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Incentives for Nurses

Realistic, attainable incentives were looked at for implementation to support the battalion cadre to supplement the scholarship incentive in their recruitment campaign. The following items, along with explanations, are available to supplement the tuition assistance now being offered to nursing majors. As with scholarship payments, the reimbursement process for the following incentives comes under the review of the battalion commander. Requests for reimbursable fees will be submitted to Resource Management at Headquarters, Cadet Command, for processing.

Book allowance: Presently, the book allowance is at $1,200 per year divided between semesters. For nurse cadets, the total book allowance will be paid at the beginning of the fall semester. This action will allow the cadet to purchase the high-cost reference books required for the year at the beginning of the fall semester.

Nurse Malpractice Insurance: Many schools of nursing require their students to obtain student nurse liability (malpractice) insurance prior to beginning their clinical experience and hands-on patient care. All costs and fees associated with this yearly expense are reimbursable.

Immunization and testing prior to beginning clinical training: All fees incurred by a cadet to meet mandatory immunization and/or laboratory testing required before coming in contact with patients are reimbursable. This includes but not limited to PPD, Hepatitis A/B, Tetanus and HIV screening.

Allowance for nursing uniforms and clinical supplies: A major financial expense at the beginning of a student's clinical experience is the purchase of unique nursing uniforms for their school of nursing and associated equipment. Dependent on the school's requirements, the cost can exceed $400. Therefore, there is a one-time payment to cover the cost of the required number of school of nursing uniforms (three max), lab coat (one) and shoes (two max). Accessories and equipment include, but are not limited to a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, penlight, tape measure, bandage scissors, forceps, pocket/belt carrying pouch, clipboard and, if required, clinical bag for community health visits.

Clinical nursing fee: Dependent on the school of nursing, there may be an additional fee for the use and upkeep of the "learning lab" area. This is an area within the School of Nursing that is set up like a hospital ward with bed, equipment and patient care models. Basic nursing theory and concepts, i.e., injections and bed baths, are practiced in this area before performing the skills on real patients. Also included in the fee is the cost for CPR certification required prior to entering a hospital setting

NCLEX-RN review course (even offered to non-scholarship students): For the nurse cadet to become a professional Registered Nurse (RN), they must take and successfully pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). An officer must pass the exam and hold a valid license before being accessed into the Army Nurse Corps. The knowledge used to pass this exam comes from years of attending classes within the School of Nursing. To assist a student to focus their studies and provide a general refresher of their nursing knowledge, many schools offer an NCLEX review course. Many times, a school of nursing will present this review as a non-credit elective during the last semester before graduation. There are also many private educational corporations that offer the review course in larger cities nationwide. The cost range is $250 - $400.

There are two methods of requesting reimbursement for this program. The preferred method is a review course offered through the school of nursing. The cost of the course is listed as an additional fee charged through the University for the semester in which the course takes place. If the school does not offer an NCLEX-RN review course, the nurse cadet may take one provided by an educational corporation such as Kaplan. This review course will be paid for only one time. The nurse cadet does not have to take the review course prior to graduation, but the cadet must schedule it and then pay for it prior to graduation. Scholarship nurse cadet payments are processed through CCIMS/Scholarship Tracking Module. Non-scholarship nurse cadet payments are processed through the IMPAC credit card.

NCLEX-RN Testing Fee: A $200 processing fee is charged to cover the test center cost of administering the exam. No earlier than 60 days prior to graduation and no later than 30 days prior to graduation, the PMS will submit a request to Cadet Command for $200 to cover the cost of the cadet taking the NCLEX-RN. This process will allow the cadet to take advantage of this incentive while meeting the requirement for payment prior to graduation. The testing fee will only be reimbursed for the first attempt.

Please note this reimbursement does not include the fee charged by each state to process the license application. This fee ranges from $25 to $75 dependent on the state. Each nurse will be required to renew their license through their particular state either annually or biennially (dependent on state law). It is a professional responsibility to obtain and maintain a license to practice nursing. Cadet Command will not reimburse this cost.

Extension of benefits for mandatory summer sessions: The majority of nursing programs throughout the United States offer their required curriculum during the fall and spring semesters. However, there are a few schools that require students to attend specific courses during the summer between the sophomore and junior years and/or junior and senior years. For cadets taking an optional summer session to reduce their academic course load and to keep aligned with projected mission sets, an extension of scholarship benefits for summer tuition is required.

For cadets required to take mandatory summer coursework, CC allows the school to submit a request for payment without filing for an extension of benefits. Resource Management will pay the tuition and fees after cross-referencing the request with a list of schools and courses that are mandatory for academic progression.

Please review these incentives and, working with your school of nursing influencers, identify how they can make an impact on the recruitment and retention of your nurse cadets.

Finally, please remember that payment of educational fees is prohibited after the cadet graduates and commissions.