There are few careers left in this world that require a minimal amount of formal education and pay workers a more-than-average wage. Nursing is one of them. Fortunately for those with interest in the field, it’s also in high demand both in and out of the military. Nursing, like most careers, requires some level of experience to earn top dollar in the field, but even beginners start out doing fairly well for themselves. One of the most lucrative ways to be a nurse is to work as one in the military.
While plenty of registered nurses work in the civilian sector with nothing more than an associate’s degree serving as their education base, only a bachelor’s degree will suffice for military nurses. Either level of education will earn you the opportunity to sit for the regulatory nursing exam that your state offers. Most stick with the NCLEX— the National Council Licensure Exam. Upon passing, graduates are licensed as registered nurses. A degree and RN license is still required to be a nurse in a branch of the United States military.
One perk of the military is the famed Montgomery GI Bill, which offers a lot of assistance with college tuition. So, nurses looking to further advance their careers into medicine, perhaps as Nurse Practitioners, can do so with significant help from the military. In addition, certain government positions will allow for student loan forgiveness after 10 years of employment. These are all factors to consider when thinking about being a nurse in the military.
Nursing careers inside of hospital networks—especially military ones—also tend to come with better benefits packages. In the military, employment is secure and brings with it features like housing allowance, hazardous duty pay and health and dental insurance packages that are as cheap as $30 a month for a whole family.
A nurse working in the military can expect to make more though, but their income is based off of their rank. So, an Army nurse’s salary ranges from roughly $19,000 annually in the beginning of enlistment as E-1 to $92,000 a year with 38 years of service under their belt as an E-9. When other allowances and bonuses are added in, along with several tax exemptions that come in tow with military pay, it’s easy to see why being in a nurse in the military is far more lucrative than being one anywhere else.