Being a nursing Cadet in Army ROTC has many advantages in the classroom, in practice, and in training. Nurse Cadets experience unique opportunities like Nurse Summer Training Program (NSTP) that provides nursing Cadets with an edge in their senior clinicals. Seattle University Nurse Cadets are amongst the top students in their classes as well as active members of the SU campus community.
It's not just about having a job right out of college. Being in ROTC provides many advantages as a nursing student. ROTC and nursing are very compatible. ROTC teaches leadership and assessment skills that are used in clinicals with patients and peers. Nurse Cadets learn prioritization and planning methods that increase efficiency in clinicals. Many of the skills Cadets learn in ROTC come up again in nursing classes making nurses classes easier to understand. Cadets, through their training, gain a level of confidence that helps them become stronger students capable of meeting the various academic challenges of the nursing school. Nurse Cadets also get experiences that their fellow nursing students don't have, such as Nurse Summer Training Program (NSTP).
Sure it's hard for some people, but ROTC is very flexible because we know that education comes first. ROTC takes concentration and commitment and so does nursing. Many people thrive off the schedule that ROTC provides them. Because cadets work out in the morning three or more days a week they get sick less, are more energetic, and have more time during their day to be productive. Since ROTC is a close knit community there's always help available for tutoring, asking advice, and sharing old assignments. There is also a strong relationship between ROTC and the College of Nursing. The teachers there understand the student's situations and, given enough time, are willing to help the students out.
The army has a variety of generalized specialty courses for their nurses such as: OR nursing, OB/GYN, psych nursing, and critical care. This program allows them to obtain training in that specific area and subsequently to gain practical experience by being assigned to that clinical area within a hospital. Army nurses are eligible for these courses after 18-24 months and will serve the remainder of their commitment practicing their chosen specialty.
The Army will also pay for your master's education in exchange for additional active duty time. The time it takes to get your masters is paid for at the university which you would like to attend and you will continue to receive your base pay and benefits. Upon receiving your master's degree, you will work in your area of specialty and license.
Army nurses experience leadership opportunities that are unique to the military and as a result Army nurses progress up the ranks of responsibility faster. Many Army nurses are charge nurses and head nurses on their units within their first few years. This gives Army nurses a huge edge in the job market over their peers.