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- Mar 19, '09 by RN-NPFor 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.
- Mar 19, '09 by RN-NPNNEI funds are NOT taxable.
- Jun 3, '09 by blueheavenI 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.
- May 3, '10 by CNL2BI 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.
- May 3, '10 by RN-NPyou 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.
- May 3, '10 by CNL2BI 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.
- May 4, '10 by NurseKeiKeiHello all you VA'ers. I have been receiving NNEI-VANEEP funds for the last 18 months and I must say it has been without any major mishaps. The only problem I can think of is the slow pay issue. I almost lost my spot in my program of choice because the school was threatening to drop me with classes beginning within only a few days. I am now 3 semesters in and praying to the almighty that my last semester is just as good as the previous ones.
I was wondering if anyone knew if you are deemed ineligible for funds to pursue advanced degrees (I would like to work on my Masters next) if you have previously utilized funding. I know, I know sounds greedy right? Well a girl has got to ask. Times are hard.
- May 4, '10 by LCHRNI decided not to take NNEI. How did you RN-NP how did you get the clinicals done? I am in a Psych NP program getting ready to do clinicals. I requested flex time, which was denied. What options are there? We don't have 24/7 yet.
- May 4, '10 by CNL2BTo future nurse-y: You can use the funds for as many degrees as you can get through. You do have to go through and get approved via a whole new application cycle just like you did the first time around. The lifetime cap on your funding is something like 34K BUT since the program is primarily designed to fund nurses getting their BSN if there isn't enough money to go around they can deny you, and this does happen periodically. I know people that have had to wait until the next round to get funding for MSNs. And, if you go back to school and take out more funding, that obviously cranks up your service obligation. I pretty much figure that if you use all the funding you are going to be obligated for 3 years.
- May 4, '10 by NurseKeiKeiThanks for your reply Miss Becky. I am actually a VANEEP recipient which means that I am allowed absence from work while I complete my academic program. The program not only provides tuition but also salary replacement. With the addition of salary replacement to the cost of tuition, I am well over the cap. So I am wondering if there is additional criteria for VANEEP recipients who seek future funding or if we are ineligible. I did ask my coordinator and despite her being wonderful throughout this ENTIRE process, she wasn't able to provide a concrete answer. If anyone knows where I can find this information I would greatly appreciate it. I graduate in December and I will be looking to apply for admission to Master's programs for next September. Honestly I am thinking they are going to tell me it is too soon to reapply anyway but I am curious about the guidelines.