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Find the path to a rewarding career as a VA nurse

Nurses are the backbone of VA. Anywhere you find us caring for Veterans, you’ll see a nurse stepping in to provide the kind of care those who served our country deserve. Our nurses work with Veterans at every stage of their lives, and in every kind of care you can imagine:

  • Emergency departments
  • Intensive care units
  • Mental health
  • Surgery
  • Community Living Centers
  • Palliative care units
  • Nursing homes

With all that nurses do, we’re proud to guide the next generation of nurses into an innovative and exciting future. If you’re interested in pursuing a nursing career, VA is the place for you.

Academic partnerships

Part of our commitment to training and developing the next generation of nurses begins with our academic affiliations. These collaborations between VA and the country’s finest nursing schools provide students with clinical experiences that specifically address the needs of the Veteran population and prepare them to excel in careers at VA.

Each program offers unique opportunities for participants to develop competent, confident, practice-ready nurses and nurse practitioners.

These programs create strong, mutually beneficial relationships between nursing schools and VA facilities by giving students the opportunity to engage with faculty and ultimately provide better patient care as they put classroom concepts into practice.

VA’s Student Trainee Experience Program (VA-STEP)

For college juniors studying nursing, VA’s Student Trainee Experience Program (VA-STEP) is a program built to help you develop both clinical competence and confidence in Veteran-centric care. Even better, VA-STEP serves as path to employment with VA after graduation and licensure.

Through this program, aspiring nurses like you are employed as trainees, working full-time over the course of a 10-week summer program between junior and senior years. For 400 hours, you’ll work under the supervision of a mentor, earning a salary while caring for our Veterans at a local VA facility.

After you graduate, you’ll find that each facility has its own transition programs designed to keep you employed until you are ready to start your residency. This can come in several variations, including…

Registered Nurse Transition-to-Practice (RNTTP)

For over a decade, VA has promoted Registered Nurse Transition-to-Practice (RNTTP) residency programs to provide a transition from school to the more complex clinical environment for registered nurses (RNs) with less than one year of experience.

The comprehensive 12-month curriculum explores the clinical, leadership, and professional dimensions of nursing at VA. As a post-graduate RN, you’ll continue the work you began during VA-STEP or through your college courses, managing patient care activities and other procedures that are carried out by nurses on our team.

Your local facility will have more to tell you about RNTTP residences, so your best bet is to contact the nurse educator or nurse recruiter for more information.

Education support opportunities

Looking for a little help paying for school? VA has got you covered there, too.

We offer numerous scholarships to support your path to becoming a nurse, as well as a few for those who have already completed your training and could use a little help paying back your loans.

Specifically for nurses, the National Nursing Education Initiative (NNEI) is a component of the Employee Incentive Scholarship Program, which provides funds for you to pursue your bachelor’s degree or advanced nursing certifications.

For those of you already working at VA and are interested in pursuing a clinical career, the VA National Education for Employees Program (VANEEP) can help you pursue first-time licensure in a clinical occupation (like nursing). Through this program, you can earn your degree faster by attending school full time, with VA covering some education costs and offering a replacement salary while you are enrolled.

There is also the Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP), which pays your tuition and approved fees through direct payment to your school. HPSP assistance includes topping off any existing grants and scholarships to ensure 100% of your tuition and fees are paid, as well as supporting stipends.

Work at VA

Are you ready to help us heal and care for Veterans so they can thrive in life after military service? Bring your nursing training to VA.

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