Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in nursing may have the option to join an Air Force ROTC program at their school or a nearby partner school. Participating nursing students can apply for up to full tuition coverage in exchange for being commissioned into the U.S. Air Force upon graduation. This article describes the specifics of a few of the country's AFROTC nursing programs.
|School Name||Institution Type||Location||Tuition (in-state)*||Available Scholarships|
|Marquette University||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Milwaukee, WI||$39,900||Noncompetitive nursing scholarships|
|Villanova University||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Villanova, PA||$51,284||2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships and monthly stipend|
|Ohio State University||4-year, Public||Columbus, OH||$10,592||Special nursing scholarships available|
|Howard University||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Washington D.C.||$25,697||Partial and full scholarships|
|New Mexico State University||4-year, Public||Las Cruces, NM||$6,461||2-, 3- and 4-year scholarships and monthly stipend|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
Overview of Air Force ROTC Nursing Colleges
Alongside their nursing degree requirements, cadets will participate in physical fitness and leadership training and take aeronautical science courses, all designed to prepare them for future careers as nurses in the Air Force. Some schools are home to both a nursing school and an AFROTC program, and others are in cross-town partnerships to offer their nursing students a chance to join the AFROTC of a nearby school.
Nursing students at Marquette University get to take advantage of numerous learning resources and a vibrant city culture. One such resource is the school's Healthcare Center for Simulation that provides a realistic environment for practicing clinical skills. Qualified nursing students at Marquette receive a noncompetitive scholarship sponsored by the university to complete their degree, and will commission into the Air Force when they graduate. Students will learn leadership skills and get continuous leadership practice while they complete their coursework.
Villanova University is a Roman-Catholic liberal arts school in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The College of Nursing has been deemed a Center for Excellence in Nursing Education, and emphasizes academic rigor, global learning, and research and leadership opportunities for its students. Nursing students at Villanova who want to participate in Air Force ROTC can do so through a cross-town partnership with nearby Saint Joseph's University. Saint Joseph's is the only AFROTC detachment in the Philadelphia area, hosting a large and diverse mix of students from 23 surrounding schools. Villanova participants complete all of their bachelor's degree coursework on Villanova's campus, but travel to Saint Joseph's for aeronautical studies classes, physical fitness training and leadership training.
Ohio State University
As Ohio State University is one of the country's biggest schools, there are myriad degree programs and student organization options. Air Force ROTC is one of the many on-campus activities offered by the university, as either an academic elective or to earn a military commission. Nursing students who wish to participate in AFROTC can apply to receive tuition scholarships with living stipends, and agree to serve for four years in the Air Force Nurse Corps once they pass their licensing exams. While a student, they can gain practical nursing experience at the Ohio State University Medical Center, which has been voted one of 'America's Best Hospitals' for 18 consecutive years.
Howard University is a Historically-Black University, and is committed to this day to providing higher education to diverse, underrepresented groups. As a school in Washington D.C., many students have the chance to intern or work in the capitol in legislation, policy, law and other political sectors. The Air Force Detachment at Howard services a number of other schools in the D.C. area as well, and cadets typically spend 6-7 hours per week engaged in formal AFROTC activities on the Howard campus. Nursing is one of the Detachment's preferred majors, along with foreign language and STEM majors. As such, nursing students at Howard University, particularly those with a strong academic record, are in a good position to compete for Air Force scholarships.
New Mexico State University
The School of Nursing at New Mexico State University pays special attention to the state's multicultural heritage and its proximity to the national border, offering unique nurse education opportunities as a result. Prospective nursing AFROTC students will take four semesters of prerequisite classes and then apply for a place in the School of Nursing. Because of the demand and course load for nursing students, the AFROTC nursing program is typically five years long. Cadets will take aerospace studies classes in addition to the nursing curriculum, and participate in both physical fitness training and leadership training. After passing the final licensing exams, New Mexico State cadets are placed in the Air Force Nurse Transition Program for several weeks as their first assignment, to ease into military life.