Published Apr 2, 2014
Have an army scholarship with Army ROTC- considering disenrolling so that I may go directly to nursing school after graduating with my Bachelors in Biology. can I commission as a 2LT and get in a unit close to my ABSN school and drill an carry out the ABSN while being a reservist, then branch transfer to nursing/ AMEDD?
SoldierNurse22, BSN, RN
Chances are slim. Even an "internal transfer" from one branch of the Army to another will be tough. The ANC is full up and not looking to take on folks without experience. As such, the military would already have you as a 2LT in another branch. It would not behoove them to help you as they've already got you serving in another capacity. Also, the chance of deployment/drills/military stuff interfering with your ABSN is likely (not guaranteed, but a significant risk).
If you want to come is as a nurse, come in as a nurse. If you want to serve, then come on in, but understand that there's no guarantee that you'll be able to serve as a nurse should you get your BSN.
I have been told that an internal transfer would be difficult. I am hoping to go reserves directly out of ROTC as a 2LT, and hope to branch Med Services (typically when you opt reserve you get the first branch of choice).
The ABSN programs I am looking into are 16-18months long; that being said, if I were enrolled full-time what are the chances that if my unit got mobilized/deployed that they would leave me to finish school? (Army is big on professional development, I don't see them pulling me, but I could be wrong).
I see what you are saying if you want to come in as a nurse, come in as a nurse... i agree completely, I had a nursing scholarship and didn't get into my school's nursing school freshman year - got bad information from an ROTC recruiter at my school and switched my major to pre-medicine, under the impression and direction that I'd lose my scholarship if I did not switch my Nursing scholarship to a "line" scholarship..... as it turns out that is not the case; so now i'm in this predicament. I am currently on an LOA from ROTC (with intent to return), but being a reservist not as a nurse is not my ideal situation. I want army and i want nursing... how can I pair the two in my current situation?
Lunah, MSN, RN
If your unit is mobilized, they will likely take you. The needs of the Army come first, and they see deployment as "professional development" as well. Do not count on getting left behind.
In my opinion, your best bet to come in the Army as a nurse if you want active duty is to seek direct commission after you have some RN experience, and even that is iffy in the current recruiting climate. The Army Nurse Corps is overstrength; I cannot stress that enough. Overstrength means very, very few spots for anyone, including experienced nurses.
Opting reserve isn't what it used to be; most officers are getting slotted reserve out of necessity. The military is full-up and you don't have the same range of choice that you used to even several years ago.
Even if you opt Med Service, you won't be working as a nurse, despite your degree.
The Army IS big on professional development, but that's secondary to the mission. They will absolutely not hesitate to deploy you right in the middle of nursing school. I've seen it happen many, many times before. They really don't give a crap if you're in the middle of school or four months postpartum. If you're not on a profile, you're a soldier first and everything else second. In other words, you signed on the dotted line, and you're fair game.
I'd talk with your ROTC counselor. See if you can talk with the nurse ROTC counselor specifically. If there's a chance for you to switch over, they would be the most knowledgeable.
I've been told numerous times that the army will not direct commission RN's.... as they barely even DC MD/DO's. Me coming into the Army as a nurse IS the best option... but it is not an option for me as far as ROTC goes. My scholarship is a "line" scholarship for biology and will not allow me to go to nursing school.
If you have any thoughts on how this could happen, I'd be more than happy to have some input. The issue is that my scholarship takes me out until Spring 16 Graduation and Commissioning. Most nursing schools application dates have passed for Fall 14 (next semester). and I have to complete MS3 and 4 year for ROTC. (essentially junior and senior years of training).
I am also being told that even people on ROTC nursing scholarships may not commission into the ANC because they are "full" of nurses.
Does anyone think we will be deploying in the near future.... I tend to think it's worth the risk with the troop minimization, etc...? input?
p.s. This information is all coming from ROTC counselors, all of which are ex/current Army and both active and reserve experience and knowledge.
They will not accept you without experience. The Army does direct commission docs, especially specialists, and much more frequently than RNs. However, even that has decreased. The medical side of the service is full. They are downsizing. You're fighting an uphill battle, especially when they already have you on a scholarship as a line officer.
You're clearly familiar with the options available to you and aware that you're between a rock and a hard spot with ROTC. You have a contractual agreement with the Army to come in as a line officer that you must fulfill. It sounds as if you've exhausted your options with the nursing venture. Your best bet at this point may be serving as a line officer and utilizing your GI Bill for nursing if that's what you still want to do post-Army.
Does anyone think we will be deploying in the near future.... I tend to think it's worth the risk with the troop minimization, etc...? input?.
"We" as in...?
That's a very vague statement/comment. As there is a drawdown in effect, the idea of deployment is becoming both riskier and less likely as we decrease the size of our Army. Deployment is also fiercely competitive (particularly in the AMEDD) and becoming necessary for promotion as it simultaneously becomes more scarce.
My position on deployment is this: if you join the military in any way, shape, or form, you should plan on deploying at some point. Period. It might not happen, but as service members we should always know it's a possibility. I've been back from deployment for just over 4 weeks. Might I go again? Certainly, if that was what the Army needed and the mission required.
I know some direct commission RNs who are at BOLC right now, but they were very experienced when they applied.
I just commissioned as 66p nurse practitioner in reserve and was told there were only 3-4 open slots for this AOC and a few more 66 h positions, but still very few. I can't wait for order to report to my unit. I will also be looking forward to BOLC but understand I have to take up to 100 hours of phase 1 online, so I may be looking at next year before phase 2. I have no military background and also have been looking at these postings to see what I can expect to find when I report.
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