One of the best places to go for new jobs in nursing is at your local VA hospital or Veterans Affairs office. In addition to traditional nursing roles, professionals working for this government-based organization take on tasks related to patient safety initiatives, travel nursing, clinical nurse leadership, and polytrauma care. That’s because in addition to serving the general health needs of the average population, VA nurses are also called on to help with special cases and health initiatives.
VA Opportunities for Students
Nursing students are in an ideal position to take advantage of VA job benefits. In addition to supporting nurses currently pursing their education, VA hospitals offer clinical rotations in affiliation with nursing schools. There are also many entry-level career options for those hitting the job market for the first time.
Once program that’s worth looking into is VALOR, the VA Learning Opportunities Residency, which takes on senior-year BSN students who need to complete their clinical hours. While the actual tasks aren’t that much different from clinicals in a traditional healthcare setting, an estimated 50 percent of nurses who do their clinicals here go on to work in the VA setting. That’s because part of the training component includes the practices, policies, and regulations set out by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and they like having employees already familiar with the setting.
Another option for nursing students who have just graduated is to consider becoming part of the VA Travel Nurse Corps (TNC). Like other travel nursing opportunities, nurses in this program are relocated every few months to a new hospital where staffing needs are high. However, unlike traditional travel nursing, the nurses here are only placed in other VA hospitals. The amount of training and orientation time in each new location is almost nonexistent, since the policies and technology are the same across the board.
Why Consider a VA Nursing Career?
Although working in a VA setting isn’t for everyone, it can be a good career choice for those who want the stability and benefits of working for a government organization. In addition to the nursing student opportunities listed above, nurses can enjoy tuition reimbursement options, scholarship programs, and a large allowance of vacation and sick leave.
For more information, you can visit the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Nursing Services at http://www.va.gov/nursing/About_ONS.asp.