Depends on how you are "boarded" They give you a basic payrate but after they look at your credentials, things that you have done as a nurse ex. participation on committees, issues that you have helped resolve at previous employment, education. etc. They will use that to determine where you are on the pay scale.
You need to take into consideration that we have sick leave that is separate from our annual leave (vacation time). Most hospitals group all of these together in one group as PTO. You also get shift differential and weekend pay which is better than outside the system. I can schedule myself so that I can have up to 6 days in a row off. Kinda like a mini vacation without using my time.
Talk with HR to clarify these things that are peculiar to the VA system. If you work in ER there, I'm sure I will be talking with you in the future...lol...I work in Baltimore and we get pts. from Martinsburg all the time.
Did you look at the VA careers website? You may find some information on there.
I work 7 12 hour shifts in 2 week period. I get 4 hrs OT or comp. time for the extra 4 hours.