Definition of Military Nurses
Military Nurses:
" The profession of alleviating the suffering of wounded and dying soldiers is as old as warfare itself." (Nursing Degree Guide, n.d.)

Military Nurse Duties
-Military Nurses have similar duties as Registered Nurses with a few exceptions.
-Military Nurses have a little more responsibilities in terms of military standards.

"In fact, a military nurse can be classified as active duty, reserve, or hired as a civilian employee."
-They require long term commitment depending on their contract time. Military Nurses are likely to be sent abroad at a combat hospital
-Once graduated with a Registered Nursing Degree the nurses may enroll as officers in the military

Military Nurse Benefits

-Pay and allowances are the most important component of compensation

-Everyone receives basic pay in the beginning
-Pay raise depends on rank and seniority

States and Requirements of Military Nursing
Unlike nursing in regular hospitals, nurses assisting in the military setting have other factors in which they must deal with while they work. Nursing in the military often requires different attire then a nurse in a hospital may be required to wear (CNA, 2009). Military nurses are usually required to wear bullet proof vests and helmets which can restrict movement, making it difficult for nurses to be as agile as they would be in classic scrubs (CNA, 2009). Furthermore, to be a nurse there is a certain amount of toughness and stoicism required. To perform work that requires such concentration and calmness in an environment that can be so demanding and scary takes a special talent (CNA, 2009).

To be a nurse in the military, not only do nurses need to have a great deal of knowledge on medical aspects,they also need to be able to cope with many environmental factors. Much of the time, such as the present war in Iraq that require soldiers and others such as physicians, to walk through the deserts in hot weather not only carrying heavy equipment but also wearing layers upon layers of clothing and equipment.

From these few ideas it is easy to understand how it takes a special person to become, and function as a successful nurse working in the military.



Role of Military Nurses

“During the inpatient phase, nurses spend more time with these patients than any other health care provider and are responsible for carrying out their own scope of work as well as interventions ordered by other team members.” (Rossbach, P.17, 2008). An example being during amputee patients, nurses are required to carry out different responsibilities.
Some responsibilities include:
- Monitoring wounds for infection. (Rossbach, P.17, 2008)
- Preparing patients for surgery or debridements (meaning cutting away of foreign materials or dead or contaminated tissues). (Rossbach, P.17, 2008)
- Providing preoperative and postoperative care. (Rossbach, P.17, 2008)
- Monitoring pain medication to maintain it at a level at which rest and relaxation can be achieved so that rigorous process of rehabilitation can be carried out. (Rossbach, P.17, 2008)
- Providing emotional support and facilitating peer visitation. (Rossbach, P.17, 2008)
To accomplish all this it is important for these military nurses to continually educate themselves in all aspects physically and emotionally. (Rossbach, P.17, 2008).
“Caring for individuals recovering from catastrophic life-changing event requires special skills that cannot be taught in a classroom.” (Rossbach, P.17, 2008).

Military Nursing Opportunities
There are opportunities for nurses to be full time (active duty) or part time (reserve or guard nurses) (Fant, 2009).
Active duty nurses work full time, just like any other profession. Reserve or guard duty nurses have different time periods when they are considered inactive or active (Fant, 2009). During the active and inactive periods, nurses are placed in any type of health care setting (Fant, 2009). There are 3 branches of the military that offer different missions for nurses. The 3 branches are called the Navy, the Air Force, and the Army (Fant, 2009). Being in the military offers many educational opportunities such as scholarships and loans (Fant, 2009). As a nursing student, attending the military, a stipend is received which is a payment for students (Fant, 2009). If a military student nurse would like to advance their education, the military will pay for the student to pursue continuing education (Fant, 2009). Students who are on active duty while still attending post secondary school receive a good salary, which increases along with the nurse's rank (Fant, 2009).Based on the education, interest and needs of a military nurse, there are various specialties that they are able to choose from. Military nurses are able to care for members of the military and their dependents, military retirees and their dependents, and people from nearly any part of the world (Fant, 2009). Nurses in the military who are officers are professionals who have obtained a rank (Fant, 2009). Promotion in the military is based on job performance, just like it would be in any other profession or job. If military nurses receive a rank status, this also affects how they interact with physicians (Fant, 2009). Military nurses have a greater sense of autonomy. Unlike civilian nurses, military nurses have the opportunity to travel around the world. Guard nurses or reserve nurses may come across opportunities to do their active nursing in different places of the world, including exotic places (Fant, 2009). When countries are at war, deployment allows nurses a great chance to travel across the world to work as military nurses (Fant, 2009).

Nurse Acronyms

  • AMEDD – Army Medical Department
  • ANA – American Nurses Association
  • ANC – Army Nurse Corporation
  • ASVAB - Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
  • CAST - Competence and Support Training
  • H–Star- Health Services/Technology Assessment Research
  • MRSS- Military Recruiter Stress Scale
  • WMSN- Workload Management System for Nursing, also referred to as Workload Management System for Nurses
  • WRAMC- Walter Reed Army Medical Center
  • MEDIHC- Military Experience Directed into Health Careers

(Acronyms, 2009))

Video Link: http://www.todaysmilitary.com/benefits

Acronyms. (2009). The National Academic Press. Retrieved from http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=9180&page=235

Canadian Nurses Association. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.cnaaiic.ca/CNA/nursing/becoming/profile/lee/default_e.aspx

Fant, C. (2009). Military Nursing Opportunities. Retrieved from

McDonald, P., & Holmes, R. (2009). Military nurses. Reference answers. Retrieved from http://www.answers.com/topic/military-nurses

Rossbach, P. (2008). The Role of Military Nurses. Military In Step: A Publication of the
Amputee Coalition of America in Partnership with the U.S. Army Amputee Patient Care Program. Retrieved from http://www.amputee-coalition.org/military-instep/military-nurse.html