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Military Occupational Specialty:

Practical Nursing Specialist

As an Army Practical Nursing Specialist you will have the opportunity to make a direct contribution to improve the well-being of those who are truly in need.

You will be providing the highest level of quality medical care to our nation’s Soldiers, veterans and their family members, from infants to seniors.

Practical Nursing Specialists serve in a variety of medical treatment facilities throughout the world or deploy in combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian operations.

This Army career requires individuals who are service oriented and are willing to learn more about themselves, are exceptional communicators and have a deep sense of professionalism and compassion while caring for the lives of others.

To succeed as an Army Practical Nursing Specialist you should have an interest in, and understanding of, chemistry, biology, general science and algebra, be action oriented with a caring temperament and a strong ability to empathize with patients.

You should have strong interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate effectively with a high sense of responsibility, attention to detail and the ability to perform your duties while remaining calm under pressure.

Practical Nursing Specialist Advanced Individual Training consists of 51 weeks of intensive classroom, field and clinical instruction with testing in two distinct phases.
After completing Army Basic Combat Training you will begin Phase 1 of Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Phase 1 consists of an intensive 11 week introductory phase to Army Practical Nursing in both classroom and field settings.

In Phase 1 you will receive instruction and testing on basic nursing skills, the duties and responsibilities of Practical Nurses, basic science for practical nurses to include the cardiac and pulmonary systems, nutrition, microbiology, pharmacology, physiology, pathophysiology and field nursing. 

You will also receive training on computer based communication and information systems used in Army medical patient care documentation and tracking.

After successfully completing Phase 1, you will relocate to one of five Army Hospital training sites for 40 weeks of Phase 2 of your training.

Phase 2 consists of medical-surgical didactic hands on training and integrated classroom instruction with multiple skills laboratories and testing for each block of instruction followed by a final graded medical examination.

In Phase 2, you will learn how to perform duties such as: preventive, therapeutic, emergency and routine patient care; administering medication prescribed by a physician; assessing the patient’s current condition and monitoring changes; obtaining vital signs, such as blood pressure, temperature, and weight; cleaning, irrigating and bandaging wounds; providing immunizations and recording medical history, managing IVs, coordinating patient discharge, supervising Nursing Assistants, observing fluid and food intake and the transporting and release of patients.

While being supervised and observed by instructors you will also spend time working directly with hospital staff members in rotations through various patient care areas to include Medical-Surgical, ICU and OB/GYN.

At the completion of your training you will be required to pass the Texas Board of Nursing National Clinical Licensure Examination.  After which you will be awarded the Military Occupational Specialty: Practical Nursing Specialist.

As a Soldier and Licensed Practical Nurse, you will also have the opportunity to further your military and civilian education with additional specialized training or through college courses.  Which will help you in your transition from the military to the civilian work force as a Licensed Practical Nurse. 

Bringing the gift of care: Military Occupational Specialty: Practical Nursing Specialist

Practical Nursing Specialist (68C)

  • Enlisted
  • Officer
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve
  • National Guard
  • Entry Level


The practical nursing specialist supervises or performs preventive, therapeutic, and emergency nursing care procedures under the supervision of a physician, nurse or NCO.

Job Duties

  • Perform emergency nursing care
  • Assist in patient care
  • Change/dress wounds


Job training for a practical nursing specialist requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 52 weeks of Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, TX.

Skills you’ll learn:

  • Patient care
  • Working on a medical team
  • Emergency care

Helpful Skills

  • Willingness to help and care for others
  • Ability to communicate effectively and work under stressful conditions
  • Interest in chemistry, biology, general science and algebra
  • Attention to detail

Required ASVAB Score(s)

Skilled Technical (ST): 101, General Technical (GT): 107

Learn more about the ASVAB and see what jobs you could qualify for.


Total compensation includes: housing, medical, food, special pay, and vacation time. Learn more about total compensation.

Earn Cash For In Demand Jobs

You could earn up to $40,000 in cash bonuses just for enlisting under certain Military Occupational Specialties. Visit Jobs in Demand to see if this job qualifies for an enlistment bonus.

Education Benefits

In the Army, qualified students can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus an annual stipend for living expenses. Learn more about education benefits.

Future Civilian Careers

The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes or rehabilitation centers. With a practical nursing specialist background, you may consider a career as a registered nurse, a medical assistant or a physician’s aide.


Those interested in this job may be eligible for civilian employment after the Army by enrolling in the Army Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS). The PaYS program is a recruitment option that guarantees a job interview with military-friendly employers that are looking for experiencedd and trained veterans to join their organization. Find out more about the Army PaYS Program at