New Grads at VA Hospital

  1. 3 Would you recommend a new grad with no experience to work at the VA hospital or would you suggest working at a civilian hospital first and then apply with experience? Any response is appreciated.
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  3. Visit  SeychelleRN} profile page

    About SeychelleRN

    Joined Oct '07; Posts: 176; Likes: 116.

    39 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Tanker} profile page
    4
    You will do fine as a NG at the VA. Most likely you will be on a Med/Surg floor to start. When I graduated (about 2.5 yrs ago) I looked into the VA as well. there was no issue of being a new grad. If the VA is where you want to be you may as well jump in now and start with the retirement and benefits. I wanted to work in the VA since I was a veteran and enjoyed taking care of the vets. My thing was that I wanted to be on a specialty unit and not M/S. They wanted the M/S first. So I went to a civ hospital ER. Now I am in the Army. May go VA later.
    Skeletor, krazykev, chocokitten, and 1 other like this.
  5. Visit  chocokitten} profile page
    6
    I'm a new grad working in tele and I lov the VA I had THREE months of floor orientation with a preceptor in addition to a month of hospital orientation.
    serenitylove14, KbmRN, Skeletor, and 3 others like this.
  6. Visit  SeychelleRN} profile page
    2
    Quote from chocokitten
    I'm a new grad working in tele and I lov the VA I had THREE months of floor orientation with a preceptor in addition to a month of hospital orientation.
    The amount of orientation is very impressive. How long did it take for you to get the job? I have been hearing that it sometimes takes months.
    olygurl98502 and krazykev like this.
  7. Visit  chocokitten} profile page
    4
    Quote from Rockcrawlerbabe
    The amount of orientation is very impressive. How long did it take for you to get the job? I have been hearing that it sometimes takes months.
    I applied in February (two months into my final semester) and I was hired in May. It does take a long time and the application process is tedious (you have to do credentialing, security clearance, a large application, interview, boarding, etc etc) but it's very worth it in my opinion.
    As far as the orientation goes, I work in a tele-step down unit so my orientation may not be indicative of what orientation would be on a typical med/surg floor. But in addition to my orientation I was also sent to EKG class and ACLS training.
    Good luck, hope you give the VA a try as my clinical instructor said when describing her career at the VA "I've worked at other hospitals and the grass is not always greener on the otherside".
    Skeletor, tennisod, krazykev, and 1 other like this.
  8. Visit  pittpaRN} profile page
    3
    Quote from Rockcrawlerbabe
    Would you recommend a new grad with no experience to work at the VA hospital or would you suggest working at a civilian hospital first and then apply with experience? Any response is appreciated.
    Absolutely you should consider the VA!! In Pittsburgh we say the VA is the "best kept secret" as it is far superior to the many other hosptials with the benefits, pay, free parking, and other perks.

    I started as a med/surg RN (this was my choice, although they prefer to hire GN's in med/surg. However, for the past year they have been hiring GN's in Critical Care/ICU). I had a three month orientation to the floor with a preceptor. I learned telemetry within a year and was able to transfer to the ER after >2years.

    I work with a lot of nurses who have been here for 20+ years and they wouldn't dare trade this for any civilian hospital job.

    Good luck with your decision!!
  9. Visit  GeorgiaBoy61} profile page
    0
    Hello -

    Saw your post on AllNurses.com about working for the VA system.
    I live not too far from Hines VA in Maywood, IL. and have considered applying there. Anyone on the board know anything about Hines and working conditions there for new nurses?

    Thanks -

    Ga Boy61

    Quote from pittpaRN
    Absolutely you should consider the VA!! In Pittsburgh we say the VA is the "best kept secret" as it is far superior to the many other hosptials with the benefits, pay, free parking, and other perks.

    I started as a med/surg RN (this was my choice, although they prefer to hire GN's in med/surg. However, for the past year they have been hiring GN's in Critical Care/ICU). I had a three month orientation to the floor with a preceptor. I learned telemetry within a year and was able to transfer to the ER after >2years.

    I work with a lot of nurses who have been here for 20+ years and they wouldn't dare trade this for any civilian hospital job.

    Good luck with your decision!!
  10. Visit  chfhosa} profile page
    0
    Hello, I am chfhosa, and I am currently working on my last semester in nursing school. I am also interested in working for the VA (Puget Sound) after graduation (June 2008). I have been calling the VA to ask a few questions and to try to get the employment process started, but I have not received one call back. Did you receive this same lack of response when you were applying?

    Very respectfully,
    Chfhosa
  11. Visit  chocokitten} profile page
    0
    Quote from chfhosa
    Hello, I am chfhosa, and I am currently working on my last semester in nursing school. I am also interested in working for the VA (Puget Sound) after graduation (June 2008). I have been calling the VA to ask a few questions and to try to get the employment process started, but I have not received one call back. Did you receive this same lack of response when you were applying?

    Very respectfully,
    Chfhosa
    I would just go up there. Go straight to HR and ask for a nurse application packet. Or ask for their Patient Care Services office.
  12. Visit  SeychelleRN} profile page
    4
    Quote from chfhosa
    Hello, I am chfhosa, and I am currently working on my last semester in nursing school. I am also interested in working for the VA (Puget Sound) after graduation (June 2008). I have been calling the VA to ask a few questions and to try to get the employment process started, but I have not received one call back. Did you receive this same lack of response when you were applying?

    Very respectfully,
    Chfhosa
    I did not have this problem. The first thing I did was locate the phone number for the VA facility I was interested. When I called the first time, I asked for the nurse recruiter's direct phone number, name and spelling. After obtaining the aforementioned information, immediately I was asked if I wanted to be transferred. I said yes and a cheerful VA nurse recruiter on the other end answered all the questions that I had on a list in front of me. I then verified what form I needed to fill out to submit an application. If you haven't already done so, I would call the direct VA facility that you are applying and ask who you need to submit your application. As the previous posts mentioned, the application process takes time so it's best to submit the application ASAP to possibly have the job waiting on you post graduation. Here is the link for the VA Nurse Application if you need extra forms.
    :hngon: Good luck with your last semester and cheers to joining the battle to secure a VA nursing position.
    Skeletor, NewTexasRN, woknblues, and 1 other like this.
  13. Visit  smattles1of2} profile page
    2
    I just found out a friend of mine who graduated in Dec 07 with her BSN just started working at the VA hospital. I think it would be an awesome job and I would definitely go for it! She had the job lined up during her last semester of school...just had to graduate/pass the nclex, etc.
    Skeletor and SeychelleRN like this.
  14. Visit  BensMom} profile page
    2
    I applied to my VA hospital in mid June as a new grad , interviewed in early July, notified that I was hired in mid July and started work in August. You should definitly make contact directly with the nurse recruiter at the hospital you are considering. They can help you through the immense pile of application paperwork. (the new employee paperwork is another nightmare altogether!).I work in the MICU, recieved 3 months orientation, ECCO training, ECG training and will have ACLS in March. The benefits are great, the people I work with are great and the patients are very appreciative as are their families. It is very rewarding to know that I am giving something back to the men and women who defended our country.
    Itshamrtym and SeychelleRN like this.
  15. Visit  Kristyn, RN} profile page
    2
    I am a new grad at VA, med-surg with tele. I was able to start working as a graduate nurse as soon as I finished school, which was definitely a big plus for me. The hiring process can take a while. Find out who the nurse recruiter is at the hospital and call him/her directly. Also, if you look at the national VA website, there are links to job postings which usually have the recruiter's name listed. I would agree with an earlier post about just going up too the hospital and getting an application packet.
    The benefits at the VA are definitely good, but I think the patient population is the best thing about my job. Good luck!
    Skeletor and SeychelleRN like this.


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