Nursing Students

Interested in nursing?

What does it take to be a nurse? The answer isn't just white shoes and a stethoscope. It's not just sharp clinical skills coupled with the attributes of understanding and compassion. It is much, much more.

The profession demands the ability to think on your feet in an emergency. The ability to intuitively evaluate a situation, determine the best course of action, and take charge, which is precisely what Army ROTC is uniquely designed to teach.

Army ROTC is not boot camp or basic training. But, unlike most college courses that teach one discipline, Army ROTC teaches leadership skills that translate to any field, whether it be law, engineering, or, in your case, nursing.

As a nursing student in the Army ROTC Spartan Battalion, you'll combine Military Science classes and a summer internship known as Nurse Summer Training Program, or NSTP, with your regular MSU College of Nursing program. The result upon graduation is a presidential appointment as a commissioned officer in the Army Nurse Corps.

The Nurse Summer Training Program (NSTP) is a voluntary three to four week clinical experience for nurse cadets between their third and fourth years of school. During NSTP nurse cadets will be assigned to a preceptor (a serving Army nurse) at one of the Army Medical Centers or Army Community Hospitals in the continental United States, Hawaii or Europe. NSTP cadets are assigned to a ward and gain hands-on experience in all aspects of clinical nursing.

Advancement and Compensation

As a newly commissioned Army nurse you will earn a base pay and allowance of a second lieutenant around $38K (2004 pay chart). This will increase to around $49K after two years and up to $62K in as little as four years. The raises continue to increase at a generous rate throughout a career in the Army to where a Colonel with 20 years in service makes around $106K in 2004 dollars. After twenty years an Army nurse will qualify for a full retirement with benefits equaling 50% of their income for life.

As you progress in the Army, your rank and level of responsibility will also increase. It is not uncommon to see a staff nurse become a head nurse in just three or four years. To help you advance professionally, the Army Nurse Corps offers courses in a wide range of nursing specialties. This takes place around the end of the second year of service. Specialties include:

  • OB/GYN Nursing prepares you for uncomplicated and complicated antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum and gynecological patients. The OB-GYN course lasts 16 weeks and is offered at Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) in Hawaii.
  • Critical Care Nursing trains nurses in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, physics, CPR, inhalation therapy, diagnostics, psychological and sociological problems, and ethical and legal considerations in the care of critically ill patients. This is a 16-week course conducted at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in Washington, D.C., Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC) in Washington State, or at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Preoperative Nursing prepares a nurse for all phases of operating room nursing, including advanced skills related to surgery and the principles and techniques of supervising and managing an operating room. The Preoperative Nursing course lasts 16 weeks and is taught at BAMC, WRAMC and MAMC.
  • Psych/Mental Health Nursing prepares the Army Nurse to provide specialized care to emotionally distressed individuals both as inpatients and outpatients. The Psych/Mental Health Nursing course is 16 weeks and is offered at WRAMC in Washington, D.C.
  • Community Health Nursing provides skills and knowledge in preventive medicine at an entry level. This is a nine-week course at the Army Medical Department Center and School at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Emergency Nursing prepares the nurse to function in any clinical setting that meets the environmental nursing standard for emergency nursing. The focus is on the fundamentals of emergency nursing such as respiratory and cardiovascular disease, hematology/oncology, trauma management, hepatic disorders and infectious diseases. The Emergency Nursing course is 16 weeks and is offered at BAMC in San Antonio, Texas.

Getting Started at MSU

MSU College of Nursing students or pre-nursing students can get started a number of different ways. Freshman and sophomore pre-nursing students can simply register for one of the one-credit Military Science electives without obligation in order to explore career opportunities as an Army Officer. Once in class you will have the opportunity to learn what it takes to be an Army officer.

If you are a sophomore entering or applying for admission to the College of Nursing, you can attend the Leader's Training Course or LTC the summer before your junior year. LTC is a 28-day leadership and training experience at Fort Knox, Kentucky. It is designed to help prepare students who have not been involved in ROTC and have no prior military experience to enter into the 2-year Army ROTC program. LTC candidates must pass a medical exam and a fitness test in the spring semester prior to attending in order make a training reservation.

Exceptionally qualified candidates may be eligible to have the requirement to attend LTC waived by completing the Accelerated Cadet Commissioning Training program (ACCT). ACCT consists of approximately 20 hours of seminar/class meetings to help prospective nurse cadets to "catch up" and be prepared to enter the final two years of Army ROTC. ACCT is taught here on campus and can be conducted in the summer or in the early fall.

If you are a College of Nursing student, or prospective CON student, and are interested in learning more about the opportunity to serve as an Army Nurse, please feel free to email or call for an appointment with the Scholarship and Enrollment Officer, Mr. Robert Sullivan, at 517.353.3484.