1. 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 with BIG $$$ in our own pocket...When we tried to get out of the contrat told "BREACH of Contract"...
    Then when we graduated 4 days to 2wks early told Breach of Contract & had to send letter of apology to gov't that we graduated early....
    Blah!!! the program was terrible...I'm in my 50's went back got no congrats, no evaluation of proficiency for 3yrs & no raise...Nata....Stuck with $17,000 I owe...Not the only nurse either...
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    About angel

    Joined: Aug '99; Posts: 21; Likes: 2
    gov't ambulatory care


  3. by   BadBird
    That is hard to believe, I work with several nurses that have utilized NNEI money for their education including my nurse manager. Myself and another nurse just got accepted and will be starting a accelerated RN to BSN program next month. There are only a few nurses that don't have a BSN where I work and the majority did use NNEI without any problems. I wonder if it was your particular VISIN that had difficulty? Well anyway I will keep my eyes open.
  4. by   Zorba
    I graduated with my BSN and was given a commitment that does not coincide with the formulas set forth with the NNEI guideline requirements. I have talk with other RN's from the exact same program and all were given different lengths of commitment to fulfill their obligation to NNEI. Has anyone else experienced these inconsistencies pertaining to the commitments post graduation????

    According to the guidelines of NNEI, they state that they require the enrollee to repay time for "coursework" taken at an approved school. I have taken 5 Dante's (clep tests for credits), at $50 per test for 15 credit hours or $250. NNEI is telling me that these are to be calculated along with the coursework I attended during my attendance in the BSN program. This they say, will change my commitment time of 19 mos to 3 years????? I find this hard to believe.

    If anyone has had any of these problems or recognized the inconsistencies in determining their commitment post graduation, please respond to this post or send me a note privately.

    Thank you for your time.
  5. by   nuberianne_RN
    What is NNEI?
  6. by   Zorba
    National Nursing Education Initiative
  7. by   fairwren
    I wish I had talked to you BEFORE I got the NNEI. I took time off when my Dad was sick and died. They denied the waiver request, and based the denial (verbally) because they don't reissue monies to the same individual. The VA that I work for had misappropriated the funds. Now the local VA has made right on that, but the Federal VA is still billing me for $10,000 for what they spent, saying that I was in breach when I took the time off. What are they thinking?
    Long and short, I'm trying to find an attorney that will file a class action suit, if there are enough of us. If not it's off to Washington I go. I am not one to just take it. There are others at my VA that had the same thing happen to them, but they just paid, and kept quiet.
    Anyone with any similiar situations. Please write me if you don't mind sharing.
    I don't think that the Senate meant for this to happen to a group of professionals that they are courting to stay.
  8. by   Zorba

    The people in New Orleans, specifically Mary Raymer and Marisa Palkuti, are the individuals in charge of the NNEI. I have been in correspondence with them multiple times regarding the inaccurate computation of work obligation r/t the length of the nursing program. It seems from what I found out is that they typically will require 3 years of service regardless of how their formula actually tabulates out.

    To support my accusations, I instituted the Freedon of Information Act (FOIA) to get specific information regarding the nurses at our VA that received NNEI funding. What I uncovered was appalling!!!!!! Not only did I now have PROOF of the inaccuracies, the FOIA uncovered that the program director at our facility was not being an advocate of the recipients at our facility. When I presented the information to Raymer and Palkuti, they actually had the audacity to tell me the findings were immaterial and didn't mean anything.

    I have presented this to the president of the AFGE 3669 nursing union who informed me that there was a national problem with the NNEI program and requested a copy of the FOIA information I uncovered. She was going to take this information and also present it to individuals in DC, who, I'm not sure of. I would like to forward your message to her if you don't have any objections.

    I, too, am requesting a waiver in writing r/t leaving the VA and after my ACTUAL work commitment is fulfilled. I found out that I am 2 history credits short of my degree (BSN), so they made me In Breach of Contract. I also have worked over 2 years after leaving the nursing program. My actual work commitment should have been 1 year 9 months and a few days instead it was easy for them to tell me 3 years. The formula IS NOT complicated even though the Program Director, who is PhD. prepared, told me it was. Since I left the VA, they withheld my vacation pay and billed me for the amount that I was funded. I was able to negotiate at least a portion of the money from the financial director at my VA for living expenses until I was able to develop an income after leaving the VA.

  9. by   fairwren
    I am having a nightmare with my NNEI, and I know another nurse that would join us in a class action suit, and there may be more if we can get someone to represent us.
    I was looking for an attorney for myself, as I have been fighting this for 3 years now.
    We need to organize. I think a website would be a good place to start, so we all have somewhere to organize information and contacts
    Please contact me, and let's get this going. It is an optimal time with the Walter Reed bad PR coming up this week.
    I am in VISN 6.
    Today I got yet another denial letter for waiver from Marissa Palkuti - anyone else know that name? How about Kathy Heaphy, esq, atty for the General Counsel.
    I have lots of names dates and experience with this so far
    Contact me at:
  10. by   Pompom
    I finish my BSN program March 27th. So far NNEI has paid for everything, no problems. My contract spelled out exactly what was expected including 3 yrs. work to pay it back, I knew going into the contract what was expected.
  11. by   izmike
    [font='times new roman']i was working on my master's degree, utilizing the nnei and completing the first year, when i had to take a leave of absence due to serious problems with two teenagers. i did so with the full understanding of our nursing education office (visn 17) and ms. raymer in new orleans. very long and painful story to be kept short, i have just received a letter telling me that i must pay back over $6000.00 and ms. raymer will not respond to my e-mails. i am now working in visn 19 and plan to resume my msn degree. from what i am being told, i am "s.o.l." even if i complete the degree. this is not what i call fair and i am dealing with a system that is not family oriented. the veterans administration will have the benefit of my advanced degree, i will not be given reimbursement and i still have to pay the nnei fund back. i honestly feel as though i am dealing with a bunch of heartless bureaucrats that don't give a flip about me, my family and from what i am reading, many other hard working career va nurses. i would be very interested in speaking with others considering a class action law suit. this is the last thing i want but feel i am being given no other alternative. as an interesting side note, for the last several months i have been working so much overtime that i don't have the time or energy to put up much of a fight. i would so appreciate any help/suggestions.

    Quote from fairwren
    i wish i had talked to you before i got the nnei. i took time off when my dad was sick and died. they denied the waiver request, and based the denial (verbally) because they don't reissue monies to the same individual. the va that i work for had misappropriated the funds. now the local va has made right on that, but the federal va is still billing me for $10,000 for what they spent, saying that i was in breach when i took the time off. what are they thinking?
    long and short, i'm trying to find an attorney that will file a class action suit, if there are enough of us. if not it's off to washington i go. i am not one to just take it. there are others at my va that had the same thing happen to them, but they just paid, and kept quiet.
    anyone with any similiar situations. please write me if you don't mind sharing.
    i don't think that the senate meant for this to happen to a group of professionals that they are courting to stay.
  12. by   fairwren
    Anyone with an NNEI issue.....
    I am continuing to attempt to find a way to settle things with the VA, without success. They have been garnishing my wages @ $212 every two weeks. They began this without notification.
    I have requested a FOI (freedom of information) for all nurses at my facility that have been granted the NNEI and have had to pay the funding back - this done last week.
    I request that ANYONE having difficulty with this program do the same at your facility, and contact me with the information. If we have enough participants, there is an attorney that may take this case. I also have my Senator working with me. I have also written to Laura Gasparis-Vonfrolio - maybe if others write....She responds quickly, and perhaps if there are numbers of us, she would have other ideas to try. (She has suggested ANA - didn't work, and AFGE - didn't work either)
    I just finished my BSN program last week, and that didn't make any differenct in regard to their opinion about the repayment.
    Remember, there is power in numbers, and we have a strong voice.
    Last edit by BBFRN on Nov 11, '08 : Reason: Personal info removed per our TOS
  13. by   military girl
    From my experience with the NNEI, it was a positive experience. I am active duty in the Army as a nurse, but I worked at the VA in Michigan.
    I had to pay for my first semester because I had not been at the VA for a year(which was a requirement for them to pay), but after that, I submitted my packet, with all the info from the school, and it was paid.
    The thing is, now I am active duty and I owe 7 months of payback time. I had completed 5 months before I got active duty orders.
    If you have a nurse recruiter, ask them to look into other ways that the bill could be paid. Sounds like you signed up in good faith.
    Take care
  14. by   dsrbeschmidt

    Does anyone know of any participants of this program who are working part time while going to school, and wish to continue working part time? School would be the same "full time" online program done by any of the nurse's participating. RN to BSN ( diploma to BSN).

    Does the NNEI only cover a pro-rated amount of expenses? And, when done only covering the pro-rated expenses, do they then expect 3 years of full time service following?

    If you have any personal knowledge or info, can you let me know?

    I am trying to decide if I'd just be better off to cover this all myself, and not owe any committment whatever to the VA.

    After reading so many posts which are negative, I'm getting an eery feeling about this!

    My opinion is, if all goes well and there's no glitches in your personal or academic life, it's a positive experience..but, any deviation from that "perfect world" norm appears to create very significant problems....do I seem to have that correct in the way of general opinion?

    Anxious to hear from y'all!