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Nurses: Discover all that VA has to offer

VA is the largest employer of nursing personnel in the nation, and as we celebrate National Nurses Month, we recognize the work of the nearly 120,000 VA nurses who advance the practice and transform health care for our Veterans every day.

When we see how they tirelessly provide the highest quality care to Veterans, we are humbled by their commitment and perseverance, and encourage anyone with a passion for health care to consider a nursing career at VA.

The work may be demanding, but the rewards are many.  

The heart and soul of VA 

Nurses are at the center of VA care. 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 environment you can imagine, including:

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

At VA, nurses play a critical role on our Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACTs), helping coordinate the full spectrum of patient care. Our nurses are often leaders, helping create new models of care and offering support to colleagues by sharing tools, evidence-based practices, and the critical lessons they’ve learned.

If you’re interested in pursuing a nursing career, VA is the place for you, and we have many ways to help you on that journey.

Finding your path

 At VA, we’re proud to guide the next generation of nurses into an innovative and exciting future, and we offer numerous education support programs to help you make a career out of caring for Veterans.

  • 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 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 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.

“I am grateful for VA-STEP,” said Sarah West, a nurse who works at the Hines VA Medical Center near Chicago. “Without it, I can’t envision where I would be now. It gave me a foot in the door, and I appreciate the wealth of experiences that led me to my ultimate career goal.”

These programs are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to earning your degree or paying back your student loans and are just a few of the many employment benefits available to nurses who choose to join our team.

Rich rewards 

Beyond our education support opportunities, you’ll have access to a number of employment benefits that can set you up for success and help you make the most of your training.

At VA, we offer:

  • Up to 26 days of paid leave, 13 sick days annually, and 11 paid federal holidays each year, as well as 12 weeks of parental leave
  • Federal insurance programs and a variety of plans that all cover preexisting conditions, with 75% of health premiums paid by us
  • The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), which allows you to tax-defer a portion of your income each year, similar to a 401(k), with an automatic 1% government contribution

What’s more, with one active, unrestricted U.S. license, you can practice anywhere in the country and move VA locations without losing any benefits or accumulated leave. Whether you want to live in the city or enjoy the many benefits of rural communities, there’s a VA career waiting for you.

 Work at VA 

Are you ready to help us heal and care for Veterans so they can thrive in life after military service? Apply for a job as a VA nurse.

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