An Interview with Navy ___________________________About Navy NursingQ Nursing is an essential element in any medical program, but could it be even more so inthe Navy?A Certainly medicine in the Navy has the potential for being at least as challenging as in thecivilian world, and often more so.Q Do you say that because of the way medical teams support the Navy’s military missions?A It’s true that Navy nurses need to be prepared to support our deployed sailors at sea andsometimes also Marines and sailors on land in combat roles, but please also recognize thatAmerica’s Navy is typically the first responder to natural disaster situations ranging fromearthquakes to tsunamis to hurricanes, so our medical teams often see situations and medicalenvironments that are rarely seen by civilian medical groups. Those situations present not onlychallenges, but also learning experiences. And they often result in remarkable innovations inmedical practices and procedures.Q So does that mean that Navy nurses serve primarily onboard ships?A Everyone who joins the Navy must anticipate that shipboard duty will be a part of theirfuture. At the same time, it is important to note that even the saltiest sailor only spends a portionof his or her time at sea, and many don’t have sea duty at all.Q If nursing is regarded as an especially important career category for the Navy, does theNavy do anything special to attract nurses?A One of the greatest incentives we have is our Nurse Candidate Program which pays up to$34,000 while the nursing degree is completed.Q How does that work?A In this program, the nurse candidate enlists in the Navy Reserve until after graduationfrom a four-year baccalaureate nursing program when active duty starts. Depending upon whichyear of the educational program the enlistment starts, the active duty commitment can be four orfive years. In return, the Navy pays an accession bonus of $10,000, another $5,000 when theenlistment in the Navy Reserve starts, another $5,000 on the six-month anniversary, and acontinuation bonus of $1,000 a month ending after 24 months of school or when the degreeprogram ends. Altogether, that’s up to $34,000.
Q Does the individual need to be licensed as a part of this?A Yes, the graduated nurse must have and maintain a license to practice as a ProfessionalRegistered Nurse from a U.S. state, territory or District of Columbia, and that will requirepassage of the NCLEX-RN examination as close to graduation as possible.Q What rank or status will the nurse have upon activation?A The nurse will be commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy nurse Corps, so both status andsalary are comparable to that of civilian nurses. And when you consider that a nurse in thisprogram typically avoids having to take out a student loan to get the degree, a lot more of thatearned money remains in his or her own pocket.Q Are there opportunities for people to be a part of a medical team without a four-yearnursing degree?A Of course physicians and nurses are at the top f the Navy’s needs list, but as you mightimagine, the medical field is extensive, so the Navy also needs strong medical technologypeople, corpsmen and medical technology people as well.Q How does one get started pursuing some of these opportunities?A Actually, the best first step is to contact the local recruiting station to find out about anyand all of the jobs that we have available. To reach us, simply contact our station by calling______________, or stop in most afternoons at __________________________________. Ifyou or an out of-town friend want to locate another station near them, visit www.navy.com andclick on “find a recruiter” on the right side of the home page, then enter your zip code number. Acall to 800-4go –Navy will do the trick as well.Additional comment:To put the Navy’s role in perspective, you need to recognize that 70 percent of the world iscovered by ocean, 80 percent of the world’s population lives along coasts and 90 percent of theworld’s commerce travels by water. Protecting all of that is our job, and that makes America’sNavy a global force for good.Sailors serve on land and from the sea; from ships on the water, submarines under the water, andplanes and helicopters over the water – all to meet America’s threats far away so that thosethreats cannot harm us here. We welcome the best men and women to join us in accomplishingtoday’s missions and meeting tomorrow’s challenges.