AIR FORCE OFFICER / FULL TIME / VIEW RESERVE JOB

Nursing Officer


Step up to a nursing career with a rewarding extra dimension, an amazing lifestyle and exciting opportunities for travel.

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Job Overview


About the Job

You've already chosen a career in nursing for its unique rewards and job satisfaction. Now imagine how much more interesting the job would be looking after the varied medical needs of service personnel; helping communities in Australia and overseas; or managing a global aeromedical evacuation system.

As an Air Force Nursing Officer no two weeks will be the same. One day you could be providing perioperative care in modern medical facilities, and the next attending to earthquake injuries under canvas. In this exciting and varied role you'll need to show both initiative and flexibility as you adapt to the dynamics of remote localities, new conditions and other challenges.

In addition to fulfilling a management and leadership role as an Officer in the Air Force, you will carry out general nursing duties at hospitals and clinics, gaining valuable primary health care skills. In time, the areas of activity you may be employed in include:

  • Inpatient care
  • Outpatient care
  • Health promotion
  • Aeromedical evacuation
  • Health education
  • Facility management
  • Equipment management
  • Operational deployments
  • Deployed operating theatre duties
  • Administration/Staff roles and
  • Unit command.

Few civilian nurses jobs can provide the career opportunities on offer to Nursing Officers in the Air Force.

Click below to find out how to apply for a Nursing Officer career as a graduate.

  • If you are currently studying for a nursing degree click 'Undergraduate' in the Method of Entry above.
  • Alternatively, if you are considering a part-time Nursing Officer role click Specialist Reserve' above.
Graduate

Make the most of your relevant degree joining fully qualified

Undergraduate

Join while still at university and have your remaining study fees sponsored

Learn more about Entry Methods


Salary can be over $71,900 p.a. on completion of initial employment training. This salary includes Uniform and Service allowance.


FULL JOB DETAILS

This entry method is currently not recruiting

Key Information

Salary & Allowances

Salary on joining the Air Force will be $56,953 per year ($2,184 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 receive Service Allowance of $12,924 per year ($497 per fortnight) except while undertaking 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.

Locations

You could be posted to any one of these Air Force bases:

  • Canberra area, including Defence Establishment Fairbairn, ACT
  • Defence Establishment Orchard Hills, NSW
  • RAAF Base Amberley, QLD
  • RAAF Base Darwin, NT
  • RAAF Base East Sale, VIC
  • RAAF Base Edinburgh, SA
  • RAAF Base Glenbrook, NSW
  • RAAF Base Richmond, NSW
  • RAAF Base Tindal, NT
  • RAAF Base Townsville, QLD
  • RAAF Base Wagga, NSW
  • RAAF Base Williams, VIC
  • RAAF Base Williamtown, NSW

Overseas postings include Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, but are limited.


Requirements

Age

On the day you enter the Air Force you must be at least 17 years old and under 56.

Education & Experience

To apply to become a Nursing Officer you must have:

  • A Bachelor of Nursing degree (or equivalent)
  • Completed general nursing training and
  • A current General Nurse registration and annual practicing certificate from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority.

Two of your previous three years of clinical experience must be in a full-time capacity as a Registered Nurse, and in an acute care area relevant to RAAF Nursing Officer duties. Please note that full-time experience in paediatrics, geriatrics or maternity is not acceptable as evidence of two years of clinical experience.

Additional Education and Experience for Mental Health Nursing

A mental health nurse is a registered nurse who holds a recognised specialist qualification in mental health [nursing]. Taking a holistic approach, guided by evidence, the mental health nurse works in collaboration with people who have mental health issues, their family and community, towards recovery as defined by the individual (ACMHN, 2010, p 5)

Essential

Registration

Current unrestricted and unconditional registration as a Registered Nurse with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA).

Education

Bachelor of Nursing Science or equivalent; and a

Post-graduate mental health nursing qualification endorsed by Australian College of Mental Health Nurses ; or

Completion of a clearly defined mental health nursing/psychiatric nursing course, undertaken in Australia as listed below:

  • Clinical Master Degree or
  • Post Graduate Diploma or
  • Direct entry into mental health nursing/psychiatric nursing undergraduate diploma or degree or
  • 3-year hospital based course that led to registration as a mental health nurse or
  • Hospital post registration course (minimum 12 months' full time equivalent) that led to qualifications as a specialist mental health nurse/psychiatric nurse by the relevant nurse registering authority at the time of completion.

Note, a Post Graduate Certificate only is not accepted.

Credentialing

Credentialed to practice as a Mental Health Nurse by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.

Experience

  • A minimum of 3 years post graduate experience within the previous 5 years working in a range of Adult Mental Health Services using an evidence informed interventions including comprehensive mental health assessment, crisis intervention, medication monitoring, relapse prevention, care co-ordination, case management and individual counselling.
  • Knowledge of relevant state/territory policies and procedures governing mental health practice
  • Demonstrated understanding of consumer focus in clinical practice

Currency

Essential

  • Meet the professional development requirements set by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and professional association or college.
  • Credentialed to practice as a Mental Health Nurse with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses or
  • Able to demonstrate that you have undertaken continuing professional education (CPE) and continuing practice development (CPD) to the equivalent of a minimum of 200 Credential for Practice (CPP) points in total (as per credentialing to practice as a Mental Health Nurse with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses). Activities must be relevant or directly concerned with/related to practice in mental health.

Experience undertaken in Adult Mental Health must be recent. You must have practiced for at least:

  • 3 months (456 hrs) over the last year
  • 6 months (912 hrs) over the last 2 years
  • 12 months (1824 hrs) over the last 3 years

Medical & Fitness

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.

Period of Service

You will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) of two 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 and provide a minimum of three months notice.

Aptitude

The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include 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.

Citizenship

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 Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF entrants to attain a security clearance appropriate to their avenue of entry. Details on the security requirements for all Air Force jobs can be found here.

Training

Military Training

Initial Officer Training: 17 Weeks

Immediately upon joining the Air Force, direct entry officers will normally undertake the Initial Officer Course of 17 weeks duration. This is a live-in course completed at RAAF Base East Sale, located 220 kilometres east of Melbourne (VIC).

The major elements of the course involve introduction to military life, Air Force Values and attitudes, Ground Defence and Weapons training, Leadership and Personal Development, Communication Skills and Air Force Operations studies.

Further details on officer training are available on the Officers Training School website or refer to the Joining Instructions.

The information on the website and in the Joining Instructions will provide you and your family with enough information to arrange your personal affairs before appointment in the Air Force and give you an overview of the structure and requirements of the Initial Officer Course.

During Military (Initial Officer) Training and (Initial) Employment Training (if applicable), members may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Employment Training

Once you've completed the Initial Officer Course you can practice as a Nursing Officer. However, before being considered for deployment you'll need to undertake a 3-week Health Officer Conversion Course; and two to three further courses will be undertaken during your first year of appointment to the Air Force.

Nursing Officer Initial course: 3 weeks

Health Operational Conversion Unit, RAAF Base Amberley (near Brisbane), QLD.

Operational Health Support course: 1 week

Health Operational Conversion Unit, RAAF Base Amberley.

Aeromedical Evacuation course: 4 weeks

Health Operational Conversion Unit, RAAF Base Amberley.

Aviation Nursing Officer course (desirable but not compulsory): 2 weeks

RAAF Institute of Aviation Medicine, RAAF Base Edinburgh (near Adelaide), SA.

Further Training

Following confirmation of probationary appointment, NursingOfficers are encouraged to increase their professional knowledge byundertaking post-basic and post-graduate courses and maintainingliaison with professional nursing organisations.

This entry method is currently not recruiting

Key Information

Salary & Allowances

While studying at university you will receive approximately:

$41,300 per year with 2 years to graduation.

$46,700 in your final year.

These figures do not include the generous superannuation given to members of the Australian Defence Force.

Your starting salary package on completion of academic, military and employment training will be approximately $71,900 per year plus superannuation. This includes Service and Uniform Allowances.

During Military Training and (Initial) Employment Training, you may be required to pay a contribution towards meals, accommodation and utilities.

Salaries increase with rank, years of service and additional skills and qualifications gained.

Locations

You could be posted to any one of these Air Force bases:

  • Canberra area, including Defence Establishment Fairbairn, ACT
  • Defence Establishment Orchard Hills, NSW
  • RAAF Base Amberley, QLD
  • RAAF Base Darwin, NT
  • RAAF Base East Sale, VIC
  • RAAF Base Edinburgh, SA
  • RAAF Base Glenbrook, NSW
  • RAAF Base Richmond, NSW
  • RAAF Base Tindal, NT
  • RAAF Base Townsville, QLD
  • RAAF Base Wagga, NSW
  • RAAF Base Williams, VIC
  • RAAF Base Williamtown, NSW

Overseas postings include Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, but are limited.


Requirements

Age

The maximum age for entry is such that an applicant must be able to complete their degree, any periods of postgraduate experience, or professional development placements and their Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation incurred under the scheme prior to compulsory retirement age (normally 60 years of age).

Education & Experience

You can apply for Defence University Sponsorship if you are studying for an accredited tertiary undergraduate nursing degree at an approved university in Australia. Your appointment will be subject to completion of at least one full year of study. Additionally you must have completed Year 12 with passes in English and three other Board of Secondary School Studies registered subjects.

Nursing officer undergraduates are required to complete two years of post-registration clinical experience at an approved civilian hospital prior to commencing training at the Officer Training School. The graduate clinical experience would ideally consist of a one-year graduate nurse program followed by one year of clinical experience in areas applicable to Air Force nursing, such as Medical, Surgical, Emergency, Intensive Care or Peri-operative.

Sponsorship of Post Registration Clinical Experience

Under the Post Registration Clinical Experience Scheme, degree-qualified civilian Nurses may be considered for sponsorship of their two year post-registration clinical experience period. Individuals will be considered once they have completed their nursing degree and hold registration and an annual practicing certificate from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Applicants will be appointed and remain as Pilot Officers until the end of their post registration experience period. Promotion to Flying Officer will occur on completion of the two-year graduate clinical experience work placement.

Additional Education and Experience for Mental Health Nursing

A mental health nurse is a registered nurse who holds a recognised specialist qualification in mental health [nursing]. Taking a holistic approach, guided by evidence, the mental health nurse works in collaboration with people who have mental health issues, their family and community, towards recovery as defined by the individual (ACMHN, 2010, p 5)

Essential

Registration

Current unrestricted and unconditional registration as a Registered Nurse with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA).

Education

Bachelor of Nursing Science or equivalent; and a

Post-graduate mental health nursing qualification endorsed by Australian College of Mental Health Nurses ; or

Completion of a clearly defined mental health nursing/psychiatric nursing course, undertaken in Australia as listed below:

  • Clinical Master Degree or
  • Post Graduate Diploma or
  • Direct entry into mental health nursing/psychiatric nursing undergraduate diploma or degree or
  • 3-year hospital based course that led to registration as a mental health nurse or
  • Hospital post registration course (minimum 12 months' full time equivalent) that led to qualifications as a specialist mental health nurse/psychiatric nurse by the relevant nurse registering authority at the time of completion.

Note, a Post Graduate Certificate only is not accepted.

Credentialing

Credentialed to practice as a Mental Health Nurse by the Australian Collage of Mental Health Nurses.

Experience

  • A minimum of 3 years post graduate experience within the previous 5 years working in a range of Adult Mental Health Services using an evidence informed interventions including comprehensive mental health assessment, crisis intervention, medication monitoring, relapse prevention, care co-ordination, case management and individual counselling.
  • Knowledge of relevant state/territory policies and procedures governing mental health practice
  • Demonstrated understanding of consumer focus in clinical practice

Currency

Essential

  • Meet the professional development requirements set by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and professional association or college.
  • Credentialed to practice as a Mental Health Nurse with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses or
  • Able to demonstrate that you have undertaken continuing professional education (CPE) and continuing practice development (CPD) to the equivalent of a minimum of 200 Credential for Practice (CPP) points in total (as per credentialing to practice as a Mental Health Nurse with the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses). Activities must be relevant or directly concerned with/related to practice in mental health.

Experience undertaken in Adult Mental Health must be recent. You must have practiced for at least:

  • 3 months (456 hrs) over the last year
  • 6 months (912 hrs) over the last 2 years
  • 12 months (1824 hrs) over the last 3 years

This entry mode attracts a debt' roughly similar to the maximum rate of HECS costs ($10,000 per annum). In general terms, this debt accrues (increases) whilst you are undertaking study, with the maximum debt reached on completion of study. Once the period of study has ended, the debt begins to acquit (reduce) for the remainder of your Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS). Once the IMPS period is complete, there is no remaining debt.

Medical & Fitness

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.

Period of Service

You will be appointed for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS) dependant on your length of sponsorship. 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 and provide a minimum of three months notice.

The length of IMPS in total will depend on the duration of sponsorship. Any requirement for post-graduation experience, eg: medical residency, legal articles will be incorporated in your IMPS.

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

Aptitude

The application process to join the Australian Defence Force requires you to complete a series of aptitude tests which may include 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.

Citizenship

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 Requirements

The Department of Defence requires ADF entrants to attain a security clearance appropriate to their avenue of entry. Details on the security requirements for all Air Force jobs can be found here.

Training

Military Training

Initial Officer Training: 1 week + 17 Weeks

During your first year of sponsorship you'll attend a one-week Familiarisation Course at RAAF Base East Sale, VIC. This will introduce you to basic military protocols and procedures.

Then following graduation you'll undertake a 17-week Initial Officer Course to learn about Air Force values and attitudes, and engage in:

  • Ground defence and weapons training
  • Leadership and personal development
  • Communication skills and
  • Air Force operations.

You can find out more about the structure and requirements of the Initial Officer Course on the Officers Training School website, where you can also access guidance on how to arrange your personal affairs before appointment. You'll also find useful information in our Joining Instructions.

Employment Training

Once you've completed the Initial Officer Course you can practice as a Nursing Officer. However, before being considered for deployment you'll need to undertake a 3-week Health Officer Conversion Course; and two to three further courses will be undertaken during your first year of appointment to the Air Force.

Nursing Officer Initial course: 3 weeks

Health Operational Conversion Unit, RAAF Base Amberley (near Brisbane), QLD.

Operational Health Support course: 1 week

Health Operational Conversion Unit, RAAF Base Amberley.

Aeromedical Evacuation course: 4 weeks

Health Operational Conversion Unit, RAAF Base Amberley.

Aviation Nursing Officer course (desirable but not compulsory): 2 weeks

RAAF Institute of Aviation Medicine, RAAF Base Edinburgh (near Adelaide), SA.