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Nursing Officer

With a career in the Army, you’ll enjoy the sort of variety, challenges and travel that you simply can’t get as a civilian nurse.



Additional Information

IN BRIEF

If you're a fully-qualified nurse or you are currently completing a nursing degree, you could join the Army and experience adventure, variety and travel that is well beyond the scope of most nursing jobs. Your main place of work will be a military health facility where you'll provide support in areas such as primary health, rehabilitation, general ward and surgical care. At other times you'll be on deployment and working in field health facilities, which could be anywhere from an interstate exercise to a disaster zone overseas.

LIFESTYLE

Life in the Army is rich and rewarding. Your work could take you across Australia and even overseas. You'll have memorable experiences such as joining disaster-relief missions and participating in combat operations. You will gain skills and confidence in a supportive team environment and make friends for life. You'll also have access to extensive sport and leisure facilities ensuring a good work/life balance.

TRAINING

You'll join the Army as an undergraduate or a qualified nurse. Either way you will go on to receive world-class leadership training plus opportunities for professional development. Fitness training will also be a part of your job, as you'll need to be in good physical shape to carry out your duties safely and effectively. Click on the Training links below for more detailed information.

WHAT YOU COULD EARN

In the Army you'll receive a competitive salary, generous Super and an excellent range of benefits. You get paid from the day you start training and your salary will increase with rank and experience.

NURSING OFFICERS
can earn over
$73,300 p.a.
on completion of initial employment training. This salary includes Uniform and Service allowances and applies to full time Officer entry.



Job Details

Undergraduate, Graduate

The Australian Army employs Registered General Nurses as Nursing Officers in Primary Healthcare units, Army Hospitals and Medical Centres. These officers form the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps.

Nursing Officers are employed across a range of clinical, clinical management and broader health management duties. Nursing Officers can expect to work in units, field hospitals, that provide a comprehensive hospital service or in small Treatment Teams providing primary healthcare and immediate pre-hospital resuscitation. These are austere facilities which will deploy during combat, peace-keeping and humanitarian relief operations. Whatever the type of deployment it will test your professional, mental and physical capabilities.

When not on exercises or operations, Nursing Officers can expect to be employed in Army bases delivering primary healthcare and limited in-patient care or working in major metropolitan hospitals maintaining a high order of clinical skill. Nursing Officers also fill a range of key management, administrative and command positions which will develop your skills and professional horizon beyond the purely clinical.

In addition to generalists, the Nursing Corps has a requirement for officers from most specializations especially nurses with post graduate Emergency, Perioperative and Intensive Care nursing qualifications. If you do not have a formal post graduate qualification, the Army offers a comprehensive range of paid post graduate training opportunities in these and other specialist areas.

A career as an Army Nursing Officer offers variety and challenges in employment and travel not always available in the normal hospital environment. You will gain experience and skills that will equip you for advancement in the Army, and will also be in high demand in your profession.

Graduate (Reserve)

The Australian Army employs male and female Registered General Nurses as Specialist Service Reserve Nursing Officers in Army Hospitals and Medical Centres. These officers are an integral component of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps.

You can expect to spend most of your professional time with patients who are young soldiers. General surgery, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) and a large amount of orthopaedic surgery is undertaken at Military Hospitals. Intensive and coronary care patients are cared for in civilian hospitals and return to the military hospital when their condition is stable. No surgery is carried out within Medical Centres.

A career as an Army Reserve Nursing Officer offers variety and challenges in employment and travel not always available in the normal hospital environment. You will gain experience and skills that will equip you for advancement in the Army, and will also be in high demand in your profession.

Entry

Graduate

If you are in your final year of study - or you are already a degree qualified professional - and you are looking for a job that offers satisfaction, excitement and a challenge, and the opportunity to utilise and further develop your management and leadership skills, then you may wish to consider a career as an Officer (Graduate Only) in the Australian Regular Army.

On appointment as an Officer (Graduate Only) in the Army, you will complete the Specialist Service Officer First Appointment Course at the Royal Military College Duntroon, ACT. This initial officer course consists of two modules, Foundation Skills and Basic Officer Skills, completed as one block of training.

Undergraduate

The Australian Regular Army has a continuing need for undergraduates studying for professional and technical vocations. This need is partly met by the Undergraduate Scheme, and partly by the Graduate Entry Scheme.

The Undergraduate Scheme appoints selected tertiary students as Commissioned Officers and they are sponsored to complete their studies.

In addition to the payment of a salary while studying, the Undergraduate Scheme provides for tuition fees, Student Contribution Charges, library and examination fees and the provision of textbooks.

Note: Full-fee paying students can apply for  Army Undergraduate Scheme and GMS entry, however sponsorship funding is limited to the equivalent of full time student contribution band rate for a Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS) only. The remainder of the cost of a full-fee degree is the members responsibility.

If you have further questions about the sponsorship or about life as a Medical Officer in the ADF, get in touch with a member from the Specialist Health team via email: healthjobs@dfr.com.au

Graduate (Reserve)

If you are in your final year of study - or you are already a degree qualified professional - and you are looking for a job that offers satisfaction, excitement and a challenge, then you may wish to consider a career as a Specialist Service Officer (Graduate Only) in the Australian Army Reserve. The Army Reserve will also provide you with the opportunity to utilise and further develop your management and leadership skills.

Specialist Service Officers are enlisted direct to their unit and are required to complete the Specialist Service Officer First Appointment Course (SSO FAC) which is described in the 'Military Training' section.

Further information on part-time ADF careers can be found by accessing the Defence Reserves Support Council website.

The Council promotes the benefits of Reserve service by establishing partnerships with the community and employers.

The following link has information on the Army Reserve SSO Tier Matrix. 

 

 

Pay & Allowances

Graduate

Salary on appointment will be $59,258 per year ($2,279 per fortnight).*

Uniform Allowance at a rate of $682 per year ($26 per fortnight) is paid to assist members to maintain an approved scale of uniforms in good order and condition.

In addition to your salary, you will also receive Service Allowance of $13,448 per year ($517 per fortnight) except while undertaking Academic, Military (Initial) or Employment training. This allowance compensates a member for the unique requirements that service life may impose on an individual and his or her family.

Salary will continue to increase based on rank and the number of years of service completed in that rank. Refer to the Salary Scales for further details.

* Please note that these figures do not include compulsory deductions for taxation; meals, accommodation and utilities (as applicable); or superannuation.

Undergraduate

With 4 years to graduation: $30,603 per year ($1,177 per fortnight).*

With 3 years to graduation: $36,167 per year ($1,391 per fortnight).*

With 2 years to graduation: $41,732 per year ($1,605 per fortnight).*

In final year: $47,296 per year ($1,819 per fortnight).*

To assist you in maintaining your uniforms in good order and condition, you will receive a Uniform Allowance of $419 per year ($16 per fortnight). This increases to $682 per year ($26 per fortnight) after commissioning.

Salary (excluding allowances) on completion of military and employment training will be:

$58,096 per year ($2,234 per fortnight).*

In addition to your salary, you will also receive Service Allowance of $13,448 per year ($517 per fortnight) except while undertaking Academic, Military (Initial) or Employment training. This allowance compensates a member for the unique requirements that service life may impose on an individual and his or her family.

Your salary will continue to increase based on your rank and the number of years of service completed in that rank. Your pay grade may increase following the acquisition of additional skills and completion of further training. Refer to the Salary Scales for further details.

Trainees with dependants may be entitled to Trainee's Dependant Allowance which is paid to enable trainees with dependants to receive a salary not less than $43,766 per year ($1,679 per fortnight) while training. Conditions apply. Speak to your Careers Counselor for details.

* Note: These figures do not include compulsory deductions for taxation; meals, accommodation and utilities (as applicable); or superannuation.

Graduate (Reserve)

Fully qualified graduates are appointed as a LT  and are paid a daily rate of $162.35 tax free.

In addition to your salary, a Reserve Allowance of $27.63 per day is payable to compensate for the unique demands of Reserve Service.

Your salary will continue to increase based on your rank and the number of years of service completed in that rank. Your pay grade may increase following the acquisition of additional skills and completion of further training.

Refer to the Salary Scales for further details.

General Requirements

Age Requirement

Graduate

The maximum age for entry is such that an applicant must be able to complete their Return of Service Obligation prior to compulsory retirement age (normally 60 years of age).

Undergraduate

The maximum age for entry is such that an applicant must be able to complete their degree and their Return of Service Obligation incurred under the Scheme prior to compulsory retirement age (normally 60 years of age).

Applicants are to have reached 18 years at the date of application for Undergraduate.

 

Graduate (Reserve)

Applicants must be aged between 17 and 60 years of age inclusive on entry.

Citizenship Requirement

Only Australian citizens are permitted to serve in the ADF.

If you are a Permanent Resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary waiver of the citizenship requirement if the position for which you are applying cannot be filled by an applicant who meets all the citizenship requirements, and then only in exceptional circumstances. You will be required to obtain Australian citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

Find out more in our Recruitment Centre or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirement

The Department of Defence requires ADF employees to have security clearances appropriate to their employment.

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and, as required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency to make an informed assessment of an applicant's suitability for a security clearance.

The minimum security clearance level required is Negative Vetting Level 1, and current policy requires applicants to have lived in Australia for the previous 10 years, or have a checkable background for this period.  Required information includes:

- Residence

- Employment

- Education

- Credit

Australian Citizenship is a requirement for a security clearance and a clearance will only be granted to a non-citizen in exceptional circumstances.

Aptitude Requirement

The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests including verbal, spatial and numerical ability and a general maths test. Some jobs may also require you to complete additional testing at a later date.

Psychology support staff will explain what is involved with each test.

The aptitude tests provide information about your suitability for the Defence Force and for particular jobs. Defence Force Recruiting can then help you identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information on the aptitude testing requirements can be found here.

Education & Experience

Graduate

An applicant for appointment to RAANC must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency as a Registered Nurse (DIV 1), General . Registered nurses must have completed two years recent post graduate experience ideally with experience in the following areas:

  • general medical nursing;
  • surgical nursing;
  • emergency nursing;
  • high dependency nursing;
  • perioperative nursing; and
  • health education.

Candidates with experience in other areas are encouraged to apply and may be required to undertake a period of compulsory employment in one of these clinical areas listed above prior to achieving deployable status.

Undergraduate

If you are undertaking a three or four year degree you may apply for undergraduate sponsorship after successfully completing the first semester of your first year of university studies. However, entry will be conditional upon successfully completing 12 months (two semesters) of tertiary studies with above average results. Army will only sponsor the general nurse component of training. If you are undertaking a double degree you may be required to change to a single degree to achieve sponsorship.

Applicants who have completed their University degree - but not their two years post-grad experience - can also apply for entry to Army under the Defence Undergraduate Scheme. These applicants will be considered with other Undergrad applicants and, if successful, be sponsored to complete their two years postgraduate experience.

The post graduate experience is to consist of one year of practical experience in a transition to practice program followed by one year of clinical experience in areas applicable to Army nursing, eg. Medical, Surgical, Emergency, Peri-operative, High Dependency, rehabilitation, mental health or discharge nursing.

Graduate (Reserve)

An applicant for appointment to the RAANC Reserve must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency as a Registered Nurse (DIV 1), General. Registered nurses must have completed two years recent post graduate experience ideally in one of the following areas:

  • general medical nursing;
  • surgical nursing;
  • emergency nursing;
  • high dependency nursing;
  • perioperative nursing;
  • mental health nursing;
  • midwifery;
  • paediatric nursing; and
  • health education.

Candidates with experience in other areas are encouraged to apply but may be required to undertake a period of compulsory employment in one of the above clinical areas prior to achieving deployable status.

Medical & Fitness Requirements

Undergraduate, Graduate

 To be enlisted or appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

 

Graduate (Reserve)

To be appointed, you must be medically and physically fit for entry to your chosen occupation. This is partially assessed from the completion of an extensive questionnaire covering your medical history, followed by a physical examination.

You will also be required to successfully pass a physical fitness test before your appointment.

For further details on medical and physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF and Medical Process for Entry into the ADF.

 

Period of Service

Graduate

You will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of three years. Subsequent periods of service may be offered subject to the requirements of the ADF and your suitability for further service. You may tender your resignation at any time provided you do not have an outstanding Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation.

Your Careers Counsellor can advise on how IMPS will relate to your chosen occupation.

Undergraduate

Undergraduates will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service equalling the length of sponsorship plus an additional 365 days.

It is simply calculated by the following principle: for the time spent in the Regular Army Supplement on the Undergraduate Scheme you must serve an equivalent time plus one year. 'Pay-back' of sponsorship begins once you have completed your studies and commence effective employment with the Army.

After completion of the Undergraduate degree, Nursing Officers will spend two years consolidating their clinical skills in a civilian hospital. This period is referred to as Postgraduate Clinical Placement.

During this placement Army continues to pay your salary at the Lieutenant rate and you are entitled to Service Allowance. You are not permitted to receive salary or payment from the hospital. Army expects you to enhance your clinical skills in accident and emergency (trauma), peri-operative or intensive / critical care.

You do not accrue an additional Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation during your Postgraduate Clinical Placement, however you do not remit the 'Pay-back' from your undergraduate degree sponsorship until your Placement is completed.

Graduate (Reserve)

Nursing Officers enlisted into the Army Reserve may undertake volunteer service until the age of 65 (Compulsory Retiring Age), subject to the requirements of the Army and suitability for further service. Members may transfer out of the active Army Reserve at any time.

Military Training

Graduate, Undergraduate, Graduate (Reserve)

Specialist Service Officer First Appointment Course

The Specialist Service Officer Course is conducted at the Royal Military College – Duntroon and provides Regular and Reserve Force Specialist Service Officers with fundamental knowledge of leadership, command and control, unit and personnel administration, basic military skills and the ideals of officer behaviour and attitudes necessary for future employment.

The Specialist Service Officer Course is conducted at the Royal Military College - Duntroon and provides Regular and Reserve Force Specialist Service Officers with fundamental knowledge of leadership, command and control, unit and personnel administration, basic military skills and the ideals of officer behaviour and attitudes necessary for future employment.

The ARA course is 45 days (9 weeks) in duration and is currently conducted in the first half of the training year. The ARES course is conducted in the latter half of the year and consists of three tiers. Tier One is 9 days, Tier Two is 14 days and Tier Three is 16 days. Depending on your specialisation, you may be required to complete one, two or all three tiers before being deemed competent for employment in the Army as an SSO. Please see the below link.

ARES SSO Tiering Matrix.

During RMC (Military Training) members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Physical Fitness Levels

All trainees attending training at RMC are required to participate in an Initial Fitness Assessment (IFA) on arrival at RMC. This is an entry level requirement for all courses conducted at RMC. The IFA is based on a shuttle run, push ups and sit ups and is designed to determine whether trainees are at the minimum required standard to complete training at RMC. Due to the unique nature of training at RMC, trainees who do not demonstrate the base line levels of the assessment may be withdrawn from training and RTU. If you do not pass the IFA, you will be medically reviewed by the RMC Medical Officer and you will be advised if you are able to continue with training.

For further details on physical fitness standards refer to Physical Fitness Standards for Entry into the ADF.


Employment Training

Undergraduate, Graduate

Logistic Officers Basic Course: 3 Weeks

After training at RMC, you will attend the Logistic Officers Basic course at ALTC Bonegilla, Victoria. This course will provide you with the necessary training and information to apply your professional skills in a military environment.

Further Training

Undergraduate, Graduate

You will undertake the Australian Defence Force Extended practice Nursing Course in the first 12 months of appointment. This is conducted at the Army Logistic Training Centre (ALTC Albury Wodonga region) and is conducted in 2 parts.  Phase 1 in 15 days and Phase 2 in 10 days. You can also expect to undertake additional training in military logistics at ALTC in the first 2 years.

Medical units also interact with major medical facilities in each region to provide additional clinical skills and currency training for Nursing Officers.

Registered Nurses are sponsored for attendance at Universities, however due to the competition for selection, you could expect to fulfil at least four years service prior to sponsorship.

Employment Location

Undergraduate, Graduate

As a Nursing Officer, you are likely to be posted to a health battalion primary health care or  providing surgical support to a deployed force or humanitarian relief effort. 1 Close Health Battalion (1 CHB) is located at Randwick, Sydney and 2 General Health Battalion (2 GHB) at Enoggerra, Brisbane. The primary role of 1 CHB is to provideprimary health care, pre-hospital emergency care and evacuation of casualties. 2 GHB provides forward surgical treatment, high dependency holding and staging of patients prior to repatriation to Australia (or country of origin when working with other nations) or returning recovered patients to their Unit.

1 CHC provides direct support to the Brigades in Darwin, Townsville and Brisbane through Close Health Companies (CHC). 

The primary role of a CSSB is the rapid evacuation of casualties from combat zones, stabilisation, treatment and holding prior to further evacuation by road or air (aero-medical evacuation) to surgical care.

There are also opportunities to work overseas in Operational Theatres where Australian troops currently serve, or working at short notice with Australia's regional neighbours in providing humanitarian relief.

Medical Centres are also located in Darwin, Puckapunyal and Albury.

Posting tenure for the majority of officers on appointment is 2 years, and officers should expect a high degree of mobility in the first few years of service.

National Qualifications

Undergraduate

Following the successful completion of your diploma/degree in Nursing, you will register as a nurse in a State or Territory of Australia. You will then be appointed as a Lieutenant in the ARA.


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