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Ask An Army Spouse: Career & Education

Going to School as an Army Wife

My Fiance and I are getting married in December, I want to become a nurse, but I want to move with my husband wherever he will be. Is it possible to train as a nurse through the Army because you are an Army wife? Thanks.



The Army would only offer training for a nurse if you joined the Army. However, there are programs that the education center at each post can tell you about as far as being able to get your nursing degree. The new Post 9/11 GI Bill can be transferred to dependents in certain situations (generally after he has served 6 years and if he reenlists). There is also the Career Advancement Account which provides $6,000 for higher education for spouses. The program was recently suspended for new accounts but is suppose to be coming back.

In addition, there are scholarships offered through Army Emergency Relief, National Military Family Association, spouses clubs and even sometimes the unit. Also, there is a bill that is currently being proposed to provide up to $500 for military spouses who need to be certified in another state to be able to work (nursing, teachers, architects, lawyers, etc). If that goes through, it will help tremendously with certain career fields.

The major Army posts have a hospital on post that would offer the possibility of working on post. Almost all of the smaller posts at least have a military treatment facility (MTF). A lot there are in the Army but they do have civilian positions as well.

Getting a College Degree

My fiance and I are planning on getting married towards the end of May whenever he finishes the first part of his AIT at Redstone Arsenal, then living together while he is in the second part on Eglin AFB. I’m super excited about all of our upcoming plans, however, I have been in school the past year (I’m 19) and have been working on the prerequisites to getting my RN.

So here is the problem, most RN programs are 2 years long, and with moving around every 6 or 7 months it seems impossible to get my RN while traveling with my soon to be husband.  I was wondering if the ARMY offered any on-base programs that might transfer with us while we move from base to base so that I would still be able to earn my degree?



The Army has an education office that is available at most posts. There you will be able to find about military friendly education programs as well as online programs. After he is assigned to his permanent duty station though, he should be there long enough to finish a two year program. If it were me, I would probably either not move with him during training and finish school or wait until he gets assigned to his permanent duty station to finish school. If you do a lot of transferring from one program to the next, you stand to lose a lot of credits which will only set you back further.

Good luck in pursuing your education. Nursing is a great portable career choice!

Attending College While Soldier is in Special Ops

My husband is 18X and will be going through selection soon. I’m attending a local community college, and decided not to enroll for next semester because of the fact that we’re expecting him to get his Orders after selection.

My question is….What colleges should I be looking into? I really don’t want to take any more semesters off, so I was thinking of an online school but after some research I’ve read that online degrees aren’t that transferable and most employers look down upon it. I know transferring in and out of states, I will lose some credits…should I just take that chance and keep going to colleges around where we get stationed?

Most SF guys do not change duty stations as often (if ever) as regular Army so I would say you would be very safe in attending a local college where he is stationed.

author avatar
Stacey Abler
Stacey's husband joined the Army in 2003 and was medically retired after four deployments. She enjoys sharing her experiences and expertise around Army life while continuing to support Army spouses and families in their military journey.

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  1. Hi,

    My Fiance and I are getting married in December 2011, I want to become a nurse, but I move too move with my husband whereever he will be. Is it possible too train as a nurse through the army because you are an army wife? Thanks

  2. My fiance just enlisted in the 18x option, so maybe you could give me a little guidance? He’ll be shipping out in June for joint Basic and AIT. If we’re married before he leaves, does that mean I could live on post during the AIT portion? I can’t find any information on this topic!

    Thanks and good luck with school!

  3. My husband is going in in April for basic and Juily for Air Traffic Control AIT and we were told that during AIT spouses could not live on post because it is only 18 weeks long ( I guess you can go if it is 20 or longer). Hope this helps, good luck!

  4. My husband and I just got married, late December. He is an MP and is stationed at Ft. Wainwright for 3 years; and has a “scheduled” deployment in a little less than a year from now. I am a full time college student in Florida going for my degree in Chemistry. The two of us were Skyping a couple nights ago and we decided to create an option for me to come live with him as soon as I can, which could be in the end of February. I just want to make the smartest decision I can and I wanted feedback of our ideas. I have a lot of ideas in my head and I want to narrow them down with opinions from outside of the box.

    School is very important to me, but so is being with my husband especially when I am allowed to be and have the opportunity. Do you think it would be a good idea to take two easy online classes right now, move when I can and just pick school back up as I usually would in the summer? Or should I just wait for 5 months to move and take 6 in-class classes and take two classes in the summer? I’ve heard lots of great things about the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and I’m really excited to go there! The programs they have there are exactly what I want.

    And I really miss him. :/ We all know how hard it is being alone. I have nothing here for me. My family is here, but I’m only close with my mom and she has my two smaller siblings to take care of and our schedules are different so I’m always home alone. All I do is go to school and work; I have no friends anymore. I just want to move to Alaska (even though the temperature will kill me…) to start over. Make friends at a new school and start a life with my new husband. I’m nineteen! I feel like it’s time to fly away from the nest…
    ….Basically I’m just iffy as to if going as soon as I can is smarter than if I waited twice as long.

    Also, financial aid is dilemma. As of right now, I’m not claiming that I’m not single because without some kind of scholarship, I can’t afford schooling without Bright Futures and my Pell Grant (even though I’m currently at a cheap community college.) Can I use a small portion of his scholarship money for my own schooling? If so, do I have to wait a certain amount of time to have access to it? Once I can, if I can, how?

  5. Me and my boyfriend are considering getting married but I only have a few classes left before I get my degree. How does the army go about paying for my tuition if we’re married and how soon can I use tge tuition assistance. We are planning to get married and may and classes start in may also.

  6. my husband goes to basic may 1 2012.I want to be able to start going back to school and i know theres oportunities out there for the spouses to furter their education wherer you dont have to pay like anything. However because i want to get started going back to school as soon as possible i am having trouble finding Nationally accredited schools that will support assosciate degree online for nursing. Anybody have any good school advice or what i can do even if we do have to pay for the books im fine with it?

    Thank you for your help

  7. Hi. My husband is Active Guard and going to school full time. He is enrolled as a full-time student in an online program through an accredited university working towards his bachelors degree. The approach taken with regards to his full-time course load is to take two (2) 8-week courses per “block”. For the online environment, two “blocks” are equivalent to one traditional semester. When his courses are taken back to back (& they usually are), all four courses are completed in a 16 week period (which is the equivalent to a traditional semester). The courses are all 3 credit hours, so when looking at it from a semester perspective, he is in fact enrolled in 12 hours per semester. Occassionaly, the course load overlaps resulting in a longer break between the next block – however, this is not common.

    We were receiving benfits of $1426 per month for well over a year. Then we were told that he was overpaid and should have only received $846 per month. So they retro-adjusted for the overpayment and told us we owed them thousands of dollars.

    We recieved his new award letter, indicating that he will be receiving the $846 for a specified time frame, and recieve the $1426 for the 2 weeks (prorated) that his “blocks” are overlapping.

    When he called to speak to a “specialist”, they told him that the change in benefit was due to the fact that he would be enrolled full time for 2 weeks.

    This is where I am confused. He IS enrolled full time…? Instead of taking 4 classes all at once over the span of 16 weeks, he is taking 2 classes at a time over the span of 8 weeks…. the end result is still the same. Twelve hours completed in a semester.

    My husband refuses to call back to speak with somebody else, and has just simply accepted their explanation. I, however, am less convinced – and honestly think there is a miscommunication or misunderstanding with regards to the relationship between “blocks” and “semesters”.

    Maybe I’m reading too much in between the lines, because I teach college classes both online and in the traditional classroom setting. Maybe I’m beating a dead horse, but I would like to get an honest, and well explained answer…. if one exist.

    Thank you in advance to anyone who has some information/advice.

  8. My fiance is stationed in Korea right now as I’m getting ready to enter a master’s program. In January 2013 he will be at Fort Carson and I’ll be finished my degree in August 2013. I’m a Canadian and we plan on getting married in January so we can have the paper work finished in time for me to move to Colorado at the end of my degree. My question is where can I find information about civilian positions on post (particularly at Fort Carson). I have a degree in Political Science so anything related to that field would be ideal.

    This world is so new to me and your site has been a great help. Thank you.

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