How to Become a Nurse in the Air Force


The U.S. Air Force offers an array of opportunities for registered nurses (RNs) who wish to serve their country and work in a military environment.

  • Complete a baccalaureate nursing program at an accredited school and obtain a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN). A bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to complete and involves both classroom and clinical experiences. According to, a BSN “prepares you for work in inpatient and community settings.”

  • Take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. This exam must be taken after completing a BSN. The computerized examination consists of between 75 and 265 questions. The difficulty of the questions varies as you move through the test. After passing the tests, you can obtain a license to work as an RN.

  • Contact a U.S. Air Force adviser and express your interest in becoming an Air Force nurse. Visit to find a local recruiter. The recruiter will answer any questions you have and evaluate your ability to perform the job duties.

  • Attend Commissioned Officer Training at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. The five-week program is designed to facilitate the transition from civilian to military life. Physical conditioning exercises are required five days per week. Remaining time is spent in the classroom, where studies are focused on leadership principles, Air Force customs, military law, disaster preparedness and relationships within the Air Force. During training, you must meet all physical requirements established by the U.S. Air Force.

  • Complete the U.S. Air Force Nurse Transition Program, an intensive, 10-week training program in both the classroom and clinical settings. An experienced Air Force nurse offers assistance and guidance to participants throughout the program. The first five weeks typically involve learning basic skills, such as drawing blood, administering blood and managing medications. During the last five weeks, nurses learn how to admit and discharge patients, as well as how to prepare patients for surgery and manage their care afterward.

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