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Becoming an Air Force officer: NECP

Becoming an Air Force officer: NECP

The Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program provides active duty enlisted members an opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Graduates of NECP are commissioned as second lieutenants upon successful completion of the National Council Licensure Examination and earning a nursing license. (Courtesy graphic)

Becoming an Air Force officer: NECP

Col. Jennifer Grant, commander of the 50th Space Wing, and Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Tester, chief enlisted manager for the 50th Mission Support Group, congratulate Staff Sgt. Cortney Watkins, commander’s support staff with the 50th Comptroller Squadron, on her acceptance into the Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, May 29, 2018. Watkins will start nursing school at Florida International University August 2018. Graduates of NECP are commissioned as second lieutenants upon successful completion of the National Council Licensure Examination and earning a nursing license. (Courtesy photo)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Airmen seeking careers as officers in the Air Force can take advantage of several different commissioning programs and opportunities. 

The Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program is a commissioning program providing active duty enlisted members an opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“Commissioning programs to include NECP are very competitive in nature and applicants must dedicate a significant amount of time and effort to evolve into the individual who stands out from the crowd,” said Scott Hardin, education services specialist with the 21st Force Support Squadron.

Airmen selected for NECP will attend nursing school full time in the fall and attend a college or university with an Air Force ROTC detachment or with a cross-town agreement for up to 24 consecutive calendar months, to include summer sessions. 

Upon completion of the program, members will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination to earn a nursing license.

Following this step, graduates must attend Commissioned Officer Training to be commissioned as nurse corps officers. They will then attend the Nurse Transition Program and move to an assignment location.

Before one can pursue a nursing degree and commission in the Air Force, each candidate must go through an application and selection process.

One Schriever Air Force Base Airman is familiar with the process and was recently selected for the program.

“I knew that I wanted to apply for NECP a year within being in the Air Force,” said Staff Sgt. Cortney Watkins, commander’s support staff with the 50th Comptroller Squadron. “The application process for NECP went smoothly for me because I have been preparing to apply to the program for so many years.

“However, the requirements are tough,” she continued. “Members applying must find an eligible school, be accepted into the university of their choice and submit all required documents before the NECP board meets to decide who will be the next nurse corps officers.”

A total of 40 Airmen were chosen for the 2018 cycle. Airmen were required to submit applications by March 16 and the NECP board released results May 22.

Several components make up a NECP package, to include a letter of recommendation, Enlisted Performance Reports, fitness history, nursing school acceptance letters, transcripts, a video interview and a chief nurse interview.

While the NECP application process may be challenging, Hardin shared advice for those who would like to pursue this path.

“I recommend anyone interested in NECP start by thoroughly reviewing the information posted on myPers,” Hardin said. “The process is complex and may seem daunting, but the guidance is very comprehensive and includes contact information if members need assistance. I also strongly encourage anyone interested in NECP to seek out an active duty Air Force nurse to ensure they fully understand their profession.”

Watkins looks forward to pursue a nursing degree and shared advice for Airmen looking to become officers through NECP.

“When I found out that I was accepted into Florida International University’s Veterans Bachelors of Science in nursing program, my eyes welled up with tears of happiness,” she said. “There were so many individuals who helped me along the process and I would not have been able to do this without them. I would tell others persistence and hard work definitely pays off.

“My greatest advice for anyone who is interested in this program is to lay out all of your goals and do what you can each day to accomplish each of them,” she continued. “There will be barriers that come along, but there are ways to avoid them and keep pushing toward your goal. If nursing is your passion, do not give up on your dream; keep pushing until you are accepted because the NECP program is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

One board occurs annually for NECP. Applications deadlines for 2019 are to be determined.  

For more information on the NECP, visit here.

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