Air Force NECP AY 2018 Requirements + What I’ve Been Doing

Air Force NECP requirements 2018 | Rose Colored Water

You guys… It’s finally here. The time to apply to the NECP is upon us! I have been talking about this for almost two years, and it’s finally happening. I haven’t been around much because the last two years were spent preparing for this.

Air Force NECP requirements 2018 | Rose Colored Water

Changes to the NECP Application

First, let me spin you up on some recent NECP changes. This was the first time in more than five years that AFPC looked at the requirements, deciding an overhaul was needed. Unfortunately, some of the things I hoped to see change didn’t, but some limiting factors were removed. The two biggest changes were the removal of prerequisites from the NECP application and the addition of a video interview.

For example, the NECP once required you to complete certain courses that most nursing schools required. If you were accepted to a nursing school that didn’t require a course required by the NECP, you had to get a waiver and have an academic advisor submit a letter stating it was not required for the program. Now, whatever the school requires is fine with the NECP, as long as the school fulfills all other requirements (AFROTC, under $15k/year, CCNE or ACEN accreditation, under 24 month completion).

Previously, a 250 word essay was required with the application. A 2-minute video interview has replaced that. Thankfully, you have the questions prior to doing the interview, and it will be submitted with the package. It is NOT a live interview. I can only assume they have added this to see if their applicants are professional and look the part that they will be playing (a.k.a. officers).

Schools I Applied For

Over the last four months, I have been applying to numerous colleges and taking the steps needed to gain regular admission to them. I plan on applying to five schools because I don’t want my chances at the NECP to be ruined because I didn’t get into a nursing program.

1. University of West Florida | Pensacola, FL

Everyone I know applies to UWF because they know all about the NECP and set aside slots specifically for military students. They are super military friendly and require more than just a great GPA. I had to take the ATI TEAS Nursing Exam for entrance into this school, and the minimum score to apply is 75%. I made a 77%. I will be taking the TEAS again in January after some much needed studying of anatomy and physiology. UWF also has some additional things you can do to increase your chances of admission, like volunteering and taking additional courses. To ensure the odds are ever in my favor, I will begin volunteering in the emergency services department at a local hospital at the end of December.

2. University of South Florida | Tampa, FL

South Florida is another school that everyone trying for the NECP applies to. This is for the same reason they apply to UWF — they know about the NECP and are very military friendly. USF only requires a high cumulative and prerequisite GPA, plus an in-person interview. I would love to get into USF because I have a friend down there (who met me via my Air Force posts) and because I love the ocean. I wish there was more I could do to increase my chances of acceptance here.

3. University of Memphis | Memphis, TN

I consider University of Memphis my safety school. I wouldn’t mind going there because they have an accelerated program for students that already have Bachelor’s degrees. Admission into accelerated programs is tough, but it has a smaller applicant pool than traditional nursing programs. Memphis is closer to home as well, so that’s a plus. Fewer people apply to this school. They are not as familiar with the NECP, though they do know of it.

4. New Mexico State University | Las Cruces, NM

Believe it or not, NMSU is another school I would love to get into, but also has some steeper requirements. They require the HESI nursing exam, and you must score a minimum of 75% on all components to apply. This makes me nervous based on how I did with the ATI TEAS, because my science score was LOW. Still, I am studying hard and will be taking the HESI in January. I have a bit of an infatuation with New Mexico after my road trip in May. It truly is the Land of Enchantment!

5. Eastern Kentucky University | Richmond, KY

EKU is military friendly and understands the NECP requirements, however, I just decided to apply here a few days ago. Their application process is rigorous, involving a resume, essay, three letters of reference, and a high GPA. I didn’t want to deal with all that and all my end of semester projects, but then I realized that the applicant pool for this program is also smaller. They have an accelerated program that I believe I have a great shot getting into if I can gather the proper materials in time. Plus, Kentucky is beautiful and also close to home. This will take a little extra work, but I believe it will be worth it.

Other Stuff

I submitted my “Intent to Apply” email this week. The rest of the application is due in March 2018. If I do get accepted to the program, I will find out in May 2018 and PCS around July to whichever school I was accepted to. If I don’t get into a nursing school, all is lost for this year’s application.

I can handle the blow of not getting into the NECP my first time, but I cannot handle not getting into nursing school. However, I will absolutely apply to nursing school and the NECP again next year if not accepted.

I also plan on reenlisting for another four years if I am not accepted within the next two. I want to give myself several chances to commission, as I will have many opportunities to try for the NECP in the upcoming years.

In just a few days, my final semester of prerequisites will be complete and I can spend the rest of the year studying for those two vital nursing exams. Then, while focusing on applying to the NECP, I will also begin studying for Staff Sergeant. If I don’t get into the NECP, I definitely want to make the next rank. I will be sewing on Senior Airman in late January, making the cut-off for Staff Sergeant eligibility by the hairs of my chin.

That is the gist of what’s going on so far. While school is ending, there is little time for me to relax. Things just keep moving forward, and I am very excited to see where 2018 takes me. For better or worse, I am staying optimistic.

Anything exciting going on with you?

There is Still Time to Rock 2017!

It can be hard not to blame ourselves for the things that go wrong or the ways we're let down.Who knows if C.S. Lewis actually said this, but I found it on Pinterest and fell in love. Happy November, friends. One of my favorite people — yes, she’s a blogger — wrote a post recently about finishing the year strong, and it absolutely inspired me.

2017 is almost over.

As Chelsea said… Whether this was or was not your year, you can still finish strong. Dust off those new year resolutions and make something – anything – happen!

I can say that 2017 has offered me some of the best and worst times in my life. Yes, I moved to a new location that I’m not totally in love with and got a divorce, but I also learned so much about life and found deeper meaning in my relationships. I became a better friend and tackled issues I never dreamed would be presented to me.

2017 has been a year of questioning and busyness, but I’m not giving up yet. There have been failures and successes. And though we only have 45 days left, there will be more failures and successes – which is more than okay. Life isn’t always about #winning.

I wanted to blog more this year, and it didn’t happen. I had huge hopes for my blog. I wanted to start affiliate marketing. I bought Michelle’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course. That was not a cheap course to purchase, and I’ve made no money with affiliate marketing because I haven’t been doing it. That’s okay though. I have next year to attack my blog goals and start fresh.

The Year of the NECP

This has been the year for career goals and furthering my education. I’ve talked about my desire to commission as a nurse in the Air Force and how things have gone up to this point. I have been busy. There has been time for nothing but applying to nursing schools and finishing up my prerequisites. Everything else has fallen to the side.

Of course I wanted to DO MORE. SEE MORE. BE MORE. But sometimes, sacrifices have to be made.

I’m Still Trying New Things

2017 is almost gone, but I am still trying new things. I’ve started bullet journaling – more on that in another post. I tried Stitch Fix! – more on that in another post too. I’m listening to audio books and going out with friends more than ever before. I am challenging my relationships. It has been an eye-opening year. I have accomplished things I never thought possible. Honestly, I have become the me I always hoped to be after graduating college — and I’m not even using my degree. Sure, I wear a super manly uniform to work every day and NEVER carry a briefcase, but people count on me. I plan. I lead. I conquer.

Even if I don’t make it into the NECP this year, there are so many other opportunities to focus on while waiting for the next application cycle. That is what I love about the Air Force. The opportunities never end.

You Can Still Kill 2017.

Science says you need 66 days to form and keep a new habit. Wouldn’t it be awesome to start something new right now and then make a 2018 resolution for it? By the end of January, you would be successful because you would only need 21 days (just 3 weeks) to lock that habit down. Is getting a head start on your 2018 resolutions cheating? I don’t think so. It’s called kicking butt and taking names.

Yes. 2017 may suck. It may have been the most disappointing year you have ever had. But you have 45 days left to change it all. You CAN change it. Forget about everyone else and their pessimistic ways. For heck’s sake, forget about me and my pessimistic ways. This is a time for encouragement. This is a time for conquering the beasts you never got to slay.

I have three more weeks in my semester. Will I get anything extra done in that time? Probably not. But you can bet on December 9, I am going to plan out my blog content for the rest of the year. I am going to read five books. I am going to study for more nursing exams. I am going to drink and be merry! What can I say? I work better under pressure.

The point is… I am going to kill it. You are going to kill it. We are going to KILL it! Because that’s the real #winning in life. Take these last few weeks and do the things you never thought you could.

Books I Read | October 2017

Books I read in October 2017 | Rose Colored Water #readingchallenge

It has been several months since I posted about the books I have read this year. I blame summertime, my divorce, and college coursework. Therefore, I am recapping everything I have read/listened to since June 2017. Unfortunately, very little of what I have read is related to my 2017 reading list.

Still, I’ve read more books this year than I have in years past, and I feel very excited about that. I hope to catch up on several of the tangible books I have in December when everything calms down. As for now, everything is audiobook. I probably don’t need to remind you how much I love my library and Hoopla! It really has opened my world to so many other book options.

Books I read in October 2017 | Rose Colored Water #readingchallenge

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

I had no idea this was a memoir when I put it on my list and wish I had looked into more before adding it to my reading list. It was dreadful. I hated it and skimmed through most of it, all the while thinking how ridiculous the author sounded. I guess it wasn’t her fault. She grew up in an unloving home and then realized she was gay. Everything seemed difficult for her, and though I tried to relate, I just couldn’t get behind it. I think it’s because I had completely different expectations for the book and they were greatly disappointed.

The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

I saw this at Target, and then found it on Hoopla in the e-book version, so I checked it out. It is such a cute book in real life. It has delightful cartoonish pictures and is separated into easy bite-sized chunks. I have heard so much about Hygge on Pinterest and the internet, but I could never really find a good explanation.

If you are like me and have been wondering what the heck Hygge is, this is a great introduction book. The author literally studies happiness for a living in Denmark where Hygge originated. He knows his stuff. While I may not completely jump on the Hygge decor train right now, I would like to slowly switch out my possessions to create a more Hygge environment in my apartment. As for lifestyle, I am Hygge to the core, and have been living as such for years.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
by Mark Manson

Despite the name, this book is not as rough as it tries to be. We are told to care about every aspect of life. Every time something comes up, we are expected to give our whole being to it, even if we don’t care about it. Mark Manson says it is time to stop. Stop giving an F*** about things you don’t care about and focus on the things you do.

For some, this could be life-changing. For me, I felt as though I had met a long-lost friend. I have lived this way for some time, and it is satisfying. If you’re a people pleaser and can’t say no – Manson’s ideas will free you. If you already know how to not give a F*** and would like validation, you might also enjoy this read.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Have you ever seen the original Anne of Green Gables television mini-series? It is one of my favorite series, yet I had never read the actual books. When I found the whole series (and more) on audiobook on Hoopla, I decided to start listening, and then I was on a roll!

Anne Shirley is a little orphan sent to a brother and sister who never thought they needed or wanted her. Anne is a fiery, red-headed girl with a knack for getting into trouble, but she soon wins the hearts of everyone in Avonlea. Set in Prince Edward Island, Anne of Green Gables will make you dream about the little Canadian island.

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery

The second book of the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne has grown into a young woman and is headed to Queens to learn how to teach. There is plenty of trouble for Anne to get into, and she does, but not without taking a special place in everyone’s hearts.

Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery

Anne Shirley heads to college, off the island, and continues to mature into a smart, young woman. One thing I love about these books is how Montgomery makes Anne grow slowly and maturely, just a young girl would. It has been easy to see her growth from the first book, and everything feels natural. This particular book is where much of reader’s wishes come true. I won’t spoil it if you’ve never read the series, but it’s definitely one of the best books in the series!

Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery

Anne has graduated from college with a B.A., and in a series of letters, with a few narrative passages, Anne recounts her time as a principal at Summerside School in Windy Poplars. Anne’s beautiful spirit is tested when she finds that a prominent family never wanted her to have the position and will do anything to make her quit. Per the usual, she impacts everyone she meets and leaves Windy Poplars a much lovelier place than it was before.

Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery

It is amazing how much Anne has grown throughout the series. In Anne’s little house of dreams, she is married and living with her husband outside a town called Four Winds. She meets several interesting people, and Montgomery touches on some very sensitive topics. I would say this is one of my favorite Anne books because I finally feel like I can relate to this fiery red-headed girl.

If you begin tiring of the Anne books, I do recommend you try to make it to this one. It really is a breath of fresh air.

I can already tell that November will be a month of little reading. I am so busy with no time to listen to audiobooks, let alone sit down and read actual text. Have you read any of the books above? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Keeping Positive and Focused When Paying Down Significant Amounts of Debt

Staying Focused and Positive While Paying Down Massive Amounts of Debt | Rose Colored Water

By Patty Moore, a writer and blogger who happens to love her family, finances, and career. Patty isn’t afraid to tell you what she thinks @WorkMomLife on Twitter. You can also follow her story at Working Mother Life.

For many people, paying off a debt can feel like the longest goal of a lifetime. However, it’s definitely a must if you want to eventually start creating wealth. In addition, it’s also the only way to stop feeling stressed over the debt.

Some people use anger to pay off their debts, but there are plenty of other healthy ways to get out of the financial burden. If your interest bills make you mad, or even sick to your stomach, consider the following methods to get out of debt once and for all.

Staying Focused and Positive While Paying Down Massive Amounts of Debt | Rose Colored Water

Think of Your Future

Once you’re out of debt, your life will change. Whether you’re paying off student loans or credit card debts, eliminating these monthly bills is the only way to be free and create wealth.

In the future, it’s possible you could get a new job you love, pack up and travel to where you want to live or visit, work less hours, or simply sleep better. Take some time to write down some ways your life will change and focus on your reason “why” when paying down debts.

Review Your Goals Every Day

In order to achieve a large goal, you must stay laser focused. In order to keep your focus, it’s important to read or mentally visit your goals every day. This could mean looking at a list, a picture, or something else that reminds you why you are working so hard.

One method may be to write down your goals on your smartphone’s home screen so you see them several times a day. Other people write their goals in the bathroom mirror. Dilbert creator, Scott Adams, wrote down the same phrase 10-15 times a day until it came true. For affirmations, write down positive phrases (I will be financially free) rather than negative phrases (I want to get out of debt).

Create Support or Accountability

If you really want to achieve your goals, find a way to create accountability. It’s easier for couples to stick to a diet if both are committed, and the same fact is true for any other goal, including paying off a large debt.

Can you find a friend or loved one in a similar debt situation? Talk to this person and tell them you’re looking for some ongoing help to pay off a major goal. In a way, you’ll be doing it together. If you can’t find someone you know, look for support groups on Reddit, Mr. Money Mustache’s forum, Facebook, finance blogs, Twitter, or other forms of social media.

It’s possible to even find a modern day pen pal, given the reach of the Internet. Either way, this accountability partner will keep you motivated and vice versa.

Try to Remain Patient

Make sure to remain patient throughout the process. Everyone has a different number they need to pay off, but worrying doesn’t help anyone. Instead, make a plan and stick to it.

More than likely, it took you a few years to accumulate your debt, so it’s going to take a few years to get out of it. The key is to chip away at the debt and pay off larger amounts when you get the chance. With your accountability partner and a laser focus, you’ll be debt-free before you know it.

In addition to your laser focus, make sure you are always up-to-date on new information. It’s possible that new methods or regulations could come from the government or even from your own financial standings that could mean thousands of extra dollars in your wallet.

If your credit score has improved, look into refinancing to see if you can get a better interest rate on your debt. One study found that the average Millennial was overpaying their student debt by about two percent. The majority of consumers do not know that refinancing is possible! When you have debt, you need to constantly do your homework. Opportunities for low interest rates are here today, but may not be tomorrow.

Rewarding Your New Debt-Free Life

After you get out of debt, you can live those new experiences you’ve been dreaming about. This could mean switching to a new job you love for less income or simply packing up and going on an amazing trip around the world.

The freedom of a debt-free life is something many people will not experience. However, because you’ve created a list of principles to focus on your debt-free life, you can achieve this goal.

If it still seems overwhelming, figure out a way to reasonably reward yourself for your ongoing hard work. Let’s say you’re paying off three credit cards. After the first, treat yourself by doing something in your budget. Maybe book a round of golf or a trip to the spa to celebrate this milestone.

If this rewards-based incentive sounds like you, make sure to put it on your calendar so it’s earned for the task.

While paying off debt may seem impossible, creating small goals and living by these tips can help with motivation and perseverance. What tips do you have for staying focused on your debt pay-off journey?

Staying Positive while paying Down Large Amounts of Debt | Rose Colored Water

5 Things To Do Before a Spending Fast

5 Things to Do for a Successful Spending Fast | Rose Colored Water #money #spending #finance

Last week, I outlined exactly what I spent money on during my September Spending Fast. Even though things went well, there were still some things I wish I would have done beforehand to help with the transition and guilt when it came time to spend money on non-essentials. The next time I participate in a Spending Fast, I’ll make sure to prepare so I’m not regretting my decision two weeks in.

The next time I participate in a Spending Fast, I’ll make sure to prepare so I don’t regret my decision two weeks in.

5 Things You Need to Do Before You Start a Spending Fast | Rose Colored Water #spending #money #debt #finances #savings

1. Buy non-essential items you’ll need in advance.

For example, my mom’s birthday is in September, so I bought a card for her in August. Unfortunately, I forgot about Grandparents’ day, which I always send cards for. If you know there are things you’ll need in the month you are fasting, purchase it the month prior. This could be cosmetics, special hair products, or gifts for friends.

If you need a haircut or want a manicure, do it before the month begins. These are niceties you are not allowed to spend on during a fast.Then you won’t feel guilty when the time comes around.

2. Go out to eat the day before it begins.

This is a tip from Anna Newell Jones, the original Spend-Faster. Say goodbye to eating out by spending some time at your favorite restaurant. Consider it a “Fat Tuesday” of sorts. Toast to the next 30 days of spending nothing on anything frivolous. You won’t feel so bad the next time you want to eat out, and you’ll know you only have to survive four weeks.

3. Tell your friends and family.

I don’t have any family in Colorado, and I still told them about my Spending Fast. I also let my friends in on the secret, which was a huge help! They were my biggest supporters and would often buy me a treat (I have the bestest of friends), just so I’d go out with them. I hope you have friends like mine. One paid for a movie ticket; another bought me coffee. This is not why you should tell your friends, though.

I never asked my friends to buy me stuff. That’s just how they are. I told them about my spending fast so they would help me fight my cravings and urges. CRAVINGS and URGES are my weaknesses. They knew not to ask me out for spendy fun and instead would come over and play card/board games with me. This was a huge help because I never felt like I was missing out and we still had fun together without spending money.

Your friends will make or break you during a Spending Fast.

4. Make a budget before the month begins.

Confession time. I suck at budgeting. There. I said it. I have a very rough budget on Mint, but it’s more of a guideline than a steadfast rule. This has been my downfall time and time again. The struggle of sticking to a budget is REAL. Therefore, it is crucial for you to create a strict budget before beginning your Spending Fast. If you have no idea how much you make or spend in a month, push your Spending Fast month back so you can take the month prior to track your expenses and income. See where the bleeding occurs and find a way to stop it.

Ask yourself how much you can cut out from basic expenditures. For me, it was eating out and buying groceries. For you, it might be clothes shopping and manicures. To each their own. Just know that this is where money bleeding occurs. And put the credit cards away. That will just make everything worse. The Spending Fast should be a cash/debit diet so you are not tempted.

5. Forge a list of fun things to do in moments of weakness.

Note that fun is underlined. This would have bolstered me against the boredom I felt during the weekdays. A little planning can go a long way. All I had to take my mind off fun was Microbiology homework. Definitely NOT FUN. For example, I have a 1000 piece puzzle I never completed. Just the other day, I decided to try it again, and it has taken so much of my time! I love piecing it together and I have already saved money in October because I’ve been busy with homework and working the puzzle.

Maybe puzzles aren’t for you, but renting a book at the library that’s been on your to-read list could also help you reduce spending. Whatever your thing is, use it to help fight boredom on a Spending Fast, especially if it’s wintertime!

A Spending Fast doesn’t have to be overwhelming and guilt-ridden. With a little planning, you can save hundreds of dollars and still have fun, as well as show your family and friends how much you care. Plus, it doesn’t have to be perfect. The great thing about Spending Fasts is that you can do them over and over again.

I plan on doing another spending fast in January after my budget stops hemorrhaging from all my holiday spending. What are your tips for a Spending Fast?

5 Things to Do for a Successful Spending Fast | Rose Colored Water #money #spending #finance