Combining a nursing career with a military career makes sense for many people. The military experience often increases a nurse’s employment opportunities. Prospective employers recognize that nurses who perform their duties under the pressure of military service make good employees.
Every branch of the United States military needs qualified medical personnel, including licensed practical nurses and registered nurses. Generally, the military offers schooling for those who want to enhance their nursing careers. Another advantage for military nurses is the excellent benefits, such as a retirement pension.
Entry-level nurses in the Army must have at least a Bachelor Degree and complete basic training sessions to become an Army Nurse Corps Officer. Army nurses work in active and reserve duty. The Army needs a wide variety of nurses, ranging from public health to psychiatric nurse practitioners. Workers in the Army Nurse Corps practice medicine in field hospitals, in base clinics, in veteran administration hospitals and many other facilities.
Air Force Nurses
The United States Air Force needs a diverse assortment of medical personnel, including clinic nurses, nurse anesthetists, airlift flight nurses, and more. Although few people realize it, the military needs pediatric nursing staff as well as obstetrics, neonatal intensive care, and midwife nursing staff. With approximately 80 facilities worldwide, they care for many service personnel and their families. Other important fields for nursing staff are psychiatry, surgery and trauma.
Marine Corps, Coast Guard and National Guard
The United States Marines Corps is under the Department of the Navy. They use the Navy’s facilities and staff for their medical needs. Some medical career opportunities are available in the United States Coast Guard, although they do not have a strong medical force. The National Guard recruits nurses, such as clinical nurses, flight nurses, surgical nurses and others.
Prospective nursing students may want to inquire about the Navy’s Nurse Candidate Program (NCP), which can help students pay for medical school. Nurses in the Navy may practice on board a ship, at a medical clinic on a foreign or U.S. soil, on one of the Navy’s hospital ships or at another military facility. The Navy employs a variety of nurses, including nurse midwives, pediatrics nurses and critical care nurses.
In general, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the nursing profession will see a higher than normal job growth rate. Within the various military forces, the government will need nurses and other medical personnel. Many branches of the military offer grants for nursing education, which makes it desirable to serve in the military while getting a nursing degree or enhancing a nursing career.