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.
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.
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!