ROTC Vs. Direct commissioning


I'm going to school to get my BSN and i'm trying to figure out if ROTC is the best choice for Army nursing or if direct commissing would be a better way to go. Any Advice?????

jeckrn, BSN, RN

1,868 Posts

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR. Has 17 years experience.

From what other posters have stated who did the ROTC they stated that it was hard to do ROTC & nursing at the same time. If you know someone who is in ROTC & nursing talk with them. I do know of some nurses whom obtained their BSN via ROTC so it is possible.

Cursed Irishman

471 Posts

At ASU a couple years ago, nursing students who did ROTC were mandated to go to take some of their coursework during the summer because of the heavy courseload...this was in addition to attending advance camp.

my thought is which do you want more RN or Officer.. choose that priority by choosing either ROTC and hoping to get BSN or get BSN and hope to get in as a nurse candidate or new grad commission... my 2 cents.

SoldierNurse22, BSN, RN

13 Articles; 2,058 Posts

excellent advice, just_cause. I ended up having so much difficulty dealing with ROTC and the nursing program that I stopped ROTC and went for a direct commission. When faced with that decision, I sat down and listed out pros and cons. It might help you to do the same if you find yourself facing the same difficulty.


18 Posts

Specializes in Military/OR/Med-Surg/PICC Nurse.

In regards to ROTC: You should find out if the school you are interested in is a PNE (partner in nursing education). If this is the case, you will apply directly for a nursing scholarship, and be in a seperate pool from the other cadets who are competing for branches/scholarship selections. I would not suggest doing the ROTC option unless this is the case. My school was a PNE and there were several benefits to this: I was promised a slot in the school of nursing (300+ applicants for 120 slots) as long as I met the requirements, more book money, and my scholarship was locked in, as long as I went through all the ROTC motions. The nursing school slot was a huge advantage since many of my colleagues who were working on their pre-reqs had to wait an extra year to get in (some of them had a higher GPA than I).

Direct Commission: I didn't really even know about this until after I commissioned through ROTC, and when I did, I found my self scratching my head wondering why I went through all the ROTC training when I could have direct commissioned. When it comes down to it, I couldn't afford school up front so ROTC was the right choice. But the direct commission seems like a pretty sweet deal if it works out for you. There are some nice incentives, some people get a garunteed first assigment location choice, which is really nice compared to ROTC-land where you have to compete for the nice locations.


67 Posts

Honestly it depends, remember nursing is the number one priority in all situations though. Some nursing cadets really want the same experience as all other officers, others don't care (You have to decide for yourself if the time invested in planning and studying for infantry maneuvers/ROTC activities is worth taking time away from your studies). It's really a personal decision. One advantage is that you have a locked spot to become a nurse in the army as a new grad. Look around the forum, you will see a lot of people doing all they can just to get a slot for direct commissioning. Its getting harder and harder.