- by ZoeGuzman May 25I am not sure if I am in the correct forum/thread, I am new to this website and I wanted to ask those nurses who are (or have been) in the military (army and airforce branches):
I have been thinking of joining the military since high school (I participated in JROTC), and last fall semester, I participated in ARMY ROTC at the college I attended. I am really interested in pursuing a nursing degree (eventually becoming a neonatal nurse); I have an Associates in Applied Science, and I will be applying to a 4yr college & its nursing program for the Fall 2014 semester.
What I would like to know is, what is the difference between the Army and AirForce branches? I asked a sergeant in the Army & he suggested to join the AF ("better quality of life"). I want to know any experiences that may help me make my decision. I have gone to an Army recruiter before and they seem so rude; in a way they mocked this young man for changing his mind and choosing to go to a Navy recruiter (saying that he wouldnt be able to choose his MOS). Honestly, it seems like the websites make it all perfect & great, and I do not want to make the wrong choice of choosing the wrong branch.
I would also like to know, if it would be better to join after I get a nursing degree, or while I am in the program? I am afraid I will not get into the program, and then I am screwed. (By the way, I am leaning towards Reserves, as opposed to Active Duty).
Please any suggestions/advice, I would greatly appreciate it. I am unable to send private messages at the time. Thanks so much (and thanks for those who created this website, connecting students, nurses, and all the like!)
- Jun 3 by carolinapoohTo be an RN in the military, you need a BSN.
You talked to an enlisted recruiter; you need to speak with a health professions recruiter.
- Jun 4 by RayJordanI could be wrong, so someone feel free to correct me, when I was gathering information from recruiters and ROTC personnel, I was told that most ROTC for the army, would put you in the reserve due to being overstaffed with nurses. This is what I was told from the ROTC person, and he also informed me that most of the scholarships are EXTREMELY hard to obtain now due to budget cuts. So if I wanted to be Active Duty the Army would be a waste of my time, (but if your looking at reserves this might be good for you actually, unless you want some of the scholarship benefits)
For me, I was trying to decide between the Air Force and Navy, and for awhile I was leaning towards the Navy because I literally could not get any information on the Air Force (both from recruiters and ROTC) till carolinapooh, and ?? (I'm on my phone, and I cant look up your name without losing this! I'll give you credit when I get home! promise!) which finalized my decision on the Air Force, and conveniently the Air Force ROTC detachment at my school finally got back in touch with me.
Basically, doing Air Force ROTC guarantees me a slot in the NTP program (under the assumption I get a field training spot, and from what I told nurses are guaranteed a spot for it), which allows me to avoid the whole application process and the headache of worrying if I'm accepted or not. Even the recruiter for ROTC mentioned it, even though there is a small part of me that feels like with the budget cuts being a nursing major won't just give me a slot for field training, but we'll see. As for the reserve part, I'm not too sure on how that works with the Air Force ROTC, but I'm sure someone on the forums can help you out.
ALSO, from what I was told, applying while your in the program provides you with less competition since you're not competing after graduation and you're against people with years of experience, for the Navy process.
I'm sorry if this is a jumbled mess, trying to type on my phone with little to no typos is nearly impossible. Especially with auto-correct.
- Jun 4 by carolinapoohThe USAF no longer gives out Reserve commissions that way (it stopped under Clinton; if not before); you get a full commission.
And yes, you're correct about the Army - what I've seen on the board is some are getting full commissions and some are getting Reserve commissions and it's all based on your stratification (ie, your class rank).
- Jun 6 by elisabethmCarolinaPooh and RayJordan are right. With Army ROTC you are not guaranteed an active duty spot in the nurse corps. I was in my school's Army ROTC program in the fall 2011 semester and for half of the spring 2012 semester as an MSII. When I was in, the Brigade Nurse told us that, nationally, 25-35% of the nursing students in my graduating class (May 2014) would enter the reserves. A month later, the head of my school's Army ROTC program said that out of the 3 nursing students in our graduating class, a maximum of 2 would get active duty. With the economy the way it is, it's very possible that later graduating classes will see even more nursing students entering the reserves. If you're still interested in Army ROTC, go for it. Just know that the reserves is a very real possibility. It all depends on your OML (national class ranking), which is affected by many factors, including performance in ROTC (mostly LDAC, the summer training course after your MSIII year), overall GPA, PT scores, and extracurricular activities.
- Jun 6 by carolinapoohelisabethm, back when the USAF had Reserve ROTC commissions people could compete/apply at Captain (O3) to have that commission 'converted' to a Regular commission. Is the Army allowing for such a thing, or have you heard?
Just asking to get as much info up here as possible.
- Jun 7 by elisabethmI don't know very much about Army stuff because I was only in ROTC for a semester and a half and I never contracted. (I quit as soon as they said we weren't all getting active because I thought it was too much work for the Reserves.) However, a whole bunch of people in my family (they're all Army officers) did mention switching to Active later on if I ended up in the Reserves. I think it is quite a competitive process, but, as far as I know, it does happen.