QARANC Prospects

Hi there

I'm an AGC (SPS) soldier looking at transferring to the QARANC as an Adult Health Nurse. I have a Business degree and have been recommended for commission; I am due to attend AOSB briefing in September. However, I have decided that I would like to commission into the QARANC.

To do this I understand I need a Nursing degree, which I do not have. Whilst I know that I can transfer to QARANC and do a 3yr Nursing course at Birmingham City University, what I would like to know is, will I be eligible to apply for a commission whilst at university or do i have to complete the course and serve for a minimum of two years as a registered nurse before i can be considered for a commission? I have read a number of posts that give contradicting information.

Also, what are the chances of getting on the course in April 2012 if I apply to transfer in November 2011? As much as I would like to apply now, I am due an SJAR in november and would rather wait till I get that as it will look good on my transfer application. I did speak to the SO3 Recruiting and she did say provided she received my application by mid January 2012, she could have me interviewed by Feb and on the course. I foolishly didnt ask if she meant the April or September course. Has anyone transferred recently? What did the process involve?

Also, I have loads of questions for current student nurses and serving nurses as I am keen to carry out extensive research prior to submitting my application in November. So if you are a Nurse, please do get in touch. I have heard that the competition is fierce, is there anything I can do in the meantime to improve my chances of being accepted?

Hi Redmenacemedic,

Thanks for your response. I'm quite keen to learn what you mean by 8 years of boring stuff. Also, I'm quite keen on having a profession which is why I'm leaning towards Nursing (as being a doctors is out of the question; besides it's a completely different role).

The Medical Support Officer role from the description on the armyjobs website sounds like an admin/clerical/management role but specifically within the med corps. Perhaps I am wrong but, thats how it reads. If you don't mind me asking, what exactly is it you do? Also, at what point would I be permitted to apply for a commission? I have heard that student nurses attend PQAOSB prior to completing the degree (2nd year of the course in Birmingham City) however, I have also heard that nurses must complete 2 yrs of post degree service prior to applying for a commission. Which is correct?
when I was a nursing offcier(RAMC-then QANRANC),you had to have 2 years at least of post grad work behind you-as an RN.
Med students got bursarys and all that jazz and got commsioned upon degree passing as also got paid at the rank above the one they held!
Then they did house jobs and then went to sandhurst as CAPT.
Nurses went then to their own wee course at the pavillion(QA HQ),but nursing officers male went to sandhurst.
all go now to sandhurst.

reason we did that was only men went on to be RMOAs-regimental medical offcier assistant.
now its RNO-regimental nursing officer.
you got attached as second mo to an active duty unit -in my case N Ireland and then Gulf.
all very interesting and usuefull on CV.

Reason I say the boring years is you would have to do the course and then do some RN work first in civvie st.
if you did it in house via the army ,you would then be an other rank for about the same period of time.
Most senior QA offciers male at least,are ex ORs and did in house training-most around the time I was in!
If Med support officer-you are in the job and have the rank quicker-however promotion from OR is usually for senior ranks-when I did the course it was nicknamed the grossly overpromoted warrent offcier course!(unfair as we had SGTS as well and everyone was capable)

either way-its fine if nursing is your chosen career-works good inside and outside army,but upon getting out it can be diffcult to persuade NHS that you have experience etc.
they are still very dead persons shoes in the NHS and when you come into a unit there-much suspicion that you will get on faster as you have had a more full experience-they are correct!

There is life outside the NHS thank god.

If you stay in-both have a reasonabkle career structure.
top in QA is colonel.
top as MSO would prob be Lt COl.

MOSt folks in both streams hit and stay at major.

I left as Capt and went on to red cross,private business and am currently a manager in remote area care in Asia for a fortune 500 company.
I have worked in most of the world and held senior management jobs and worked as occupational health nurse at butlins!
the world as del boy said is your lobster.

I am a consultant-so jobs end and I have to look for others,but its a good life, and my service did give me the training,outlook and CV enhancement that made it all possible.
Many thanks for your reply.

It certainly was an interesting read and has got me thinking and reconsidering my options. I shall phone the RAMC SO3 Recruiting and see if I can schedule a Fam Visit.
Hi there,

I'm a third year nurse at BCU, the following is my understanding of the PQO process...

You can now apply for commission at the start of the 3rd year of the nursing course. You will attend acquaint visits at HQ AMS, then be put forward for AOSB (providing that you get the appropriate support from the CO and another senior nursing officer at uni).

If you fail to make an application in time in the 3rd year, or you fail AOSB, you will have to wait until two years after you have qualified before you can re-apply.

Feel free to PM me if you need further info.
Hi, I'm considering a commission with the RAMC as an MSO. I have a familiarisation visit arranged with them for March next year. I'm just wondering what kind of jobs former MSO's tend to find themselves in on leaving the Army? Any info you can give me on this would be very much appreciated.

Hi Walrus Gumboot,

If you scroll above a little bit, you'll find a response by redmenacemedic, he's a ex MSO and has a wealth of info. He's spoken briefly about what he's up to nowadays professionally but i'm sure he'd be happy to answer any questions you may have if you ask him nicely.


Hi, I'm considering a commission with the RAMC as an MSO. I have a familiarisation visit arranged with them for March next year. I'm just wondering what kind of jobs former MSO's tend to find themselves in on leaving the Army? Any info you can give me on this would be very much appreciated.

i would indeed panther 64.

Its hard sometime to diferentiate between the MSO and the nursing side re which gets me the work.
Basically both.
If there is a way of getting both-grab em!

the smaller roles where you are say a rig medic on a rig just off the coast of china(did that about 3 years after getting out) can be done with a CMT qualy-the higher the better of course.
As an RMOA with a nurse qualy(no degree at that point) and the MSO course,added to my ops tours-it was a shoo in.
later as I was training and doing logistics -the MSO role was more important in getting work.
I have been a lone medic,a site manager,region manager/ops manager,country manager and was a manager for the russian federation for the world biggest assistance company in the remote site medics side of the business.
there is a demand in these companies for good medical logistics experience-hence the MSO.
Currently on a project as head of medicine for a large company that I cant name here in asia as we arnt allowed to,but you can be sure its not shell or a british petrol company and has no cheverons on it but is american!

5 years so far-I have 5 clinics,30 staff,a small fleet of ambos I designed and so on.
Once an MSO-you can do this kind of thing.
add a cmt or nursing(especially if RNO) qualy and you are employable.
compaies in field are
europe assist
frontier medical,to name 3 of the biggest.
all are pro army and if medical(even cmt)you can be an offshore medic and start from there.
an MSO would be looking at being an operations manager in remote sites management or assistance(ie casevacs)

these companies have home officeies all over the world(especially ISOS and EA)
you can work in bejing,moscow,ulan bator,shanghai,tbilisi,Hong Kong and singapore like I have.

met mrs red menace here in singapore years ago.

UK is wierd-still produces the best combat soldiers and support soldiers-yet once out the gap to fall into is large in transition to civvie street.

Use the experience and paper you get and enjoy life after the mob.

your well trained,motivated and a self starter.

all my team here are ex local military or para military(the fire brigade is a para military one and the mil does exactly the same courses as they do in CMT training here)

My team are good lads and lassies,but havent been trained to teh level a UK mil cmt,mso or NO has been.
thats good news
when I was at the cambridge ,we had an MSO at full colonel.
The yanks have full career options for theirs way beyond the brit average.

I am happy though that progress is under way.
The pros need military medical logistic experts to ensure everyone can work to their potential.
Look at the poor NHS and its leaders.
(degrees in geology and expected to lead docs and nurses-hah!)
I would also advise all MSOs to join the mil section of the institute of healthcare managers.
The mil section is new and a great way to see how much better we do things in the military!!!(jovial humour-honest)
There are leads for the three services.

I think around 20 years ago folk looked down on MSOs-looks like things are better.
Months later and I'm back and almost half way through my transfer.

I'm due to attend the QARANC selection board soon. Can anyone tell me what to expect? I literally have no clue. I understand there's the usual; Numeracy and Literacy, group discussion and probably some phys. Can anyone give me any tips or more info on what the 4 days consist of.

MSO and nursing are very different although as a nursing officer there are opportunities for employment in either clinical or staff and command roles. Both have their merits as career pathways and MSO do have the opportunity to gain extremely good qualifications which are highly desirable in the civilian job market.

I can speak with some authority on nursing careers and am happy to discuss options via PM if you would prefer. As a guide the options are that you complete your trade transfer and undertake the nurse training program at Birmingham City University under the auspices of the Defence School of Health Care Studies. Once you reach the third year of training you can, subject to the appropriate recommendations, apply to go to the AMS AOSB (not main board) and if successful you would commission attending Sandhurst on the 10 week PQO commissioning course as soon as possible on qualification. Alternatively you can complete your nurse training and after a minimum of 2 years as a NCO qualified nurse you can apply for a commission. Alternatively you can leave the Army, apply for a nursing cadetship which will require you to be successful at AOSB main board and you will then attend RMAS on qualification. The final option is to leave the Army, train as a nurse, get 2 years post-registration experience and apply to join the QARANC as an officer or immediately on qualification apply to join as a soldier. It sounds complicated but if you speak to the QA recruiters they will cover all of the options for you.

Good luck
Hi Karabiner,

Thanks for your informative post.

Having weighed up all my options and matched them with what I actually want from life, I have decided to jump ship and transfer to the QARANC. I shall re-evaluate my strategy in 3rd year if I get recommended to attend AMS AOSB.

In the meantime, I trying to prepare myself for the selection board which is in a few weeks. Any guidance you can provide on preparing for this would be most appreciated.

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