When you’ve invested your time and skills in the medical field through CNA training or nursing school, the idea of making the most of your career is something you have probably thought about a time or two. After all, this isn’t a career you get into for the money. It’s one that demands passion and care above all else.
Of course, a nice paycheck doesn’t hurt. You’ve got to pay the bills, right?
If you’re looking for something that offers both, the list isn’t as long as you might think. The first specialty that comes to mind is the military. Serving in the Nurse Corps can not only provide you with a way to serve your patients and serve your country with pride, but the financial benefits are nothing to sneeze at either.
Pay Scale for Nurses: Active Nurse Corps
When you’re working as an officer in the active nurse corps, you can expect to take advantage of several comprehensive benefits. The first, of course, is a salary. According to Payscale.com, a registered in the military can expect to earn about $63,406 a year. Health care assistants, like physician assistants, will often earn more, about $92,327 annually.
The salary isn’t the only thing you have to look forward to when you’re on active duty, however. You may also be eligible to take advantage of a sign-on bonus of up to $30,000. You can also take advantage of the army’s loan repayment program. Under this program, you can qualify to earn up to $120,000, divided up over three years. This income is used to repay any of the student loans you may have had to use while obtaining your bachelor’s or master’s of science in nursing.
Pay Scale for Nurses: Reserve Corps
If you aren’t interested in dedicating yourself full-time to the army, you can become an officer and nurse in the Army Reserve. This makes it easy for you to continue working in your own community, but gives you the opportunity to serve whenever you are needed. You’ll still have access to many different financial incentives and options for retirement even if you don’t choose to work in full-time military nursing.
As a reserve officer and nurse, you can still take advantage of the army’s loan repayment program. While you won’t be able to qualify for as much money, you can still qualify for up to $50,000. This amount is spread out over three years, with the first two offering $20,000 and the last $10,000.
How to Become a Nurse in the Military
Want to learn how to become a nurse in the military? You’ll first need to begin with a traditional nursing degree. Associate degrees are not accepted. You’ll need to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing to qualify. You’ll also need proof you are a U.S. citizen.
Once you’ve passed your NCLEX-RN exam, you can then apply to obtain a military nursing commission with the branch of your choice. You can also enroll in a ROTC program to begin your first steps toward the military.