Military Science / ROTC Office
Major Ben Kavanagh
If nursing is your professional goal, Army ROTC offers you a unique opportunity to gain practical experience while you receive financial assistance for college.
Medical emergencies require a cool head and clear thinking. Developing these skills, building a sense of confidence, and helping students realize their leadership and management potential are what Army ROTC is all about.
ROTC Nursing students will be able to combine college electives in military science and invaluable nurse summer training experiences with the regular nursing program. They will develop professional skills while learning meaningful things about themselves and their abilities.
Upon completion of the program (and provided all prerequisites are met), students will receive a commission as an officer in the Army Nurse Corps, ready to take on the challenges of the profession. Recently commissioned nurses will find that the Army ROTC experience has taken them a long way toward realizing professional goals.
Experience – Students won’t find the direct, hands-on experience received in ROTC training anywhere else. They’ll be given significant responsibilities early in their career.
Leadership – An officer is a leader. That’s why leadership and management are stressed as part of the ROTC nursing program. The Army provides nursing students with unique training to develop the skills that will help them take command.
Advancement – There’s no mystery about how to get ahead in the Army Nurse Corps. Promotions are based on performance, and the career path is clear-cut. Nurses will be given the opportunity to progress in rank as they demonstrate nursing proficiency and effective leadership.
Professional Environment – Army nurses are important members of the healthcare team. They’ve been given the training to meet problems head-on and solve them quickly, adapting to the situation and taking charge. They’re thinkers and decision-makers, earning the respect of colleagues and the people who work for them.
The Three- and Four-Year Programs – The three- and four-year ROTC programs are a series of elective courses designed to be taken along with the regular nursing program. They’re divided into the Basic Course and Advanced Course.
The Two-Year Program – Juniors, community college graduates or students attending a four-year college who didn’t take ROTC in their first two years of school have the opportunity get involved in the Army ROTC for Nursing Program in a two-year program designed for them. Courses from both the Basic and Advanced Courses are combined to enable them to complete the training within two years.
ROTC Basic Course – The ROTC Basic Course is usually taken during the first year or two of college. After completing the Basic Course, demonstrating potential to become an officer and meeting both physical and scholastic standards, a student may enroll in the ROTC Advanced Course.
ROTC Advanced Course – The Advanced Course, which includes the Nurse Summer Training Program (NSTP), is usually taken during the final two years of college. The NSTP is described below.
The Nurse Summer Training Program (NSTP) is a three-week clinical elective for Army ROTC nurse Cadets. Attendance is voluntary. This paid elective is conducted at Army hospitals in the United States and Germany. Students may attend NSTP either before or after Advanced Camp, normally between the Junior and Senior year of college. During the NSTP clinical elective, participants receive “hands-on” experience under the direct supervision of preceptors—Army nurse officers who work one-on-one with students throughout clinical training.
While following the same duty schedule as the preceptor, participants could receive training in such areas as patient assessment, planning of patient care, nutrition maintenance and feeding techniques, range of motion and mobility, medication administration, emergency procedures, intravenous (IV) therapy, and other special techniques. Regular coaching sessions are designed to monitor performance and enhance progress. By summer’s end, NSTP will have shown students a preview of the real world of nursing, developed professional skills, and given valuable insights into the students’ abilities.
Nursing is a dynamic profession. Skills and professional knowledge must be constantly updated. The Army Nurse Corps recognizes that earning a BSN is an achievement to be proud of and is committed to providing educational opportunities so Army nurses may continue to enhance their abilities, interests and knowledge. Once students become an Army nurse, they may apply for specialty courses such as:
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing – This 22-week course is designed to prepare nurses with the necessary knowledge of clinical skills to deliver care and treatment to psychiatric patients. Development of the qualities of understanding and compassion are stressed, along with proficiency in communications skills.
Perioperative Nursing – This 16-week course is designed to prepare Junior nurse officers to function as first-level staff nurses in the operating room (OR). It also focuses on the OR nurse’s responsibilities in the preparation and sterilization of supplies/equipment, special fields of surgery, and the principles and techniques of supervision and management of the operating room.
Obstetrical and Gynecological Nursing – This 16-week course is designed to provide nurses with the necessary knowledge and clinical skills required to deliver nursing care to pregnant women, newborn infants, and patients with gynecological problems.
Critical Care Nursing – This 16-week course is designed to prepare nurses as entry-level critical care staff nurses in intensive care settings.
Once a student has obtained career status and met eligibility criteria, he/she may apply for selection to graduate degree programs such as Anesthesia Nursing or Health Care Administration or even graduate education at the school of choice.