Hi there,

I'm currently looking into a couple things and became curious about whether someone can join as an MA and progress to become a Naval Nursing Student, or even go as far as becoming a Nursing Officer. For some background, I'm currently a HCA (Healthcare Assistant) on the staff bank in the NHS and have been for nearly a year now, but I've been looking at either being an Army HCA or an MA in the Submarine Service because I've always been interested in joining the forces.

The only issue I've bumped into with potentially joining the Navy is whether or not you can progress onto a nursing degree, which is what I would do on civvy street if I stayed on and became a Trainee Nursing Associate or in the Army, which says that their HCAs can progress on the role page.

Thanks in advance!
 

pompeyexpat

War Hero
I can say with absolute certainty that it is possible to become a Medical Services Officer as an MA.

To become a Nursing Officer you need to be a qualified Nurse already.

To transfer from MA to student nurse is probably theoretically possible - as it is to branch transfer from any branch to another - but would depend on a number of factors; the MA branch being willing to lose you, the Nursing branch being willing to take you, having the recommendation from your Commanding Officer, and having the required qualifications to start the nursing degree. If you already have those qualifications you'd be better off applying to join as a student nurse. If you don't then it is possible to gain them in service, but there are no guarantees you'll be given permission to branch transfer.
 
One of my sailors is in the middle of a years long application to train in service as a NN.

In effect, she is being treated as a civilian, with the added complication of trying to be released from her source branch.
 
One of my sailors is in the middle of a years long application to train in service as a NN.

In effect, she is being treated as a civilian, with the added complication of trying to be released from her source branch.
So, is the complication essentially that while she does want to move to another role, the current branch she's in isn't allowing her to? Sort of a similar case to what pompeyex said about not having a guarantee to switch branches?

Not to mention the whole "being treated as a civilian" part, which is a little strange considering she is still an active sailor, unless I got something wrong there. Suppose I would just have to be careful and be prepared to have to leave the forces in order to follow my career prospects forward, either in the Navy or elsewhere?
 
Sometimes when you switch branch, the RN will waive requirements it sets for civilians (qualifications etc).

However, NNs are fundamentally nurses controlled and registered with the NMC. Thus any entrant will have to meet their requirements, just like a civilian. And as you’ll be transferring across into an unrelated branch, there’s no quota for in-service candidates, but instead you’ll be judged alongside civilian candidates.

To be honest, if you wants to be a NN, you might as well just start there.
 

redmonkey

War Hero
Book Reviewer
I know of a Nursing Officer who started out as an Operator Maintainer (looking after and operating sensors etc)

These things are possible. It is up to you and you can do it.
 
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