How to Become a Nurse in the Army
What is a Army Nurse?
An army nurse performs duties like any other nurse might. However, the setting is typically on a military base or in the field during times of war.
Army Nurse Job Description
As a nurse in the army, you'll be part of the Army Nurse Corps. This is one of the six corps of medical specialists that make up the U.S. Army Medical Department, and it represents more than 11,000 men and women. As part of the Army Nurse Corps, you're core duty will be to provide high-tech, quality health care for military personnel, their families and military retirees all over the world.
Ways to Become an Army Nurse
There are several programs to become a nurse in the army. They are:
- Active Nurse Corps Program: Army Nurse Candidate Program
- Reserve Nurse Corps Program: Specialized Training Assistance Program
- AMEDD Enlisted Commissioning Program
- Funded Nurse Education Program
Active Nurse Corps Program: Army Nurse Candidate Program
This program is open to undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited nursing program. When accepted, you receive a $5,000 bonus when you begin the program, a $5,000 bonus at graduation, a monthly stipend of $1,000 during the months you are enrolled in a full-time accredited nursing program.
Reserve Nurse Corps Program: Specialized Training Assistance Program
This program is open to nurses currently enrolled in an accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. You'll receive a monthly stipend of more than $1,900 in exchange for a one-year obligation to serve in the Army Reserve for each six months or less of financial assistance.
AMEDD Enlisted Commissioning Program
Active or Reserve Army enlisted soldiers are eligible to attend college full-time to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This program provides:
- Up to $9,000 per academic year for tuition
- Up to $1,000 per academic year for books
- Full pay and allowances, including eligibility for promotions
To be eligible for the AMEDD program, you must meet the following requirements:
- Able to meet prescribed medical and moral standards for appointment as a commissioned officer
- U.S. citizenship
- Be between 21–42 years of age
- Be in the grade of E-4 or above (nonwaiverable). Have a minimum of three years (waiverable) and a maximum of 16 years (nonwaiverable) of active federal service at time of commissioning
- Be able to complete a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree within 24 calendar months of enrollment. GT score of 110 or above (non-waiverable). SAT scores within the last 5 years. 450 Verbal and 450 Math. GPA of 2.5 or above.
Funded Nurse Education Program
Army officers on active duty are eligible to become Army nurses while receiving full pay and benefits. The Funded Nurse Education Program (FNEP) provides the opportunity to obtain a BSN or an MSN. Participants must be able to complete all degree requirements in 24 consecutive months or fewer. This program provides up to $12,000 per year for tuition, books and fees and full pay and allowances. To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:
- U.S. citizenship
- Currently serving in the Army on active duty in the grade of O-3
- Must maintain full-time student status while in the program
- Possess a conditional release from his/her basic branch
In order to pursue an bachelors degree in nursing online, you must have your RN. The programs above allow you to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program either on-campus or online. Nurses with a BSN are eligible for special pay up to $30,000. Those with an MSN are eligible for up to $45,000.
Army Nurse Salary and Benefits
The army pays based on rank. As an army nurse, you will likely be an officer, and therefore have a higher pay grade than enlisted personnel. This military pay scale can give you an idea of how much you might make as a nurse in the army. As with other military positions, you can expect to make more money with a greater number of years of service, and higher promotions. More information on the benefits of being an army nurse are on the Army website.
Army Nurse Jobs
There are many army careers in the nursing field you can pursue. Here are a few:
- Army Public Health Nurse (66B)
- Critical Care Nurse (66H8A)
- Emergency Room Nurse (66HM5)
- Family Nurse Practitioner (66P)
- Medical-Surgical Nurse(66H)
- Nurse Anesthetist (66F)
- OB / GYN Nurse (66G)
- Perioperative Nurse (66E)
- Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (66C8M)
- Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse (66C)
As a nurse in the army, you should expect to have to move every 3-4 years. You'll be stationed in a new position, where you'll work as a nurse. If you do not like the area you're in, you may talk to your manager to be transferred, but ultimately, it is the Army's decision and not yours.