VA/Govt Nurse Satisfaction - page 2

I would like to hear from VA nurses or US govt nurses. Do you like your jobs, pay and benefits? Two of my friends worked for the VA Dallas hospital and they reported the med surg/ ICU staffing was... Read More

  1. by   BadBird
    I realize this is a older thread but I am a newly hired VA nurse and was interested in resparking the interest so to speak. I was pleasantly suprised at the staffing ratios, much better than non VA, also state of the art computers, new equipment, etc... So far I am liking what I see but again I am new. I hope more VA nurses respond as I have much to learn about the system.
  2. by   DelGR
    Quote from BadBird
    I realize this is a older thread but I am a newly hired VA nurse and was interested in resparking the interest so to speak. I was pleasantly suprised at the staffing ratios, much better than non VA, also state of the art computers, new equipment, etc... So far I am liking what I see but again I am new. I hope more VA nurses respond as I have much to learn about the system.
    :wink2: Welcome aboard the VA system. I've been with the VA for almost 27 years. It has good and bad parts not unlike any other facility. I hope you are enjoying your new job. If there is any questions you have, I'll try to answer them.

    Del
  3. by   DelGR
    Quote from RUN10K
    I work at the Albuquerque VA and I just hate it here. I have never seen so many lazy good for nothing Nurse Aides in my entire life gathered in to one place! It really must be completely impossible to fire anyone that works for the VA. I work with a couple of Nurse Aides that have dozens and dozens and dozens of AWOL's on their record and my nurse manager just keeps saying that it is a complicated matter.

    Short staffing is the norm, overtime has doubled my annual salary and I seldom get time to chart on a patient because I just don't have the time to do any paper work because I am usually the only RN on the floor with 23 patients. I have been at this VA for 3 years and have had 2 lunch breaks in that time, but I do make an extra $400 a month just from the overtime I log for missed meal breaks.


    Thank goodness I have only 5 more years to go, if I can make it that long.

    I hope you are doing something about your situation rather than just putting up with it. Don't you have a union? Have you written up the nursing assistants? Did you fill out an unsafe staffing level with your union (if you have one)? Have you notified management about the situation IN WRITING? Many nurses in the VA don't use the voice they have to make a change for the better. I know, I've tried as a union leader to get the VA nurses at my facility to stick up for their rights and they won't. You will only perpetuate the problem if you do not speak up and you don't stick together as nurses. That's my opinion and experience. I've been a VA nurse for over 26 years at the same facility. We have a union that is only as strong as it's members and the other non-member nurses make it. If you are not voicing your concerns to the right people, you are basically not helping to right the problems you have spoken about.
  4. by   DelGR
    Quote from mariabruja
    Thanks for the heads up re UOP. Let me know how it goes for you, if the funding is there, and the programs available.
    I have now taken 3 courses towards my master's degree in nursing through the University of Phoenix Online. The VA is paying for it through the NNEI program. The main glitches to the funding is a problem at the beginning of each fiscal year (Oct. 1st) with the budget not being signed in a timely manner. We (government) were in continuing resolution until the end of January. When that happens, the most important funding goes through. Nursing education is not one of the priority items that gets included. The education department at my VA hasn't been given the go ahead to pay my tuition, so, I keep getting a bill from them (UOP) until it's paid. I'm told not to pay because it complicates matters. I did pay the first course and the VA had to reimburse my credit card account.
    The program is quite intense and a lot of work but I like it so far. Team work is expected and does cause some problems with getting team members you have never seen or talked to to cooperate and get the projects (power points and papers) done. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask me.
  5. by   RNPATL
    Quote from BadBird
    I realize this is a older thread but I am a newly hired VA nurse and was interested in resparking the interest so to speak. I was pleasantly suprised at the staffing ratios, much better than non VA, also state of the art computers, new equipment, etc... So far I am liking what I see but again I am new. I hope more VA nurses respond as I have much to learn about the system.
    Badbird .... I am in the same situation, just hired on with the VA in my area. Like I posted in some other threads, I am very happy with the decision so far. The people have all been very friendly and it seems like a great place. I will be on the floor shortly and will see how that goes. But from all initial indicators, all is good. Hope the same is true for you.
  6. by   RNPATL
    Quote from DelGR
    I have now taken 3 courses towards my master's degree in nursing through the University of Phoenix Online. The VA is paying for it through the NNEI program. The main glitches to the funding is a problem at the beginning of each fiscal year (Oct. 1st) with the budget not being signed in a timely manner. We (government) were in continuing resolution until the end of January. When that happens, the most important funding goes through. Nursing education is not one of the priority items that gets included. The education department at my VA hasn't been given the go ahead to pay my tuition, so, I keep getting a bill from them (UOP) until it's paid. I'm told not to pay because it complicates matters. I did pay the first course and the VA had to reimburse my credit card account.
    The program is quite intense and a lot of work but I like it so far. Team work is expected and does cause some problems with getting team members you have never seen or talked to to cooperate and get the projects (power points and papers) done. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask me.
    Is there a waiting period for this benefit? I have been attending UoP for a little over a year and am on a break right now. My next class is scheduled for August (needed to take some time off as the classes were so intense). I would love to get into this fundng source as a VA employee, if I am eligible.

    My NM told me that once I was there a year, the VA would pay for the remainder of my BSN courses and all of my MSN courses. Any information would be appreicated.
  7. by   DelGR
    Quote from RNPATL
    Is there a waiting period for this benefit? I have been attending UoP for a little over a year and am on a break right now. My next class is scheduled for August (needed to take some time off as the classes were so intense). I would love to get into this fundng source as a VA employee, if I am eligible.

    My NM told me that once I was there a year, the VA would pay for the remainder of my BSN courses and all of my MSN courses. Any information would be appreicated.
    Yes, you are eligible I believe after working at least one year at the VA. The MSN may or may not be funded depending on who else may want to sign up from your facility. They (the VA) have a priority to give the funding to those seeking BSN degrees first then MSN. There are several nurses in my facility taking the BSN courses. So far I know that there is me and one other nurse where I work going for their master's degree. I agree that the UOP online courses are intense. You will owe the VA back in time (3 years) once you are finished with the BSN. Of course, if you have already paid for the first year, you may not owe as much. They don't usually do any retroactive paying of something you have alread paid if you didn't do the paper work prior to signing up for the class. I don't know what you may owe if you have two degrees funded by them. Each year the funding is voted on by Congress. There may be funds in the future and there may not be.
  8. by   RNPATL
    DelGR - thanks for the information. At this point, I have just started with the VA and would still need to finish the waiting period. However, it is nice to know that these funds may be available for me as I round out my year with the VA. Thanks again.
  9. by   jwBSN
    Quote from BadBird
    I realize this is a older thread but I am a newly hired VA nurse and was interested in resparking the interest so to speak. I was pleasantly suprised at the staffing ratios, much better than non VA, also state of the art computers, new equipment, etc... So far I am liking what I see but again I am new. I hope more VA nurses respond as I have much to learn about the system.
    I have been with the VA for 13 years and I feel the same way you do...We have the best equipment, teamwork approach, and the best staffed ICU in town...It is an honor to serve those who served.
  10. by   Mais-Rose
    Quote from Soldiersnurse
    I'm sorry that you're not having the best experience with govt nursing. Were you prior service? Are you 5 years from retirement? Have you thought about moving to a different location? Try www.cpol.army.mil. Lots of job postings. Remind me never to transfer to your VA...........

    It is all quite interesting to read the comments. I just applied at the VA Fayetteville, NC. Here's hoping I get in. I only have an ADN, and am part-way into my BSN. I am not enrolled at this time. I sure hope it is not as terrible as it seems. I am determined to stick it out, however, if I get in. Thanks for posting all your candid comments.


    BTW, Soldiersnurse, I think your siggy lilne is a hoot.
  11. by   BadBird
    I have now been with the VA for 9 months, I have enjoyed working here so much that I decided to quit my agency job and transfer to Critical Care in a full time status. Although I don't relish the day shifts as I have worked nights for many many years I realize I have to "pay my dues" So this week I get my nights and next week daylight again. Oh well, someday I hope to have all nights again. Once I have completed 1 year of service I plan on returning to school for my RN to MSN program and let the government pay for it. There are problems everywhere but I can honestly say this is the BEST nursing job I ever had.
  12. by   Mais-Rose
    I finally heard conc retely that I now have a job with the VA. I was given a start date, at last. It took about 1 1/2 months to complete the process. It never actually took me that long to get a job before:chuckle . Anyhow, thank God, I start soon. I am very excited. I look forward to working with our honored veterans, and to give back to them as they gave to us voluntarily. I will post on my experience as I garner some.

    God bless all.
  13. by   KirstenfromDot
    Hi...enjoying the thread.

    I was recently put ont he waiting list for an ADN RN program at a local community college. There was however a seat offered to me at their other campus which happens to be at a VA hospital. I jumped at the seat for fear that I would have to wait another year for admittance (this program starts in Sept. 2005). My question is in regard to clinicals. I think I was picturing VA hospitals as LTC facilities. Do they actually offer other services such as maternity for female vets? I am curious to see if I will get the full clinical experience at this facility. I apologize for my ignorance on the subject. I will say that I am very pleased with the enthusiasm I have seen on the few VA nursing threads I have read. It sounds as if many find VA nursing a positive, rewarding experience.
    Thanks for any info!

    Kirsten

close