A little about me:
-I am currently a 4th semester BSN student
-I am interested in Army ROTC
-I am currently taking an Army PT class to "see how I like it"
-If I do, I plan on going to LTC this summer and doing ROTC for the rest of my time in school (4 more semesters after this current one)
As for my questions:
-If I complete ROTC and graduate with my BSN, am I guaranteed to work as a nurse in the Army, or can they force me into another field? I have absolutely zero interest in doing anything but nursing because I have changed my major and it is going to ultimately take ~7 years for me to graduate. Is there a way to guarantee this in my contract with the Army? (Side note: I understand that I am not guaranteed a commission, but I'm asking if there is any way they can switch my career, not what my chances are of getting a commission!)
-Does anyone have experience with the ARMY ROTC and nursing combination? I want to hear from anyone who has gone down this path and what your experience has been like. Any information would be appreciated
-I have talked to people I know from the military about nursing, and one guy said that some of his military nursing friends complain that civilian nurses who they work with sometimes have a lack of respect for them. He didn't really provide an explanation and I was kind of shocked because I would expect just the opposite (usually military garners more respect).
Thanks for the help everyone!
A few questions:
1. Are you in pre-nursing or nursing school? If you're pre-nursing, have you been accepted into a program?
2. What do you mean by 7 years to graduate? You'll have been in school for 7 years by the time you're done or you'll be in school another 7 years? ROTC works within a traditional timeframe--4 years of school to get your bachelor's, take the NCLEX, commission and off you go.
A few statements:
1. If you're a 4th semester nursing student, you'll be going to LDAC, not LTC. LDAC is a mandatory course attended between your junior and senior years. LTC is typically attended between sophomore and junior years and is not mandatory.
2. If you want to attend Army PT via ROTC, you should contact the ROTC at your school. We had folks PT with us frequently just to get their feet wet.
3. If you graduate college, pass the boards and are accepted into the military, your contract should stipulate that you'll serve as an RN. However, if you fail college or do not pass the NCLEX, you get a finite number of retakes (I think 2) and then the military can do with you what they will.
4. Disrespect is universal, and just because you're entering the military does not mean that everyone will respect you. Civilians are somewhat untouchable because 1) the unions are powerful and 2) they exist in the system, but they follow a different chain of command than the military. I've know a few civilians who are incredibly disrespectful. They could probably have gotten away with murder. The nice thing is, the military is a family. This tends to catch up to civilians who try to abuse their position and take advantage of soldiers.
Personally, I didn't end up completing ROTC. I did LTC, got my waivers done and did ROTC for a semester before I realized that I couldn't feasibly do both ROTC and nursing school. The ROTC at my school was a satellite program, so I had ROTC labs and nursing clinicals overlapping. The requirements between the two were conflicting and would've been nearly impossible to fulfill. I direct commissioned after college, though from what I've heard, the Army requires 2 years of prior experience nowadays to even apply for a direct commission.
Due to the drawdown, you probably won't end up on active duty as those of us currently on active duty are facing cuts. If you do ROTC, you'll likely be placed in the reserves.
Last edit by SoldierNurse22 on Jan 15, '14
: Reason: forgot words...errrrg.
Don't let the person above me discourage you, everyone is different when it comes to time management and stressors. Hundreds of nurses come through Army ROTC every year and do just fine.
I thought both were totally doable and I ended up getting ranked pretty high on the Order of Merit list (even with all those "hooah" combat arms guys). Most ROTC instructors get your time constraints and make plenty of allotments for clinicals or class make up if you sit down and talk with them early. If not then that's when you bring in your brigade nurse counselor to help. This isn't their first dance with nursing students.
I really enjoyed ROTC, was able to do a lot of fun things, learned a lot about officership and made some good friends along the way. Go for it!The Army loves education, if you have the desire and time commitment you can do whatever you want (CRNA, NP, FST etc). It's also very political, a bad eval from a rater can ruin your career!
DC (Direct Commissions) are used when experienced nurses are needed or not enough nurses are coming through ROTC, you can't rely on it to always be there because it won't be.
Last edit by Dranger on Jan 17, '14