Being a nursing major might seem difficult enough, but for some students, they must balance their studies with the demands of ROTC.
Recruiting Flight Commander and Associate Professor of Aerospace Studies First Lt. Patrick Kerr said that the ROTC nursing students have to balance their nursing curriculum with the requirements from their ROTC program.
The TCU Department of Aerospace Studies said they have four nursing major cadets and the TCU Department of Military Services said there are 21 nursing major Army cadets.
Kerr said that the cadets in nursing are treated like any other cadet. On top of their nursing studies, the cadets learn the military decorum, proper drill and ceremonies, military history and leadership.
“It is a little different because their curriculum is a little different,” Kerr said. “We have to make special accommodations for them, but they’re still normal cadets.”
First-year nursing major and Air Force ROTC cadet Andrea Jumper said she is able to participate in a large majority of what the ROTC program has to offer, but is unable to partake in everything because the nursing program is so demanding.
“It’s extremely difficult,” Jumper said. “Doable, but difficult.”
Jumper said her schedule typically alternates between studying for her nursing classes and studying for ROTC with her Thursdays dedicated solely to ROTC.
“Because the nursing major is so time consuming, I’m not able to study for ROTC as much as I would like or participate in as many ROTC activities as I would like,” said Jumper.
Kerr said that the ROTC programs allow the cadets to set up their schedules so their nursing requirements do not interfere with ROTC, with upperclassman clinicals taking precedence due to clinical’s inflexibility.
Several students in both programs say the time-consuming aspects of being involved in both programs does have its benefits.
Kerr said that after graduation, Air Force ROTC nurses go to Air Force-specific nursing training.
After the cadets fully complete their training and choose their nursing specialty, ROTC cadets could become a nurse on a base or will become a flight nurse, evacuating injured soldiers to the nearest hospitals and providing medical attention along the way.
First-year nursing major and Air Force ROTC cadet Gabrielle Hornilla said she hopes to become a flight nurse on a helicopter or plane.
“I think it’s a little more exciting to travel to different places,” said Hornilla, “Going to different countries in general would be a lot more fun than staying in one place.”
Hornilla was a member of Junior ROTC in high school and she has wanted to be a ROTC cadet for some time.
“I love helping people and I wanted to do something with my country,” Hornilla said.
Among other benefits, TCU Air Force ROTC and Army ROTC nursing graduates will graduate as an Air Force or Army nurse in addition to earning the position of an officer.