Nursing Candidate Program vs. ROTC


I'm currently in my second year of college looking into becoming a Navy nurse - my dad retired as a commanding officer and I love the navy lifestyle. What I'm not clear on is the difference between the Nursing Candidate program and NROTC. I have a clear picture of ROTC, but not sure on NCP. I am looking at Old Dominion University because it has an ROTC program but have always wanted to do Sentara Nursing Program, which is a small nursing school that doesn't have any affiliation with ROTC. If I chose the NCP, would I be able to attend Sentara but still be guaranteed a spot in the navy after I recieve my BSN?

Hello @mollysbarnes,

I am a current FY15 NCP student and will be graduating nursing school this May. As a NCP Candidate, all you are expected to do is go to go to class and perform well in your classes. You aren't expected to attend drill, naval science classes, etc. (all of that well be covered once you go to Officer Development School (ODS)). If you get selected for the NCP, you are guaranteed a spot in the navy as long as you pass your classes and NCLEX. However, the NCP is very competitive to get into, compared to NROTC which is fairly easy to get into but I heard that NROTC scholarships are limited now as the military continues to downsize.

jfratian, MSN, RN

1,528 Posts

Specializes in Adult Critical Care. Has 11 years experience.

There are a couple of things you might not have considered.

ROTC scholarships might only cover your 2 years in the actual nursing program (not your freshmen and sophomore years); direct commission programs can provide blanket loan repayment for any USDOE loans in your name and even sign-on bonuses.

New grad nurses in the military generally must start in med-surg. If 2-3 years of med-surg doesn't sound good to you, then I would suggest getting a few years of civilian experience and direct-commissioning as an experienced nurse later.