An Air Force NECP Update

Nurses Enlisted Commissioning Program | Air Force | Rose Colored Water #airforce #military

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A Quick Recap

About nine months ago, I wrote a post about the Air Force NECP. In that post, I explained that the NECP is a commissioning program for enlisted Air Force members who want to be nurses. You must be an enlisted member in the Air Force to apply for the program (among many other stipulations). If accepted into the program, the Air Force will pay for your schooling; you will be paid at an E-5 salary (unless higher ranking) and accrue time-in-service years while attending nursing school to obtain your Bachelors of Science in Nursing. After the program is complete and you pass the NCLEX, you will move forward towards becoming a nurse and commissioned officer in the United States Air Force.

Since the initial post, I have completed most of the requirements needed to apply for the NECP. Most of my time has been spent volunteering, working, and taking prerequisite classes for nursing school. It has been a hectic period.

Nurses Enlisted Commissioning Program | Air Force | Rose Colored Water #airforce #military

Where I Am Now

I am prepared to apply for the 2018 NECP, but first, I must apply and be accepted into nursing school. I will be applying to several nursing schools in the September/October timeframe. These schools must have an ROTC program or an ROTC detachment to qualify for the NECP. If accepted, I wouldn’t be in ROTC, but the ROTC program would handle my paperwork, leave time, and PT requirements. Their tuition and fees for the nursing program must also be under $15,000 per year.

If I am accepted into a qualifying nursing school, then I will be able to move forward with applying to the actual commissioning program. My next update will be in a few months, documenting what schools I applied to etc.

Other Information

I am a lucky airman because I have a solid working relationship with many people in the medical group on our base. If you are interested in the NECP, I recommend talking with your chain of command to find a way to reach out to the Chief Nurse in your area. Our Chief Nurse has given me excellent advice and a timeline to help me have a competitive advantage when applying. This is crucial to my success, especially since my current career field is not related to the medical field. His support is a huge benefit as I work through this overwhelming process.

Overall, I am confident about the future. I have been killing myself trying to complete the prerequisites while working every day and sustaining healthy PT standards. It has been really hard. Pursuing this has strained my mental and emotional state, as well as my relationships. I pray it is all worth it in the end.

When you want something, you have to go after it. Let me know if you have any questions!

4 thoughts on “An Air Force NECP Update

  1. I am considering commissioning after I get my BSN. I have many of the same reasons as you did for wanting to join. I am 25 now and will be around 27 when I graduate. What are your thoughts on the process for those with a BSN looking to commission with no prior military experience. Thanks in advance for everything and your service!

    1. Hi Melanie,

      Thanks so much for commenting! I highly recommend trying to commission after you finish your Bachelor’s. I was fearful about commissioning with a PR degree and no military experience, so I enlisted first. However, you are in a much better position having a nursing degree. They are desperate for good nurses, and the medical side of the Air Force is much different (in a relaxed way) than the other fields. I recommend talking to an Officer recruiter near you sooner rather than later, so you can learn more about the process if you are truly interested!

    1. Hi Melanie,

      Commissioning is when you go from enlisted to officer, or when you enter as an officer. Officers are like managers, while enlisted are the lower tier. They make less than officers and genuinely don’t have the same perks. The difference is, you must have a Bachelor’s degree to commission in the Air Force. If you start out as enlisted, you usually have to be a Senior Airman before you can submit a package to commission. This generally takes about three years to reach, give or take.

      Hope this helps!

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