I want to clarify several points:
1. I am a veteran, a combat veteran and retired from the Reserves and served active duty and I have a 10 point veteran preference.
2. The statue that I quoted is true. The VA hospital system has discretionary authority in ignoring veterans preference when hiring qualified health care providers such as a nurses ( RNs and Nurse Practitioners) MDs and PAs and some other health care positions. I did not make this up. This does not mean that someone who is not qualified for a position can apply for the job. That is not the reason for veterans preference at all.
3. I have worked at the VA as a RN and still do part time as a RN, but not as a NP even though I have applied many times to work in positions that I was qualified for. I have worked full time as a NP in primary and urgent care, so I know what I am doing.
4. In any other federal health care position, veterans preference would apply such as working for the military as a civilian nurse or MD or nurse practitoner. Fed bur of prisons, Dept of state, etc. but the va has " discretionary" authority in hiring.
5. I have been told by hiring authorities at a VA hospital if two applicants seek a job and both are equally qualified, then the candidate with veterans preference would get the position. I know that this is a lie since I applied for a position and the lesser qualified candidate got the position. I know this person who applied for the same job as I did and she was a brand new NP and I have had several years experience as a NP
6. This is not a pitty party posting for me to feel sorry for myself.. I know that life sucks and I drive on.. I was a paratrooper medic who served in combat and this isnt anything..
7. I do want veterans preference to be applied equally when applying for healthcare positions in the federal govt esp the VA and I want this discretionary authority to be changed.. It does not mean that a position will not be filled when non veteran applies for a job at the VA as a MD, NP or PA or RN. I do want veterans preference to apply though..
8. Sorry Non Veterans, but I served in two wars.. and some other things, Veterans Preference is a benefit for guys like me who served in the military and want to cont to work doing federal service. If your mad that we have veterans preference then I dont know what to tell you.
9. Veterans Preference does not mean that the least qualified candidate gets the job... In order to even apply for a job as a NP or PA or MD or RN, you have to be certified or about to be certified.. as least for RN s and NPs I know this to be true. They dont just hire anyone..
10. When I say nurse here I mean RN, not LPNs.. LPNs are entitled to the full veterans preference when applying.
I just wanted to clarify where I was coming from when I posted the original posting.
I enjoy the debate and comments and welcome it. Ultimately though I want this discretionary authority that the VA has to be changed legally. I am a realist though, they are going to hire who ever they want to hire and stack the odds against you if they dont want to hire you.