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  • School of Nursing
    Main Campus

  • Harrisburg Campus

    • 3800 Vartan Way
    • Harrisburg, PA 17110-9742
    • tel: 717-541-1947

Military Options, Nursing

Students in the School of Nursing at Widener have opportunities to further their skills and potential careers through military experiences.

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)

The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) provides an opportunity for college nursing students to receive practical, hands-on leadership experience. The courses provide a chance for students to develop management, communication, and decision-making skills in a nonthreatening environment. Physical training and confidence-building activities (such as rappelling and obstacle courses) also provide a chance for students to be physically and mentally challenged.

Students who are interested in obtaining a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from Widener University may enroll in ROTC. Students may enroll as a freshman, sophomore, or when entering their junior year. Upon completion of the program, students are commissioned as officers in the United States Army.

Two-, three-, and four-year scholarships are available to nursing students going to schools affiliated with ROTC programs. Students can participate in ROTC as a nonscholarship-contracted cadet and receive the monthly stipend during their junior and senior years. 

Nurse Summer Training Program (NSTP)

The Nurse Summer Training Program is a clinical elective conducted the summer between junior and senior year. There are several army hospitals in the continental United States, Hawaii, and Germany that are NSTP sites. During NSTP, students receive one-on-one experience under the direct supervision of a preceptor—an Army Nurse Corps officer. Students are introduced to the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of a new officer in the Army Nurse Corps while gaining progressive experience and leadership opportunities in a clinical setting.


Students are commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants in the United States Army upon graduation. After passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), students then attend the Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, prior to reporting to their first assignment. During the nine-week BOLC program, students study basic army knowledge and the functioning of an army unit. First assignments, which are determined by evaluating college performance, ROTC standing, and personal preferences, can be one of the nine major army medical centers in the continental United States, Hawaii, or Germany.

Once the Army Nurse Residency Program is completed and one year on active duty is served, participants are eligible to attend a clinical specialty course of their choice. Currently, the course choices are Perioperative Nursing, Critical Care Nursing, Obstetrical and Gynecological Nursing, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, Emergency Nursing, and Public Health Nursing. As a member of the Army Nurse Corps, one also has the opportunity to apply for fully funded master’s degree programs, such as family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, nurse widwife, anesthesia nursing, MSN/clinical curse specialist, and the Baylor Health Care administration program.

Service Obligation

Scholarship recipients: The total service obligation is eight years, of which the first four are active duty. At the completion of the first four years, the remaining four years may be completed on active duty, in an Army Reserve (drilling) unit, or in the Individual Ready Reserve (non-drilling).

Nonscholarship recipients: The total service obligation is eight years. The active duty service commitment will be three years. At the completion of the first three years, one may elect to continue on active duty or enter the Army Reserves/IRR for the remaining five years.

Application Procedures

Four-year scholarship applications: Applications are available online at, or to receive a copy by mail, call 1-800-USA-ROTC.

Two-and three-year scholarship applications are normally completed by college freshmen and sophomores. Applications are available at the Army ROTC or Military Science Department on your university or college campus [Major Keith Karbel, 610-490-7035,].