About the Job

The Australian Army employs Registered General Nurses as Reserve Nurses (Nursing Officers). These officers are an integral component of all of the capabilities the Nursing Corps is expected to deliver and you can expect to train with and deploy alongside your Regular Army colleagues on exercises and operations fulfilling the same range of roles. As with regular Army nurses, the Reserve welcomes applications from a wide range of specialist nurses with post-graduate clinical qualifications and experience. Whatever your specialisation, the Reserve has a place for you.

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.

Read our Conditions of Service.


Reserve Nurses can be expected to be posted to a range units providing both pre-hospital trauma and primary care or in-patient field hospital level care. The principal reserve unit is 3rd Health Support Battalion. The unit headquarters is located in Adelaide, but with Companies located in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane; 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.
The Compulsory Retirement Age (CRA) for Reserve Service is 65 years. Enlistment up to and including the age of 60 years is open for all employment categories. Candidates who wish to enlist into the Army Reserve beyond the age of 60 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.
Candidates whose age exceeds the age guidelines may still be considered for appointment, providing they have special skills or training that is of value to the Army.

Education & Experience

An applicant for appointment to RAANC must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) as a Registered Nurse (DIV 1). Applicants must have completed two years recent post-graduate experience, ideally with experience in one or more of the following areas:

General medical nursing
Surgical nursing
Emergency nursing
High dependency nursing
Peri-operative nursing
Health education.
Intensive care 
Critical care 
Rehabilitation, or 
Mental Health

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.

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 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.


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 Citizenship page or ask your local Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

Security Requirements

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 a checkable background for the previous 10 years. 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.


Military Training

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 42 days of training and 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 modules. Module One is 9 days, Module Two is 16 days and Module Three is 16 days. Depending on your tiering you may only be require to complete one, two or all three modules before being deemed competent for employment as an SSO.

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, 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 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: 3 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.

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 10 days. You can also expect to undertake additional training in military logistics at ALTC in the first 2 years.