Joining Air Force As A Nurse – Capt. John Davis, a clinical nurse, and Senior Airman Samantha Brunner, a space medical service traveler, troubleshoot a space pump at Joint Base Ballard, Iraq in November 2008 to check the IV pump fitting for any blockages. Airmen prepared patients for an aeromedical evacuation flight. The Air Force is now accepting applications from conscripted Airmen who wish to become nurses and earn their commissions. (Airman 1st Class Jason Epley/Air Force)
The opportunity is open for active-duty Airmen to apply to be nurses and earn their positions as lieutenants, the Air Force said in a statement Friday.
Joining Air Force As A Nurse
Airmen have until Feb. 21, 2020 to submit their applications — including video interviews — to the Nursing Enlisted Commissioner program, the Air Force said. Applications must be submitted via myPers with video interview instructions and questions.
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“Qualified, dedicated nurses are critical to the military and civilian communities,” said Master Sgt. Michael McCabe, noncommissioned officer in charge of the Air Force Personnel Center’s Nursing Division. “Candidates are screened to identify those who are willing to take on responsibility and have the best chance of succeeding in school and in the workplace.”
Through this program, enlisted Airmen can earn a nursing degree from a college or university that has an Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps or enter into a municipal contract with a nearby school that has an ROTC program. Applicants attend a boarding school for up to 24 consecutive months throughout the year, including the summer courses.
The selection committee is scheduled to take place at the end of April, the Air Force said. Airmen selected by this panel will begin their training in fall 2020.
A UK hospital hires Air Force spouses to work as registered nurses. A program aims to address some of the challenges of the recertification process, such as cost.
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Airmen are deployed after completing their studies, passing the National Board Licensing Exam and earning a nursing license. They then participate in commissioned officer training and the Nurse Transition Program before moving on to their final assignment.
New this year is the requirement to submit a video interview with a pilot’s full application, the press release said.
To be eligible, an applicant must be a US citizen and hold at least the rank of Airman First Class. Although the Air Force may grant an exemption, by July 30, 2020, the applicant must have no more than 10 years of active federal service. And an applicant must meet station time and custody requirements, have current security clearances, and be authorized to serve anywhere in the world. To be eligible, candidates must be able to meet the designation requirements at the age of 42.
The Air Force also tightened the rules this year so that fewer candidates are interviewed. Senior Nurses will now only interview candidates whose eligibility has been confirmed.
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“In the past, aviators could schedule an interview before confirming their suitability,” McCabe said. “This year the team here will complete the package and verify eligibility and then notify the aviator and head nurse on site that they can go in for the interview.”
Stephen Losey is an air warfare correspondent for Defense News. He previously reported on leadership and personnel issues for the Air Force Times and the Pentagon, and on special operations and air warfare for Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover US Air Force operations.
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Expeditionary Air Base Groups begin deployment in October. Beginning in October, the Air Force will begin deploying new groups, called Expeditionary Air Base Groups, to replace the Air Expeditionary Wings overseas.
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Students who wish to pursue a career in healthcare and are interested in military service may consider a nursing career with the US Air Force. To become a registered nurse in the Air Force, nurses must have a license and qualification to practice, and US citizens must be.
To join the Air Force for a nursing position, all registered nurses must earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a school accredited by the National Nurses Association or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
RNs who have a graduate or associate degree but are considering a career in the Air Force should learn about RN-to-BSN or RN-to-MSN programs. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, these programs allow nurses to advance to advanced degrees at an accelerated pace while providing credit for their prior education and experience. Accelerated programs are available in the United States for students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field.
The Air Force Recruiting Service considers factors such as grade point average, experience, character, and leadership qualities. All line-up officer candidates meet with a recruiter and undergo a mental, physical, and moral screening to ensure they meet standards set by the government and Air Force.
Air Force Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program
Once accepted, applicants remain in a delayed entry program to begin their officer training. The length of the wait is dependent on the current availability of Air Force RN positions.
Since RNs are required to have a college degree to join the Air Force, they are eligible to become direct commissioned officers. Between induction and formal enlistment, RNs complete five weeks of COT training to learn about the military and its healthcare system. Specifically designed for professionals transitioning from civilian life, this training combines classroom and leadership studies. In addition, the trainees receive physical training five days a week.
There are many specialties for Air Force nurses including critical care, mental health, flight nurse and neonatal nurse. Like officers at all levels, the Air Force provides training and funding opportunities for nurses, including training in areas such as specialty grants and in-flight nursing and healthcare optimization.
RNs can pursue advanced degrees in subjects such as midwifery, community health and health administration. You can continue your education at the Air Force Institute of Technology and take advantage of various education laws and tuition funding programs, such as the Health Professions Scholarship Program.
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Air Force health professionals are paid based on a combination of years of experience and military rank. For example, a healthcare lieutenant with two years or less of experience earns $3,787.50 per month, while a colonel with six years of experience earns $8,145.30 per month. For the complete Air Force salary schedule, visit the Air Force Salaries and Benefits website.
According to the May 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. top 10 percent earned more than $111,220 in 2019.
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