The Air Force's Nurse Enlisted and Direct Enlisted Commissioning Programs are now accepting applications from active-duty airmen, the service has announced.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 27. Applications will be considered by selection boards that will meet in April.

The Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program offers enlisted airmen the chance to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing at a college or university with an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment or an institution with a "cross-town agreement." Successful applicants must attend school year-round in a resident-based program for up to 24 consecutive months, to include summer sessions.

Airmen selected by the April NECP board will start school in fall 2017.

The Direct Enlisted Commissioning Program allows enlisted airmen to commission into the nurse corps if they already have a nursing degree and have passed the National Council Licensure Examination. 

"Qualified, dedicated nurses are critical to the military and civilian communities," said Maj. Karen Jackson, nurse education program manager at the Air Force Personnel Center, in a statement. "Candidates go through rigorous screening to identify those  who are ready for the responsibility and highly likely to succeed in the school and career field."

To be considered for the NECP or DEC boards, applicants must be U.S. citizens with the rank of senior airman or higher. NECP applicants must have no more than 10 years total active federal service,and DEC applicants can have no more than 12 years of service, as of April 30, 2017.

 Applicants also must meet time-on-station and retainability requirements, have current security clearances, be worldwide qualified and commissioned by age 42.

Upon successful completion of their degrees, airmen who pass the National Council Licensure Examination and receive their nursing licences will be commissioned. Both DEC and NECP candidates will then attend Commissioned Officer Training and the Nurse Transition Program before going to their assignment location.

For complete application instructions and requirements, visit myPers, select "Active Duty Enlisted" from the dropdown menu and search for NECP or DEC.