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VA Nurse Salary

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by kclindsay kclindsay (New) New

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As a veteran, I have always wanted to work and care for other veterans. I was always told the VA paid well compared to community hospitals. I just received my boarding salary and grade, as a nurse with close to one year experience I should start our as a Nurse 1 step 3...I was offered Step 2. I currently work as a intensive care recovery nurse at the only level 1 trauma center in my area. The nursing skills I have attained compare to icu level nursing at some of the other community hospitals, which rank higher in acuity than the VA. The VA is actually one of the lowest paying positions in the area. My dilemma is the ability to advance to nurse 2, move up and gain new skills at a higher level. I am not sure the VA can offer me these opportunities. Anybody have any idea how to move from one med/surge to an icu unit and how long does it take to advance to nurse 2.

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jeckrn has 17 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR.

1,868 Posts; 14,648 Profile Views

You have to look at the long term; what will you be making in 10 years where you are at compared to the VA. You can look at the salary schedule and see the amount you will be making. The VA is famous for starting out low then paying higher than the community. Also, look at the benefits, they make a big difference also.

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14 Posts; 461 Profile Views

So I looked at long term outcome, made a pros and cons of both jobs. If I cant advance to nurse 2 and keep getting step raises in the next 5 years a 74k salary will only be advanced 78k. Night differential 10% no guarantee on 25% weekend diff and hours. Pension of only 1% tsp of 5%. Recent pension changes mandate new employees to pay over 4% into plan. Current situation 77K with night diff...advance to 82K in 6 months as a year anniversary raise. Pension is 1.66% with a required 6% employee pay into plan. Anything over 20y rs is 2%. Ability to move up with my masters and make 100K plus within 5 years. So how long does it take to make it get to Step 2, is my real question, I heard (not sure) that the va is not giving out advancements as they used to. Hence the reason of my low ball offer, I see some new nurses on this board who started out as step 5 with no experience. I also want to learn and advance my career either NP/masters ect. I don't know that I will grow at the VA. Although I have only been a nurse for 8 months. It is a intensive care recovery floor, that is the only unit that accepts vents besides micu/sicu. Many of my patients are icu level patients. What can I expect at the VA med/surge?

Also alot of movement around the VA 3rd new director in the past 2 years, HR shakeup, makes me wonder if this is really the right decision.

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3 Posts; 73 Profile Views

So this is a little off the topic but, I started for the VA in July of 2017 and I had received an acceptance letter with the amount we agreed upon.  After being here for 8 months I received an email to come to HR for an employee record error, when I went over I was told I had been boarded wrong and my pay was going to be reduced to the original offer (of which I had declined) and I would be responsible to repay what I had been overpaid for 8 months but, they would support a waiver for.  I left a job of 12 years based the amount on my acceptance letter.  Any suggestions??

 

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canchaser has 20 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

1 Article; 445 Posts; 12,826 Profile Views

No, fight that. Get an attorney. That sounds awful.... and scary as im trying to get on with them. 

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JENFKB is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Nursing Informatics, Home Health, Telehealth.

36 Posts; 661 Profile Views

Does anyone here know what happens when an RN obtains their NP pay wise? I am a nurse III step 2, but am going back to school for my NP. Does my grade start over as an NP, or do I keep my nurse III status? Thank you!

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13 Posts; 135 Profile Views

On 4/17/2019 at 8:23 PM, JENFKB said:

Does anyone here know what happens when an RN obtains their NP pay wise? I am a nurse III step 2, but am going back to school for my NP. Does my grade start over as an NP, or do I keep my nurse III status? Thank you!

 

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13 Posts; 135 Profile Views

I'm not in HR but I've seen them just laterally move the RN to an NP position...same pay...would you share your prof ti get N3...need help.

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JENFKB is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Nursing Informatics, Home Health, Telehealth.

36 Posts; 661 Profile Views

That doesn't make sense because NP's work on a different pay scale? I'll reach out to HR, thank you for your response. 

Look at Nurse III frustration and appeal discussion board, I have posted a lengthy guide on how to write for NIII. Best of luck. 

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JENFKB is a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in Nursing Informatics, Home Health, Telehealth.

36 Posts; 661 Profile Views

FYI in case others are looking for the same answer regarding RN to NP pay.

HR responded "If you apply to and are accepted for an NP position you will stay at your current grade and step, but go to the NP pay schedule. Just a heads up, you will not automatically receive NP pay if the position you are currently in is not a NP position."

 

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canchaser has 20 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

1 Article; 445 Posts; 12,826 Profile Views

I thought NP and RN was paid on the same scale? This is good to know that I can get a raise when I find a NP job 

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123 Posts; 2,269 Profile Views

Here is the pay scale for 2019 though it’s about to be updated with the raise we just got which is around 1.5% depending on location, just find your location and look it up

NPs are same nursing title 38 but a different position so if you go from RN to NP you would look up the grade/step you currently have in the new position and they would put you in the step/grade that would guarantee you a minimum of one step increase in pay from your previous. 

 https://www.va.gov/ohrm/pay/

someone asked about getting to Nurse 2, it took me just around two years

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