VA/Govt Nurse Satisfaction - page 4

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   lady_jezebel
    A summer spent at the VA as a nurse tech while in nursing school was THE WORST experience. Horrible red tape just to get anything done. Lot's of incompetence. Most of the patients were neglected & in diapers, the nurses simply passed meds, and the staff was poorly trained in assessments. One pt died and was discovered in his room much later. They were way understaffed. I will NEVER work in a VA hospital. Our vets deserve much, much better. I quit the externship there early & finished the summer working in the burn center of a much better run hospital, also public but out of the VA system.
    Last edit by lady_jezebel on Jun 2, '05
  2. by   briggswiss
    Quote from lady_jezebel
    A summer spent at the VA as a nurse tech while in nursing school was THE WORST experience. Horrible red tape just to get anything done. Lot's of incompetence. Most of the patients were neglected & in diapers, the nurses simply passed meds, and the staff was poorly trained in assessments. One pt died and was discovered in his room much later. They were way understaffed. I will NEVER work in a VA hospital. Our vets deserve much, much better. I quit the externship there early & finished the summer working in the burn center of a much better run hospital, also public but out of the VA system.
    Wow was this the VA in Providence?
  3. by   eugenia
    Hi,
    Do any of you currently work at the Va Medical center in Tucson, AZ. What are your like and dislikes?. I'm considering relocation next
    year. Thanks.
  4. by   TitaniaSidhe
    My lil bro did 3rd year Neurology Residency at the VA in Tucson, AZ. He had nothing but good things to say regarding that facillity. Like mentioned before I guess it all depends on the VISON & facillity.
  5. by   angel
    I have been with the VA for 19 years...it has improved over the years, we gained 10 new nurses to build our staff level & current awaiting a new clinic to be built..
    Pros: FERS, retirement(salary 3 highest years add together then divide by 1 times the number of years worked), TSP401K, Social Security; healthcare insurance if kept for 5yrs prior to retirement can carry into retirement(self & family), can transfer anywhere in the USA(VA's) & keep seniority. If higher level of pay you get it.(many nurses transfer 3yrs before retirement to get $$$$ boost on retirement)..
    Cons: NOTHING for retention, no longivity, once you reach your highest level, that's it....Nothing....criteria (VA Nursing Stds.)to go to the next level is unrealistic.

    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
  6. by   va nurse
    I agree with you Angel. It seems that each V.A. hospital system has its own little fiefdom. Although the professional standards board was set up to prevent this, it is being effectively circumvented by certain hospitals. Even though I'm finishing my MSN, I've been told that this still doesn't qualify me for promotion to nurse III. You have to jump through their hoops and it leaves the appearance that those that are promoted are often members of a very cozy group of co-promoters. When I have checked at other V.A. hospital I have found that they have Nurse III's in the ICU, Telemetry, and on the floor. However, this is not the case here.



    Quote from angel
    I have been with the VA for 19 years...it has improved over the years, we gained 10 new nurses to build our staff level & current awaiting a new clinic to be built..
    Pros: FERS, retirement(salary 3 highest years add together then divide by 1 times the number of years worked), TSP401K, Social Security; healthcare insurance if kept for 5yrs prior to retirement can carry into retirement(self & family), can transfer anywhere in the USA(VA's) & keep seniority. If higher level of pay you get it.(many nurses transfer 3yrs before retirement to get $$$$ boost on retirement)..
    Cons: NOTHING for retention, no longivity, once you reach your highest level, that's it....Nothing....criteria (VA Nursing Stds.)to go to the next level is unrealistic.
  7. by   DelGR
    VA Nurse,
    I agree with you 100% about trying to get any advancement in the VA. They apply the Nurse Qual standards too strictly and are biased against anyone they have had past dealings with. Anyone who has become a thorn in managements side will not be advanced even if they are doing excellent nursing. Once you fall out of favor, it will take moving on to another facility to get an advancement. I know a friend of mine did. At a time when they wanted all nurse managers to have their BSN (which she had), they would not give her a position as a nurse manager because the Chair of the Nurse Professional Board didn't like her and would not agree to advancing her when her yearly eval came up.
  8. by   newnurse2005
    Hi,
    Does anyone have any experience with, or heard about, the Boston VA system: particularly the West Roxbury, MA acute care facility (nurse-pt. ratios, mgmt., overall morale and shape it's in?)?
    Hope to hear from you! Thanks in advance!
  9. by   DelGR
    I have not. Did you look it up on the internet? Here is the url. http://www.visn1.med.va.gov/boston/

    Generally, any of the VA websites gives you a general idea of the services they offer to vets and the make up of the staff.
  10. by   newnurse2005
    Quote from DelGR
    I have not. Did you look it up on the internet? Here is the url. http://www.visn1.med.va.gov/boston/

    Generally, any of the VA websites gives you a general idea of the services they offer to vets and the make up of the staff.
    Thanks. I'm just hoping to hear about what's NOT on the website or what would be told to me by HR. I'll probably go to the cafeteria and speak candidly with the nurses there so I get a better feel for it. As of right now, I've heard wonderful things -- plus the benefits can't be beat!
    Can anyone else help? Any information at all about the Boston VA?
  11. by   crystalclear
    Quote from rnmom3x
    I have been employed with the VA for 10 years, 3mos. and 24 days. I was an LPN within the system for a little over 7 years and now I am an RN.
    The system can be frustrating as one person mentioned , and yes, it takes an act of Congress to get rid of a lazy person. No offense to the male nurses; however, if your nurse manager happens to be female( who happens to show favoritism toward the male RN) and there is only one male RN on the floor who happens to come in to work anytime they feel like it, it discourages and disheartens the rest of the staff.
    If you don't have a BSN you will not advance unless of course you were hired before the mandate went into effect in January 2000.
    The VA does have a program to help pay with furthering one's education called NNEI (National Nurse Eduacation Incentive).
    I have enjoyed the health insurance coverage that I have; however, I do not have any chronic illnesses / ailments. The only downfall that I have regarding the health insurance is the dental portion. It would be great if the VA offered dental coverage for braces and the such.
    The VA does have an employees' labor union; however, it is only as strong as the membership and it counts if the local president isn't "sleeping with the enemy."
    I would suggest that you tour your local VA and if you know of anyone who works there ask them for a "rundown".
    It also disheartens staff when the PA(physician assistant) doesn not want to hear staff input regarding patients' assessments; especially when the PA has not been in the health care field as long as the staff.




    Hi, Im very interested in working for the VA Medical Center. I am a new lpn grad and I've looked @ vacareers.com and va.gov.com and there aren't any jobs listed for lpn's. Do you think I have to visit or call the facility or maybe the don't need lpn's? Do you have any idea what the pay scale is like for lpn's. I can't afford to work at the area hospital because the pay is extremely bad.:angryfire The ltc facilty's pay pretty well, but I would lovvvvve to work @ the VA!!!!. I feel it will give me a big challenge.. Any input????
  12. by   newnurse2005
    Quote from crystalclear
    Hi, Im very interested in working for the VA Medical Center. I am a new lpn grad and I've looked @ vacareers.com and va.gov.com and there aren't any jobs listed for lpn's. Do you think I have to visit or call the facility or maybe the don't need lpn's? Do you have any idea what the pay scale is like for lpn's. I can't afford to work at the area hospital because the pay is extremely bad.:angryfire The ltc facilty's pay pretty well, but I would lovvvvve to work @ the VA!!!!. I feel it will give me a big challenge.. Any input????
    You should definitely call the HR/nurse recruiter at the location you're interested working at. That's how I found out there were new grad RN openings - which are STILL not posted online. I'm sure that the pay is probably better than at your community hospitals, plus the benefits alone are great. Good luck!
  13. by   Birdwatcher1
    I'm about to bail on my VA staff RN position....have been there less than a year, was told in a staff meeting today that it didn't matter that we newer nurses earned 5 wks leave per year, all we were assured of getting is 1 week during 'premium' season (June-Sept) otherwise more senior staff get their picks and they could cancel ours out at will (they are all on an open calendar, viewable to everyone).

    Manager then said I and other newbies might not get any leave this coming year if it conflicts with that of longer-term hires; there are over 20 nurses on the floor and only one can go at a time due to 'patient needs' (the ever-present excuse for denying everything and mandating overtime, which is daily for some poor unlucky nurse).

    What good is lots of annual leave-one of the main VA benes- if you can't use it?

    Another reason I will likely leave is I've only gotten 2 days off in a row once during the past 6 wks, and that wasn't even on a weekend. Have been doing day/eves with just one day off between shift changes, talk about no life! It's wearing me out, plain and simple.

    Hope your VA has better management.

    4ZBirds
    Sad and disappointed

close