About the Job

The Australian Army Reserves has a requirement to employ Nursing Officers with Intensive Care nursing qualifications. Intensive Care Nurses are an integral component of the Nursing Corps and you can expect to train and deploy alongside your Regular Army colleagues on exercises and operations fulfilling the same range of roles. This is an excellent opportunity for Specialist Nurses passionate about their skills to give back to their country and work alongside expert health professionals from across Australia.

Key Information

Preparing for Your Recruitment Process

This document provides information that will assist applicants for roles in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including details about the recruitment process, how to prepare yourself for assessment, and what to expect if you are successful in joining the Australian Defence Force.

Salary & Allowances

Most Reservists join the Australian Defence Force for the exciting work, the friendships and the lifestyle. But there are many other benefits too, including financial ones.

The pay you receive in the Army Reserve goes straight into your pocket with no deductions for tax, and it increases as you gain seniority and experience.

For more details download our Salary Scales.


Reserve Nurses can be expected to be posted to a range of units providing both pre-hospital trauma, primary health care or in-patient field hospital level care. Health Battalions are located in Adelaide, Brisbane Darwin and Townsville; there are also smaller detachments elsewhere. The Army Reserve has detachments located across the country, so matter where you live there will be a local unit that may require nursing support.

As with your Regular Army colleagues, there are also opportunities to work overseas wherever Australian troops are currently deployed.




Applicants must have reached 17 years of age on entry.

Applicants will not normally be allowed to enter the ADF until they achieve a minimum of 17 years of age, however they may be able to initiate the application process from 16 years and six months of age.

The Compulsory Retirement Age (CRA) for Reserve Service is 65 years. Candidates applying for Reserve Service must be under the age of 61 years, which is open for all employment categories. Candidates who wish to enlist into the Army Reserve beyond the age of 61 years will need to be further assessed to ensure that they would be feasibly able to complete all obligatory pre-requisite training in their chosen area of employment prior to reaching CRA.

Education & Experience

Applicants 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 need to have competed their Post Grad Studies in Critical Care OR have 5 years’ experience in ICU Nursing.

Medical & Fitness

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

All candidates who are appointed or 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.


The Job Opportunities Assessment (JOA) is completed as part of the application process to join the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Some jobs may also require you to complete a further evaluation at a later date.

The JOA is used by Defence to establish suitability for ADF entry, and then identify jobs that best match your abilities.

Further information about the JOA can be found in the Guide to the Job Opportunities Assessment for the ADF.

To get a feel for the types of questions that are used in the Job Opportunities Assessment and how they will look on your screen some examples can be found in the Job Opportunities Assessment Example Questions.


To serve in the ADF you must be an Australian Citizen.

If you are a permanent resident of Australia, the ADF may consider a temporary deferral 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 Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

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

A process of background checks, collection of relevant information and if required, interviews, enables the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency (AGSVA) 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 (NV1), and current policy requires applicants to have a checkable background for the previous 10 years.

This means applicants must provide credible referees (non-family members) who are able to provide information about the applicant covering an extended period of time. Required information for an NV1 includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Residence
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Financial information
  • Travel

Some ADF jobs may require a higher level of security clearance such as Negative Vetting Level 2 (NV2) or Positive Vetting (PV). Your individual circumstances will determine the number and complexity of the questions and the supporting documents required for these levels.

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

The security clearance is critical to an applicant's successful progression through the recruiting process. It is strongly recommended that all applicants action the Security Clearance Package (ePack) and provide the required documentation without delay to provide the best opportunity to commence training and be employed in their preferred employment category.

For more detailed information on the security vetting process and specific clearance level requirements set by AGSVA, please refer to the AGSVA website.

Support will be provided by DFR during the initial application process.


Military Training

Specialist Service Officer First Appointment Course (Parts 1 + 2) 
Location: Royal Military College – Duntroon, Canberra, ACT. 
Duration: 25 days 

You will learn 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.

You will complete Module 1 (9 days) and Module 2 (16 days) of the Specialist Service Officer course at the Royal Military Duntroon, Canberra. These modules will provide fundamental knowledge of leadership, command and control, personnel administration, basic military skills and the ideas of officer behaviour and attitudes necessary to fulfil your Reserve role.

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.

Ares SSOs must complete IFA for both modules. This is an entry level requirement for all courses conducted at RMC. The IFA is based on a shuttle run, pushups 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 Doctor 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

Logistic Officers Basic Course: 4 Weeks

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

Further Training

You will undertake the Australian Defence Force Extended Practice Nursing (ADFEPN) Course in the first 12 months of appointment. This is conducted at the Army School of Health (ASH) and is conducted in 2 parts. Phase 1 in 15 days and Phase 2 in 16 days. You can also expect to undertake additional training in military logistics at ALTC in the first 2 years.

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