VA Benefits

  1. Hi all,

    I'm an OR nurse with a few years of experience. My end goal is to get in with the VA as I want to be with the Fed govt. A lot of that desire is based on prior (pre-nurse life ) as a civil servant and all the benefits that come with fed govt employment. I also have a strong desire to help our vets...I'd go military if I could ever get myself together physically.

    Anyway, I'm at a decision point in my current position for a promotion into management which would delay the VA goal for at least 2 years, if not more.

    Can anyone share what the current benefits of VA are? Specifically retirement/pension. I know it's not what it used to be, but in my head they are still really good.
    I have the payscales, but I know it's the bennies that often make it worthwhile.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   boywithacoin
    FERS Information should give you all the info you need about the pension/retirement plans that the VA has.
  4. by   furryhat
    Thank you!!
  5. by   StocktonNurse
    So right I'm working in the VA as an LVN. I now have my RN but can't get hired locally. They want me to work 45 miles away to work as an RN at a CLC (nursing home). So, the VA has great benefits overall i believe. Only down side might be pay. Your pay tables will not correctly provide your actual salary. The pay will be posted with each job so expect to get paid about half of what is posted and more with more experience such as between $93,000-$143,000 you get between 110k-120k depending on where you will work. VA benefits include a thrift savings plan TSP (401 type plan) and federal retirement plan (fers - pension plan). The tsp will match you in whatever you put in such 1-5% and they are an extra 1%. You put in 5 years and you can retire last a certain age like 50-55 and can receive medical benefits such as receiving blue shield past retirement but you still pay biweekly dues like as it you are normally working and it's taken out of your check. You also can transfer anywhere in the US and don't have to apply to other states for license. Strong union that backs you up. Tremendous job stability and less stressful. Stress can depend on your area of work of course. Greatest benefit is helping out the veteran population and making a a difference. Study performance based questions to prepare for interviews. Use the STAR formula to answer the questions.
  6. by   SubieRN
    Quote from StocktonNurse
    The pay will be posted with each job so expect to get paid about half of what is posted and more with more experience such as between $93,000-$143,000 you get between 110k-120k depending on where you will work.
    I think this is area and specialty dependent. I made a good wage in the private sector and was expecting a significant pay cut when I moved to the VA, especially since it the hospital was in an area with a lower cost of living. In the end, the pay cut was negligible. I hadn't received a raise in my previous organization (nor had any other nurses) for several years due to poor profit margins, and at the VA, I'm automatically bumped a step every two years. In the end, considering the benefits and opportunities, I think you come out ahead year for year versus the private sector.

    Tuition reimbursement, education subsidies, loan repayment programs, single license system, full practice authority for APNs, eight hours of annual leave accrual per pay period, etc. Health benefits post retirement for you *and* spouse.

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