VA NP Grade Determination?

Specialties Government


Hi all, 

My wife received a tentative offer for an NP position at the VA, which is great news. However, we no have idea how much to expect for salary. The salary range in the job posting is for Title 38 NP I step 1 through NP III step 12, but in the same posting (and every other NP job posting we've seen for the VA) the grade determination description is for Nurse I-III instead. 

Does anyone have any idea what the degree/experience levels are for the NP grades so we know roughly what to expect? 


All title 38 nurses get boarded by the professional standards board for initial offer. They based it solely off the contents of your resume and how it aligns with the professional standards boards requirements for each level. It is very very important that when they ask you to include what you have done and as the USA jobs postings state "IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE." If you submit a resume that simply is one page and has  only dates of work and brief job descriptions you risk a very low boarding, and they don't allow redos. Long story short, brag about yourself to get the salary you are searching for. 

Specializes in MedSurg.

I have been a nurse for over 30 years and was recently offered a position at a VA hospital. I need help with the onboarding paperwork. Can anyone share how you answered the questions below for salary determination? I am at a loss as to what is needed to go before the board.


RN NI-LIII qual standard worksheet for appointment.docx

RN NII qual standard worksheet for appointment.docx

Thanks for the reply. Her interviewers gave her the exact same feedback and let her resubmit and new and much more thorough resume. 

Our main confusion is still around how NPs are graded at the VA. I understand that for a long time, NPs were on the same pay scale as RNs, however, there is now a separate NP scale listed in Title 38. So do NPs now use the NP scale or are they on the Nurse scale? As I mentioned, in the specific job ad, it mentioned both, which is the problem. 

Specializes in Cardiology Nurse Practitioner.

NPs have their own scale ... I went from a RN (Grade 2 Step 6) to the NP scale (Grade 2 Step 6) but I'm internal. There are proficiencies for NPs but it's hard to find

Specializes in Plastics, Bariatric, Orthognatic, Rheumatology.

I know this is an old post but wondering how your wife was graded ? And what knowledge have you learned a year after regarding this issue 

Thanks !

Hi, she was offered Grade 3, Step 3. For exact salary, you can check the Title 38 pay scales on the OPM site and look for the Nurse Practitioner pay for your particular VA location. 

As far as what we learned, I'd say it all comes down to how you answer the extensive questionnaire you'll be sent by HR. There are good guides on here and the internet on how to form your answers. The grading determination process for NP and RN is exactly the same, but NPs get paid more at the same grade and step. 

Good luck! 

Specializes in Plastics, Bariatric, Orthognatic, Rheumatology.

Thank you kindly for taking the time to answer !


Did she end up accepting the offer? How was the application process?

Devo19 said:

NPs have their own scale ... I went from a RN (Grade 2 Step 6) to the NP scale (Grade 2 Step 6) but I'm internal. There are proficiencies for NPs but it's hard to find


I'm a RN at the VA with a tentative NP offer.  I'm currently at Grade 3 Step 9.  Will I move to Grade 3 Step 9 on the NP scale?  Is that the normal process of transition?  I know that there was a dissolution of the PSB this January and the hiring manager will make the call.  However, I read where they still have to follow the previous rules for onboarding/ promotions.

Specializes in Cardiology Nurse Practitioner.

Yes and they might move you up a step or two. Since you are already in the VA system and just transferring from RN to NP, it is automatic and no board evaluation is needed. Congratulations 

Specializes in APRN.

I had to describe, in detail, various perceived dimension of nursing practice and how I met those to come in as a NP III-5 or nurse III or whatever it was. A committee then reviewed those answers and my application details and weighed in on where they thought I would place.  

Ironically, I went to the VA to become involved in "systems and committees" so that I may begin to transition my practice to administration.  But once I was there for a few months I realized I wanted no part of their systems or committees, LOL. 

Every in house RN that became a NP went to II. (I guess none of them were already some kind of III.)  I'm not with the anti-autonomy VA anymore.  I left 3.5 years later with a III-7.  The IVs were department chairs or deputies that happened to some sort of nurse, and the only V was the head nurse for the hospital site - the title for which I can't remember.

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