I am a couple of months away from finishing nursing school and I am very much interested in working for the VA. I have done majority of my clinical hours (med-surg, psych, ICU) at a VA. I will also most likely do my practicum/preceptorship (180 hours full-time hours) at a med-surg unit at the same VA. I have enjoyed working with veterans and I have been able to grasp CPRS and BCMA quite well.
Last edit by centercourt2015 on Aug 5
You should look at the openings on USAjobs.gov. I think most positions require experience, though. I have rarely seen anything for new grads at VA facilities.
I was hired at the VA as a new grad RN, though I had been a VALOR student nurse extern at a VA in a different state, and had done my senior preceptorship at a different VA in an even different state. Other nurses on my floor were also hired as new grads with no VA experience. The VA likes to hire folks with VA experience and it helped get me boarded at a higher step than the other new grad RNs without it. You can also look at USAjobs for SNT (student nurse tech) jobs while you're still in school, and/or GNT (graduate nurse tech) jobs when you've graduated. I don't think every facility offers these positions, but at mine, SNTs act pretty much like CNAs with a little more leeway for practicing nursing skills, and GNTs are hired on for orientation/residency prior to becoming licensed (or sometimes after), so they're usually working under the license of a designated preceptor for a few months prior to getting hired on as a full-fledged RN.
Hello! I was a VALOR intern and hired on as a new grad through their RN Residency Program. I'm not sure if this is available everywhere, but it is tailored specifically to new nurse graduates. I would ask and see if this is available at your VA. I do think you have a good chance of getting hired on since you already know the environment and charting. Good luck!
Make good connections while you're there. Talk to your preceptor, talk to their nurse manager, ask if they ever hire new grads, what the requirements are, etc. When I did my transition to practice experience at the VA, my preceptor and the nurse manager both asked me if I wanted a job after I graduated. I didn't take it due to having other interests at the time, but I know of students in my class who really wanted a job there. The difference is, they went through the nurse recruiter instead of talking to the nurse manager directly.
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