Navy ROTC Nurse Option Question


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Jan 31, 2009
I received a Navy ROTC scholarship with the nurse option. My recruiter told me that it's a little different from Marine and traditional Navy ROTC. He could not tell me any differences besides their are fewer Naval Science course to take. Are their any cadets out there to help explain the difference. I will be attending Univ. of Memphis. I reviewed the other threads and did not see any on this topic. Any help would be appreciated.

I hope I can answer some questions for you. I am by no means an expert, but many of my closest friends at my unit are NROTC nurse options.

As a nurse option, you take some of the naval science courses, specifically Intro to Naval Science (the first one), History of Seapower (the second one), and Organization and Management (the third one). After this, you are not required to take any naval science courses until your ethics seminar the semester before you commission.

There is a bit of a difference in terms of summer cruises too. For your first summer cruise after your freshman year, instead of going to CORTRAMID with the rest of your 3/C buddies, you will be aboard a ship for a few weeks. This will most likely be either on an amphib or a carrier attached to their medical department. You do not get a cruise after your sophomore year. Then before your senior year, your summer cruise will be at a naval hospital.

This is about all I know. If you have any more questions about being a nurse option or NROTC in general let me know. Like I said, some of my closest friends are nurse options and I'm sure one of them would be more than willing to answer any questions you may have.

You have helped tremendously. I want nothing worse than to be a Nurse, but was a little cloudy on how to balance college courses along with my Naval responsibilities. Just a few questions that you or some of your nurse options may answer.

1. When you say a few weeks on a ship, (I do not have a clue) am I going to be (from experience of others) on a ship that is at port, or will I get to actually travel after my freshmen year?

2. Does the nurse option midshipmen have the same comradrie as other midshipmen, mainly because there is fewer Naval Science courses?

3. What do nurses after there sophmore year?

I'm glad I could help you. Your unit staff will understand that as a nurse option you will have clinicals that will occupy your time going into your later years in school and will be more than willing to help you maintain a balance between academic and naval commitments.

To answer your first question, when I say you will be on a ship integrated into their medical department, I mean you will be on a ship going somewhere underway. One of my nurse option friends was aboard an amphib in South America for six weeks where he visited Panama and various other ports in the region. Another nurse option friend was aboard an amphib going from San Diego to Hawaii. She got to spend a week in San Diego and a week in Hawaii at each end of her cruise, which from what she tells me was amazing! Yet another nurse option friend island hopped around Japan and Asia for a few weeks. These are just a few examples of nurse option cruises you could get. So simply put, no you will not be sitting in port counting down the days until you go home. You will be underway working with corpsmen and medical staff getting to see exciting places and ports. You will most definitely get to travel after your freshman year.

The nurse options, at least at my unit do have the same comraderie with the other midshipmen, but it takes more effort on their part for this to exist. They are not around the unit as much as those of us going Marine option or Navy option, so they simply do not generally get as closely integrated into the unit. That being said, some of my best friends so far in college are nurse options, so yes you will make close friends at your unit. It does take some extra effort to stay connected with unit activities though, particularly junior and senior years when you will be doing clinicals. Keep in mind that the amount of camraderie between nurse and Navy/Marine options varies unit to unit. At the end of the day however, we are all future officers in the United States Navy and Marine Corps, even if we plan on serving differently.

After your sophomore year as a nurse option you have no Navy commitment. Summer cruises are only provided after your freshman and junior years for nurse options. Many nurse options use this time to take summer nursing classes or simply enjoy a summer free of commitments. Which ever route you go is up to you, but from the Navy side, there is no summer cruise commitment.

I hope this answers your questions! Please feel free to ask away if there is anything else you would like to know; I would be glad to help.
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Thanks for all the info, its good to know that there are other nurse option candidate. We definitely seem to be in the minority in most detachments. I cannot wait until my to go on a cruise.