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Celebrate National Nursing Assistants Week and apply at VA

This week marks National Nursing Assistants Week, recognizing the many certified nursing assistants (CNAs) who work in our facilities nationwide, acting as the eyes and ears of the health care team and impacting the lives of Veterans every day.

If you’re looking to get your foot in the door of the health care industry, but don’t have the experience needed for an advanced clinical role, working as a CNA offers you a fantastic opportunity to begin your VA career, and do fulfilling work caring for Veterans.

A vital role

A CNA is a valuable member of the health care team who performs important patient-centered tasks under the supervision of licensed nursing staff. CNAs work alongside nurses, physicians, and other clinicians, and spend their day addressing the immediate needs of Veterans.

Whether you’re answering call buttons, monitoring vitals, or just helping a Veteran with their basic needs, the work you do makes you the face of our team for many patients. Since you’ll be spending a lot of time with them, you will have great insight into their situations and their specific needs.

Because you work so closely with our Veterans, you might be the first to notice physical or emotional changes that could impact the care they receive. You may spot decreased mobility, increased pain, or memory issues, which you can then relay to the rest of your team.

That insight is invaluable to our work helping Veterans reach their whole health.

A quick start

CNA positions are considered entry-level opportunities, though that does not mean they come without some prerequisites.

As the “certified” portion of the name implies, you will need a nursing assistant certification. This can be earned in as little as 4 weeks, making it a great choice for anyone looking to enter the field quickly. However, the standard, less accelerated programs, typically run 2-3 three months.

And unlike some programs that require learners to have prerequisite classes or other academic necessities before admission, CNA programs usually require only a high school diploma or GED as a prerequisite.

Consider it: you could be on your way to a new career before the seasons change!

A path forward

Working as a CNA is a perfect opportunity to ease your way into health care and find out if this kind of work is for you. However, VA makes additional options available to you that can help you shape your new job into a long-term career.

VA provides numerous education support programs that can help you pursue a new degree or advanced certification, including nursing. And if you’re ready for a new challenge, we offer ongoing leadership development through every level of employment.

A beneficial career

Your new VA career will also offer numerous employment benefits that provide a quality of life rarely found in other health care systems.

At VA, our employees receive 13 to 26 paid vacation/personal days, 13 sick days annually with no limit on accumulation, and 11 paid federal holidays each year. This allows for a balanced schedule with time for your personal priorities.

We also offer a variety of health plan options that all cover preexisting conditions. Additionally, we pay up to 75% of health premiums, a benefit that can continue into retirement, making our insurance some of the best you’ll find in health care.

All this is in addition to the competitive starting salaries, employment incentives, regular performance-based increases, and premium pay rates for certain shifts that make working at VA a winning prospect.

Work at VA

With an opportunity to engage in our mission of service and pursue a career that matters to you, a job as a nursing assistant is a great choice when you’re ready to join our team.

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