UNITED STATES AIR FORCE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
NURSE CORPS NURSE CORPS
Nurse Transition Program (NTP), Fully Qualified Nurse Clinical (NC) & Nurse
Specialist (NCS), Healthcare Professionals Scholarship Program (HPSP)
Darek ―Sharky‖ Malone
Technical Sergeant, USAF Health Professions Nurse Corps Recruiter
th4600 SE 29 St, Ste 356
Del City, OK 73115-3430
Office: (405) 670-1866
Fax: (405) 672-2332
Table of Contents
; Air Force Nursing
; Features &Benefits
; Nurse Specialties
; Educational Programs
; Assignment Locations
; Medical Group Descriptions
; Officer Ranks
; Pay & Entitlements
; Career Path Options
; Frequently Asked Questions
; Commissioned Officer Training
; Recruiting Programs
; Qualifications & Applications Process
; Required Documentation
Air Force Nursing
Respect and Prestige: You’ve set high goals for yourself, so why settle for anything less? You can be part of the best healthcare program in the world. With our on-going research and new technology development, you’ll join the Air Force’s top-notch medical
teams in providing the highest quality care to your patients.
As an Air Force Nurse, you’ll gain the respect of your civilian
colleagues and your military co-workers. You’ll become a vital
member of our medical team. Whether you’re in college
pursuing your nursing degree or currently working in nursing,
you decided to enter this profession because you care about
people and want to make a difference in the world.
It’s those very same skills and compassion that Air Force
Nursing needs today. The Air Force can help you achieve your
goals, follow your dreams and exceed any expectations you may imagine for yourself.
In caring for their patients while also serving as Air Force officers, our healthcare teams live by the Air Force’s core values of Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do. In return, the Air Force offers unique challenges, career growth, and educational opportunities. We’re also committed to providing you a quality of life and
stable work week that lets you devote more time for yourself, your family and your friends.
Lifestyle: Being an Air Force Nurse is a rewarding lifestyle. You’ll get to provide health-
care to active-duty members and their families using some of the most advanced equipment available.
You’ll get a great feeling knowing your skills are highly valued as a vital member of the
Air Force healthcare team. Our medical teams are passionate and compassionate about what they do. Not only will you get to practice your profession, you’ll also get to
shape your future as a leader while developing and using your skills as a commissioned officer and healthcare professional. You’ll also have the satisfaction of working with
some very talented officers and enlisted members who care about their patients as much as you do.
The world and different cultures await you. Your quest for adventure will take you places. While many of your civilian counterparts are stuck in a routine job with predictable hours, you can volunteer for assignments that include Europe and the Far East. Or, you can apply for jobs in Alaska to enjoy its hunting and fishing opportunities, or even Washington, D.C., for its great museums, intellectual forums and the historical sites of our nation’s beginnings. And the best part, as many Air Force people agree, is the lifelong friends you’ll make along the way in your military career, be it four years or thirty.
A comprehensive history of Air Force Nursing Services:
Within the Air Force, the practice of nursing by a registered nursing professional means assuming responsibility and accountability for these and other nursing actions:
; Diagnosing and treating human responses to actual or potential health conditions.
; Providing healthcare services in collaboration with other
health service personnel, including carrying out diagnostic
and therapeutic regimens prescribed by duly licensed
practitioners authorized to order such regimens.
; Teaching healthcare practices.
; Making a nursing diagnosis that identifies the needs of an
individual, family, or group.
; Administering a nursing treatment regimen through selection,
performance, and management of proper nursing practices.
; Administering, supervising, delegating, and evaluating nursing and medical
Our health professionals will tell you that participating in humanitarian missions brings a sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction in their lives. Whether providing medical are to survivors of a natural disaster, airlifting medical supplies to a third-world country or responding to an emergency request from a foreign government, Air Force medical personnel are ready to help wherever and whenever needed to save lives.
Features & Benefits
Air Force Nurses enter the military as officers with the same rank as physicians, leading to a more team-oriented environment. Besides a great job, education, and training…
consider these benefits:
Pay and compensation: Who doesn’t need a good income these days? The Air Force
strives to provide salaries that are competitive with those in the civilian sector. As you progress in your career, getting promoted and adding years to your military service time, your pay will increase. In addition, all military members may earn annual pay raises approved by Congress and the President. Your experience and education determines what rank you’ll enter the Air Force. Add in monthly food and housing allowances and you’ll make a comfortable living. Don’t forget the free medical and dental benefits you’d
pay for in the private sector for you and your family members.
Earn 30 days of vacation with pay each year: Beginning your very first year! You’ll
have lots of time to enjoy your off-duty time with family and friends at home or in another state or country. There are some really great vacation destinations too, like beach time at the Hale Koa Hotel in Hawaii, or skiing in Garmisch, Germany or golfing at Shades of Green in Orlando, Florida.
No loss of seniority when moving to other hospitals or clinics: No matter whether
you serve stateside or overseas, in a small clinic or large hospital. Air Force nurses have that advantage over their civilian counterparts. You can see the world and still earn your promotions and pay raises just like other Air Force personnel in non-healthcare professions. It’s that simple.
Tax-free housing and food allowances: Most of the time, you can choose to live on
base or in the local community. If you live in base housing, you do so rent free. If you live off-base, the Air Force provides you with a monthly housing allowance. You can still continue to use the on-base facilities such as restaurants and the grocery store no matter whether you live on base or off.
Comprehensive medical and dental care: Unlike the private sector, you won’t have to
wait for months to start using all facets of our medical and dental care the Air Force provides for its military members and their families. Think of the monthly savings you’ll
enjoy by not having to pay those very expensive healthcare premiums that your civilian counterparts, friends and neighbors have to deal with.
Insurance: You can purchase life insurance policies up to $400,000 for up to about $30 per month. If you are temporarily disabled due to illness or injury, you’ll still receive a
Live, work and travel overseas: What an opportunity it would be for you and your
family to see the world; maybe even live in a foreign country, and experience different ethnic cultures together! The Air Force can make it happen.
Home loans: As an Air Force member, or as a veteran, you’re eligible for low-cost
Veterans Administration backed home mortgage loans.
Thrift Savings Plan: TSP is a Federal Government-sponsored retirement savings and investment plan. It’s optional and is completely separate from the military pension. The plan offers the same type of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under ―401K‖ plans. You get a choice of investment funds and you
contribute from your own pay. The amount you contribute and the earnings attributable to your contributions belong to you, even if you don’t serve the years needed to receive
a military retirement.
Discount shopping at on-base grocery and department stores: Our commissaries
have a variety of fresh, frozen and packaged foods just like off-base supermarkets. Our base exchanges have the latest in clothing, electronics, jewelry, and household items, just to name a few. We even have gas stations on base too!
Family care while you’re at work: There are on-base child care centers for infants,
toddlers and young children. For near-teens and teens, the youth center has a variety of activities and regularly-scheduled programs to keep young people busy.
Recreation: Air Force bases have a variety of
morale, welfare and recreation programs,
including sports and fitness activities, to enjoy
all year long. In recent years, the Air Force has
made exercise and staying ―fit to fight‖ a top
priority. Our fitness centers have top-of-the-line
exercise equipment, swimming pools and
weight room plus we have tennis courts, golf
courses, camping areas, and varied fitness
classes for the entire family. Most bases also
have bowling alleys, movie theaters, youth
centers and even discount ticket offices where
you’ll get reduced prices for amusement parks,
live theater and movies.
Retirement: While civilian pension plans are
falling by the wayside or being totally cut, our
retirement plan is still one of the best programs
around. Plus, while you’re earning your pension, there are no payroll deductions for the Air Force’s retirement plan. With just 20 years of service with the Air Force, you’ll be
eligible for retirement. You could be as young as 38 years old and still, if you choose, have another 27 years or more to do something else! Of course, you can stay in the Air Force past 20 with the potential to retire at 75% base pay.
Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Activities: Provide conveniently located, low-
cost, professionally managed activities and entertainment. You and your dependents receive significant savings when you participate in programs that include golf, bowling, child development center, clubs, arts and crafts, outdoor recreation activities, equipment check-out, libraries, youth activities, hobby shops, recreation centers, aero clubs, etc.
Space Available Travel: Members on leave may travel on military aircraft at no cost.
Medical Surgical (Clinical) Nurse: Clinical medical surgical nurses are indispensable
members of Air Force medical teams. As a medical surgical nurse, you plan, implement and evaluate nursing care for both outpatients and inpatients along the health continuum. You will collaborate with all members of the team to ensure your patients and their families receive the finest state-of-the-art health care. A variety of assignments await you from working in a full size medical center including research, to working interdependently with medical providers in a small clinic. Medical surgical nurses are involved in every aspect of healthcare from bedside nursing, community initiatives, leadership, research, education and disaster preparedness, including deployment. Medical surgical nursing offers the widest variety of opportunities within healthcare.
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: (ACNP) is an advanced-practice registered nurse who
provides care to patients who are experiencing acute, critical, and complex episodic illnesses or injuries. The ACNP's scope of practice encompasses trauma, critical care and emergency service, as well as hospital-based specialty practices such as orthopedics, cardiology, neurology, oncology and infectious disease. The ACNP has completed a graduate-level program of specialized study that includes both didactic training and a minimum of 500 supervised clinical hours. National board certification and state licensure are subsequently required to begin independent practice. The ACNP's scope of practice includes: conducting a comprehensive history and physical exam, diagnostic reasoning, ordering and interpreting the full range of diagnostic tests, performance of invasive procedures, and prescriptive authority. The ACNP collaborates with the patient, family members, and other members of the health-care team to reach the best possible outcome for the patient.
Emergency Room Nurse: Emergency nursing crosses
multiple dimensions and includes the provision of care
that ranges from birth, death, injury prevention, women's
health, disease, and life and limb-saving measures.
Unique to emergency nursing practice is the application
of the nursing process to patients of all ages requiring
stabilization and/or resuscitation for a variety of illnesses
and injuries which occur in a variety of settings, including
during a contingency or natural disaster setting. These may require minimal care to life-support measures; patient, family, and significant other education; appropriate referral and discharge planning; and knowledge of legal implications. The emergency room nurse is a focal point at the crossroads of primary, secondary, and tertiary care, and on the wellness illness continuum. Emergency room nurses triage and use assessment skills during contingency operations as well as peacetime, to save life and limb. ACLS, BLS, required, Trauma Nurse Course highly encouraged.
Critical Care Nurse: A critical care nurses manages complex critically ill and injured adults to children. As a critical care nurse, you will use state-of-the-art equipment on the ground and in the air and assist with transport of critically injured soldiers during a contingency. Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and basic life support (BLS) are required. Advanced education is encouraged throughout your career.
Mental Health Nurse: Mental health nurses are crucial to the recovery of their patients. In this assignment, you will provide services to promote and maintain optimal mental health, manage mental and physical disorders and diagnose and treat human responses to actual or potential mental health problems. You will work with individuals, families, groups and communities to assess mental health needs, develop diagnoses and plans and implement and evaluate nursing care. You will also monitor patients undergoing detoxification from alcohol and drugs, assist in planning, providing and evaluating comprehensive mental health services and support, conduct and use nursing research to improve health-care delivery. As a mental health nurse you may manage inpatient care units, provide case management, and work with
members in the deployed setting.
Neonatal Nurse: An Air Force neonatal nurse is a medical
surgical nurse who works primarily in the neonatal intensive
care unit (NICU). As a neonatal nurse, you will assess, plan,
supervise and ensure that quality care is given to neonatal
patients (ages 0-30 days) with multiple pathologies, including medical and surgical diagnosis. You will attend high-risk deliveries, as well as perform all functions of a medical surgical nurse while managing resources during multiple admissions and discharges. Depending on the NICU to which you are assigned, you may care for infants on high-frequency oscillator ventilators or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and assist in neonatal aeromedical evacuation (transport) missions. You will be responsible for using highly specialized equipment; assigning duties to subordinates; and providing psychological, social and educational support to parents and family members. All Air Force neonatal nurses must acquire and maintain certification in basic life support (BLS) and the neonatal resuscitation program (NRP).
Nurse Anesthetist: (CRNA) ensures that all operations and
surgeries are as painless as possible. In this role, you will
administer anesthetic agents to patients and monitor their
reactions to anesthesia and surgery. You will also provide or
supervise postoperative recovery care. Your responsibilities will
include the management of the anesthesia department. You
will provide or supervise services in support of patients with
respiratory care requirements. You will also assist with the
training of personnel in venipuncture and intravenous therapy, respiratory care, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and anesthesia under the direction of a medical officer. Your responsibilities include performing preoperative evaluations and preparations, administering anesthetics and advising the anesthesiologist of adverse reactions necessitating nondelegated medical decisions.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: (PMHNP) provides comprehensive
psychiatric mental health care to the adult military population, retirees, and their significant others between the ages of 18 and 65. The PMHNP interfaces and collaborates with other professional to insure appropriate and coordinated multidisciplinary patient evaluation and treatment. PMHNP functions independently and in collaboration with credentialed health providers. Also serves as a role model and consultant to staff in the provision of psychiatric care, education, and research.
Nurse Practitioner: NP) is a privileged provider in one of five specialty areas: family (FNP), women's health (WHNP), pediatric (PNP), psychiatric mental health (PMHNP) and acute care (ACNP). NPs provide comprehensive healthcare to military members, retirees and families in practice settings ranging from solo practice in small clinics to group practice at large medical centers around the globe. ACNPs have the opportunity to perform in the role of hospitalist at inpatient facilities. Within a privileged scope of care, NPs obtain medical histories; perform physical exams; diagnose and manage acute and chronic illnesses; order and interpret diagnostic tests; prescribe treatment, including drug therapy; and perform minor office procedures. In addition, NPs coach, mentor and train other healthcare professionals in the specialty and actively participate in making improvements to patient care. Entry-level preparation for an Air Force NP is a master's degree and national certification as applicable for the specialty. Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and basic life support (BLS) certifications are also required.
Nurse-Midwife: On the front lines of women's health in the Air Force is the certified nurse-midwife. The certified nurse-midwife provides comfort, support and expertise in medical-midwifery care during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum. Functioning in this role you will independently manage women's health care with emphasis on the maternity cycle and practice in collaboration with an obstetrician/gynecologist or family practice physician.
Obstetric Nurse: (OB) you assess, plan, implement, supervise
and evaluate quality care given to obstetrical/neonatal patients
and families. Assignment opportunities exist both in the States
and overseas. Depending on the unit to which you are
assigned, you may care for high risk OB patients, level II
nursery patients, circulate for cesarean sections, or add
medical-surgical patients to your OB duties on a single unit
inpatient care ward. OB nurses are integral parts of OB care
teams and work with certified midwives, physicians, neonatologists, pediatricians, medical surgical nurse specialists and others to provide management of acute and chronic illnesses as well as low risk obstetrical care. All Air Force Obstetric Nurses must acquire and maintain certification in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP).
Operating Room Nurse: The operating room nurse is on the
front line of the most complex lifesaving procedures. You will
be responsible for planning, directing and coordinating
activities of the operating room department. An operating room
nurse provides professional nursing care to patients
undergoing surgery, prepares and maintains the operating
room for all surgical procedures and assembles the type and
quantity of materials and special equipment needed for daily
procedures and possible emergencies. You will conduct both preoperative and postoperative visits with your patients. You will also coordinate with other hospital units, which may include recovery room, intensive care, obstetrics and nursing units, to ensure your patients' progress.
Pediatric Nurse: As an Air Force pediatric nurse, you'll be a valued member of the child healthcare team, teaching prenatal classes and providing newborn care in the nursery, as well as conducting in-hospital postpartum instruction for patients and their spouses about their new babies. You'll conduct well-baby clinics and provide healthcare consultation to preschool and childcare centers. You'll also provide health screening and counseling to school-age children and adolescents. An important aspect of your role will be diagnosing and managing common acute childhood illnesses in children of all ages. Your special area of interest or clinical expertise may provide you the chance to care for children with special medical problems
in conjunction with a pediatrician or other
specialist. Or you may care for children with
school/learning difficulties or more complex
neonatal problems. You may also be involved in
research. You'll have many opportunities to
participate in continuing education programs. You
may also qualify for Air Force-sponsored graduate
study. To qualify you must have a bachelor's
degree in nursing and have completed an
accredited nursing program acceptable to the Air
Force surgeon general. A master's degree in
nursing is preferred.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner: PNP) is a privileged provider in the specialty of
Pediatrics. PNPs are registered nurses who have obtained advanced education, training, and certification to practice independently and collaboratively to provide primary health care to pediatric clients. PNPs provide medical assessment, treatment, education, health promotion, and prevention to individuals, families, and the community. PNPs practice independently and collaboratively with physicians providing comprehensive healthcare for well and sick children from birth to adolescence and are an integral, active member of the pediatric healthcare team, caring for neonates, infants, children, and adolescents up to age 21 yrs. Education requirements include graduation from an accredited baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN) and completion of an approved and accredited Master's Degree (MSN or MS) prepared pediatric nurse practitioner program. Licensure is required as an RN from at least one US jurisdictions. In addition, national certification through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is required. Basic Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support certifications are also a requirement.
Women's Healthcare Nurse Practitioner: (WHNP) is an advanced practice medical
surgical nurse who works in the ambulatory care setting. As a WHNP, you will provide primary health care to both obstetric and gynecologic patients from menarche through their life cycle. Your privileges include obtaining medical histories, performing physical exams, and establishing medical diagnoses; ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies; initiating appropriate treatment, to include drug therapy, within privileged scope of care. Also perform comprehensive family planning counseling, cancer screening, STI care, and procedures (if credentialed to do so, such as IUD insertion, colposcopy, and biopsies of the vulva, vagina, cervix, and endometrium). The practice setting the Air Force WHNP ranges from solo practice in a clinic to group practice in a medical center.