Air Force Nurse Corps Staff Writers | Updated/Verified: Jan 31, 2024

The Mission of the Air Force Nurse Corps

"Develop an empowered, innovative, and ready total Nursing Force, advancing evidence-based practice to optimize health and human performance."

Entry Level Requirements

Air Force Active Duty

  • Be in the senior year or graduate of an accredited Bachelor of Science or Art in Nursing (BSN or BAN) program
  • Must hold an unrestricted nursing license
  • Must be between the ages of 18 and 48 (age cutoff may be extended based on specialty area)
  • Must meet the physical requirements
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Completion of Commissioned Officer Training

Air Force Reserve

  • Must be a graduate of an accredited BSN/BAN nursing program
  • Must hold an unrestricted nursing license
  • Must meet the physical requirements
  • Completion of Commissioned Officer Training

Promotion Levels (Rank)

  • Second Lieutenant
  • First Lieutenant
  • Captain
  • Major
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Colonel
  • Brigadier General
  • Major General
  • Lieutenant General
  • General
  • General of the Air Force

Work Environment

Military Nurses who serve in the Air Force Nurse Corps work in a variety of healthcare settings across the globe. There are 76 military treatment facilities in the continental U.S. and overseas. More than 1,700 Air Force medical personnel are deployed to 19 countries of the 60,000 currently serving.

A nurse could be serving at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio or Aviano Air Base in Italy, providing care to military airman and their families.

Nurses also serve at Air Stations such as Travis Air Force Base and provide care in the air as flight nurses. Flight Nurses are specialty-trained nurses who are medically cleared to provide care to urgent and critical patients who are being transported to military installations across the globe. Flight Nurses also have the risk of flying during times of combat when evacuating injured service members.

Air Force Nurse Corps Jobs

  • Operating Room Nurse
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Obstetrical Nurse
  • Critical Care Nurse
  • Mental Health Nurse
  • Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Emergency/Trauma Nurse
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Flight Nurse
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse
  • Women's Healthcare Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)
  • Clinical Nurse

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Advantages of Joining the Air Force Corps Nursing

Accession Bonus

The Air Force Nurse Corps typically offers an accession bonus of up to $30,000 in exchange for a four-year active duty contract.


Free travel on available Air Force aircraft


For specialty nursing programs such as anesthetists, Certified Nurse Midwives, Women's Health Nurse Practitioners, and Family Nurse Practitioners, the Air Force offers a Nurse Health Profession Scholarship Program (HPSP) that pays all tuition and fees, plus a living allowance for the length of the selected program. Nurses are required to complete three years of active duty once nursing school is complete.

Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program

Active duty airmen who have acquired E-4 rank or higher are eligible to apply for this intensive two-year program. The candidate must be able to earn full commission by age 42 to qualify and will attend school year-round for 24 months to complete the nursing program. Candidates must also have completed 59-semester credits from an accredited institution in specific pre-nursing courses.

Air Force Active Duty Health Professions Repayment Program

This specialized program was created to incentivize the accession of commissioned officers in the Medical, Nurse, and Biomedical Sciences Corps. Recipients of this program qualify for repayment of loans used to finance health profession education. Maximum repayment is $40,000 and is sent directly to the lending institution. Participants agree to serve active duty in the Air Force for up to two years.

Medical Research

The Air Force Medical Corps is internationally well known for conducting cutting-edge research in many fields of healthcare.

Air Force Nurse Corps Advanced Academic Degrees

  • Community Health Nurse
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Flight Nurse Practitioner
  • Master's in Business Administration/Nursing
  • Master's in Health Administration
  • Master's in Public Health (International Health Specialist)
  • Medical Surgical Clinical Nurse Specialist (Adult Health)
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nurse Anesthesia
  • Nurse Midwifery
  • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Perioperative Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Ph.D. in Nursing Science
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner

Continuing Education and Specialty Training Programs

  • Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills
  • Expeditionary Medical Support
  • Epidemiology Prevention and Infection Control
  • Flight Nurse
  • Health Professionals Education and Training
  • Healthcare Integrator/Optimization
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse
  • Operating Room Nurse
  • Perinatal Nurse Course

Life in the Air Force Nurse Corps

Once accepted into the Air Force Nurse Corps, the commissioned nurse will attend Commissioned Officer Training in Montgomery, Alabama for 5.5 weeks. This training is designed to acclimate the nurse to the customs of the Air force and is broken down into four phases:

Phase 1

This first phase focuses the commissioned nurse on teamwork, discipline, and standardization. As the nurse learns the fundamentals of leadership and military management, they will also experience training that reinforces the attention to detail that is necessary for team operations.

Courses may include Air Force Core Values, Military Customs and Courtesies, Profession of Arms, and Air Force Leadership.

Phase 2

The second phase streamlines the understanding of the Air Force culture and leadership fundamentals in order to promote efficient teamwork and resolve conflicts. Courses include Basics of Briefing, Situational Leadership, Joint Operations, and Terrorism.

Phase 3

Phase three is a transition from practicing leadership to applying the acquired skills and knowledge as the nurse leads teams on assigned missions such as casualty movement and completing the Medical Readiness Indoctrination Course. The Air force believes that by experiencing the pressures of leadership and command, the nurse will gain a better understanding of what is required to be an integrated team member. Courses include Joint Ethics, Standards and Accountability, and Leadership and Management Case Studies.

Phase 4

During the final phase, the commissioned nurse will be tested for leadership skills through staff and peer feedback. Courses include Your First Officer Assignment and Oath of Office and Commissioning Seminar. The Air Force also offers a 10-week Nurse Transition Program for new nurses to transition to medical-surgical or obstetrical nursing. The commissioned nurse is able to request geographical location assignments on where they will be stationed, but there are no guarantees of assignments and locations. Once the nurse is assigned to a medical center, clinic, or air station, a preceptor is assigned to the new nurse to ensure a smooth and safe transition into military nursing.


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