On Nov. 11, we proudly celebrate our veterans and active service members. Have you thought about the possibility of your own career as a military nurse? Military nurses serve in all branches of the military, including the Army, Navy, Airforce, and Coast Guard.
Military nurses are needed in virtually all settings, like their civilian nurse counterparts. The difference is the settings you might work in. You could treat patients in a clinic, a military hospital, in the field, or in a global response center (during natural disasters or times of war).
During active conflicts, military nurses are deployed with soldiers to provide medical care. These field settings can be dangerous and challenging due to limited facility resources and the type of injuries you treat. But most commonly, military nurses work in clinics, military hospitals, and trauma centers, which may include taking care of veterans or military families.
Key skills include being able to work independently, decision-making, leadership, and remaining calm in stressful situations. Working as a military nurse can also be exciting.
Although military nurses don’t get to choose where they work, one of the perks of the job is the opportunity to work and live in another country. You also get to work with colleagues from a wide range of backgrounds, and you have the opportunity for advancement. Other benefits could include childcare, housing, and student loan forgiveness plans.
What is Required?
The first step to becoming a military nurse is to complete your RN education here in the US. Generally, you must be a US citizen to be able to join the military although opportunities may also exist for legal permanent residents. Once you complete your nursing degree from a program approved by your state Board of Nursing, you must pass your NCLEX-RN exam. You may also need a certain number of clinical hours before applying to the military. Most military nursing positions require a BSN and active nursing license, and some positions might have additional requirements, such as passing a physical fitness test.
When your nursing requirements have been completed, you can apply to the military branch of your choice with the help of a recruiter. Once you’re approved, you’ll need to complete a basic commissioned officer course, usually 5-10 weeks.
If joining the Armed Forces as a military nurse sounds like a path you’d like to pursue, Fortis can help you explore your nursing education options. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career counselors.