marine corps nurse

Marine Corps Nurse: 10 Things You Need To Know

A Marine Corps Nurse is a career path that is both rewarding and challenging.

Technically speaking, nurses in Marine Corps are actually commissioned Navy officers.

Therefore, their training and duties involve significant medical expertise and knowledge.

 In addition, these nurses have responsibilities in terms of military service and leadership as members of the Marine Corps.

Here is some insight into what it takes to become a Marine Corps Nurse, what they do, and their importance in treating the health of service members and their families.

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#1. Marine Corps Nurse Requirements

marine corps nursing

Marine Corps Nurses are commissioned as officers in the U.S. Navy.

Therefore, there is a minimum educational requirement of a degree from a four-year college or university.

In addition, candidates must complete a military officer training course to develop leadership skills and a strong foundation of military knowledge.

To become one, these additional requirements must be met:

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Between ages of 18 and 41
  • In good physical condition and able to pass full medical exam
  • Current license status and practicing nurse status in the U.S. (or able to obtain a license within one year of the start of active duty)
  • As a student or graduate, must be in good standing with accredited U.S. education program that grants Bachelor of Science degrees
  • Willing to serve at least three years on active duty

Nursing requirements are generally determined by whether the service member has served before or not, or whether they are currently serving.

The requirements are also dependent on the level of education, years of nursing school, and degrees and/or licenses already attained.

As a Marine Corps Nurse, you have a significant impact on the health and well-being of fellow Marines, Sailors, and other service members.

In addition, Marine Nurses provide professional medical care to other populations such as dependents and retirees.

Therefore, it is essential that you meet all requirements for their profession and receive the highest levels of training to fulfill their important duties and responsibilities.

#2. Marine Corps Nurse Training

Since the Marine Corps is a branch of the Navy, Marine Corps Nurse training is most often completed through the Navy Nurse Candidate Program (NCP).

The NCP is available to current nursing students.

The program grants an initial $10,000 scholarship in addition to a monthly stipend.

This is an excellent opportunity to receive generous financial aid during the course of nursing school.

Once a candidate attains their degree and is licensed, they attend Officer Development School (ODS) for five weeks in Newport, Rhode Island.

Officer Development School is similar to Officer Candidate School.

The Navy Officer Development School instructs candidates about various aspects of the military.

These include military structure, customs, culture, and history.

ODS also prepares candidates for leadership roles and responsibilities as military officers.

Another path to training as a Marine Corps Nurse is to join the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) as an undergraduate student.

NROTC members may be offered a nursing scholarship which covers a good portion, if not all, of nursing school.

Upon completion of the program, candidates would advance to the Navy Nurse Corps for any further training required.

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#3. What does a Marine Corps Nurse do?

Marine Nurses can serve on ships like the USS Mercy. Image:

A Marine Corps Nurse works within a wide range of job responsibilities and duties in the field of medicine and patient care.

Marine Nurses work with other nurses, doctors, and medical professionals to treat patients with high-quality care.

Ultimately, this means providing nursing care for a wide variety of patients, including fellow Marines, Sailors, other service members, and their families.

This care would be provided at military facilities on shore, at sea, and in the field.

Some of the specific programs and specialties available to Marine Corps Nurses are:

  • Critical care
  • Obstetrics/gynecology
  • General medicine
  • General surgery
  • Pediatrics

In addition, military nurses are trained in emergency and trauma care, preoperative and postoperative care.

Marine Nursing may include rotations in psychiatry, oncology, and other specialized areas within the medical profession.

They will often direct and/or instruct Hospital Corpsmen regarding patient treatment.

Marine Corps Nurses may also be called to assist with global relief efforts.

This can include providing vaccinations or even emergency care to those affected by natural disasters in the U.S. and across the globe.

They are part of a proud tradition of serving in the U.S. Armed Forces and supporting the health of fellow service members and their families.

#4. How much does a Marine Corps Nurse make?

Just like other jobs in the military, the salary is based on rank as a commissioned officer.

Pay grades for commissioned officers begin at O-1 and increase with subsequent rank promotions.

Other factors in addition to rank that influence how much a Marine Corps nurse makes are level of education, special certifications, and years of service.

Typically, a yearly salary for a military nurse, including those in the Marines would be upwards of $60,000.

Salaries increase commensurately with pay grade.

In addition to their salary, they are eligible to receive other benefits as members of their military branch.

These benefits include:

  • Medical insurance coverage
  • Leave (time off)
  • Retirement
  • Housing allowance
  • Cost of living allowance
  • Dining and shopping privileges on base
  • Tuition (G.I. Bill, scholarships, additional stipends for education purposes and expenses)
  • Student loan repayment
  • Sign-on bonus
  • Hazardous Duty Pay (when authorized)

Service members in the Armed Forces often receive benefits in the civilian sector as well.

Many civilian business and facilities offer military discounts as an expression of appreciation for service members, veterans, and military families.

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#5. Job Reviews

Most Marine Corps Nurses are very proud to serve their nation as part of such a unique group.

In addition, many Marine Nurses find that they undergo excellent medical training with a clear sense of purpose and belonging.

Some of the reported challenges are the demands of the medical profession on top of the requirements to be a Marine.

Other reported pros of a career as a Marine Corps Nurse include:

  • Scholarships and tuition benefits
  • Bonuses
  • High level of training and medical care
  • Teamwork in creating patient care plans
  • Available specialties

Some of the reported cons in job reviews of Marine Corps Nursing include:

  • Long hours
  • Time away from home and family
  • Potential hazardous duty

Overall, job reviews are relatively positive.

#6. Civilian Job Opportunities

Marine Corps nurse administering a vaccine. Image:

The demand for nurses in the civilian sector is growing rapidly.

Therefore, once a Marine Corps Nurse has completed their term of service, they would find the transition to a civilian job to be quite easy.

As a career field, nursing opportunities are prevalent in any geographical area.

With the training and experience of a Marine Corps Nurse, there are numerous career opportunities for transitioning to the civilian job market upon military service completion.

They are typically familiar with using state-of-the-art medical equipment.

In addition, they are trained to formulate patient treatment plans in order to provide the highest level of care.

This knowledge, work experience, service background, and dedication make a Marine Corps Nurse very marketable in terms of civilian job opportunities within the medical profession.

Related ArticleBest Marine Corps Jobs For Civilian Life

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some frequently asked questions about the role and career path of a Marine Corps Nurse.

To find out even more information, you can speak to a local Marine Corps recruiter.

#7. What does a Marine Nurse do?

A Marine Nurse is a medical professional that provides care to Marines, Sailors, and their dependents.

They also serve as officers in the U.S. military.

They work with other nurses and doctors in various medical fields to deliver the best care possible to service members and their families.

#8. What rank is a Nurse in the Marine Corps?

All nurses in the U.S. Marine Corps are Commissioned Navy Officers.

As such, a Marine Corps Nurse’s officer rank would be dependent on many factors such as length of service, performance reviews, promotion boards, etc.

#9. Do Marine Corps Nurses go on ships?

They do serve on ships as well as at military medical facilities on shore.

They also may work in Naval medical centers, hospital ships, surface ships, and potentially with the Fleet Marine Force.

Typically, like nearly all military nurses and personnel, Marine Nurses are placed where they are needed.

#10. Do Marine Corps Nurses see combat?

In general, military nurses are considered noncombatants.

Therefore, they do not typically see combat in terms of fighting on the front lines.


A career as a Marine Corps Nurse can be extremely challenging and also very rewarding.

Marine Nurses are essential to the health and well-being of the military personnel and family members in their care.

Their training as officers in the Marines as well as medical professionals allows for a unique job experience.

This makes them highly marketable in the civilian job market upon service completion.

In addition to salary and other military benefits, Marine Corps Nurses benefit from potential bonuses, scholarships, and student loan repayment.

Overall, Marine Corps Nurses are highly trained, dedicated, and diligent medical professionals serving their nation.


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Rob V.
Marine Nurse

Marine Nurse

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Learn more about Marine Corps nurses, including what they do, how you become one, civilian career opportunities after service, and more.
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