How to Become a Military Nurse Practitioner in 2023| A Full Guide


Are you interested in becoming a military nurse practitioner and want to know how to achieve it? If yes, then keep reading.

It’s human nature to have a longing for more than one thing. If you’ve ever had this love for taking care of people, human health, and nursing practice, and there’s still this itch for the military, you must 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 2023.


The need for Nurses in the Military can not be overemphasized. There is a 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 normal nursing practice as “civilian nursing.” Military nursing shares many similarities with 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 include military bases, hospitals, and clinics. Military nurses may also work in hospitals or global response centers alongside deployed military personnel during natural disasters or war. Military nurses can work in potentially dangerous environments, like foreign war zones, and under extremely stressful conditions. The civilian nurses will not have a glimpse of all their working days.

Military nurses must also be prepared to deal with the emotional demands of war. 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.

How to Become a Military Nurse Practitioner

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

You don’t just join the military and start practicing 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;

#1 Obtain a Nursing Degree

First, 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).

#2 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.

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#3 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.

#4 Talk to a recruiter

After you have obtained the above requirements, you’re almost ready. When you are ready to enlist, you should speak to a military recruiter of whichever branch you are interested in. Once you decide on a branch, ensure you meet all eligibility requirements determined by your recruiting branch. Requirements differ from branch to branch.

#5 Complete the Application Packet

Once you’ve met all the eligibility requirements, you can begin working with your recruiter on your application packet. This process will take about a year from initial onset to final approval from the commissioning board.

#6 Complete an Officer Basic Leadership Course (BOLC)

You must complete a 5- to 10-week commissioned officer course if selected. Training includes education on leadership skills and an introduction to military life. You will also perform some physical training during this time. You will be a military nurse upon completing this required military training.

You must ensure that you 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.

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Military Nurse Requirements

Are there Physical Requirements that would make one eligible to become a military nurse?

Of course, physical requirements must be met to become a military nurse. To be part of the military, you must 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 passing 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

According to rankings, student reviews, and value offers, we have curated a list of the best military nursing schools in 2023.

These schools are the best in the world. Here’s the list and the link to their website for further inquiries;

Where Can a Military Nurse Work?

Depending on your career goals, you can apply for a military nursing commission to find a job in Army, Air Force, or Navy. You can opt to become 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 the circumstance, you can be posted to different locations at different times or stationed at 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 emergencies as they arise.

Most nurses are stationed in the larger military or other government facilities, although some may be served 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 or how far you can travel. This may mean giving up holidays with family members or missing special events.

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Do Nurses Rise in Rank in the Military?

The military operates under a ranking system, and military nursing is no exception. The rank structure determines to pay grades and responsibilities based on your experience level.

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). Your pay grade and rank climb up with further experience, specialty training, or education.

In the military, nurses have many opportunities to advance their ranks and assume more responsibilities. Commissioned Officers in the Army Nurse Corps hold the following ranks:

  • Officer
  • Second Lieutenant
  • First Lieutenant
  • Captain
  • Major
  • 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, you might need to carry a gun and other ammunition. 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 a need for that.

Nurses in combat zones can carry guns to protect themselves while performing their nursing duties. 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 certifications. 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

What Rank do Military Nurses in the Army Start From?

As a military nurse, you will start at the rank of Second Lieutenant. Your salary and rank increase as you gain experience and improve your qualifications. From the rank of a second lieutenant, you will be promoted to the rank of a first lieutenant, then you can move to the rank of a captain, major, and so on.

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Will the Military Pay for Nurse Practitioner School?

Participants must choose 2, 3, or 4 years of affiliation as a psychiatric nurse, nurse anesthetist, etc. Special pay covers nurses in this category but does not cover Army Reserve Medical-Surgical Nurses. Special pay provides $25,000 yearly for participants.


To be a two-way hero, being a military nurse is the best way to achieve that. Nurses in the military get two-way satisfaction, serving humanity as well as serving the nation.

We hope you found this article very helpful. Do not hesitate to contact us once you have secured a nursing position in the military.

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