VA- The mysterious on boarding process

  1. Hey all-
    Received a tentative offer via phone call and email today for a position at the VA. Really surprised...and happy....and unsure.

    I have read over many of the threads on here about the VA hiring process and still have a couple of unresolved issues....

    1. I would love to hear personal stories of how long it took you to go from tentative offer to firm offer.

    2. Have you ever heard of an offer being rescinded based on the on boarding process?

    3. As an RN with two years of experience (ADN and BS Psychology) I don't expect to be boarded "highly", but I also don't think I will be rock bottom....do you??

    What really makes me nervous....I know that as part of the process my current employer will be contacted. What if the VA then rescinds the offer for some reason or I am boarded way lower than my current pay rate? I feel like I will have made my current employer suspicious that I am looking to leave and they may not want to keep me even if I decide not to go to the VA. And truly, I love my current job. The VA is the only place I have applied to...I wouldn't leave my current job to go anywhere but there.

    I am rambling because I am a ball of nerves. Help me out, please!!
    •  
  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   LubbockNP
    I am going through the same process with you and feel just as you do. I have received tentative offer. completed physical, finger prints, VETPRO, I am working on the 9 dimensions of nursing statement this weekend. It is due next week and then I will be presented to the nursing board next Friday. I will not know what grade I end up with and what the salary is. I did tell my boss and everybody I work with. They all know I am waiting for official offer and salary before I make up mine mind.
  4. by   pfchang
    I don't think your current employer has to be contacted. I would say no to that. I can't imagine that it would be a requirement because we all know how often an employer will screw you over if they know you may resign for another job. I would call the recruiter and tell them you will not give the okay to contact your current employer.

    There was a person who posted in one of these threads that her offer was rescinded. I think it had something to do with disagreement about how much experience she had or something. I can't remember but I think I read it here on Allnurses.

    I think your BA in Psychology will rank as a BSN bc it is a health- related field. That is a good thing. I doubt you will be boarded at the lowest part of the salary range.
    Last edit by pfchang on May 24, '14
  5. by   ORTech2RN
    I received a tentative offer on March 27, with final offer about two week ago. So, roughly 5-6 weeks for me, and that seems to be the average time. If you're like me, you will think of everything negative that could happen during the boarding process.

    Honestly, I walked into my manager's office the day after I interviewed, I needed a work performance review for my packet and I figured she would catch on to my recruitment at any time.

    Don't count on any non nursing degree to help out with boarding. They go with nursing education, experience and so on. I do believe you should mention that you are starting a BSN program and definitely mention that you are pursuing future educational goals in nursing. From what I've read/heard, the board eats that kind of stuff up.

    I don't think you will be rock bottom, that's usually for new grads with ZERO experience on a floor. Did you receive a dimensions of nursing form to fill out and send in? If so, spend a good deal of time with it and sell yourself big time. Again, and this is from hearing other's experiences, self promotion goes a LONG ways in VA Nursing. I think you will be boarded at a decent rate. For me, I was making very low pay at my last job, so I was extremely excited when HR finally called with a final offer and salary.

    You should request a packet with VA benefits. During the down time you have, read up on the Health care bennies and the packet on FERS (federal retirement). You basically have several different options in regards to health insurance.
  6. by   Student Mom to Three
    Thanks for all the great replies!! Guess there is really nothing much for me to do except plow through paperwork, cross my fingers and wait!
  7. by   Jrioja21
    I work the for the VA. I got hired on with the SNT/VALOR program while in my last year of my BSN program. On the unit I was assigned was a guy who was going through an ADN program. After we both graduated we were boarded by the nurse standards board as Nurse 1 but different steps. For example. An ADN nurse can only be boarded under Nurse 1 and there are 12 steps within the Nurse 1 grade. The reason I was boarded a Nurse 1 with a BSN is because I had zero experience. Now...above I mentioned that you can't go past a Nurse 1 as an ADN. That's not true entirely. As you make your step increases through the years there will be a time when they offer you to jump to Nurse 2 via an "education waiver." This waiver is a once in a lifetime offer. If you never in your life plan to go back and become an BSN prepared nurse then absolutely..take it. BUT. There is a Nurse 3 as well. This is for MSN prepared nurses or BSN prepared nurses that have used their education waiver. It's very confusing understanding the process. You get a step every other year, regardless but you have to write a proficiency every year and you may or may it get a step increase.

    If there is any way I can make this clearer then let me know.
  8. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from Jrioja21
    For example. An ADN nurse can only be boarded under Nurse 1 and there are 12 steps within the Nurse 1 grade. The reason I was boarded a Nurse 1 with a BSN is because I had zero experience. Now...above I mentioned that you can't go past a Nurse 1 as an ADN. That's not true entirely. As you make your step increases through the years there will be a time when they offer you to jump to Nurse 2 via an "education waiver." This waiver is a once in a lifetime offer. If you never in your life plan to go back and become an BSN prepared nurse then absolutely..take it. BUT. There is a Nurse 3 as well. This is for MSN prepared nurses or BSN prepared nurses that have used their education waiver. It's very confusing understanding the process. You get a step every other year, regardless but you have to write a proficiency every year and you may or may it get a step increase.

    If there is any way I can make this clearer then let me know.
    You have it "sorta" understood, but not really.

    Nurse I does not have 12 steps. There are three separate Levels within Nurse I (I, II, III) that each have dozens of steps. Twenty-something in each. That's before ever hitting Nurse II. That's how you can have a job posting that has a range of $30K in salary. You could be Nurse I, Level I, Step 20. Or Step 3. Nurse I, Level III, Step 2. Or Step 12. Or whatever.

    The waiver is not a "once in a lifetime" thing. A degree can be waived to earn another level, or grade, once, that's true. BUT if it was waived for an ADN to get a BSN grade/level, and then the ADN DOES earn a BSN, the waiver might apply if s/he's looking to advance to the next level (that normally requires an MSN). So another waiver can be applied. Just not allowed to skip consecutive degree requirements.

    Confused yet?
  9. by   LubbockNP
    Very Confusing, I am still waiting on boarding. Vetpro should be verified this week. To top it off my current boss gave us a 2% raise today. There is no way the VA is going to match my current salary. I am so scared the offer is going to be like 10-15,000 less than I make right now. Someone please explain the pension, I understand the other parts of the retirement. Is the fed pension worth all this fuss?
  10. by   pfchang
    It depends on how long you plan to work??? Sorry not a great answer. I am new to the VA so am unclear myself. Maybe someone who has been with the VA a long time can clarify. The matching of 3% of your contribution (like an IRA) is good if you contribute and it is in addition to retirement, of course.
  11. by   LubbockNP
    Thank You pfchang, I planned on maxing out the non pension fund at 17500 per year (if they pay me close to my current pay) as that is what I do at my current job. My current job requires me to put in 6.75 of pay then they match 6.% and I put in 17500. that no matching occurs, but my funds have not done very well. And I planned to work for another 20 years.
  12. by   MrsTaz
    I applied mid April, interviewed the beginning of May and received a tentative job offer the next week. My best advice to all applicants is to make sure you have your references in order, current numbers, addresses, etc. I've been a RN for 5 years. Started off with my associates and have had my BSN for a year. I was boarded at a Nurse 2, step 3 with a starting salary of $ 70,017 for the Hampton, Virginia Veterans Hospital which really shocked me. I am very satisfied with the starting salary and look forward to working for the nation's largest healthcare provider.
  13. by   ohioann59
    Hi MrsTaz, I'm going through the VA hiring process. I'm an RN/BSN. Was an ADN for two years and got my BSN in 2005. Now working (one class away) from my MHR (Masters of Human Relations). The VA Board found me at a Nurse I/III step 12. NOT a Nurse II. They are saying take it or leave it. I am asking why I was not found to be a Nurse II. Did they not realize or see my transcripts? I don't know whether I should turn this down or what. Have you EVER seen an RN/BSN with 5 plus years exp start off as a Nurse I? HR is being difficult and saying I can't argue with what the Board said, that it's a final decision. What can I do? Ideas? Help please! Thanks!
  14. by   KIMMIEKAY11868
    Jrioja21 Hi. have a tentative offer from the VA CBOC as a nurse practitioner. I was given the Nurse qualification standards to fill out for Nurse III. What I have is about as clear as mud as to what is needed.I have gotten to the part of the VA efo the Nursing Board to determine my salary. I have watched multiple youtube videos and have read tons of documents to try to get what they want to see on this resume. but I am still having a lot of trouble on how exactly to word this. I saw where you have been through this before and offered to give people a copy of yours. I am desperate for some help to see an example to be sure this is what they are looking for! Could you please give me some guidancel. I had to do this for my RN 1 to RNII many, many, many years ago and I do not have the slightest memory of what I put. It has been well over 10 years since any employer has asked me to do anything like this. I feel like a fish out of water. Thank you so very much for being such a great resource for me and all others you have helped.

close