Im not an NP but I work with some. I work on a cardiology floor. The two cardiac NP's usually handle the post caths, post ablations, post PPM/ICD's, med loads. I came from a hospital that used Epic. Now I love epic but the VA uses the EMR it created in the early 90's. It's fairly simple to use and I gotta admit I really don't miss the flowsheet style of Epic. The VA will eventually switch to Cerner but it will be a long time before the whole VA is on it.
In regards to pay I got a fairly large pay raise coming from a private sector hospital. I think NP pay is competitive compared to other hospitals in the area. I know Nurse 3's in my city make well over $100k and coast of living is not expensive either. Retirement is still better than most private sector. It's composed of SS, pension, and the government's version of a 403b called TSP. You can also retire with your medical insurance as long as its been the same the last 5 years. Unfortunately I am new to the VA (34 and been here 2.5 years) so I don't really know how to explain the payout in retirement. I do know though that after 5 years you are considered vested.