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The Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force all employ specially trained nurses to provide healthcare to the men and women of the Armed Forces, both at home and abroad.
Trained nurses will either be actively working in ‘the field’ or working on reserve, most often in bases and in joint military-NHS health centres at home.
Army nurses not only look after the wellbeing of people serving in the Armed Forces; they also care for their families, providing both medical and psychological support. They are heavily involved in the rehabilitation of servicemen and women.
Within the Armed Forces, nurses can choose to specialise in one or more particular area, such as emergency and critical care, mental health and counselling or operating. In this particular area of healthcare, nurses can move up ranks to become officers.
Training for military nurses differs enormously compared to that given to ‘civilian’ nurses. Army nurses need to be extremely fit and healthy, they must be able to use and disarm weapons and they must be able to work under pressure in locations other than hospitals and traditional healthcare centres.
Nurses deployed to work in dangerous conflict zones must be physically and emotionally prepared to work under potentially harrowing conditions.