Military Nurse: Requirement, Duties & Salary

The history of military nurses dates back to 1090 AD when monks and nuns of different religions accompanied soldiers in wars and nursed the injured and ill fighters. In modern days Florence Nightingale is referred to as the mother of military nursing when she led a team of volunteer nurses to treat the soldiers during the Crimean War in 1854. Her methods have been highly influential in the US nursing system. Her procedures were used by volunteer nurses serving both the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War (1861 to 1865).

It was only after the American- Spanish war in 1898, the need for permanent nurse corps was felt, and the American Nursing Corps was established in 1901. But in the early commission too, military ranks were not awarded to nurses. It was sometime between World War I and II that the nurses got military status, and there was a major increase in the number of women serving as a military nurse after World War II. As many as 59,000 nurses were employed by the end of the Second World War.

Duties of Military Nurse

There is no significant difference in the roles and responsibilities of these nurses and a certified nursing assistant (CNA). They have to carry out the same duties of medication and treatment of patients or soldiers.

The only difference is that they have to follow the rigors and culture of the military. Armed forces together become a huge organization, and they have a distinct tradition value and integrity which these nurses have to follow. Many times people are surprised to know how easily nurses get used to this culture and take pride in serving the men in uniform.

Apart from following the military traditions, the roles of both military and civil nurses have similar patterns. They don’t leave unfinished tasks and will not leave until they are sure that someone else is available to work as a replacement. The ability of critical thinking, tireless dedication, and the will to serve the patients no matter what are traits that fit well in the military traditions.

Benefits of being a Military Nurse

This job profile comes with many benefits and perks; the list is endless. Apart from the powers of the military officers below are some benefits:

  • To become a nurse, you have to pay a fee of around $20,000 a year to nursing schools. But if you chose to become a military nurse, the training will be free. Under the ROTC and other military nursing programs, you will be paid a stipend of $500 to $2000 as an allowance for non-school expenses. So you start earning while you learn
  • The additional benefits of this job profile are also excellent. You get 30 paid leaves, unlimited sick leaves for catastrophic diseases, health insurance, 401K savings account, tax rebates on income, retirement allowances, etc. All this is paid over and above the salary
  • These nurses serve the men who fight for the country. Working with such brave men in itself is a reward that cannot be valued in terms of money. Moreover, you will work in some of the most difficult circumstances and will get great work experience
  • You will get a chance to travel all over the world and learn about the diverse cultures of the different regions of the world. Military assignments range from Asia to Europe; if you work as a civil nurse you will not get the chance of traveling across the globe
  • These nurses are regarded with great respect and are considered as the highest grades in the field of nursing; so you draw a great deal of personal and professional satisfaction

How To Become A Military Nurse

Requirements to Become a Military Nurse

There are two ways to become a military; by the direct commission and by ROTC commission. The requirements of both these commission vary, and they are as follows:

For direct commission

  • For direct commission you must have a BSN degree; a and degree is also permissible, but you have to complete BSN before you get promoted as captain
  • You must have a valid license of RN from any of the US states or territories
  • You must be a citizen of the United States
  • You must not be involved in any criminal activities. Minor traffic violations are okay, but if you have 30 or more unpaid traffic tickets you will not be eligible
  • You must pass the FBI check and physical and medical examination
  • You must meet the weight, height and age requirements
  • You need to apply for the commission through a known source like military health care recruitment authority

For ROTC commission (some requirements are same for both commissions)

  • Complete a four-year nursing degree at a university approved by the ROTC program
  • The acceptable GPA is 2.5 or 3 out of 4
  • You should be a US citizen with no criminal background
  • You must pass the medical and physical test
  • You must meet the weight, height and age requirements
  • When you successfully graduate, according to the ROTC program, you will be commissioned as a military nurse.

Military nurses get excellent compensation; you can expect to earn around $5000 a month on average, which is quite high as compared to CNAs. The additional benefits and perks will boost your total earnings even higher. So if you want to enjoy a prosperous nursing career, then this job will be the best career choice for you.