Atlanta VA Medical Center

  1. Hello Everyone!

    Can anyone tell me about their experiences at this facility? Is anyone familiar with any New Grads that have taken jobs at any VA? They have information on their website but it is very general. It also says that they have a Women's Health Center...anyone know anything about it? Please tell me anything that you may know about any VA Medical Center. I have only experienced the VA Medical Center on on occassion and that was during a Psych/Mental Health rotation at a different VA hospital. I know they pay based on ADN or BSN, anyone know specifics?

    I am going to call the facility, but I just wanted to get some input from you all and hear about any experiences you may have had and/or heard about.
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    About ThisOneGotLucky

    Joined: Dec '07; Posts: 45; Likes: 6


  3. by   I_love_my_job

    We had the opportunity in nursing school to have various RNs come talk to us and tell us their experience in their careers. One lady worked for the VA and loved it. They have many perks and benefits: A lot of vacation time, paid holidays, etc. She talked so positively about her job that many wanted to run there to apply.

    I can't remember the specialities or opportunities for new grads. ATL is too far for me to go to work with high gas prices.
  4. by   marachne
    I worked for the VA for several years and I loved it. I love the population, and that the ethic, at least at my VA was that it was an honor and privilege to care for those who served -- patients were less likely to become "the pna in room X," but to be treated with dignity and respect.

    It can be a difficult group to work with -- a lot of MH and substance issues, chaotic lives, histories of not taking care of themselves -- it seems everyone has DM, CAD, some kind of pulmonary thing going on.

    The pay is based on the going salaries in the area -- they will not be the highest paying, but they will be comparable, and yes, the benefits are good: 5 weeks of a combination vacation/sick leave, 11 paid holidays (which if you work you get double time), good retirement plan...and if you stay in the system you can move to any state and not have to get a local license, plus your benefits move with you. Usually have a good tuition reimbursement program too, and they want their nurses to move up (if you're ADN, you'll get plenty of encouragement to get a BSN, they also want master prepared nurses). VA nurses are unionized as part of the federal workers union. The good thing is that you are well protected. The frustrating thing is that so is everyone else, so sometimes it's really hard to get rid of people who are incompetent.

    I don't know how things are in Atlanta, but my sense it that in general they have good orientation/preceptiving programs for new grads. They also tend to do a lot of research, and are often located near universities and have a teaching mission, so there's lots of opportunities to be exposed to new ideas and approaches.

    The hardest thing about the VA is that it is the federal government -- that means everything (like getting hired) usually takes a really, really long time. You have to be prepared to wait out, and wade through, the system. Also get used to an amazing collection of acronyms -- again, the legacy of the military.

    Good luck!