Experience with the VA?

Specialties Government


  1. Would you say your experience was overall positive or negative?

8 members have participated

Hi everyone! I am in the process of getting my BSN, and I also come from a military family. I would love nothing more than to give back to our vets and work at the VA. I was wondering if anyone had any experience (good or bad) to share!

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Hope our VA members can stop by to offer 2018 advice.

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Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

VA nurses have a saying: if you've worked at one VA, you've worked at one VA. Apparently they are all very different! Good luck.

Hello,. I have been with the VA for alittle over a year and I still LOVE it! I believe the workload is distributed better and more manageable than private facilities. So much more so that I am consistently able to ensure my charting is done at least 30min prior to end of shift so leave on time daily!

More pros than cons, that's for sure. Best pay I've ever had. Benefits are hard to match. 5 weeks of Annual leave per year. Separate bank for Sick leave in which one accumulates 4 hours of SL per pay period. FERS is Federal retirement system and is a major benefit. Beyond that, you work with a great population of veterans who are mostly tough as nails and just want someone to take care of them. In seven years of nursing, three on the outside and the last four at the VA, hands down I enjoy working with VA patients the most.

Management can go either way. A good manager hardly spends time on the floor as they are pulled into different directions, and often detailed to manage other areas. Unions can be beneficial but also a detriment as problem employees literally get away with most anything.

Change is SLOW to come by as most areas of the Government are. It's really a lesson in hurry up and wait.

There are a diverse amount of nursing jobs available and you can apply and transfer (if hired) to literally anywhere in the country. I applied for a CBOC (outpatient clinic) and was hired after working for four years on an inpatient unit here at my local VA. I'm scheduled to transfer there later in July. The M-F day hours will be a welcome relief from the last few years of nights, weekends and occasional holidays. Although I will miss the big shift diff pay and holiday pay for sure.

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