Veteran's Hospital RN's

  1. I was recently offered a position at the Veteran's hospital as a new grad in my local area and was wanting to hear from Nurses that work at the VA currently. I have heard they have excellent bene's and they also have several raises per year. Can someone tell me how many raises per year and at what percentages? And about the bene's?? Thanks.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   jnette
    Would be interested myself, as a vet. Closest one is nearly 2 hours away, though. Have also heard so many negative things about LACK of proper equipment ,diagnosing, and good docs... I just don't know... would like to hear something positive on this !

    Anybody?
  4. by   renerian
    I know the nurses there work very hard and are usually short. Who isn't though?

    Good luck in your search,
    renerian
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    There are worse hospitals in this area. One VA hospital has on site day care.
    Underground tunnels used to transport patients (and staff) from one building to another have large cockroaches climbing the walls.

    Some patients and staff swear like sailors! It's actually a good natured habit.
    Some units at the county hospital have angry swearing.

    Each unit is different.
  6. by   dianah
    Hi, today was my second day working at the local VA hospital. The staff I've been introduced to while transporting pts, walking w/co-worker, etc, have without exception been friendly and welcoming. The hospital is as clean as my previous place of employment. A little jumping thru hoops to get in (e.g., they wanted my transcripts --- from 27 years ago!!!) . . . but then again I haven't interviewed in 21 years, so requirements may be the same at other hospitals (although we WERE fingerprinted!).
    I suggest you check out the prospective hospital - go there for a meal and scope out the atmosphere, ask the vets how they like it, maybe (I never suggested this) evesdrop on the nurses . . .
    Do you know any of the nurses who work there, to get their opinions? I found several nurses I knew at my previous hospital (and talked with a couple who "came over" from another facility within the last 3-5 yrs) who now work at the VA and all said it was the best move they'd made.
    PM me if you want more info. Good luck! -- D
  7. by   SheilaK
    I have worked for 3 VA hospitals now. All have some of the same problems as anywhere else. I love the bene's 13 paid holidays and 26 paid vacation days a year, not to meantion great medical. Real retirement in addition to 401K.
    Staffing is ok, we sometimes work a bit short, but who doesn't. Occassionally we run a little short on thing, SCD's seem to be the premium item lately. But have never flat out had to do without and make the pt suffer.
    For me the flexability is one of the best thing, due to family health, when my hubby was dx'd with Ca, I had to move from Cleveland, Ohio to Oklahoma City and then to Shreveport, La all in less than a years time. The VA was very understanding and trnasfered me from facilty to facilty, no loss of wages or senority. I have been at this facility for about 2 years now.
    Yes there are day I cuss this place, but on a whole I still like where I work. I have also found Veterans are one of the best groups to work with. 95% are much more pleasant that what you find in the private sector... LOL we won't talk about the other 5%.
  8. by   TheLionessRN
    I worked briefly at a VA hospital and in this particular hospital, the doctors were fantastic. It was in Nashville and right in the middle of the Vanderbilt University campus, and all doctors were on staff at Vandy, so you know it was good. It is old and not as clean as it should be, but the nursing care was great and everyone seemed really committed to the care of the vets.
    One of the job requirements is that you be able to stand on your feet for the entire 12 hour shift, so be ready for that one....I left due to health problems, but would go back if I could do so....after I get better.
  9. by   obeyacts2
    I am a student, but my Dh gets his health care thru VA. In CA, the VA is paying 67.000/ yr for new grads no eperience necessary. THIS IS NOT A TYPO The listings I read had openings by specialty and listed ratios . ICU RNs have a ratio of 3 to 1, and I think med-surg was 8 to 1. They were paying CNAs 35.000 yr. They are federal employees and have a pay scale by education/expereince. So as you can imagine, nice benes and pension plan. I hope to work in hospice for them someday. They have a full run of specialties ER psych ortho etc. Only drawback is 99.5 pct of your clientele will be elderly men. My Dh is vietnam era and is usually the youngest guy in the waiting room LOL.

    Laura
  10. by   jfpruitt
    67k a year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which VA is this? I have a BS in biology and 5 years of state gov't experience and the RN recruiter at VA here said that she could possibly start me at a RN II scale which is only a few more dollars than new grads, but still about HALF of 67k!!!!!!!!! Is that so high because of the cost of living??? I need to call that VA and see what is up. Where is that at?
  11. by   jfpruitt
    I am doing my preceptorship at the VA here and absolutely loved it. Because its gov't, I find that they are always staffed compared to other area hospitals. Every RN I worked with said that the VA was the best place they had every worked just because they always had adequate staff on hand. Of course, there are always exceptions, but most of the time if someone called in sick, they had an agency RN backup. Not to mention the bene's that are not even comparable. I really liked the charting system too. I also found that 95% of the men were exceptionally nice to me. They were genuinely grateful for my help and care.
  12. by   jnette
    Thanx for the info ! Is there a link or site I can go to to find the local VA's in my area...?
  13. by   SheilaK
    http://www.va.gov

    go to the bottem of the page and there is a link for facility locator which will show all in the US.

    There are sites to find what is open, but most opening are not posted. Best thing to do is find a facilty you want to go to call and talk to the nurse manager of the type of unit you want to work in.

    Clinic jobs (monday through Fri, day shift only) usually are done from within unless you are a nurse clinician.
  14. by   jnette
    Thank You ! Will check it out and keep it bookmarked for future reference, when I'm ready for a change.

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