I've been working at the VA Manhattan for a few years and decided to go back for a ARNP degree. The benefit package claims they will pay for an advanced degree after a year of service. If you go to school for three years then you work off your debt for another 3 years in exchange for tuition. Fine with me. Looked into applying for the benefit and they tell me there are too many ARNPs and they refuse to pay at THIS time. Meaning they MAY pay for it later on down the road. Next I asked my nurse manager about the change and she was unaware that this occurred. Weird. Soooo I then go to the union about it along with a few other nurses. Plead my case and................6 months later......here we are in November with no progress. The Manhattan VA never formally announced this decision to the nursing staff, never informed nurse managers, and is unable to comment on when they will pay for this degree. They are pushing the nurses into the new Clinical Nurse Leader "CNL" program. It is like a CNS but on the opposite end of the spectrum. It is described as a "generalist" position instead of a specialist.
To wrap this up, I just wanted to make future and current VA nurses aware of this change in the education benefits.