Like all our specialist branch officers, you will begin your RAF career on the Specialist Entrant and Re-entrant (SERE) course at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. You will follow a 13-week course specially designed for professionally qualified entrants to the RAF. The course, includes military training, Defence studies, practical outdoor leadership challenges and fitness development – you’ll need to be fit, but you don’t need to be superman.
Nursing Officers are usually assigned to Defence Medical Group (DMG) Units in hospitals in the UK for their first assignment in the RAF. At a DMG Unit you can expect to become familiar with working with other military nurses and subordinates and get used to the challenges that managing care as well as subordinates can bring. You will complete a preceptorship programme designed to enhance your clinical skills and orientate you to the military aspects of nursing. Potentially, you will complete your Aeromedical Evacuation Training during this tour.
As a junior or newly appointed Nursing Officer you will likely be assigned to a clinical area with a small team of RAF Registered Nurses to manage – with support from a more senior Nursing Officer. Subsequently, you may request to work in a particular clinical speciality and work towards post-Registration qualifications. The PMRAFNS requires both highly skilled specialist nurses and general nurses with broad clinical experience.
Your Career Prospects
You will join the RAF on an initial 12 year engagement (same as most RAF personnel - it is possible to exit during this period subject to sufficient 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.
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 educational advancement within their field of expertise, something which is encouraged. Militarily, attendance on Officer Development Courses at The Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, a national and international centre of excellence in leadership development, and a variety of assignments will enhance your managerial and subordinate development skills.
As a Nursing Officer your experience in the military will be highly valued by us or by any future employer. We will continue to develop your nursing and leadership skills and ensure that we foster your adaptability and enthusiasm.