Why consider joining the Air Force to be a nurse? You’d be part of the USAF’s health care mission of providing care to its service members and their families. A majority of Air Force health care professionals work in clinics and hospitals much like their civilian counterparts, at locations stateside and overseas.
A nurse in the U.S. Air Force can choose from three general career paths: academic, clinical or leadership. There are opportunities to take part in global humanitarian missions, and you can also pursue education or medical research.
To become an Air Force nurse, you must be a U.S. citizen, have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, meet physical requirements and be a licensed Registered Nurse.
A few of the specialties in the nursing field within the Air Force include:
- Clinical Nurse
- Medical Surgical Nurse
- Obstetrics Nurse
- Operating Room Nurse
- Mental Health Nurse
- Trauma Nurse
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
- Women’s Health Nurse
- Pediatric Nurse
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Nurse Midwife
Your career with the Air Force will start with a four-week Commissioned Officer Training (COT) course at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. Training consists of physical conditioning and classroom studies on leadership principles, Air Force customs and courtesies, military law, officer/noncommissioned officer relationships, warfare and disaster preparedness and the Air Force’s role in national security.
Nurse training also includes learning to manage and operate an air transportable hospital, provide advanced trauma life support and conduct combat medical operations in field situations.
What are the benefits? Nurses enter the service at the same rank as physicians, which helps foster a team-oriented environment. Your pay increases with rank, and you’ll receive monthly tax-free allowances for food and housing. Comprehensive medical and dental benefits are free, and the military provides deals on insurance, home loans, savings plans and a retirement plan.