RN getting MSN - Army Medic Veteran/National Guard trying to Commission

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AmRus
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Joined: 06/20/2012

First off, I spent over 10 years in Active Army and National Guard as a Medic. I'm a combat vet and although I'm ING now for school hardship reasons, I'm an NCO and in good standing with my NG Unit and plan on going back to drills when my weekend clinicals are done.

With that said, I'm currently a Registered Nurse working on my graduate degree in public healthcare. I have about 1 1/2 years left and depending on a few things the Army might tell me, I may or may not get my Nurse Practitioner License. This would bring me to about 33-34 years old when I graduate.

My intentions are to commission as a Captain through Active Duty Army. With over a decade of experience, many awards, lots of combat time in medical units, and letters of recommendations, I was hoping this would be an easier process than it has been. Since it's still a couple of years away, I haven't been able to get a straight answer from a recruiter. If anyone has the time, I'm wondering the following:

1. Will my age be an issue? I understand the Nurse Corps caps off around 29 yo. and as I said earlier, I'll be in my mid-30's when I'm fully graduated/licensed beyond my RN.
2. Will my nearly $100k of student loans be paid in full?
3. Will I be able to commission with or without my NP as a CPT? If I don't need my NP I wont waste another year prior to joining to get it when I can get my NP while already in. I'm hearing conflicting stories that some MSN get direct commission as a CPT and others as 1LT but always that NP gets CPT.
4. Will I also be eligible for a bonus? I understand that sometimes it's either/or with tuition reimbursement.
5. Last, I have about a year or so left of my enlistment contract and I would also like to know if commissioning prior to the end and doing a transfer would be better than waiting until I ETS.

Thank you so much for your time, any info would be great!

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MSG Glenn
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Joined: 08/31/2010
@ AmRus

I don't think there's anyone on this site that can answer your questions but I'll put my two cents in. I suggest contacting an AMEDD Recruiter. The Medical Branch has different policies for commissioning Nurses, Doctors & other health care practitioners. I'll be the first to admit that I know little to nothing about the Medical Corps or Nurse Corps. For all I know there may even be a program that will put you on active duty & immediately send you to school to finish your graduate degree. As far as age goes that's something you'll have to talk to AMEDD about. Age restrictions might only apply to new acquisitions & not to Veterans. Many times when there are age restrictions your previous service is subtracted from your actual age. I don't know if that applies to Medical specialties. A lot depends on how badly the Army needs those in your specialty.

Good luck!

AmRus
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Joined: 06/20/2012
Thank you! I had a feeling I

Thank you! I had a feeling I was stretching a bit. I've asked the recruiters about a dozen different times the same questions and I just keep getting referred to websites I've already visited. Looks like it's time to visit their office and get some clear answers! Thanks again for the response!