If you have an interest in nursing and serving in the armed forces, you may want to consider becoming a military nurse. Completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program is the first step toward starting your career in military nursing. Besides working in a rewarding and challenging occupation, you will also be eligible for benefits and other incentives.
Who Is the Military Nurse?
Military nurses are registered nurses (RN). The difference between a military nurse and an RN is the healthcare settings they work in and the conditions they encounter. Nurses in the military provide patient care to active-duty personnel, retirees and their dependents.
They treat wounded soldiers in war zones or administer care to civilians during emergency situations. Military nurses may travel all over the world, and they can be deployed as part of a regiment to deliver patient care in dangerous locations. These military branches employ nurses:
- Air Force.
- Coast Guard.
Where Will You Find Military Nurses Working?
The most common working environments for nurses are military bases, hospitals, clinics and ships. While there are permanent buildings used as military and veterans’ hospitals, other facilities may be set up as temporary care centers located in combat areas. Military nurses also can work in offices where they may deliver psychiatric care and conduct physical and mental health assessments of recruits.
What Are the Job Responsibilities of a Military Nurse?
The responsibilities of military nurses are the same as those of civilian RNs. They provide care to patients with injuries and illnesses based on a holistic approach. A military nurse’s job duties may include:
- Documenting patient history.
- Dispensing medication.
- Assisting patients with self-care.
- Giving emotional support.
- Monitoring pain.
- Providing preoperative and postoperative care.
- Assessing patient progress.
In addition, these nurses are trained to work in a military environment and to provide care to patients with life-threatening injuries such as gunshot wounds and severed limbs.
How Do You Become a Military Nurse?
To work as a military nurse, you need at least a BSN. After you have completed a BSN program, you need to take and pass the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) to become an RN. Then you can contact the military recruiting office of your choice to enlist. You will need additional training in the military to become a military nurse. Another way to acquire military training is to participate in the Reserves Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).
An online RN to BSN nursing program is convenient and affordable, especially for working RNs who want a career change. Lamar University offers an online RN to BSN program that has multiple start dates and allows students to complete the program at their own pace. For students who are active military service members or veterans, Lamar University extends an exemption from taking the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment test.
What Are the Benefits of Pursuing a Career as a Military Nurse?
Career incentives for military nurses include bonuses, life insurance and continuing education opportunities. The military may offset the cost of tuition by providing scholarships to civilians. Sometimes this may mean financial assistance in exchange for serving in the military after graduation.
Active service members are eligible for a set amount of tuition assistance each year, which is paid to the school on a per-class basis. The GI Bill comprises several U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs education benefit programs that help military employees pay tuition.
Military nurses are prepared to deliver patient care in stressful and hazardous circumstances. They have to think and act fast, while providing quality patient care and emotional support. Military nursing is rewarding. The demand for military nurses is high, and their pay is competitive. Your path to a military nursing career starts with your enrollment in an online RN to BSN program.
Learn more about the Lamar University online RN to BSN program.
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