Army, Navy, and Air Force Nursing: Educational Requirements and Loan Repayment Incentives (2023)

The military provides nurses, established or aspiring, with nearly irresistible incentives to join. Why become a military nurse and in which branch of the military?

Four branches of the military recruit nurses or future nurses and maintain a large nursing corps:

  • Army Nurse Corps
  • Army National Guard Infirmary
  • Navy Nurse Corps
  • air force infirmary

Both attack recruitment from all angles:

  • nursing professionals
  • potential nurses
  • secondary students

The advantage of military nursing is the huge financial incentives offered in the form of cash bonuses, student loan payments and earned stipends.

Army Nurse Corps

The Army Nurse Corps recruits nurses in Officer status, either as active duty or reserve personnel. At any enlistment level, you are potentially eligible for incredible enrollment bonuses and/or equally impressive student loan repayments. The most popular specialties include nurse anesthetists, perioperative, psychiatric and critical care nurses.

Army nurses serve in a wide range of patient care facilities and administrative capacities. Many also choose to pursue advanced areas of expertise and advanced degrees while serving.

Army National Guard Infirmary

The Army National Guard, closely linked to the Army, also recruits nurses. If you earned an Associate Degree in Nursing, you may be eligible for 3 annual bonuses of $5,000; Bachelor of Nursing degrees can earn you three annual bonuses of $10,000. Nursing professionals can earn $20,000 a year in bonuses.

Corps of Naval Nurses

The Navy offers equally attractive incentives for practicing and prospective RNs, including enrollment bonuses, advanced educational opportunities, and fantastic loan repayment options for student nurses.

  • If you are a high school student looking to commit to the Navy for a specific amount of time, you may qualify for a $180,000 scholarship to spend anywhere you choose to earn a BSN degree.
  • Nursing students can also earn while learning if they are willing to serve in the Navy upon graduation. In addition to receiving tuition payments, you can also "earn" a monthly stipend for your work.
  • Working Registered Nurses, If you are still having student loan repayment issues, the Marine Corps of Nurses can help. Pay off your student loans and get an equally attractive enrollment bonus, even for a three-year commitment.

air force infirmary

The Air Force maintains a corps of various health specialists, including nurses. Professional specialties range from medical and surgical nursing to anesthesia. Like the Army and Navy, the Air Force also offers an attractive incentive to join the Nursing Corps. Working RNs and nursing students benefit most from scholarships and student loan repayment plans.

Given the reach and involvement of the US military, both nationally and internationally, it stands to reason that active duty nursing staff could be placed in a wide variety of unique work environments around the world. You might be working in a field hospital, in a military hospital overseas, on a ship, helping communities in need around the world. Reservists probably work at certain times of the year in military hospitals and clinics across the United States.


Does the Air Force have a student loan repayment program? ›

The Air Force College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP) is available to any person enlisting with past student loan debt. It awards up to $10,000, made in yearly payments of 33.33 percent of the debt or up to $1,500 — whichever is higher. For more details, please see our Presentation.

Will the Air Force pay for my nursing degree? ›

For specialty nursing programs such as anesthetists, Certified Nurse Midwives, Women's Health Nurse Practitioners, and Family Nurse Practitioners, the Air Force offers a Nurse Health Profession Scholarship Program (HPSP) that pays all tuition and fees, plus a living allowance for the length of the selected program.

Do nurses qualify for student loan forgiveness? ›

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program offers student loan forgiveness for nurses who are working full time for a government or nonprofit organization by paying off the remainder of their loans after the first 120 payments.

Does the Navy offer student loan repayment? ›

Currently, the Army and Navy will repay up to $65,000 of your student loans, the Coast Guard will repay up to $30,000 with yearly limits and the National Guard will repay up to $50,000. Remember that these are maximum amounts and may be limited only to very specific military specialties.

Does military qualify for student loan forgiveness? ›

Service to our country qualifies borrowers for one of the most popular student loan forgiveness programs — Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This program forgives all federal student loan debt after the borrower makes 120 qualifying payments while working full-time with the military or another qualifying non-profit.

What Mos qualifies for student loan repayment? ›

Only specified Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) qualify for the LRP. Enlisting Active duty Soldiers are eligible for the Loan Repayment Program if they meet the following conditions: Soldier must agree to a term of service of three years or more.

Which military branch is best for nursing? ›

Naval Nurse Corps

The Navy offers equally attractive incentives to practicing or prospective RNs, including sign-on bonuses, advanced educational opportunities, and fantastic nursing student loan repayment options.

Will the Navy pay for nursing school? ›

Navy Nurse Candidate Program (NCP) – Receive up to $34,000 for nursing school, including: Benefits: An initial grant of $10,000. Plus a Stipend of $1000 per month for up to 24 months.

What rank does a nurse start at in the Air Force? ›

Since they are commissioned officers, nurses enter the Air Force as Second Lieutenants, a rank with an annual salary of $41,720, according to 2022 military pay data.

Are all nurses eligible for PSLF? ›

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

You don't have to be a certain type of nurse to be eligible for PSLF, i.e., a registered nurse or a nurse practitioner. Your employer qualifies you for the program, not your job.

How long does it take to pay off $100000 in student loans? ›

While the standard repayment term for federal loans is 10 years, it takes anywhere between 13 and 20 years on average to repay $100k in student loans. Here are some different scenarios to consider, depending on your financial situation and goals.

Is 40000 a lot in student loans nursing? ›

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing found that 69% of students attending a graduate-level program took out federal student loans. The median level of nursing student loan debt at the completion of the program ranged from $40,000-$54,900.

Can you join the military if you owe student loans? ›

You must agree to enlist for at least three years. After your first year of service, the Army will pay 33.33% of your outstanding principal student loan balance or $1,500, whichever is greater. It will also pay you one of these two amounts for each of the next two years.

What is the Air Force Health Professions loan repayment program? ›

The Air Force's Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) is a program to provide a direct accession or retention incentive to maintain adequate numbers of commissioned officers on active duty who are qualified in the various health professions.

How do I know if I qualify for student loan forgiveness? ›

The income limits are based on your adjusted gross income (AGI) in either the 2020 or 2021 tax year. People who earned less than $125,000 annually (or $250,000 if filing taxes jointly) are eligible. If you qualify in either of those years, you can get forgiveness.

Does the VA pay student loans for nurses? ›

VA Financial Support for Nursing Careers

Through the NNEI program, Registered Nurses (RNs) who work part-time or full-time at the VA for at least one year can receive up to $41,572, tax free, toward the cost of higher education.

What is the new forgiveness and discharge program? ›

What is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program? The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program forgives the remaining balance on your federal student loans after 120 payments working full time for federal, state, Tribal, or local government; the military; or a qualifying non-profit.

Does Air Force qualify for PSLF? ›

Veterans, active duty can take advantage of Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Veterans and active duty service members can get one step closer to student loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. You will need to submit your application by October 31, 2022.

Does Navy qualify for PSLF? ›

Military service is considered qualifying employment. Only Federal Direct Loans, which include Grad PLUS Loans, Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans, are eligible for PSLF.

What is the Army active duty health professions loan repayment program? ›

Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP)

The HPLRP will repay outstanding loan(s) that were secured according to 10 USC 16302, to finance health professional education approved by the Secretary of Defense as a critical specialty needed to meet wartime, combat medical skill shortages.

Is it worth joining the military as a nurse? ›

Benefits of full-time active duty include competitive salary, with specialty pay up to $15,000 a year, 30 days' paid vacation annually, a $5,000 sign-on bonus, no-cost or low-cost medical and dental care for you and your family, low-cost life insurance, and on-post child-care facilities.

What is the highest paid military nurse? ›

An Overview of a Military Nurse Salary. Most military nurse salary data falls between $58,000 and $100,000 per year, with the bulk of military nurses making around $70,000 annually.

Is joining the Army as a nurse worth it? ›

If you are looking for a way to serve your country and advance your nursing career, consider joining the Army Nurse Corps. You will receive excellent training and education and may even have your tuition paid for. It's a great way to save money on your nursing education while serving your country.

How much money does a Navy nurse make? ›

What Is The Average Salary Of A Navy Nurse? The average navy nurse salary is $71,026 a year or $5,920 a month. This is $1,366 a week or an hourly wage of $34.15 an hour.

Is it hard to get into Navy Nurse Corps? ›

It is hard but not impossible to join the Navy Nurse Corps. First, it takes a decent amount of time as you need to reserve at least four years to complete a minimum of a bachelor's degree. Then, you need to have the correct nurse licensing and meet other basic requirements.

What rank do Navy nurses start at? ›

Upon becoming a military nurse, you start as an Officer with the lowest pay grade “O-1” (Military Ranks). With further experience, specialty training, or education, your pay grade and rank climb up.

How much does a military nurse get paid in the Air Force? ›

The average air force nurse salary is around $68,267 a year. This annual salary means that you will be earning $32.82 an hour. If you are just beginning your career as an air force nurse, you will be earning around $17.07 per hour, which is about $35,500 a year.

Do nurses get paid more in the military? ›

While the base pay for a military nurse can be lower than civilian nurses, individuals serving in the armed forces earn additional financial compensation, including hazard pay, free medical and dental insurance, free relocation services, and retirement plans.

How long is a nurse contract in the Air Force? ›

The Air Force Reserve requires an initial 6-year service commitment with subsequent contracts at two to six-year service commitments, depending on the nursing specialty. At least one weekend per month, the nurse will serve in a civilian hospital or clinic close to home.

Who gets approved for PSLF? ›

If you are employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization, you might be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
Qualifying Employer
  • Labor unions.
  • Partisan political organizations.
  • For-profit organizations, including for-profit government contractors.

Who does not qualify for PSLF? ›

Private student loans like Nelnet or Navient student loans, Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), graduate PLUS loans, and Federal Perkins Loans are not eligible for public service loan forgiveness. To benefit from PSLF, you will have to change to an income-driven repayment plan.

Do nurses qualify for student loan? ›

The HRSA partners with schools to offer loans to students pursuing careers in medicine, including nursing. It has specialized loans for nursing students at reasonable rates. Because the HRSA partners with schools to offer loans, you can work directly with your school to ask about eligibility and apply.

How much would a $70000 student loan be monthly? ›

For example, if you had $70,000 in federal student loans and made payments under the standard 10-year repayment plan with a 6.22% interest rate, you'd end up with a monthly payment of $785 and a total repayment cost of $94,188. Thankfully, several strategies could help you more easily manage $70,000 in student loans.

How much is a 65000 student loan monthly? ›

Rick Bormin, Personal Loans Moderator

The monthly payment on a $65,000 student loan ranges from $689 to $5,836, depending on the APR and how long the loan lasts. For example, if you take out a $65,000 student loan and pay it back in 10 years at an APR of 5%, your monthly payment will be $689.

How much debt is the average nursing student in? ›

Nursing Student Loan Debt for BSNs

The average cost of a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) is between $8,000 and $55,000. The average student loan debt for a BSN is $23,711.

How long do nurses pay off student loans? ›

Experts expect students who graduated in 2021 to pay off their student loans between 8-19 years while paying $669 per month. Ultimately, how long it takes to pay off nursing school loans depends on the amount of money borrowed, the interest rate, and repayment habits.

How do student nurses survive financially? ›

Student Nurses still have access to student loans, through the Student Loans Company. In addition, funding for things like childcare and travel expenses can be accessed through the Learning Support Fund.

How do I pay off nursing school? ›

How to pay off nursing loans
  1. Graduated Repayment Plan. ...
  2. Extended Repayment Plan. ...
  3. Income-driven repayment (IDR) plans. ...
  4. Direct Consolidation Loan. ...
  5. Refinancing nursing school loans. ...
  6. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) ...
  7. Federal Perkins Loan cancellation. ...
  8. Military repayment programs for nursing loans.
Apr 25, 2020

Can I join the Navy with student loan debt? ›

For sailors to qualify, they must enlist in the delayed entry program as active duty and have an eligible rating. The Navy will pay 33.3% of your outstanding student loan balance or $1,500 — whichever is greater — for up to three years of service.

How much debt is too much to join the military? ›

How much debt is too much to join the military? Excessive debt obligations that exceed half of the annual salary of the pay grade of the recruit can prevent enlistment. If debt includes mortgage debt, the total debt must not be more than two-and-a-half times the annual salary of the recruit.

Does the Army have a student loan repayment program? ›

The Loan Repayment Program (LRP) is a special incentive that the Army offers to highly qualified applicants entering the Army. Under the LRP, the Army will repay part of a Soldier's qualifying student loans. Only specified Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) qualify for the LRP.

Does the Air Force offer student loan forgiveness? ›

Benefit Fact Sheet

Cancellation of loans under the Federal Perkins Loan Program permits Airmen and Guardians on active duty in hostile fire or imminent danger pay areas to cancel up to 100% of their Federal Perkins Loans or National Direct Student Loans. This benefit does not apply to Stafford Loans or PLUS Loans.

What student loans are not eligible for forgiveness? ›

What student loans are not eligible for forgiveness? Private student loans, by definition, are private and are not eligible to be forgiven. These are loans the borrower owes to student loan providers and not the federal government.

Are student loans forgiven after 10 years? ›

Any outstanding balance on your loan will be forgiven if you haven't repaid your loan in full after 20 years (if all loans were taken out for undergraduate study) or 25 years (if any loans were taken out for graduate or professional study).

What are three options for student loan forgiveness? ›

4 Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
  • Income-based repayment.
  • Income-contingent repayment.
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
  • Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
Oct 18, 2022

What degrees will the Air Force pay for? ›

College students working on an engineering or meteorological degree who are within 24 months of graduation can receive money through the Air Force Technical Degree Sponsorship Program (TDSP).

Will military pay for nursing? ›

If you are thinking of becoming a nurse in the military, you should know that you can get financial assistance for your schooling as well as nice sign-on bonuses and special pay. The military pays full-time students enrolled in an accredited bachelors degree program in nursing up to $2,540 per month.

Will military pay for BSN? ›

Active duty nurses may sign-on with the Army and qualify for up to $30,000 in bonus cash, as well as nursing student loan repayment. Reserve duty nurses may sign-on with $15,000 in bonus cash – this includes ASN or BSN RNs.

How much does the Air Force pay with degree? ›

Including the most common pay allowances, the average total compensation for a Major may range from $91,004.69 to $133,383.89 per year as of 2023.

What is the GPA to get into the Air Force? ›

If you don't pass their SAT/ACT and GPA requirements, they'll likely reject you without much consideration. To have the best shot of getting in, you should aim for the 75th percentile, with a 1410 SAT or a 33 ACT. You should also have a 3.87 GPA or higher.

How long do you have to stay in the Air Force to get free college? ›

To earn this benefit, you'll typically need at least three years of continuous active duty service, or two years if that was the length of your agreement. You can also earn the Montgomery GI Bill under the 2 by 4 Program if you enter the Selected Reserve within a year of leaving active duty and serve four more years.

What GPA do you have to have for the Air Force? ›

Core curriculum and an academic major Must maintain a minimum of 2.00 cumulative grade point average (GPA) – 2.00 GPA in the academic core and 2.00 GPA in major-specific coursework.

How much is Army nurse incentive pay? ›

Qualified nurses in specific fields who do not currently hold a commission as a nurse in any service and if loan repayment is not taken, may be eligible to receive up to $30,000 bonus paid at first duty station for a 4 year Active Duty obligation. If loan repayment is taken, they can only receive a maximum of $20,000.

What is the salary of military nursing service per month? ›

Salary Structure
Conducting BodyDGMS (Directorate General of Military Service)
Basic Pay of the MNS BSc Nursing Salary15,600 Rs
Grade Pay of the MNS BSc Nursing Salary5,400 Rs
Military Service4,200 Rs
Dearness AllowanceWill be given according to the current DA for central government employees stand at 17%
5 more rows

How long is a nurse contract in the Army? ›

The active duty service obligation is 72 months. Using the Health Professions Scholarship Program, this program provides BSNs the means to obtain a master's degree and become a psychiatric nurse practitioner with prescriptive privileges.

What rank is an RN in the Army? ›

Officer Rank and Status

Army nurses who complete a bachelor's degree in nursing and pass the NCLEX-RN exam begin their career as Second Lieutenant. The salary for a commissioned officer is significantly (more than double) that of enlisted medical personnel and officers are promoted quicker than enlisted soldiers.

How do I get the Army to pay for nursing school? ›

How to Fund Your Education With Military Service
  1. Health Professions Scholarship Program: They will pay full tuition for certain specialty nursing degrees for active-duty soldiers.
  2. U.S. Army Health Care Enlisted Commissioning Program (AECP): Will cover a full-tuition BSN program for active-duty soldiers.
Jul 29, 2020

What benefits do you get after 4 years in the Air Force? ›

After you complete your initial four-year service obligation, you can qualify for a retention program that allows the service to pay you up to $60,000 if you stay with the Air Force. Sign up for another two years after your initial four-year commitment and you receive $20,000.

What is starting pay in the Air Force? ›

Must have 4 months of active duty or more. Basic pay for an E-1 with less than 4 months of active duty is $1,773.00.

Which Air Force jobs pay the most? ›

U.S. Air Force (USAF) employees with the job title Program Manager, Aviation / Aerospace make the most with an average annual salary of $119,274, while employees with the title Support Technician, Information Technology (IT) make the least with an average annual salary of $38,980.


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