I had 6 yrs of Navy time and when I was still in nsg school I contacted the VA recruiter in Nashville, TN. I felt compelled to work there for my veteran sisters and brothers. Daytonite was right on for administrative info. The only thing I can add is:
1. You must as an RN work 80 hrs/2 wks--no 24, 32 or 36 hr option
2. On Med-Surg floors, team nsg is required which means each team of 1 RN, 1 LPN and 1 tech (in days--never any at nite when I worked) provides care for 1/3rd and often 1/2 of the ward of 36 pts. Now Math was not my strong point, but 1 RN to 12 and 18 pts was overkill, no pun intended.
3. Within these 12-18 pts, usually 2-3 transplant pts, 2-3 on tele and 2-3 on PCA pumps.
4. As a new RN we got 6-10 wks of orientation, but when that was over--the RN is THE RESPONSIBLE person for: admissions/discharges to the ward, assessments, treatments, vital signs (no tech) and ambulation assists or bed pans and brief changes. With no techs, the LPNs were usually the "teammate" to pass meds--since they cannot assess, IV push or call Dr for orders. Meds to 12-18 pts can be difficult and time-consuming so any help the RN received, would be greatly appreciated. But if they found a way to stay busy.... the RN is "the responsible party".
5. If an RN, esp a NEW RN were to try to call attention to any teammate not carrying their load, blackball city... and the heat is on. A write-up or complaint and the RN is guilty until proven innocent.
Needless to say, before I could complete 6 months for the experience I had to resign. I am in a much better place, but it is horrible when I think of our veterans being neglected due to the shortage of caring staff. Most all of these nurses are NOT veterans or perhaps the "team nursing" could actually work.
Good luck and the thing that helped me keep my sanity is the sweet smiles and warm hands that I held when the veterans needed me.