also required to take a physical fitness test every six months, which includes running 2 miles, pushups and situps. The exact physical requirements vary by age.
Top best Military Nurse Schools for Nursing Program
If you want to become a military nurse, it’s advised you go to a school who can offer the best of education in theory and practice. We have carefully compiled a list of the best schools that offer nursing programs. These schools are the best in the world. Here’s the list and the link to their website for further enquires;
- New York University
- University of Michigan
- The University of Texas at Austin
- University of Washington
- University of Wisconsin
- Stony Brook University
- University of Virginia
- Ohio State University
- University of Maryland
- University of California-Los Angeles
Where can a military nurse work?
Depending on your own career goals, you can choose to apply for a military nursing commission so that you can find a job in Army, Air Force or Navy. You can opt for becoming a full-time nurse or look for part-time opportunities. Military nurses can find rewarding opportunities in
- Military Hospitals
- Military Clinics
- V.A. Hospitals/Clinics
- Pop-up/makeshift nursing facilities in and around combat zones
Are Military nurses posted?
Being a military nurse comes with a lot of uncertainties. Depending on circumstance, you can be posted to different locations at different times or stationed at a a place.
Being an Army nurse requires making at least a three-year commitment to serve. Most nurses are stationed in a new place every three years. There may be additional travel to help with emergency situations as they arise.
Most nurses are stationed in larger military or other government facilities, although some may be serve in more makeshift facilities as they travel with specific units. As a nurse, you earn 2.5 days of vacation a month, but there may be restrictions on how much time you can take off at a time or how far you can travel. This may mean giving up holidays with family members or missing special events.
Do Nurses rise in Rank in the Military?
The military as a whole operates under a ranking system, and military nursing is no exception. The rank structure determines pay grade and responsibilities based on your level of experience.
So yes! Military nurses rise in rank. Upon becoming a military nurse, you start as an Officer with the lowest pay grade “O-1” (Military Ranks). With further experience, specialty training, or education, your pay grade and rank climbs up.
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
- First Lieutenant
- Lieutenant Colonel
Note: There are three pathways for advancement: Clinical/Operational, Staff, and Executive/Leadership.
Do Military Nurses carry guns?
Depending on where you work, there might be need to carry a gun and other ammunitions. Military men and women are trained on how to use a gun. A military nurse is no different. But depending on where you work, there might not be need for that.
Nurses who are in combat zones can be allowed to carry guns to protect themselves while they perform their nursing duty. You might not say the same for nurses working in a military clinic.
What is the average salary of a Military Nurse?
The average salary of a military nurse depends on education level, experience, rank and other special certification. The annual salary range of a military nurse ranges from $58,000-$103,339.
Other benefits that military nurses receive are
- Housing stipends
- Low-cost or free health insurance
- Hazard pay when assigned to combat zones
- Retirement plans and pension.
- 30 days of vacation per year with sponsorship
To be a two way hero, been a military nurse is the best way to achieve that. Nurses in the military get a two way satisfaction, serving humanity as well as serving the nation.
We hope you found this article very helpful. Do well to reach out to us once you secure a spot as a nurse in the military world.
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