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.
    Blessednurse13, Skeletor, and krazykev like this.
  2. 39 Comments so far...

  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!!
  8. 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!!
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.


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