Opportunities for Army Spouse/ Veteran

Specialties Government


Hi, I am wondering what opportunities exist in either the VA system or GS for new grad nurses. I have looked on usajobs.com and even contacted a nursing director at SAMC who told me there was a hiring freeze. I graduated from a BSN program in Boston in May and now I've moved with my wife to San Antonio or order for her to attend phase 1 of USAGPAN. In June of 2014 we will most likely be relocating again for her phase 2. There are several sights available, but we are not sure which one she will get yet. I was thinking it would be best for me to obtain a nursing position in either a VA or Army medical center in order to be able to move around with her.

My background:

I was enlisted in the military as an LPN for 4 years. I worked in an ICU in Korea and a PACU in GA. I wanted to advance my nursing career via either green to gold (ROTC) or the army enlisted commissioning program (AECP). I was accepted with an ROTC scholarship, however during my physical they found I had keratoconus, which is a disqualifier for commissioning. I was also not eligible for a waiver either. So I decided to complete nursing school on my own. This was the only reason I left the military. So that I could attend nursing school. I just graduated with my BSN this past May. If there was a way I could re-enter the military I would.

If anyone has any info or suggestions that would be great! Thanks! :)

Hello again, XcrMat!

Unfortunately, hiring right now into the VA/DOD is extremely difficult. Most positions I'm aware of require at least 1-2 years of experience prior to getting hired into the system. You may need to find employment elsewhere, get the experience they require, and then try to hire in. You can always apply for the position as a new grad, but keep in mind that you may not be hired simply because you're new.

However, you do have the bonus of being prior service as an LPN, which may count toward your experience (not sure if they only count the time you were licensed as a BSN or not...that'd be a good question to ask!). This will make you competitive and move your name to the top of the list when you apply and it may give them incentive to overlook the lack of experience.

Another thing to consider: as I'm sure you know, the sequester has been kicking the DOD in the behind for the past month and change. It is very likely that it will happen again. Are you able/willing to forfeit 20% of your pay for an undetermined amount of time in the event that furlough is reinstated? DOD/GS has its benefits--moving with your wife, etc--but it also has some serious drawbacks right now. Just make sure you know before you go!

Best of luck to you! DOD/VA/mil nursing right now is not for the faint of heart!

Thanks again SoldierNurse22!

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