College named Center of Excellence for Nursing by US Army

The College of Nursing has been named a “Center of Excellence for Nursing” by the United States Army, which is aiming to steer more cadets into the nursing profession as part of a national push to increase the number of nurses in the military.


The designation, which was given to one school per state, means that the College of Nursing is the preferred destination for Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets in Ohio interested in nursing.


Lt. Col. James Bunyak pins the nursing corps insignia on Cadet Olivia Wood“Through this innovative partnership, the College of Nursing and ROTC are going to be able to work today to identify, recruit and train transformational nurse leaders,’’ said Wendy Bowles, PhD, RN, CPNP, assistant professor of clinical nursing and assistant dean for baccalaureate programs. “We’ll be counting on the excellent ROTC program to train the cadets in leadership skills and ROTC will be counting on us for our continued excellent clinical and academic preparation.”


Typically one to three recruits graduate every year from the College of Nursing with bachelor’s degrees. Every recruit admitted to the College of Nursing so far has maintained the G.P.A. requirements, graduated and passed the nursing licensure exam, said Lt. Col. Jim Bunyak, director of the Army ROTC program at Ohio State.


“The College of Nursing is trying to get a well-rounded cohort, and ROTC cadets have all the leadership skills and competencies that the College of Nursing is looking for,’’ Bunyak said.


“We’ve got to have quality healthcare providers to take care of the military, the family of that soldier and veterans,” Bunyak said.


All recruits admitted to Ohio State are given academic advising, offered tutoring and required to attend a study session every week until graduation.


“We have a support structure and a vested interest in each and every one of our cadets to help them succeed,’’ Bunyak said.


Outside of the nursing program at Ohio State, ROTC students at the university also do well academically and as leaders at the university.


A recent ROTC standout is Second Lieutenant Olivia Wood, who was admitted to the College of Nursing in 2012. Having come from a high school in a small, rural town just east of Youngstown, she found the College of Nursing to be challenging, but the support she received from ROTC helped her excel.


Wood graduated in 2015 from the College of Nursing and was the first in her family to get a college degree. Now a surgical nurse at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, she loves her position and aspires to eventually work in the emergency department.


“I can never be more grateful for the opportunities that I had at Ohio State,’’ said Wood.