How to Get a Career as a Military Nurse

The military provides nurses, established or prospective, with near irresistible incentives to join up. Why become a military nurse and in what branch of the armed forces?

Four branches of the military recruit nurses or prospective nurses and maintain large nursing corps:

  • Army Nurse Corps
  • Army National Guard Nursing
  • Navy Nurse Corps
  • Air Force Nursing

Both attack recruitment from all angles:

  • Practicing nurses
  • Prospective nurses
  • High School students

The advantage in military nursing is the huge financial incentives offered in the form of sign-on cash bonuses, student loan repayment, and earned stipends.

Army Nurse Corps

The Army Nurse Corps recruits nurses into Officer status either as Active or Reserve Duty personnel. At either level of enlistment you are potentially qualified for amazing sign-on bonuses and/or equally impressive student loan repayment. Hot specialties include Nurse Anesthetists, Perioperative, Psychiatric, and Critical Care RNs.

Army nurses serve in a wide range of patient care facilities and administrative capacities. Many also choose to pursue advanced areas of specialization and advanced degrees while they serve.

Army National Guard Nursing

The Army National Guard, closely associated with the Army, also recruits nurses. If you’re earned an Associates degree in nursing you may be eligible for 3-annual $5,000 bonuses; Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree may earn you 3-annual $10,000 bonuses. Nurse Practitioners may earn $20,000 per year in bonuses.

Naval Nurse Corps

The Navy offers equally attractive incentives to practicing or prospective RNs, including sign-on bonuses, advanced educational opportunities, and fantastic nursing student loan repayment options.

  • If you are a high school student willing to commit to the Navy for a specified period of time, you may qualify for $180,000 in scholarship money to spend wherever you choose to pursue a BSN degree.
  • Nursing students may also earn while they learn if willing to serve in the Navy following graduation. Besides getting tuition paid you can also “earn” a monthly stipend for your troubles.
  • Working RNs, if you still struggle with student loan repayment the Navy Nurse Corps can help you. Get your student loans repaid and pocket an equally attractive sign-on bonus for even just a three-year commitment.

Air Force Nursing

The Air Force maintains corps of various healthcare specialists, including nurses. Career specialties range from Med-Surg Nursing to Anesthesia. Like the Army and Navy, the Air Force also provides attractive incentive to join the Nursing corps. Working RNs and student nurses benefit most from scholarships and student loan repayment plans.

Considering the reach and involvement of the U.S. military both nationally and internationally it stands to reason that active duty nursing personnel could be placed in a wide variety of unique work environments around the world. You could be working in a field hospital, in a military hospital overseas, on a vessel, providing help to communities in need around the world. Reservists most likely work certain times during the year in military hospitals and clinics stateside.