Medical and medical support

Student Nurse (Adult)

Student Nurse entry to the RAF is a great way to start your career. You first join the RAF, complete basic training (10 weeks) and then the RAF continues to employ and pay you whilst you complete a fully funded 3-year full-time BSc (Hons) in Nursing. When you graduate you will be awarded the rank of Acting Corporal and can begin your career as an RAF Registered Nurse (Adult).

Typical Responsibilities:

  • Student Nurse training is at Birmingham City University (BCU)
  • RAF Student Nurses remain part of the RAF whilst at university.
  • In addition to your academic studies you will have some background military roles and responsibilities: e.g. fitness, parades and meetings.

Similar civilian roles include: Student Nurse.

RAF Regulars and Reserves work side by side.

Scroll down to explore the opportunities as a Student Nurse (Adult) in the RAF.

Key Facts

Full Time Regular

Full Time Regular

Initial pay after training

£31,759 + Benefits

Pay during training

£18,306 during your first year at university rising to £19,609 in your second and third year + Benefits

Entry level



12 years engagement*

* can exit Service at any point after 3 years by handing in notice

In the RAF

My Role

'As a Student Nurse, each year we complete three university terms and several clinical placements. I am currently on a placement at the medical centre in RAF Cranwell with a Practice Nurse, but most of the clinical placements are in secondary care.

Clinical placements are typically in local NHS hospitals, but as your training progresses placement opportunities can include any of the Ministry of Defence Hospital Units (MDHUs).'

My Day

'Whilst at university 80% of the time you’re doing the same as the other students, the RAF allows you the freedom to study, but for the other 20% you could be practicing drill (marching), maintaining your fitness and supporting other military students. Whist at university, you are invited to RAF Nursing Branch events and made to feel involved in military life and part of the team - I can’t wait to join them full-time.'

Catherine, Student Nurse (Adult)


Full Time Regular

Full Time Regular

Previous Experience

It is desirable that all candidates should have some nursing/caring experience (voluntary or paid employment). Any declared experience should be accompanied with a reference.

Recruit Training

Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Centre (BRTC) at RAF Halton. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you will also learn about the RAF lifestyle.

Nurse Training

Undergraduate nurse training for the Royal Navy, Army and RAF is undertaken at and accredited by Birmingham City University (BCU) alongside civilian student nurse colleagues. Applicants will be required to sit the Numeracy, Literacy and IT tests set by BCU on the morning of interview. The 3 year course consists of a 12-month common foundation phase followed by a 2-year adult speciality branch programme with clinical placements in civilian and some Service areas. Student nurses graduate as RN(A)s on part 1 of the NMC register with a BSc (Hons).

Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities

Once you have qualified as a qualified RN(A) you will be expected to maintain your currency in clinical practice and to be active in your professional development as a nurse. You will have the opportunity to undertake further education and training throughout your career, developing you as a clinician. PMRAFNS prides itself on equipping you with the necessary skills to operate to the highest level in your peacetime and operational role.

Your Future

During your time at Recruit Training Squadron (RTS) you will be working at the rank of Aircraftman (AC) and on successful completion of basic recruit training you will progress to your first Unit appointed to the rank of Acting Rank Corporal (AR Cpl). On completion of the Junior Management and Leadership Course (JMLC) and Trade Management Training (TMT) you will be eligible for promotion to Cpl. Further promotion to the rank of Sergeant (Sgt) and beyond is by competitive selection.

Career Prospects/Progression

You will initially join the RAF for a period of twelve years on a Notice Engagement. Pay, pension and service beyond the initial engagement (up to a maximum of age 60 years) are linked to your performance and rank progression. Student nurse entrants may exit during the initial 12 year engagement – minimum Service 4 years after completion of nursing training –and will transfer to ex-Service reserve status.

In preparation for your overseas role you will complete Deployed Operational Nursing Competencies (DONC) under the supervision of mentors. PMRAFNS prides itself on equipping you with the necessary skills to operate to the highest level in your peacetime and operational role; militarily you will undertake short courses of training with the RAF Regiment, RAF personnel are also eligible to apply for Adventurous Training (AT).

Transferable skills

Having completed a BSc (Hons) in nursing you will be able to work as a registered nurse within the United Kingdom (UK). If in the future you wish to leave the Service your experience, further clinical training and managerial dexterity will make you highly competitive within the civilian job market.

Specialist Training

With the necessary experience PMRAFNS provides the opportunity to specialise in accordance with service requirements. The NEA provides advice and guidance for those wishing to study on a full or part time basis. Successful applicants will be seconded.


Full Time Regular

Full Time Regular



You need:
GCSE Grade C/4-5 in Maths
GCSE Grade C/4-5 in English Language
GCSE Grade C/4-5 in Biology/Physics/Chemistry or Science Double Award.
SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National at Grade 5 in Maths
SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National at Grade 5 in English
SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National at Grade 5 in Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Science Double Award.

UCAS points requirement with effect from 2017 of 120 points from higher education.

Please find below a link to the Birmingham City University Website (Sep/2016), illustrating the university entry requirement for the BSc(Hons) Nursing (Adult) course. Birmingham City University entry requirements are in addition to any RAF entry requirements you must fulfil both criteria.

See UCAS tariff table for acceptable qualifications:


  • 17.5 - 33 years (to begin basic training before 33rd birthday).

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.