Job Family: Health Care Practitioners Registered Nurses
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force

Supplemental Information
Profile 1 |  Profile 2 |  Career Path
Photo 1: Nurse visits boy in hospital. Photo 2:
Nurse checks patient's IV fluids.

Tracy Isaac
Occupation: Registered Nurse

My career in the military is a little unique. I had a career as a nurse even before I joined. After I graduated from nursing school, I worked on a…

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Brian Gonyou
Occupation: Registered Nurse

I’m an Emergency Room nurse in the Air Force, working at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. I…

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Short Description
Nurses are a key part of the staff at military hospitals and clinics. Registered nurses direct nursing teams and give patients individual care to help them recover from illness or injury.

What They Do
Registered nurses in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Help physicians treat patients
  • Start IVs and give injections of pain killers, antibiotics, and other medicines as prescribed by physicians
  • Change bandages and dressings
  • Assist physicians during surgery
  • Provide life support treatment for patients needing emergency care
  • Provide care for mental health patients
  • Keep records of patients’ condition
  • Supervise practical nurses, nurse aides, and other support personnel

Helpful Attributes
Helpful attributes include:
  • Ability to express ideas clearly and concisely
  • Desire to help others
  • Self-confidence and the ability to remain calm under pressure

Training Provided
Job training consists of classroom instruction. Training length varies depending on specialty. Course content typically includes:
  • Practices and principles of military nursing
  • Care of emotionally disturbed patients
  • Health care for children
  • Nursing techniques
  • Anesthesia, respiratory therapy, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Work Environment
Registered nurses work in hospitals and clinics. Some work in sick bays aboard ships or in mobile field hospitals. Others work in airplanes that transfer patients to medical centers.

Civilian Counterparts
Civilian registered nurses work in hospitals, clinics, and private medical facilities. They also work for public health agencies, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. Civilian registered nurses perform duties similar to those performed in the military. They often specialize and may be known as public health nurses, nurse practitioners, or general duty nurses.

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