How to Become a Military Nurse?

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How to Become a Military Nurse?

The nursing profession has evolved immensely with time. While they were previously considered subordinates to the doctors, they are currently autonomous caregivers to patients who ensure that you are always safe and their recovery journey manageable. The profession has recently attracted interests from young scholars who would want to make a career in the field. Besides the Registered Nurses (RN), that you are aware of, it would interest you to know that there are other specialized categories of nurses, which you may aspire to pursue. One such profession is military nursing, a special group within the military that provides specialized care to the military personnel.

Military nurses are found in military bases and serve during peacetime by looking after troops in active duty, their dependents, and retirees. They might also provide health care to civilians in emergencies or during CSR. Just like other nurses, there is much demand for military nurses. They can be unspecialized or choose to train in a particular area of specialization such as psychiatry, critical care or obstetrics. Some militaries have nurses to promote wellness of the soldiers and families during wartime. For instance, in the US Army, nurses in this cadre are called the army nurse corps.

Requirements to Become a Military Nurse

You must have gone through proper training to earn at least a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) degree before the military considers hiring you for a nursing job. The time duration for completing a nursing degree is four years with an additional year or two if you enroll for Masters. Primary healthcare, clinical nursing practice and biosciences are some of the courses making up the program.

Some of the requirements that you also have to possess to become a military nurse in the United States of America include:

  • Be a citizen of the country where you intend to serve
  • Have a noncriminal background record
  • Have the required experience
  • Be within the specified age for example 21 in the US

Physical Requirements

A military nurse must meet a physical requirement that is almost the same as or similar to those of soldiers. The physical conditions include height and weight standards. You must also meet a physical fitness test that involves running, sit-ups and pushups. You must also take fitness tests every six months.

In some countries, military nurses join after going through unique programs such as ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) in the United States. ROTC is a college program in more than 1,000 colleges and universities across the states customized to prepare young adults for a career in the military. It is however not mandatory but gives you a peek into the military life and provides you with a slight edge over other applicants. You must also be ready to undertake physical training to prepare you for the military service.

Military Nursing Schools

Most militaries hire qualified nurses from the civilian world and take them through training that transforms them into military workers. Some fewer countries like the United States have special nursing schools for training nurse who have an interest in joining the military. The number of these colleges is limited, but you can search them online and choose one teaching the programs you consider essential for military role preparation. You can also find online nursing programs if you intend to earn a nursing degree without going for on-campus classes.

Service after Training

When the military recruits you, prepare to serve for at least three years. It is likely that you will work at various stations and may travel widely even outside the country during emergencies. To become a military nurse requires much commitment to serve the country as you may encounter very stressful conditions and work in a hazardous environment. You must also have leadership skills, as you are a military officer who has undergone through the regular officer training and is expected to lead a command occasionally.