Stateside Nurse Advice Line for the Win!

Nurse on the phone

It’s the middle of the night and your little one continues to launch projectile vomit. While you clean up the green ooze seeping out of your sweet pea, you wonder what you should do. Is it time to call your kid’s pediatrician? Should you head to urgent care or the emergency room? Is this a job for the ghost busters?

Who Ya Gonna Call?!? – The Nurse Advice Line.

TRICARE beneficiaries have a new option – a 27/4 nurse advice line throughout the U.S.! The toll-free number is 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273). While some folks overseas do have a nurse advice line, most state-side beneficiaries do not. This popular benefit has returned and TRICARE beneficiaries have access to professional nurses (RNs) to help select the most appropriate care. For several years our Association has been at the forefront fighting for the return of the Nurse Advice Line – a great alternative to prevent emergency room visits and to provide medical advice to military families. Registered nurses will answer questions and help with decisions regarding self-care at home or when it is best to see a health care provider.

It gets better. The Nurse Advice Line is available to all TRICARE beneficiaries including Prime, Network Prime, Standard, TRICARE for Life, TRICARE Reserve Select, TRICARE Retired Reserve, TRICARE Young Adult.

I’ve Got TRICARE Prime - What if I NEED an appointment?

For Prime beneficiaries enrolled at a Military Treatment Facility, if the nurse determines an appointment is necessary, the nurse will schedule a same or next day appointment If a same or next day appointment is not available at the MTF, the nurse will identify an urgent care provider in the TRICARE network. The nurse will also contact the Primary Care Manager and alert them that an urgent care referral is needed. Any time a MTF Prime beneficiary calls the nurse advice line, their PCM will receive a report and can follow up with them if needed.

So, when does it start?

The health advice feature of the Nurse Advice Line is now open for business 24/7 – call 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273). The appointment feature is being phased in for Prime enrollees to military hospitals and clinics between April 25 and June 27, 2014. Please check with your MTF for the date the appointment feature will be available at your medical facility.

Have you tried the New Advice Line? Tell us what you think?


Enter this word:


Submitted by: redragonfly74
June 22, 2014
Comment: I attempted to call my local naval hospital advice nurse in the middle of the night for my sick child only to be redirected to this advice service. I was less than pleased! You have to give personal info over the phone ie complete ss# to a stranger, then get transferred to an advice nurse anywhere in the country whom has zero personal/medical background info in front of them. I am totally unhappy with this new system. If I wanted to call a random nurse in the middle of the night I may as well just use WebMD! I want to continue the service where I spoke to my naval hospital nurse whom had my families medical history, was local, and had access to making appointments to see a Dr on the weekend for any illnesses vs an ER visit. I want to speak to a person/advice nurse but someone whom is at my local hospital. I called to get an appointment with the emergency weekend appointments if available but the end result is seek medical care at an ER you don't need to call back for an authorization. No kidding!

Submitted by: Chuck
May 25, 2014
Comment: Very painful protocol. Enrollee wakes up on a holiday weekend knowing what the issue is (you had same issue numerous times over 50 years)and you need a Rx. Now you wait hours before being referred to an expensive ER to wait additional hours. A lot of additional costs versus a Rx from the local urgent care facility. You should allow the nurse max flexibility to apply common sense on where to refer patents.

Submitted by: The Association
May 7, 2014
Comment: Thanks again for alerting us to the issue you experienced when you called the Nurse Advice Line. DHA has followed up on your problem and it seems to be linked to the way they had initially programmed the automatic menu of call options. DHA has changed the message protocol to ensure that all callers who select "1" are now connected to the Nurse Advice Line. Thank you again for taking the time to comment. Your feedback has helped resolve a glitch in the roll out of this important new service for military families.

Submitted by: The Association
May 5, 2014
Comment: Thank you for your comment. We have contacted the Defense Health Agency and alerted them of the problem. They have assured us that they are investigating it. Thanks for taking the time to let us know!

Submitted by: Becky
May 3, 2014
Comment: Tried calling 4 times, it gives me the main menu and then I press "1" for the nurse line and it hangs up.

Submitted by: KM
April 29, 2014
Comment: I used it while in a Germany and was thankful for it! Thank you all for fighting to get this valuable service back!

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