Nursing Officer

Full Time Career With Apprenticeship

Nursing Officers provide the highest standards of patient care and lead teams in a variety of clinical environments.


As an RAF Nursing Officer, you’ll be both a commissioned officer and a nurse. That means you will be trained to show leadership and management skills in a team environment, as well as providing excellent standards of nursing.

Typical Responsibilities

  • Primary healthcare
  • Secondary healthcare
  • Aeromedical evacuation (evacuation of patients by air)

You will contribute to the development and delivery of cutting-edge military medicine and will adapt your practice to deliver nursing care in a wide range of challenging environments. Nursing Officers will be given the opportunity to undertake Aeromedical Evacuation training to ensure that they can operate in the often clinically challenging conditions that exist in aircraft.

The RAF employs its Nursing Officers in a wide range of general and clinical specialities. Professional training is available to continue to develop your practice in either specialist or non-specialist areas. Dependent on Service need, you could work in many and diverse areas including Primary Health Care, Occupational Health, Emergency Medicine, Critical Care, Burns and Plastics, Operating Theatres, Medical and Surgical speciality wards, Infection and Prevention Control and Mental Health. Wherever you work, you will be leading a highly motivated team of staff nurses and work as part of a multidisciplinary and often tri-Service team. To ensure you professionally broaden and to make the best of your qualities you can expect to have several assignments.

All Nursing Officers can expect to deploy on operational tours to provide care not only to RAF colleagues, but to those in other Services and often other nationalities.

Initial Officer Training

Like other professionally qualified Officers, you will begin your RAF career with Initial Officer Training on the Specialist Officers Initial Training Course (SOITC) at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. You will follow a challenging 13-week course designed to develop your leadership and management skills. The course includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical leadership tasks.

Specialist Training

After the SOITC, you will complete the Basic Air Warfare Course and join your Medical and Dental Officer Colleagues on the RAFMS – officer Phase 2 Training Course which will orientate you to Military Medicine.

Foundation Tour

Nursing Officers are usually assigned to Defence Medical Group (DMG) Units in hospitals in the UK for their first job in the RAF. At a DMG Unit you will work with other Nursing Officers and military/civilian nurses. You will be supported as you familiarise and orient to your new environment and responsibilities. Potentially, you will complete your Aeromedical Evacuation Training during this tour

Your Career Prospects

You will join the RAF on an initial 12-year engagement (It is possible to exit during this period subject to 6 – 12 months’ notice). Pay, pension and service beyond the initial engagement (up to a maximum of age 60 years) are linked to performance and rank progression. Your initial rank will be determined by the number of post-registration years that you have completed (maximum initial rank of Flight Lieutenant). Further promotion to Squadron Leader and above is by competitive selection.

Ongoing Development

Your career will progress through a variety of assignments providing a wide range of roles and responsibilities for optimal professional and personal development; there are abundant opportunities to progress both professionally and as an Officer. The RAF’s Nurse Education Advisor provides guidance for those pursuing academic advancement within their field of clinical expertise, something which is encouraged. Over the course of your career, we will develop your military, managerial and leadership potential through a range of incremental Officer Development Courses at The Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, a national and international centre of excellence.

Transferable Skills

The experience you gain as a Nursing Officer in the military will be highly valued both by the RAF and by any future employer. We will continue to develop your nursing and leadership skills and ensure that we foster your adaptability and enthusiasm.

All Applicants Must:

  • Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth.
  • Be between 22 and 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday).


  • Starting level: £33,142+ Benefits and rising with experience
  • Rising To: £62,311(Sqn Ldr level) + Benefits
  • A potential Golden Hello of £30,000 may be available.

Education Requirements

You must have completed a BSc or Diploma in Nursing (Adult or Mental Health). You must be registered with the NMC with at least 2 years’ post-registration experience. (Candidates may begin the application process at the 12 month point post registration).

Graduate entrants require 2 GCSEs (English Language and Maths or acceptable equivalents) at a minimum of Grade C (Grade 4 to 5 with effect from Aug 17) or Scottish National 5 (Grades A-C).

Non-graduate entrants require a total of 5 GCSEs (inc English Language and Maths).

Educational waivers may be considered.

For more information about the role and details of our application process, visit the RAF Recruitment website.