Jump to content

Path to Becoming an Air Force Nurse

hello everyone! this is the first time i have ever posted on here, but i having been lurking around here for awhile. in june i will be entering the final two years of my nursing degree and once i receive my degree my hope is to become a nurse in the air force. i contacted a healthcare recruiter in my area who gave me a general idea of how everything works and he recommended that i begin the application process about a year before my graduation. so i have 1 year before i can start on my application....is there anything i can do between now and then that may help my chances of being selected (besides keeping my grades up)? i know that there are interviews involved in the application process...is it just like a normal job interview or is it more in depth? do you need to write an essay or anything? how much do they really pay attention to your grades? is it true that as a new graduate you would either have to go in as an ob or med/surg nurse? any information on how the whole application process works is appreciated! and good luck to all of you who are waiting to hear if you are selected! :)

To be brief you should focus on GPA, physical fitness, and leadership. Get involved with something where you can have a leadership position such as a student organization. The interview is like a normal job interview and you are expected to know information about the Air Force such as the core values and mission statement. During your application process there will be a write up you will complete that the interviewer will use to assess you so be genuine. You choose either OB or med/surg and if you choose OB you are basically stuck there forever except in rare cases. Hope this helps.

Thank you so much for your response laneyg! I found everything in your post to be very helpful. Why is it that if you chose OB you end up being stuck there forever? Also, I have seen a few people on here say that if you don't get selected you can't apply again....is that true?

I'm not positive why you get stuck in OB for so long. I have a couple of theories though. One might be that a large majority of people going into the Air Force most likely choose med/surg wanting to do some critical care and emergency care kind of thing. Another theory is that since our Active Duty members are mostly young and building families, Obstetrics is in high demand to support our airmen in building their family. I don't feel that if you get denied once you can't apply again. I have heard no such thing from my recruiter.


Has 13 years experience. Specializes in ER, ICU, Med/Surg.

My recuiter had told me that at one time you could not reapply if you were not selected. However, he has since told me that it is difficult to be selected after you have been a "non-select", but not impossible. Also the Air Force is turning down much more qualified nurses than ever before due to the high competitiveness for very few positions. Therefore where a nurse was a non-select in the past due to an obvious mis match with military selection, now they are being turned down due to GPA, lack of experience, lack of volunteerism, etc. Again, this was just my experience with my recruiter, others may have a different experience.

wtbcrna, MSN, DNP, CRNA

Specializes in Anesthesia.

You can get out of OB, but it usually requires a lot of initiative on the OB nurses part. Don't expect your supervisor or even the Chief Nurse to go out of their way to help you.

To get out of OB you will most likely have to cross train through the yearly AFIT call into one of the short AFIT nursing speciality programs (critical care or OR), go into advanced practice nursing, and/or pick up your 46N on your own time by either working part-time downtown or off-days on Med-surg/Clinics at your hospital.

We have two OB nurses that are or have transfered out of OB recently. One went to Med-Surg and the other is going to OR training.

I am just starting my research into military RN options. I didn't realize it was so competitive to get in. Is this a particular program or is it in general? Is it difficult to get into all branches, or is it Air Force in particular? I will have my RN-BSN in a year and since I haven't made a definitive decision would it behoove me more to get some experience before trying to join?

dreamprincess - While I can't speak for all branches and all specialties, I do know that due to the current state of the economy many people from all different fields are trying to get into the service. So the recruiters have a much larger pool of applicants/recruits to choose from. I'm a prior sevice Marine and some of my buddies are now recruiters throughout the nation. They tell me that things restricting people from coming in today weren't even considered 5 years ago. Things like tattoos, traffic tickets etc. I suspect the same is true for nursing in all the branches.

But to put everything in perspective most, if not all, industries are like this nowadays. Hence, the rough job market. Everyone's having a tough time no matter if you're an engineer, nurse, teacher, techie etc. Especially new grads competing for jobs next to nurses with many years of experience and lots of initials behind their name.


Thanks for the reality! Yeah I know its hard for everyone right now, its good to know what to expect. Military was almost a back up for me, knowing what a hard time I will have as a new grad. I guess my main concern is if it is a decision I need to make now and start an application process.

Thank you to everyone for all the great information...there is so much to learn about this whole process! I have another question for anyone willing to respond....Back in January of this year I was going to enlist in the Air Force Reserve. I took the MEPS physical and passed without needing any waivers. I ended up backing out of joining the Reserve because I found out I got accepted to nursing school and also decided active duty after I get my degree would be better for me. I know that the MEPS physical is good for two years, but would my enlisted physical still be good if I'm applying as an officer? Also, at what point in the application process did you all take your MEPS physical? Just want to see if I should expect to go through the whole process all over again.....

Any insight on Air National Guard specific information? Hiring preferences? COT/RCOT? What you do during drill... Deployment missions.... Etc...


By using the site you agree to our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies.