Unites States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

RegisteredNursing.org Staff Writers | Updated/Verified: Jan 20, 2024

Nurses who are commissioned by the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) become officers that serve their community and the nation as a whole. These nurses respond during public health crises and emergencies, conduct research, review new medicine, and impact the health policies of the nation.

The Mission of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Nurse Corps

To enhance and improve health and safety outcomes through leadership, education, and research by providing exceptional, culturally competent, holistic nursing services to all people.

U.S. Public Health Service Qualification Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Must be less than 44 years of age (may be adjusted based on previous military service)
  • Must have served less than 8 years of prior active duty service in any uniformed service
  • Must meet suitability, professional, medical and security requirements
  • Must possess a bachelor's or master's of science in nursing from an accredited nursing program
  • Must hold a current, unrestricted, and valid Registered Nurse license
  • Must have passed the National Council Licensure Examination

Benefits of the United States Public Health Service

  • Commissioned Corps officers working at the USPHS are offered the same benefits as other military uniformed services:
  • No-cost health care
  • Paid sick leave, maternity leave, and Federal holidays
  • Clinical practice liability coverage
  • Thirty days of paid vacation
  • Non-taxed housing
  • Retirement plans
  • Education loan repayment programs
  • Veterans Affairs benefits such as the Montgomery GI Bill
  • Accession bonus up to $25,000 for a 4-year Active Duty agreement
  • Access to military base services such as exchanges, guest housing, and commissaries

Work Environment

Nurses in service of the USPHS can be employed at a variety of locations and setting across the country:

  • Indian Health Service
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • National Institute of Health
  • Health Resources and Services Administration
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Immigration Health Services U.S. Marshals Service

Learn more at https://www.usphs.gov/profession/nurse/


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