Military Travel Nurse

military travel nurseConsider Becoming A Military Travel Nurse

As a young girl I had an aunt who was a nurse in the Air Force.  I remember her sending gifts from far away places that I dreamed of someday visiting.  Places like Greece, England, Turkey, and many other countries not to mention stations stateside.  She joined after completing her nurses training and retired at the age of 40 as a Lt Col with benefits and a great retirement after traveling the world.  She is part of the reason I joined the US Army Reserve in 1971. What Are The Benefits Of Being A Travel Nurse? (Find out more here)

Army, Navy or Air Force

How do you decide to go active duty or join the guard or reserve?  How do you decide Army, Navy, or Air Force?  In today’s military things have changed.  Women have many more opportunities to serve than in years past.  I decided to join in 1971 during the Vietnam war with the hope of training as an operating room tech and working in a local hospital and then having nursing school paid for by the military.  I decided on the army reserve since there was a reserve hospital unit close to the hospital where I worked as an OR secretary.   During my training on active duty I volunteered to go to Vietnam as a medic but was denied as a female since there was no way to keep females off of the front lines at that time.  The only females in the war zone at the time were military nurses.

Is Active Or Reserve/Guard Best For Me?

All of the military services offer basically the same in terms of benefits since they are all federally funded.  The national guard is funded by each state and can only be directed by the governor of that state unless request for federal activation by the president.  That said if you are wanting to wear the military  uniform part time and continue to live at home and have your family,  guard and reserve works.  As a reservist  I was able to get married, have children continue with my goal to become a registered nurse and get my commission as an army officer.  I also had many opportunities for advanced training in my specialty and travel to other duty stations for work in my field.

Active duty

Being active military takes no explanation.  You decide which branch of service and if you meet their requirements, and there is a slot for you to fill, you sign a 2 or 3 year commitment.  Commissioning as will take place before you attend basic training for military officers in the  branch you have chosen.  You will be assigned a duty station and work in your specialty.  The military offers many specialties the same as most civilian hospitals and clinics.  The duty assignments are based on the need of the military.  Duty assignments can be stateside or out of country but when a transfer is required the government will coordinate and pay for your move.

Reserve or national guard

As a nurse finding a guard or reserve unit in your area that has an open slot might be difficult.  You would need to contact a recruiter for help.  You might also vist any hospital or medical unit in your area to seek out openings.  Each unit is required to train one week end a month and 2 weeks out of every year spent to maintain its ability to activate if there was a need.  Training on the week-end and annual training will depend on the mission of the unit and required readiness.

I served 26 years in the Army Reserve and California National Guard.  During those years I experienced training and service that I could never have had in my civilian career.   I was able to take military helicopter rides to duty stations, set up a field hospital and run an operating room with the field equipment,  and work with agencies at the state and federal level for emergency preparedness.  I was mobilized to set up a field clinic to care for firefighters during forest fires and to be ready for earthquake victims after a serious earthquake.

If any of this sounds exciting to you consider travel with the military.



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Cheryl Roby, RN

Cheryl J. Roby is a retired RN and US Army Nurse Major. She has over 30 years of nursing experience and 26 years of military experience in the Army Nurse Corp. During her nursing career she has traveled as part of her military experience visiting many of the 50 states and once to South Korea. Her medical training began during the Vietnam era when trained as an army medic. She went on to train as an OR tech and then as a LVN/LPN. She completed nursing school and was direct commissioned into the reserve Army Nurse Corp. nurse. She appreciated the challenge of working in various specialties and expanding her clinical and professional skill sets. Her time in the Army Reserves and California National Guard gave her the opportunity to travel to most of the 50 states and working in other medical facilities. During her career she spent years as an OR nurse, Occupational Health Nurse, Hospice Nurse, Forensic Nurse, Nurse Case Manager for developmental disabilities, Parish Nursing as well as being a Nurse Entrepreneur.