This weekend my husband and I saw the acclaimed movie Zero Dark Thirty. While watching this flick and shoveling greasy popcorn into my mouth, I concluded that a military career could be a great fit for my future. How cool would it be to combine serving my country with my employment. Well, I have good news for nurse practitioners like myself. The Army Nurse Corps offers exciting job opportunities which allow you to work as a nurse practitioner and further your education both at home and across the globe.
What Kind of Nurses Work in the Army?
In the Army Nurse Corps, more than 11,000 nurses provide care to military personnel, their families and military retirees all over the world. 35% of active duty and 20% of reserve nurses hold master’s degrees. These MSN’s can be employed in the nurse practitioner role and work in obstetrics and gynecology, midwifery, critical care, psychiatric/ mental health as well as multiple other specialties. Certified nurse anesthetists are also employed by the Army Nurse Corps.
Does the Army Nurse Corps Offer Educational Opportunities?
If you are a nurse looking to become a nurse practitioner, enlisting in the Army may be the perfect avenue to advancing your education. Due to the growing need for psychiatric/ mental health care in the military, the Army Nurse Corps offers a scholarship program paying for two years of psychiatric nurse practitioner tuition along with a monthly stipend of over $2,000. Following your NP education, you are obligated to serve with the Army for three years.
Not interested in the psychiatric nurse practitioner specialty? The Army Nurse Corps also offers a graduate nurse anesthesia program where students receive free tuition as well as pay throughout their program. Graduates must serve in the Army for 54 months after graduation.
Further scholarships and tuition reimbursement programs are available for nurses wishing to become nurse practitioners. The Health Care Professionals Loan Repayment Program pays up to $20,000 per year for outstanding professional education loans. The Active Duty Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program pays up to $40,000 per year towards qualifying educational expenses for up to three years. To quality for this loan repayment program, you must serve in the Army on active duty for at least three years.
Do I Qualify for the Army Nurse Corps?
The basic requirements to serve in the Army Nurse Corps include being a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, age of 21 to 42 (age waivers are available), must have at least a BSN degree and a current, unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse. Applicants must also meet the Army’s physical and moral standards. If you are accepted into the Army Nurse Corps, you will complete the Officer Basic Leaders Course, an 11 week training program.
The Army Nurse Corps is the perfect opportunity for nurse practitioners seeking adventure. It also offers excellent educational and loan repayment benefits and may be a good option for nurses looking for a cost-effective way to become nurse practitioners or CRNA’s. To learn more about joining the Army Nurse Corps, contact your local Army Health Recruiter at 1-800-USA-ARMY or go to healthcare.goarmy.com.
Are you a nurse serving in the military? Comment below! We would love to hear about your experiences!