VA/Govt Nurse Satisfaction - page 3

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   Ginger1
    Thanks for all the information on working for VA hospitals. I am a new grad, less than one year, and decided to resign my job with a local private hospital and try work at a VA hospital. My husband and I wanted to move to the Nashville from the Memphis area so I applied to the VA in Murfreesboro and the recruiter ask me if I would be interested in a Med Surg position with the VA in Nashville. I had a telephone interview and accepted the job so we are on our way. Any other Nashville, TN VA nurses out there? I would love to hear from you.
  2. by   RNPATL
    The VA system is a great system to work for. There are problems, but then there are problems with private hosptials as well. As far as maternity wards .... not sure that the VA has moved in that direction yet, at least not that I know. I think they still require the female vets to use the local hospital system for babies.

    In relationship to the time frame to start with the VA ... it can be a long process. But once you are in, you are in. After 18 months of service, your probationary period is over.

    As far as Nashville, TN VA nurses, I am sure there are plenty out there. Most of the nurses that work for the VA do frequent the board and will probably post soon. Good luck to both of you in relationship to your positions with VA. I am sure you will enjoy working for them and please post and let us know how it is going.

    Good luck.
  3. by   20yrkrear
    wow! seems like there are some va systems that are doing ok. this one here in richmond however is circling the drain. at least in my micu/ccu. our manager is the worst i've ever worked for and i am the 4th nurse o leave w/in 2 months. others are trying to leave and or transfer. some won't b'cause of retirment/yrs. we can't even keep agency nurses and they go back and tell how awful it is. i truly have never worked in such a bad place. the sicu seems to be doing ok. all of us believe it is do to our manager. she tell us how awful we are, how we need to improve, and yells in front of staff and patients. they haven't moved her yet but i suppose it will take the mass exodus of the nurses to realize after we are all gone that someone from managment will have to put there unifom on and work the unit. we are down about 15 nurses now! 12 hr shifts are gone and vacation cannot be granted.
    i'm leaving tommorow and need to take some time out fro myself to heal from this hellhole. wish i lived in your area
  4. by   HarleyDRN
    I am so glad to read about the many happy VA nurses-I also am employed at a VA hospital in Omaha Nebraska for about 2 years now!!! I cannot believe it has gone by this fast!! I think the gov't is great to work for- all the great benefits and so far all of the employees have been great to work with!! I work on a telemetry floor and would really like to stay here for a long while-going back for my BSN presently and am happy to say that it is being paid for.
    Good choice in choosing VA.
  5. by   TitaniaSidhe
    From what I am seeing it seems to depend on where in the country & which VA you have had experience in. Myself I have worked 15+yrs. in the VA system all in the VANJHCS. Things were actually quite nice years ago when I started there. Many patients with good staff/patient ratios & very experienced staff to work with. As the administration changed so did the work environment...they are downsized TREMENDOUSLY & seem to only be interested in having clinics rather than any inpatient facillities. The staff/patient ration is HORRIBLE & dangerous. The current administrations is VERY unsympathetic or supportive of their nursing staff hence they are unable to retain any new hires. Moral is VERY low. The MOST horrible thing of the whole situation is that in the eyes of administration our mission "Patient Care" is the VERY LAST thing on their minds. Sad, depressing & frustrating. The satisfaction I get nowdays is simply from the patients I am priviledged to help get well. More than likely if thecurrent administration remains in place & does not make some changes for the better I too shall be leaving as soon as I hit 20yrs. service. I can pull another 20yrs. at another facillity or transfer elsewhere in the VA system where things are better. Right now though I will say don't come to the VA in NJ it is not good, not at all.
  6. by   RNPATL
    Quote from TitaniaSidhe
    From what I am seeing it seems to depend on where in the country & which VA you have had experience in. Myself I have worked 15+yrs. in the VA system all in the VANJHCS. Things were actually quite nice years ago when I started there. Many patients with good staff/patient ratios & very experienced staff to work with. As the administration changed so did the work environment...they are downsized TREMENDOUSLY & seem to only be interested in having clinics rather than any inpatient facillities. The staff/patient ration is HORRIBLE & dangerous. The current administrations is VERY unsympathetic or supportive of their nursing staff hence they are unable to retain any new hires. Moral is VERY low. The MOST horrible thing of the whole situation is that in the eyes of administration our mission "Patient Care" is the VERY LAST thing on their minds. Sad, depressing & frustrating. The satisfaction I get nowdays is simply from the patients I am priviledged to help get well. More than likely if thecurrent administration remains in place & does not make some changes for the better I too shall be leaving as soon as I hit 20yrs. service. I can pull another 20yrs. at another facillity or transfer elsewhere in the VA system where things are better. Right now though I will say don't come to the VA in NJ it is not good, not at all.
    As sad as your post is, I am thinking that what you have experienced is no longer uncommon in the VA System. For me, I worked at our local VA for almost 10 months. In that time, I witnessed some of the worst staffing ratios in my career. Some times it was simply dangerous. I love the VA system and am very sad at the way things are. I wanted to provide decent care for the vets and I was forced into many situations where I really was concerned for my license and the safety of the vets.

    I agree with you that things really need to change. Hopefully they will!
  7. by   live4today
    Quote from Ellen Bobinski
    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 dangerous! Is that the case in your facility? Is your retirement based on the FERES system? (ie part Social Security, part 401K type matching, and small retirement supplement? How is your OWN health care;it looks like stingy HMO care, unless you pay extra? Full retirement after 20 years? Would be interesting in hearing the pluses and gripes/frustrations before I consider VA/govt hospital based work.

    ------------------
    E. Bobinski
    Hate to bring you uptodate on UNsafe staffing...that is old news in every hospital I've been in since 2003, and a few from the olden days I worked in.

    I've worked in army hospitals off and on since 1990, and never had any problems..........well, except for a certain nurse manager who needed managing herself .............ANYHOO.....I enjoyed my jobs in military hospitals, the benefits were very good at the time, and the staff was alright to work with........well....I do remember this lazy nurse who came to work to snack and sleep, but I won't hold that against the many other fine staff members. :chuckle

    As for the insurance.......as a retiree's wife now, Tricare Prime is still my insurance, and I receive my treatments at the military installation closest to wherever I happen to be living at any given time. I have no complaints about those either........none any worse than when I had insurance in the civilian sector.

    I have heard the VA Hospitals are very overstaffed, but like I said........to me, they are ALLLLLLLLLLL understaffed.
    Last edit by live4today on Jun 2, '05 : Reason: Correction: I meant "understaffed" NOT "overstaffed
  8. by   teriadn2004
    Quote from TitaniaSidhe
    From what I am seeing it seems to depend on where in the country & which VA you have had experience in. Myself I have worked 15+yrs. in the VA system all in the VANJHCS. Things were actually quite nice years ago when I started there. Many patients with good staff/patient ratios & very experienced staff to work with. As the administration changed so did the work environment...they are downsized TREMENDOUSLY & seem to only be interested in having clinics rather than any inpatient facillities. The staff/patient ration is HORRIBLE & dangerous. The current administrations is VERY unsympathetic or supportive of their nursing staff hence they are unable to retain any new hires. Moral is VERY low. The MOST horrible thing of the whole situation is that in the eyes of administration our mission "Patient Care" is the VERY LAST thing on their minds. Sad, depressing & frustrating. The satisfaction I get nowdays is simply from the patients I am priviledged to help get well. More than likely if thecurrent administration remains in place & does not make some changes for the better I too shall be leaving as soon as I hit 20yrs. service. I can pull another 20yrs. at another facillity or transfer elsewhere in the VA system where things are better. Right now though I will say don't come to the VA in NJ it is not good, not at all.
    Retire at 20 yrs? Can anyone tell me if this is a "given" or is it dependent on if the facility "grants" you retirement? Can anyone direct me to a specific agency that can answer questions about retirement after 20 yrs? Thanks
  9. by   teriadn2004
    I am a new grad-ADN - started at VA OPC 2/21/05. I was with a supervisor for 3 weeks and then was put with a new (less than one yr physician who also has a language/cultural barrier)Phys isn't sure of how to navigate the system and neither am I. I am told to just "ask" if I have a question, don't know how to do something or haven't been "checked off" to do it. Problem is, when I ask for help, I'm told that they are "busy" and that I should ask someone else....I go home every day exhausted and I feel like all I do is race the clock to get the patient in to see the doctor and back out the door as quick as possible. Time studies don't help me feel any better about things - when I graduated, I owe the VA 2 yrs to pay back " scholarship" - I wanted to go to the medical center but was told that I had to go to the clinic. Has anyone else had a experience like this? I dread going to work each day - and it's only been 2 months - is this normal? By the time that I pay back the time I owe - I will only be less than 2yrs from having 20yrs with the VA - is this a significant milestone? If not, I don't think I can stand it any longer than I have to......and I'm concerned that I will make an error that could cost me my license since I didn't get a standard new-grad orientation!
  10. by   TitaniaSidhe
    Nana, you are prob under Thrift Savings & FERS yes? if so then 20yrs. I don't think would make that huge a diff. Not like it would for some of the others under the old retirement plan. Mind you I couldn't say with absolute certainity that this is the case. For that assurance I would talk to human resources & find out the exact $ diff it would make for you. When I say retire after 20 yrs. what actually would be happening for me is I would leave the VA system, allow my retirement to remain in Thrift Savings & FERS until I am of age to collect my retirement. In the interium I would work elsewhere & begin accumulating a second pension. You can retire at age 55 in the VA. I will long meet the years required but not meet the age requirement. Long as I don't touch the $ in Thrift & FERS it can remain there tax free until I begin collecting on it. This is my understanding anyhow of how it works. Oh & about the way they dumped you in a position & then told you to ask for help but never give it to you, I can relate. Just CYA & do your best, if it means not doing something for fear of risking your liscence then DON'T DO IT b/c believe me they will not back you up if something goes wrong, they will tell you that you shoul have known better & asked for help. They are good at that sort of thing. I wish you the best & I DO understand.
  11. by   va nurse
    Quote from mariabruja
    Like rnmom3x, I too returned to the VA after 8 months in home health. I enjoy the team spirit here, the organization that empowers the nurse, the better benefits. I started w the VA in 1997, and am grateful that I was able to return. Would like to know how other VA nurses are accessing the education funding for advanced practice or masters degrees.
    I completed my BSN through the V.A. and I'm now completing my MSN. The program that I'm in is called NNEI. The pay for everything including parking. The V.A. has been great but being a vet myself I'm getting antsy to move. I'm curious about DOD Civilian nursing overseas in Japan and Europe.
  12. by   va nurse
    Quote from Soldiersnurse
    I absolutely love working for the US Army as a civilian nurse. I work in a TMC (troop medical clinic) where I take care of our soldiers both active duty and reservists/guard on their drills. I see the soldiers before they leave and when they return home. I'm any Army brat and my husband was active army at one time. This was the best way for me to serve my country without joining the service. The civilians make up at least 80% of the workforce in the MEDDAC. Pay is ok, benefits are good and the hours are awesome! (0700-1600 m-f, one hour lunches--no weekends or holidays)
    I currently work for the V.A. I would be very interested to learn some more about DOD nursing from you if possible. I'm a veteran myself and an RN. I have 3 classes left for my MSN and would like to transfer to DOD in Japan or Europe. I was in the Air Force and really miss the people and the travel. Would you happen to have any information about such assignments?
  13. by   briggswiss
    Hey Crew
    Seems as if each VA has it's own issues.. I'm a returning RN and am looking to get into the Rhode Island VAMC. Anyone out there have any info on this facility. I hear that most VA hospitals are pretty much state of the art.

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