Can I Direct Commission Into the Army Nursing Corps Without Going Through OCS?

Published

Hello everyone, 

I have heard mixed things about this so I would love some clarification. I am finishing up my BSN soon and would like to commission into the Army Nurse Corps. I am already enlisted right now in the National Guard and have gone through basic training and AIT. If I direct commission as a nurse, do I have to go through OCS or not? I have heard from some people that I will, however I have also heard that nursing is a “direct commission” branch and does not require their incoming officers to go through OCS. I know that ROTC is an option, however I am trying to figure out any other options since I want to try to stay reserves or national guard. Since I already went through basic training and AIT, I definitely don’t want to have to go through OCS. 

Any clarification would be gretaly appreciated! 

jfratian, MSN, RN

1,525 Posts

Specializes in Adult Critical Care. Has 11 years experience.

All new officers, including prior enlisted, have to attend some form of an officer basic training (OCS).  The 'direct commission' part only means your commissioning source bypasses the traditional routes of the service academies or ROTC.  The only people who get out of officer basic are people who were officers before in the same branch in career field (I.e. I knew a civil engineer who later became a nurse who skipped OCS).  

Actually, it's fairly common to have an enlisted background prior to commissioning.  In my cohort it was about 1/3 of the class.  OCS is far easier than enlisted basic training though.

jfratian, MSN, RN

1,525 Posts

Specializes in Adult Critical Care. Has 11 years experience.

To clarify, the ROTC and academy people have a Summer 'field training' that takes the place of OCS.  As a mustang, you don't get out of anything.  All you get is extra pay from the 'O1E' pay grade IF you have at least 4 years and 1 day of prior enlisted experience (active duty) or >1440 points  (reserves/guard).

Specializes in Postpartum/Newborn Care. Has 4 years experience.
On 11/29/2022 at 3:34 PM, gee_mcgee said:

Hello everyone, 

I have heard mixed things about this so I would love some clarification. I am finishing up my BSN soon and would like to commission into the Army Nurse Corps. I am already enlisted right now in the National Guard and have gone through basic training and AIT. If I direct commission as a nurse, do I have to go through OCS or not? I have heard from some people that I will, however I have also heard that nursing is a “direct commission” branch and does not require their incoming officers to go through OCS. I know that ROTC is an option, however I am trying to figure out any other options since I want to try to stay reserves or national guard. Since I already went through basic training and AIT, I definitely don’t want to have to go through OCS. 

Any clarification would be gretaly appreciated! 

I am in the process now. I am also prior enlisted and just got selected for 66H (although my numbers may be off on the weeks). If you apply to a direct commission, you will not be going to an officer candidate school (OCS). However, you will attend the direct commission course in Fort Sill. This is 4 weeks long. Then you will go to Ft Sam, Houston where you will attend the basic officer leadership course (BOLC). I believe it is 7 weeks with 2 weeks being nursing specific.