Nnei - page 2

How many gov't nurses have used the NNEI program to get BSN or MSN? Was ALL of you education paid for???? We have 4 nurse that utilized the program & then told opps we have no monies & got stuck... Read More

  1. by   hwp1951
    Where do I start? I worked for the VA for 7 years before I started going to get my BSN. The education director talked me into applying for funds even though I was reluctant because I just didn't trust that it was safe. I worked the entire 18 months I was completing my degree.

    Turns out I was right. I not only did not get my degree fully funded, they shorted me about $7000. I also became ill with 11 months to go on my so called committment I was assured that I would qualify for a waiver. So I blithely left to take care of my health and wrote the letter, provided the data from my doctor, provided insurance forms etc to prove that I really was ill.

    The result? Two years later I received a notice that I was not getting the waiver and that I owed the VA 17, 500 which constitutes interest and triple damages on the prorated amount of $5000.

    I contacted my senator who basically told me too bad so sad. Mary Raymer is a mouthpiece for a system that has no words to describe it, They hide behind their government mantle and talk about how great they really are.

    I'd love to get an attorney to fight this. I even offered to return to the VA now that I am well to put in my 11 months so the debt will be cancelled. I was told I was not able to be rehired even thought they wouldn't tell me way. Age? I'm 57; my history of illness, Perhaps. I tried going the EEO route and got no where. I'd join a class action in a heartbeat if it happens.

    I'd NEVER advise anyone to get into that crooked system.
  2. by   NurseResearcher
    While I can be sympathetic to problems such as illness of self or family, it is difficult to sympathize with people who simply do not read (or, if they read, do not comprehend) the NNEI contract. All the issues identified in the negative posts on this thread are covered by the contract terms. Unfortunately, when difficulties arise, too many people want to be considered exceptions to the rules that they, themselves agreed to.

    Read the paper, folks. This is a business contract you are entering, not a "VA be nice" program.
  3. by   NurseKeiKei
    Okay you guys are scaring me. I just submitted my application for the NNEI/VANEEP program. But I too agree with NurseResearcher, are we signing on the dotted line (as was drilled into my head by my education coordinator) that you must follow the guidelines of the program to the "T". I am assuming that I will have to drag my broken bones, sick parents, etc into my job in the event that these or any other unforeseen catastrophes occur. Just my 2 cents.

    NurseResearcher, are you familiar with the program. I have posted several times requesting information but have gotten very few responses. Do you know how long it takes to get an answer once they receive your application? Is payment always late like I have heard from many people? Any other information you may have would be exttremely appreciated.
  4. by   RN-NP
    I am one of the "lucky" recipients of the NNEI sholarship. I had no problem receiving funds, they were little late but that was not a problem. I also did not have any breach of contract, took all of my classes as scheduled, and graduated from the very good NP program. Once I graduated, however, I did not get the NP position. I've applied and been turned down for 3 jobs so far. I think that my VA uses NNEI funds for the retention purposes more than anything else. All the available jobs were filled by the candidates outside the VA. So, now I have to stay here for almost 3 years and work as a staff RN, which is not the end of the world, but I invested a lot of effort trying to do something different.
  5. by   NurseKeiKei
    I rushed into the coordinators office to complete the paperwork on the very first day that they began accepting applications for this cycle. Its has been 2 months now and the deadline just passed. Should it really take this long to get an acceptance letter?
  6. by   RN-NP
    I cannot relocate because of the custody issues and I would not want to. Over all, NNEI is a great deal, you just have to stay with the program, no flexibility allowed. Good luck
  7. by   surfguy
    does anyone have an opinion on whether or not nnei payments are taxable? the local administrator where i work seemed suprised by my question. i asked the administrator if i could get a statement to include with the bundle i send my tax account every year. the administrator responded that never in ten years had she been asked for a statement for tax purposes. respond here, or email me via my profile.


    please do not post email addresses in public posts, as it is against our terms of service. thanks- the mod team.
    Last edit by BBFRN on Mar 19, '09 : Reason: email addy
  8. by   RN-NP
    For all people interested in NNEI, please print NNEI handbook, it will have all the answers and they could be different from what your facility is telling you.
  9. by   RN-NP
    NNEI funds are NOT taxable.
  10. by   blueheaven
    I think that many times, difficulties with the program are due to the coordinator at the VA hospital that you work in. I know that the coordinator at my facility is wonderful and she goes to any length to get our funding. The coordinator at my previous facility was almost non-existant and I don't know of many nurses there who utilized this funding. By the way, those of you interested in starting this summer....NNEI is out of funding until next fiscal year but you can still get all that nasty paperwork before hand. I have applied and been accepted but not starting until this fall when the cash is available.

    They also have a cap on what they will pay per credit hour. Look for a program that the funding will cover tuition as well as books. Download the NNEI handbook which is a really big help in understanding how it works.
  11. by   CNL2B
    I have just started receiving NNEI funding. It does all seem to be a pretty big headache. I am starting classes next week and although I have been approved for funding, the money hasn't landed in my account yet. My tuition was due 3 weeks ago, so I am left floating the money until the reimbursement actually shows up. It does seems to vary from VISN to VISN and coordinator to coordinator when they will allow you to be paid, which I think sucks. The schools want their money right away and are pretty inflexible when they say you are waiting for your scholarship cash to come through.

    The program does have some really strict guidelines re: how you have to progress through school and how long you have to work afterward to fulfill your obligation when you are done. One of the big sticklers is that you have to work FULL TIME -- so for you PT nurses, that time you put in after you finished your degree DOESN'T COUNT -- and that is spelled out in the program guidelines even though it doesn't explicitly state it in my contract. My NNEI coordinator told me as such, and you should have been informed of that too. When you are actually going to school, you can be part time depending on what your manager agrees to, but after you graduate, it is full time for however long your service obligation states.

    I was also informed that you have a max of 7 years to actually complete your degree to be consistent with the NNEI guidelines. BUT -- if you drop out for a semester or finish your degree early -- basically, if there is ANY change to your degree plan other than what you originally stated in your original application as far as your course progression goes -- you need to file for an amendment. Your NNEI coordinator should be able to help you go through that process. I have a feeling that those of you that have had issues with "breach of contract" likely didn't go through amending your contract the way you should have. This is the government and god knows they aren't going to let you do it retroactively! I think this probably could be successfully fought if you finished your degree successfully -- I mean, that IS the point of the NNEI -- but I do think that legally, those of you that dropped out for awhile, etc. probably did not fulfill your original contract terms.

    I was explicitly warned by my coordinator that what I was signing was a legal contract and if I didn't fulfill the terms as stated, I would be potentially on hook for all that money plus some. This is a big, national program, and if you play by the rules, it's really good - we are talking like thousands of $$$ toward your education for free. But, there are some sticky spots and if you don't play by the rules, it is a BIG problem.

    It does seem like there are some crappy NNEI coordinators out there. Mine just changed due to a retirement -- and what I was told by one is not 100% the same as what I was told by her successor. So, you really need to make sure you read the paperwork and know what's what and protect yourself.

    I am taking 9K of funding this time around. The cap on the NNEI at this moment in time is 34K (that changes periodically) so I am planning on using the rest of the money as of 2011 to complete a masters. I am currently obligated for 18 months and 3 days (yes, 3 days) and that will probably push me to the 3 year max, and I'm ok with that.
  12. by   RN-NP
    you have to pay tuition and then nnei funding will reimburse you. another issue with this program is that you are not guaranteed advanced nursing position after you graduate. i finished my np program 2 years ago and am still working as a staff nurse. no step increase, no pay increase, nothing... my facility is hiring outside nps while 3 of us (nnei scholarship recipients) are working as a staff rns.
  13. by   CNL2B
    I think what you said is correct. It does seem only fair though that if you finish your degree and continue to work as staff that you receive the same pay. The job hasn't changed, and you got your degree for free, so I don't see how you can argue with that. If you can't get a job at your facility, my understanding is that you can go anywhere in the VA system a job is available and fulfill your NNEI contractually obligated time. Not sure why you weren't hired in at your VA - but all NP's aren't created equal. Even if you interviewed for all 3 of those jobs, if they are out of your experience area when you practiced as an RN and your NP degree focus doesn't apply, I can see why they might not hire a new-grad NP. For example, say you had mostly worked in rehab as an RN and your were a new grad FNP, I would get it if they wouldn't want to hire you to work with a cardiac surgery team where you need critical care knowledge and experience. I don't know if that applies to your situation or not. It does kind of suck though. One of my good friends went through and had the NNEI pay for her NP and she ended up taking a job in the facility in a practice area she didn't want -- and it took her like a year to get that job because there weren't any other openings. She is happy there now, but still. Sometimes there is a wait.