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+ Benefits

Student Nurse entry to the RAF is a great way to start your career. You will train with us and, once graduated, you will begin your career as an RAF Registered Nurse, providing direct nursing care in a variety of different clinical settings.

This role is expected to be open for applications in mid-August

Already applied? See what the next steps are >

What will you do?

After basic training, you will commence undergraduate professional training as a Student Nurse (Adult) within Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service (PMRAFNS) at Birmingham City University. Subsequent tasks include:


  • Providing primary healthcare
  • Delivering secondary healthcare
  • Aeromedical evacuation (transfer of patients by air)
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Life as a Student Nurse in the RAF
Minimum Education Requirements
  • Have GCSE Grade C/4-5 or Scottish National 5 grade C in Maths/Application of Maths, English Language and Biology/Physics/Chemistry or Science Double Award
  • Have 120 UCAS points from Higher Education. Further details listed below
  • Be aged 17 - 47 years (Must attest before 48th birthday)
  • Must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth (with ‘right to work’ immigration status)
  • Commit to a minimum 12 years service
  • Meet the health and fitness criteria
  • Pass a Fitness test - Details below
  • 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.


View all entry requirements >

At any level or position your personal success is vital to make us succeed too. We are dedicated to your future, as it is essential to ours. You will receive basic and specialist training in your field and we even provide the option to pay for your education. The experience you gain with the RAF will equip you to work at the top of your field, both in the UK and overseas.
Phase one training
Basic Recruit Training
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Your career will start with Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire.
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Phase two training
Specialist training
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It is desirable that all candidates should have some nursing/caring experience (voluntary or paid employment).
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Additional qualifications
Ongoing development
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After you have qualified as a RN(A) you will be expected to maintain your currency in clinical practice and undertake CPD.
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First tour
Specialist training
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You will progress to Birmingham City University (BCU) to complete the 3 year BSc (Hons) degree in Adult Nursing.
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Ongoing development
Ongoing training
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Once you have qualified as a RN(A) you will complete a period of further development.
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Career prospects
Ongoing development
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From 01 Jan 2024 Student Nurses entering as Unqualified Entrants will be offered a Preliminary Engagement 12. On completion of training you will be subject to 3 years Return of Service (ROS).
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Transferable skills
Ongoing development
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The qualifications you can earn are as valuable in civilian industry as they are in the RAF.
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Thanks to subsidised food, travel, accommodation and free gym you get more money in your pocket.

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Benefits icon for Rent from £75p/m
Rent from £75p/m
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Free gym
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Subsidised food
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Health care
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World travel
Benefits icon for Training
Joining the RAF takes several steps. Below is an overview of the process. The purpose of this process is for us to gauge whether you’re the right person for the RAF and for you to show us all of your skills and experiences that have made you who you are.
Selection Interviews
Health Assessment
Fitness Test
Selection Interviews
Stage 1 of 5

Here’s where we get to know you a little better. You’ll get to showcase your skills and experience, and we’ll answer any questions you have about joining us. Your interview will take place at a local AFCO and cover the following topics:

  • Family life
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Special interests and hobbies
  • Interest in the RAF
  • Training
  • The role you’ve applied for
  • The RAF

You’ll be asked a series of standard questions, and you’ll be able to ask your own questions during the debrief afterwards. Some roles require a second interview and/ or test to determine your suitability.


Some roles also require a second interview and/or test to determine your suitability. These are normally conducted over a 1-3 day period at an RAF base where you’ll be able to see, and experience, the kind of environment you’ll be working in. Details about which interviews are relevant for you will be provided during the application process.

Health Assessment
Stage 2 of 5

You’re legally required to meet certain medical standards, and must pass an occupational health assessment to show you’re fit for military duty. As part of this assessment we will check your overall health, focusing on areas like hearing, eyesight and body mass index.


We’ll also investigate any past illnesses and screen for health issues that may prevent you from carrying out your role. View details below for more information about the health standards you’ll need to meet.

Fitness Test
Stage 3 of 5

A good level of fitness is critical to joining the RAF, it’s also something that must be maintained throughout your career. You’ll need to complete a Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFC). This will take place at a local gym near to you, and includes a 2.4km run, push up test and a sit-up test.


The performance level you’ll need to meet differs by age and gender. Please refer to the entry requirements below for more information about the health standards you’ll need to meet. You can also find help, and a training plan, to assist you in your preparation here.

Stage 4 of 5

Once you’ve successfully completed each phase of the application process you’ll be invited to a provisional offer of service interview at your nearest AFCO. This is to ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of service in the RAF, are fully committed to joining, and prepared to commence training.

Stage 5 of 5

Basic Recruit Training

This takes place over 10 weeks at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. It will make you fitter and more confident. It will challenge you mentally and physically, and it will prepare you for your career with us. There are 6 phases:

  • Arrival - You’ll be sworn into the RAF and be given a service number
  • General Service training - You’ll learn about marching, drills, core values and our code of conduct
  • Initial Force Protection training - Fighting and survival in a military environment
  • Exercise Blue Warrior - 4 days in the field with real battle conditions
  • Force development training - Apply your skills in new environments with adventurous training activities
  • Graduation - Learn about what’s required in your first post and display your new skills

What next?
Now you’re a fully-fledged member of the RAF you can receive role specific training.


Applicants must be aged 17 - 47 years (Must attest before 48th birthday).


Applicants must also read all of the sections below and make sure they meet all entry requirements before submitting an application.


Have these minimum grades:

  GCSE pre-2017 GCSE 2017 onwards Scottish national 5
Mathematics/Application of Maths C Grade 4 C
English Language C Grade 4 C
Biology/Physics/Chemistry OR Science Double Award C Grade 4 C

Have 120 UCAS points from higher education. Please find below a link to the Birmingham City University Website www.bcu.ac.uk/courses/nursing-adult-bsc-hons-2021-22, illustrating the university entry requirement for the BSc(Hons) Nursing (Adult) course. Applicants must meet these criteria as well as all RAF criteria.

You can see what the RAF accepts in lieu of GCSEs & A Levels here.


You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth (with ‘right to work’ immigration status).


Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application, but candidates with a minimum of 3 years may be considered.

If you have resided abroad for a period due to work or study, you may still be eligible on a case by case basis. 


You must be physically fit to complete both initial and specialist training, and to do your role effectively.

As part of the application process you will need to do the Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT), which takes place at a fitness centre local to you. This consists of the following:

  • 2.4km (1.5m) run on a treadmill (set to zero incline)
  • Achieve the required number of press-ups - within 60 seconds
  • Achieve the required number of sit-ups - within 60 seconds

How fit you need to be to pass this test can vary depending on role, age and gender. The requirements are listed on the charts below (Male and Female).

AGE 2.4 Km Run Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (No.) (No.)
15-16 12.39 20 35
17-29 12.11 20 35
30-34 12.36 19 32
35-39 13.02 18 29
40-44 13.30 17 26
45-49 14.00 16 23
50-54 14.34 15 20


AGE 2.4 Km Run Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Mins) (No.) (No.)
15-16 14.59 10 32
17-29 14.30 10 32
30-34 14.55 9 29
35-39 15.21 8 26
40-44 15.58 7 23
45-49 16.32 6 20
50-54 17.06 5 17

See here for more information about the test and a training plan


Candidates joining the RAF must be medically fully fit, both physically and psychologically, to meet the challenges of military service, during which they will be expected to deploy, potentially at short notice, to locations world-wide that are remote from established medical care. 


Certain medical conditions could preclude entry to the RAF. Further details can be found in this document. 

Before your application, please note that Body Mass Index Requirements are as follows: 

Age Male and female minimum Male and female maximum Male maximum with additional assessment Female maximum with additional assessment
18 + 18 30 32 32
16 to < 18 17 27 27 27

Calculate your BMI here 


Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew. 
If you are unsure about any health criteria, please continue your application and your eligibility will be assessed at the medical examination stage.  


During your application, the Medical Risk Assessment that all candidates undergo is there to make sure that you are healthy enough for the intense training required by the RAF. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and is not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information. 



  • Declare any previous spent and unspent convictions
  • Check if you qualify under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 through this summary
  • Have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance


  • Have been or are a member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence
  • Are waiting to appear in court, or have unspent convictions. You may also have to declare spent convictions for certain roles
  • Misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
  • Have tattoos, brands or bead implants that are obscene or offensive. 
    Any permanent or temporary tattoos, whether ordinarily visible or not, must not be obscene or offensive (eg, racist, anti-religion or belief, crude, overtly sexist, homophobic, drug related or of an extreme political nature). Tattoos may be worn on the side and back of the neck but tattoos on the back of the neck must not extend above the natural hairline (scalp tattoos are not permitted). 
  • Have body piercing which causes holes that do not close up
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

Beard Policy:

A revised facial hair policy has been agreed by the Air Force Board which will allow serving personnel to wear a smart, neatly-trimmed, full-set beard whilst maintaining high standards of appearance. The length of acceptable beards is between Grade 1 (2.5mm) and Grade 8 (25.5mm).

The wearing of beards during Phase 1 and Phase 2 training is currently under consideration and details will be advised when available.

If you don’t have any of the above, you might still be able to apply. For more information please contact us.

Got what it takes? Start your application here.
RAF Student Nurse in combat clothing as part of MERT team