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Being a Nurse in Today's United States Army: What It Means to Be a Member of the Nurse Corps

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For the past century Army nurses have been symbols of hope and comfort to our nation's servicemen and women. But what is it truly like to be a nurse in the trenches? What are the day-to-day duties of the members of our United States Nurse Corps? And how do civilians and Army members become the nurses for our best and brightest? Read on to find out.

History of the Army Nurse Corps: Serving and Protecting Soldiers for Over 106 Years

In December of 1944, during World War II, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur said, “The Army nurse is the symbol to the soldier of help and relief in his hour of direst need. Through mud and mire, through the mark of campaign and battle, wherever the fight leads, she patiently — gallantly — seeks the wounded and distressed. Her comfort knows no parallel. In the heart of all fighting men, she is enshrined forever.”

The Army Nurse Corps falls under the umbrella of the Army Medical Department of the US Army (AMEDD), which was created in 1775 to service the Continental Army during times of war. In 1818 Congress made the department permanent to service soldiers and their families in times of both war and peace.

AMEDD is made up of the six medical branches of the US Army, including the Nurse Corps, the Medical Corps, the Medical Specialist Corps, the Medical Service Corps, the Dental Corps, and the Veterinary Corps. The Nurse Corps division of AMEDD was started on February 2, 1901, to care for United States soldiers and is currently made up of more than 9,000 male and female commissioned medical officers.

Job Duties: What It Means to Hold a Nursing Job in the United States Army

Nurses in the Army Nurse Corps not only serve on our nation’s battlefields helping soldiers wounded during conflict, but they are also an important part of US humanitarian programs. Nurses have served in many relief efforts across the United States, including those for national disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. They have also served in humanitarian endeavors in the Middle East and across the globe.

Requirements of an Army Nurse Job: What Degrees and Licenses Are Needed to Qualify for the Army Nurse Corps

According to, there are five specific requirements that must be met to become a nurse in the United States Active Army:
  1. You must “meet the prescribed medical and moral standards for appointment as a commissioned officer.”
  2. You must be a United States citizen.
  3. You must hold a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in nursing.
  4. You must have an unrestricted RN license.
  5. You must be between the ages of 21 and 46.
To become a nurse in the Reservist Army, one must meet all of the above requirements except for the third; only a two-year Associate of Science in Nursing or a three-year Hospital Diploma in Nursing is needed.

You do not, however, need to be a current member of the Army to qualify for the Nurse Corps. The Army will employ citizens who meet the above requirements, even if no prior military service has been held.

It Pays to Be a Member: The Benefits of Holding a Nursing Job in the US Army

Besides the pride and sense of accomplishment that come with serving one’s country, there are many other benefits of working in the Nurse Corps. Active duty nurses have competitive salaries that come with attractive retirement and benefits packages. Nurse Corps officers also receive housing allowances, 30 days of paid vacation, nursing school loan repayment up to $114,000, many advanced training opportunities, and sign-on bonuses worth $10,000 to $25,000.

In addition, AMEDD has state-of-the-art medical facilities to practice in and employs the most advanced technology available. Nurse Corps nurses are also given the continual opportunity to further their studies and training by taking advantage of the wide range of specialized and unspecialized training programs made available throughout the year. Nurses in the Army have the added benefit of being given the opportunity to travel throughout the world and to work in diverse populations and cities.


Working in the Nurse Corps for the United States Army has numerous benefits. Traveling the globe, meeting men and women of diverse backgrounds and cultures, and serving the nation are all advantages of working as a nurse in the Army.
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Popular tags:

 United States  Army Nurse Corps  soldiers  relief

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