Chronicles of a VA APRN Resident

Updated:  

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I interviewed today and was offered one of six resident positions. I lost it. The panel laughed and said my reaction was the best one so far.¬†ūü§Į

I was asked nine questions. They were along the lines of "Tell me about yourself; How will you contribute to VA care; Flexibility and describe a time when it was required; Career goals; Rate yourself 0 - 10 in the following aspects, etc.". I was sweating the whole time, but displayed a cool (I think) exterior.

It starts towards the end of September, so plenty of time for me to go over all my material from school and beef up my knowledge so I don't look like a total dunce.

I will periodically update this thread with all my trials and tribulations for those who are interested in applying for a spot in the future and want to know what the year will look like.

Mergirlc, RN

639 Posts

Following!

I read a story about VA Residency for APRNs a few weeks ago for a class.  It seems they are very supportive.  It's definitely one place I would consider applying to after I finish my program.

Looking forward to hearing about it and good luck!¬†ūüėä

Specializes in MSN, FNP-BC.

UPDATE:

I have been working on completing HR paperwork. Also, trainees have to complete an online course to access the VA system.

Nothing exciting, but I am still on cloud 9. My end goal was acceptance into a residency program, specifically VA, before being set loose as an independent NP and I reached itūüėÖ.

Sending out good vibes to all who have a similar goal. Don't give up! 

Mergirlc, RN

639 Posts

12 hours ago, Freckledkorican said:

UPDATE:

I have been working on completing HR paperwork. Also, trainees have to complete an online course to access the VA system.

Nothing exciting, but I am still on cloud 9. My end goal was acceptance into a residency program, specifically VA, before being set loose as an independent NP and I reached itūüėÖ.

Sending out good vibes to all who have a similar goal. Don't give up! 

Sometimes all the HR paperwork is the most challenging part!¬†¬†ūüėā

Good vibes back at ya'!

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 10 years experience.

Paperwork for VA residency is insane. It took months with all the background checks etc. The residency experience was amazing though, as was being a gov employee with 40 something paid PTO days to use during my residency plus every federal holiday off. The medical residents were so jealous! LOL

Mergirlc, RN

639 Posts

8 hours ago, MentalKlarity said:

Paperwork for VA residency is insane. It took months with all the background checks etc. The residency experience was amazing though, as was being a gov employee with 40 something paid PTO days to use during my residency plus every federal holiday off. The medical residents were so jealous! LOL

Were you able to get hired on after?   I'm curious if after residency, are the residents shoo-ins to get hired within the VA system somewhere?   

Or would you say this program is excellent to get your feet wet as a new grad, then move on?

I've heard/seen where people say the government/VA doesn't pay as well as outside jobs, but the benefits and time off are outstanding.  I suppose it depends on what's most important to the individual, whether government jobs are worth going to

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 10 years experience.

There’s no preference for jobs after the residency and you still are considered an external applicant. Lots of vacation and job security but very low pay. I thought I wanted to stay on but after seeing the politics and pay scale and getting a job offer for literally 2x the VA salary I happily moved on. Great experience though!

Mergirlc, RN

639 Posts

49 minutes ago, MentalKlarity said:

There’s no preference for jobs after the residency and you still are considered an external applicant. Lots of vacation and job security but very low pay. I thought I wanted to stay on but after seeing the politics and pay scale and getting a job offer for literally 2x the VA salary I happily moved on. Great experience though!

Thank you for the response!  Your answer about the pay is exactly what I've read here on AN and heard from others.  That's too bad the VA pays so low.  Sounds like it would be an awesome job to hold onto,  if they had competitive pay.

Specializes in MSN, FNP-BC.

UPDATE:

Hello all!

Today, we had a virtual meet and greet/Q&A with my cohort, some preceptors, director of the program, and current residents. Essentially:

- HR will email us our official employee packet soon (hopefully). I guess they move at glacial speed.

- The first three days of the residency will be orientation at the hospital; learning how to navigate the EMR, etc. After that, we head to our respective home sites.

- Each of us are assigned a home site with a 1:1 dedicated preceptor. We will each travel to different outpatient clinics and the hospital for our specialty rotations throughout the year.

- We will not be thrown into a full patient panel. We will shadow for a long minute and then slowly build our patient load. We will start with one patient per hour and then slowly add more patients (max two per hour) as we build experience and confidence.

- Mondays through Thursdays are clinical days. Fridays are dedicated to didactics.

- We will rotate through specialty clinics, such as cardiology and GI. We will even participate in an ER rotation!

- We are expected to present a QI project at the end of residency.

I still cannot believe my good fortune! Blessed! I told my fellow residents I must‚Äôve been a pity pick. On of them said, ‚ÄúDoubtful, but who cares. Take advantage of it.‚ÄĚ I agree.

Mergirlc, RN

639 Posts

2 hours ago, Freckledkorican said:

UPDATE:

Hello all!

Today, we had a virtual meet and greet/Q&A with my cohort, some preceptors, director of the program, and current residents. Essentially:

- HR will email us our official employee packet soon (hopefully). I guess they move at glacial speed.

- The first three days of the residency will be orientation at the hospital; learning how to navigate the EMR, etc. After that, we head to our respective home sites.

- Each of us are assigned a home site with a 1:1 dedicated preceptor. We will each travel to different outpatient clinics and the hospital for our specialty rotations throughout the year.

- We will not be thrown into a full patient panel. We will shadow for a long minute and then slowly build our patient load. We will start with one patient per hour and then slowly add more patients (max two per hour) as we build experience and confidence.

- Mondays through Thursdays are clinical days. Fridays are dedicated to didactics.

- We will rotate through specialty clinics, such as cardiology and GI. We will even participate in an ER rotation!

- We are expected to present a QI project at the end of residency.

I still cannot believe my good fortune! Blessed! I told my fellow residents I must‚Äôve been a pity pick. On of them said, ‚ÄúDoubtful, but who cares. Take advantage of it.‚ÄĚ I agree.

Congratulations!  This residency sounds very well-organized.  This is exactly what a new grad FNP needs in order to be successful.  I wish all organizations were like this!

Does the VA help with relocation?  Or are you totally on your own if you decide to apply out of state?   Also, you stated you're assigned to a home site and then farmed out to various other clinics or hospitals for your training.  How far are these other locations?  I guess I'm wondering if you're traveling 100+ miles away or are most of these other locations within 10-15 miles or so.

Specializes in MSN, FNP-BC.
54 minutes ago, Mergirlc said:

Does the VA help with relocation?  Or are you totally on your own if you decide to apply out of state?   Also, you stated you're assigned to a home site and then farmed out to various other clinics or hospitals for your training.  How far are these other locations?  I guess I'm wondering if you're traveling 100+ miles away or are most of these other locations within 10-15 miles or so.

Unfortunately, you are on your own if you apply from out of state. One of the current residents moved from New Jersey and is moving again to Kentucky next month to work for a VA.

My home site is in a little town. The sticks. The hospital is 45 miles west. The other clinics are about 45 to 50 miles north. Good thing is that I get gas mileage reimbursement.

No matter. I will enjoy and take full advantage of each second. The training will place me head and shoulders above NPs who have no experience when I start job hunting. I will be able to easily step in and work to my fullest ability with minimal hand-holding.

Specializes in FNP. Has 26 years experience.

What is the stipend amount?