Scholarship nursing students at heart of ROTC

Abby Fisher

Cadets pump through classes, leadership labs

No one said being a nursing major is easy. But for freshman ROTC cadet Samantha Hoffman, nursing is just what the doctor ordered.

Hoffman is on full scholarship and has always been interested in doing something related to science.

“In high school, I wanted to do forensics,” she said. “After I spoke to Maj. Paydock though, I decided to go for nursing.”

Maj. Joe Paydock, the ROTC enrollment and scholarship officer, said he has an unlimited number of scholarships for nursing majors.

“As long as they meet the requirements, there is no set limit for the amount we can award,” he said.

The Army ROTC offers two-, three- and four-year scholarships for students. Each includes tuition, a $900 book allowance per year and a monthly stipend contingent on grades.

Hoffman said being both a nursing student and a ROTC cadet is a big time commitment.

“I would rather be busy all the time than have lots of down time,” she said.

Cadets must participate in physical training twice a week, as well as take a leadership lab and course through ROTC.

“Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming,” she said. “But ROTC does a good job of working around my class schedule.”

Paydock said one of his goals is making sure cadets finish their degrees.

“We will bend over backwards to help students,” he said. “Clinicals will always take priority over lab — but there are things cadets must do to make that up.”

Freshman nursing major James Sandine said Kent State’s nursing program is rigorous.

“Before I was a freshman, I didn’t know what it was going to be like,” he said. “But since I’m a cadet, I will get more experience opportunities than regular nursing majors.”

Sandine must be up and ready to go by 6:30 a.m. This helps him get ready for Biological Structure and Function — a class of 380 students that begins at 7:45 a.m.

“It’s a good motivation to work hard,” Sandine said.

Sandine, along with other first-year cadets, has a mentor who is also in ROTC.

“Mine is really encouraging,” Sandine said. “They want you to do well here.”

Paydock said the need for Army nurses increases with a nation at war.

“We need qualified people on the ground,” he said. “Nurses aren’t dodging bullets.”

The nurses who serve abroad now work in base hospitals caring for wounded soldiers.

He added that nurses in the Army aren’t always sent abroad, either. Paydock said nurses are needed nationwide for both returning and retired veterans who are utilizing military health care.

Once Hoffman and Sandine graduate, they will be commissioned officers in the Army and will serve four years of active duty.

Hoffman said she was not sure if she wanted to become a career Army nurse.

“I know that whatever I do, I will be able to move up in the field quickly – mostly because of the experience from four years of service.”

For more information about Army ROTC scholarships, visit

Contact ROTC reporter Abby Fisher at [email protected].