The COVID-19 pandemic, like many crises before it, has demonstrated the importance of nursing in unsettling times. From the Civil War days of Clara Barton, whose compassion and skills earned her the nickname "Angel of the Battlefield," to the ongoing roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine, nurses have long been on the forefront of humanitarian efforts. Whether you’re a nurse already or are seeking a profession that will make a significant positive impact, consider these 10 benefits of military nursing:
1: Loan Repayment Programs
The clouds parted, the angels sang and your loans were pardoned. While this seems too-good-to-be-true, especially in a world where loan forgiveness is so hard to come by, the Active Duty Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program and Healthcare Professionals Loan Repayment Program offer up to $120K in loan repayment for active duty and $50K for the Reserve Corps, respectively. Through these programs, you can graduate with a BSN and pay back the cost of your education within three years of working. The ADHPLPR even offers a $10K accession bonus!
2: Nurses have great insurance benefits
Military Nurses qualify for excellent medical and dental care while serving. Family members can also receive the military benefits. Life insurance is significantly discounted, and military nurses are permitted to collect up to $400K in the circumstance of a catastrophic event. Active duty and retirees and their families can also take advantage of Space A travel, free flights around the globe when space is available on military aircraft.
3: Salary and financial bonuses
Military nurses make, on average, $70,559 annually. The salary range is $58K to $103K. There are also paid bonuses for military nursing specifically - each branch has different bonuses, but the average amount is estimated at $22K annually. Accession bonuses - granted when a new nurse joins the military - are also offered and vary in amount.
Military nurses are granted 30 paid vacation days per year. This is 20 more than regular Registered Nurses are granted.
5: Surprisingly, nurses get to travel
The travel congruent with a career as a military nurse is what part of what makes the job so fun. Positions across our country and the world are offered throughout the different branches of the military, and nurses are granted free or discounted air travel. Active duty, retirees and their families can take advantage of Space A travel, free flights around the globe when space is available on military aircraft. Put those 30 days off to good use!
6: Housing benefits
Nurses living off-base are granted a monthly housing allowance, granted in consideration of family size and rank. Nurses who choose to live in base housing or in the barracks enjoy life without a mortgage payment or rent, with direct access to base amenities and the military life that thrives within.
7: Job Availability is always a thing for nurses
Pre-Covid, there was already a huge shortage of nurses - the US needed approximately 200,000 more in order to accommodate hospitals. Now, in the midst of the pandemic, the US Healthcare system needs nurses more than ever before. With so many vaccines to give and patients to take care of, Registered Nurses are the second most “in-demand” professionals today. Subsequently, nurses are needed almost everywhere; job options are endless after service!
8: Access to COVID Vaccine
Healthcare workers are the first to receive the COVID Vaccine. If that interests you, nursing could be an excellent option.
Military nurses are permitted to use some of the most advanced medical technology and work at world-class hospitals. Notably, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) significantly decreases paperwork and allows for actual time in medical practice rather than in logistical or administrative work.
10: Nursing is one of the most rewarding and respectable jobs
Aside from these benefits, military nursing is one of the most rewarding career options. While providing service to our country, we also have the opportunity to help others; to save or improve their lives. Nurses are trusted and respected; 85% of Americans polled believed nurses maintained secure, high ethics. In addition to helping others, serving our troops and giving back to our country, nursing can provide the eudaimonistic feeling of knowing that you are making a positive impact in the world. The question may not be why should I become a military nurse - you should be asking yourself why you shouldn’t.