VA Portland OR Interview and onboarding

Specialties Government



I have been a nurse for six years and have my BSN. I recently was able to get an interview for a position at the VA.

i was wondering if anyone had any insight on the interview and hiring process. Has anyone recently gone through this process?

Any any all help would be appreciated!

Specializes in Care Coordination, General Surgery, Oncology.

What position did you apply for? If it's med-surg, you'll usually interview with all the nurse managers from the med-surg floors. Basic interview questions (strengths and weaknesses, etc.), one or two situational questions (you walk in and find a patient xyz...). I don't know what the interviews for other areas are like. Once you've interviewed, if one of the NMs selects you, you'll get a provisional offer, and at that point you'll get fingerprinted, do E-QIP (background check), and await the nursing board to determine where to start you. With six years of experience, you'll surely be a nurse II, so then it's just a matter of what step they'll put you at. You may have seen this already, but in case not, here is a link to the title 38 pay scales (nurses fall under title 38 vs general scale like other federal employees):

Expect the entire process from interview to start date to take at least 3 months. It can take awhile for the background check (especially if any of your references are on vacation) and the credentialing part can also take some time.

Good luck! I love working at the VA.

I am interviewing for med surge! Thank you for all the helpful input!! I am going from psych to a new specialty so I'm a bit nervous.

Specializes in Care Coordination, General Surgery, Oncology.

Well, if you want to stay with psych, I know that our psych unit has really been in need of nurses!

Have you interviewed, and how did it go? For anyone coming later, the VA utilizes Performance Based Interview questions, which you can find online: Sample PBI Questions - Performance Based Interviewing (PBI)

Be sure to practice your answers and have some examples of your work ready to talk about. Smile, make good eye contact, shake hands, and be sure to send thank you notes! Good luck!

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