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ROTC or OCS? (USAGPAN)

Nurses   (211 Views | 5 Replies)
by shin_eee shin_eee (New) New

253 Profile Views; 13 Posts

Hello!

I am currently a second year in undergrad school and wish to pursue CRNA.
As you all know, grad school is expensive and not everyone can afford it including myself. Therefore, I was looking into alternatives and came upon the USAGPAN. Did any of you guys join the USAGPAN? If so, how was it and what is the experience like afterwards? I know you have to serve at least 5 years in the army after graduating.

The reason why I titled this post: ROTC or OCS is because I want to start off in the army as an officer rather than a private. Would the completion of USAGPAN make me an officer or what rank would I start off as? Also, I read that the average salary of an army CRNA is around 80k is that true? And are there multiple levels or ranks of army CRNA?

I tried researching online but it is all so confusing haha.

I know there are quite a few questions there but any advice or response will be much appreciated!!

Thank you in advance and Happy Holidays!
Shin_eee

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347 Posts; 1,862 Profile Views

Hi, I had to look this up but it interested me as I'm former active duty AF and former civil service for the Army.  So, to even apply you need one year ICU experience.  It looks like if accepted, you enter into active duty as an officer, probably a 2LT. You'll also need to meet the requirements of being an officer which includes physical fitness requirements, weight standards etc. I'm assuming they'll do the physical fitness requirements before acceptance into the program (or in conjunction with), and you'll have to keep up with this throughout.  As of now there are PT (physical training) tests every year (may every 6 months, they keep changing the program), as well as weigh in (more if you're overweight).  But I don't think you'll get in if you're overweight.  You'll get paid as an officer but also possibly have responsibilities other than school, but probably not many.  When you graduate you should be a 1LT, and will then owe the Army 5 years, during this time you'll make Captain.  ROTC is for undergrads wanting to go into the military after graduation, it gives you military training while in college, a monthly stipend and pretty much a guarantee into the mitary as an officer.  OCS is the school you go to after graduation, before you go to your first job.  All military officers go through this, I'm not sure of the length.  In the AF when I went in it was pretty short for nurses, longer for other jobs.  So if you apply for USAGPAN or join ROTC you'll go in an as an officer.  You can look up the salary because it depends on how long you've been in and your rank.  I don't know if they count the 3 years of schooling as "time in service" (how long you've been in) but I don't think it's $80K right off the bat, but if you stay in long enough it will be.  

It looks like it's a very competitive program and while they take non-military people I think that would be even more competitive, as they're staking a lot on someone who hasn't proven to be a good military officer.  I have a friend who's an Army CRNA so I can ask her if she did this program and how many civilians were in it.  She was active duty for at least 3-4 years before she got accepted.  I personally think you'd have a better chance of getting accepted if you go into the military first, but you have to be aware that there's no guarantee you'll get into the CRNA program or even into the ICU, especially into the ICU as a new nurse.  But of course there's no harm in applying, and if you don't get in then you can review your options.  Feel free to email me through this site for any questions, I'll ask my friend about how many civilians were in her class if she did this but I'm not sure if she did because I know she doesn't have her DNP yet.

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347 Posts; 1,862 Profile Views

Here's the link for the current pay, well, 2019, FY 2020 started in October.  So your pay as an O-1 with less than 2 (years) would be $3188/ month.  This usually increases every year but it's not guaranteed. There's also a housing allowance which depends on your rank, time in service, location you're stationed and whether you're single or have family members.  

 

https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrJ7JRcAwNe5mQA0j1x.9w4;_ylu=X3oDMTByOHZyb21tBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg--/RV=2/RE=1577284572/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fmilitarybenefits.info%2f2019-military-pay-charts%2f/RK=2/RS=NxaQKt1y02W6DFyRz1UoYWe5IdM-

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347 Posts; 1,862 Profile Views

Here's 2020, they have the grade and time in service opposite but there's a $100 increase/month.  Your grade is your rank in numerical terms:

O-1 is 2nd LT

O-2 is 1st LT

O-3 is Captain

https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0geK.QhBQNe280APAZx.9w4;_ylu=X3oDMTBybGY3bmpvBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg--/RV=2/RE=1577285025/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fmilitarybenefits.info%2f2020-military-pay-charts%2f/RK=2/RS=shtVG3aubfIzl9Le51qYyjAcijg-

Edited by Elaine M

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13 Posts; 253 Profile Views

Thank you so much for your research and replying Elaine!!
I am currently debating between going into civilian CRNA school and taking out loans vs joining the USAGPAN but from what I hear online and from you is that it is very competitive. I am still very new to all of this so your replies are very valuable to me 🙂

I have contacted the USAGPAN regarding how many civilians get in per year and how many applicants are accepted, but I have yet to receive a response. 

Also, do you know how hard/long it will take for me to get into an ICU right after I graduate and get my BSN? I heard many horror stories of new nurses having trouble finding a job... 

Thank you again!

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347 Posts; 1,862 Profile Views

You're welcome! I think it all depends on where you are and how hard it is to get nurses to work ICU.  It might be easier in a small hospital than a big one.  Personally I wouldn't recommend it as I think it would be more helpful to work med-surg first, but if someone is willing to hire you straight into the ICU then you might as well try.  But it'll definitely be a steep learning curve.  

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