April 12, 2017 2:45PM
Army ROTC has designated the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing at Pittsburg State University as a Cadet Command Nursing Center of Excellence. U.S. Army ROTC representatives visited the School of Nursing on Tuesday, where they made the announcement.
Only a small number of nursing programs in the U.S. achieve Cadet Command Nursing Center of Excellence status, which is based both on academic excellence and the relationship between the nursing program and ROTC. PSU’s is the only Cadet Command Nursing Center of Excellence in Kansas.
The Center of Excellence designation gives priority to PSU students for nursing scholarships from the Army Cadet Command for this region. Additionally, ROTC students are guaranteed two seats in the upper-division nursing program at PSU each year.
Col. Andrew Morgado, commander of the 3rd Army ROTC Brigade, said the Army developed the concept of centers of excellence as a way to meet the growing demand for Army nurses.
“If the Army wants quality nurses, it has to go to where real quality nurses reside,” Morgado said.
Morgado said this week’s designation of PSU as a Cadet Command Nursing Center of Excellence was not the beginning of a great partnership, but the continuation of a longstanding one.
“I would be hard pressed to find another institution that supports its ROTC program like Pittsburg State supports theirs,” Morgado said.
“Credit for this achievement goes to the faculty and staff in both the School of Nursing and ROTC for the way they work together for the benefit of our students. It’s the Gorilla way,” PSU President Steve Scott said.
Morgado said ROTC cadets in the nursing program have undertaken a big challenge.
“It’s an incredible challenge to become an Army officer and it’s an incredible challenge to become a nurse,” Morgado said. “We ask our young men and women to do both at the same time. We’re asking them to be a professional twice.”
Scott said the collaboration between nursing and ROTC is a natural one.
“The students in these two academic programs share more than one might think,” Scott said.
“For example, many of the students who choose nursing as a career do so not just because it is an interesting and challenging career with good job prospects. For many, it is a calling. It’s a mission. They are drawn to nursing because it is an opportunity to serve others and make a difference in the world.
“Much the same can be said of those who choose Army ROTC. Yes, there are many benefits, and we encourage students to consider those. But ask any cadet and you will likely hear about their desire to serve their nation. They also have a mission and they also want to make a difference.
“For some, these two callings overlap and we celebrate them, today.”