Keesler Airman selected for Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program

  • Published
  • By Susan Griggs
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
Before she joined the service more than three years ago, Senior Airman Alyssa Johnson already had her heart set on becoming an Air Force nurse. After determination and careful planning, she's been selected for the Air Force's Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program.

Johnson, a force management journeyman, begins the program Aug. 24 at the University of West Florida in Pensacola.

"I actually had decided to apply for the NECP before I came into the Air Force," said Johnson, who hails from Kansas City, Missouri. "I was hoping to come in with a medical Air Force Specialty Code and then apply for the NECP, but there weren't any medical AFSC openings when I joined, so I took a job as a personnelist instead."

After basic training, Johnson came to Keesler for technical training in the 335th Training Squadron and was assigned to the 81st Force Support Squadron.

The Air Force Personnel Center issues an updated Personnel Services Delivery Memorandum each year for Airmen who want to apply for the highly-competitive commissioning program for enlisted members to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing and become a commissioned officer in the Nurse Corps. 

"Every year I've reviewed the requirements to make sure I was on the right track," Johnson explained. "You have to have at least 59 credit hours to apply, so I started working on my nursing school prerequisites as soon as I finished my career development courses and followed all the specific application guidelines and deadlines."

She also completed her Community College of the Air Force associate degree in human resource management.

June 9, Johnson was scheduled to test for staff sergeant, but her supervisors told her to stop by the office before she went upstairs in the Sablich Center for testing.  Col. Susan Airola-Skully, 81st Mission Support Group commander, was there to let her know that she had been accepted for NECP.

"I was overjoyed and couldn't wait to tell my family, but my leadership said I should still report for testing," she remembered.  "My excitement made it hard to focus on the test. I could hardly believe it was finally happening after three years of hard work."

After completing her nursing degree, passing the National Council Licensure Examination and receiving her nursing license, Johnson will attend five weeks of Commissioned Officer Training at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., followed by a 10-week Nurse Transition Program.  Then she'll receive her assignment location.

She has a few tips for others who'd like to apply for the NECP.

"Make sure you find a nursing school you want to attend that meets NECP requirements and check on what courses are required to be accepted - many nursing schools have different prerequisites," Johnson pointed out.  "Have a plan for completing your classes and keep your eyes on the end goal."

She credits her accomplishment on God's help and the support of her husband, Christopher, and her family, friends and co-workers.

"I believe that a career as a Nurse Corps officer is my chance to do something that I am passionate about, while also being able to serve and truly touch the lives of those who have given so much to our country," she added.  "I am so excited for this amazing opportunity and I can't wait to become a nurse in the world's greatest Air Force."