Any LPN/RN nurses that work for VA (Veterans)?

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  • Specializes in Clinic, Travel Meds, Acute Clinic.

I need help! I have an interview for an Primary Care LPN position at a VA Hosp. next week. I have a great LPN job now and am taking RN courses through EC. I have wanted to get on at the VA since I became a nurse (less than 2 yrs. ago) but I don't want to leave a good job for a lateral change. I do know that the bottom of the pay range for this position is only 50 cents lower than my current pay (I'm okay with that).

I had a discussion with an RN that works in the med/surg at the same VA and she said they pay off your student loans, pay for tuition for further education, give 5 weeks paid vacation/sick leave, and that insurance premiums were minimal to employee. But I don't know if this applies across the board/nation.

I would especially love any interviewing tips and info on what they do on the extensive back round check and physical.

I know this is a lot of questions. Thanks!!

LPN_2005/RN_10

296 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac Care, Palliative Care.

I'm employed at the VA for > 5 years. The interview questions is basically the same as any other healthcare job. And a good tip is if they ask why do you want to work for them say something along the line of always wanting to take care of the vets that have served our country....... Be creative about it! That usually impresses them! The background check usually takes a long time, and you'll usually be hired and started working before they are completed with it. The physical is just the same as any other healthcare physical, no climbing ropes or running miles! :lol2: Good luck with your interview!

I need help! I have an interview for an Primary Care LPN position at a VA Hosp. next week. I have a great LPN job now and am taking RN courses through EC. I have wanted to get on at the VA since I became a nurse (less than 2 yrs. ago) but I don't want to leave a good job for a lateral change. I do know that the bottom of the pay range for this position is only 50 cents lower than my current pay (I'm okay with that).

I had a discussion with an RN that works in the med/surg at the same VA and she said they pay off your student loans, pay for tuition for further education, give 5 weeks paid vacation/sick leave, and that insurance premiums were minimal to employee. But I don't know if this applies across the board/nation.

I would especially love any interviewing tips and info on what they do on the extensive back round check and physical.

I know this is a lot of questions. Thanks!!

Specializes in critical care: trauma/oncology/burns.

I think the only other thing I would add is....the probation period is 24 months long.

Also...You will be working for the Federal Government and sometimes change happens S-L-O-W-L-Y, if at all.

What I did like about the VA (VISN3) is that most of the employees that worked there, all shifts, were there for the long haul: 15, 25 years.

Also, if you do get hired you can move around to where ever there is a VA in CONUS (continental united states) and not lose your seniority. SO you are hired to work at the VA in say, NYC and you get a job offer for the VA in Orlando (I think it will be up and running by 2012) you won't lose anything.

Your salary will be based on steps and grades, so the longer you have been a LPN/RN the more $$ you will make

In your application packet should be an example of the medications that could be asked on their medication exam.....And I agree with LPN 2005 regarding the interview. I was asked questions like: how did I handle a difficult co-worker; did I ever have an experience where I had to assume a leadership role, stuff like that.

Good Luck. I enjoyed working at the VA and when I retire from the Military (Army Nurse Corps) I will be going back.

athena

pebbles57

95 Posts

Specializes in Clinic, Travel Meds, Acute Clinic.

Thanks so much for the tips and the info. It has helped a lot!

ga*gal

15 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics, Chemical Dependency, Psych.

Hi Pebbles57!

Did you interview with the VA? I have an interview next week with a VA hospital in California for staff RN and was wondering what kinds of questions you were asked during the interview?

Did you get/take the job??!

Sure it went well :)

pebbles57

95 Posts

Specializes in Clinic, Travel Meds, Acute Clinic.

Ga*ga,

I interviewed yesterday. They were very scripted in the interview. The very first question they asked was "are you working on the RN right now?" I had to say yes. And they told me that once I got it I would have to transfer to another dept. d/t RN in the position I interview for have to have several years of experience. Some of the questions asked concerning previous work experience "When was the last time you did a new procedure or tx and how did that go?" "Have you initiated any new ideas and if so, what was the outcome?" "How do you feel about co-workers that are habitually late or call off," "How many days of unscheduled time have you missed in the past year?" "Explain a situation where you had to deal with an upset patient." and the "rate yourself from 1-10 on the following!" Yuck! I hated that. I over-rated myself in some areas (sigh!)

I don't think I got the job. I should know by next week . . . Thanks for asking and good luck!

Another tip. the HR manager gave me tips. She said they do not want to hire people that only want the job and not interested in the work/pts. She also told me that inside people have first priority and not to be discouraged if I didn't get the job. I think they interviewed at least dozens of people. I didn't ask about any benefits or pay for that reason and they didn't tell me either.

abanks9

5 Posts

Hey Peebles, I realize this thread is a little old, but I was hoping you might remember what they asked you to rate yourself on? Thanks!

PS. Did you get the job? If yes, how is it going? If no, I hope you are doing something that makes you happy.

pebbles57

95 Posts

Specializes in Clinic, Travel Meds, Acute Clinic.

I didn't get the job. I pretty much knew that going in that I was at the bottom of the list. It actually worked out much better for me to stay where I was b/c I was able to continue distant learning for the RN and am almost finished and have a promotion spot where I work now. The rating questions were mostly geared toward my skills in different areas and conflict management. I can't remember specifics.

Hope that helps.

Awesome thread!

I am currently in school and will have taken 14 pre req classes for my eventual RN degree goal (LPN-RN) by the time I enter the 10 month lpn program here in NJ next september (2012). I will be almost 51 when I complete LPN program. I really want to work in a VA hospital (a giving back thing). Can anyone tell me what might help me prepare for this career. I have no ties so I would be very much be willing to move to a facility anywhere in the USA. I have been looking at the benefits offered to employees of the VA and it does look like they have tuition reimbursement(?) for the LPN-RN program. NICE. Can anyone share there experiences as a LPN in the VA system? What if any input can you share about LPN - RN route through the VA?. Please share with me your experiences and facilities specialties. I do see a great variance in salaries is this solely based on local of facilities or does psyche facilities pay more than other facilities? Again please share so I can set a somewhat course...

Thanks

"Young at 49M future nurse and plan on working till they can't stand seeing my smiling face anymore."

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