2020 marks the start of a special initiative at VA: Year of the Nurse.
Every day, our 100,000-strong VA nursing corps provides exceptional service to Veterans. To honor nurses and nursing careers throughout the year, VA Careers is sharing profiles, stories and employment opportunities that you can also share with your community and networks.
On Jan. 30, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated 2020 the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife” in honor of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.
“We join our partner organizations in commemorating this momentous year by recognizing the exceptional service VA nurses provide to Veterans — at intake, at the bedside, during case management and throughout their lives,” said Darren Sherrard, Associate Director for Recruitment Marketing at VA. (Click the VA Year of the Nurse logo on the VA Careers nursing website in the coming weeks to find #YON2020 promotional social graphics, banners and flyers.)
Ask almost any VA nurse or nurse leader how they feel about their career and they’ll tell you that it’s more than a job, it’s a mission.
“As a nurse, we’re going to have good days and bad days,” says Nurse Manager Sarah Lueger, who serves Veterans at the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System in a video. “But there’s no better feeling than caring for the Veteran. It’s a way for me to give back to them for what they’ve done for us.”
Make a difference
Lueger is part of the nation’s largest nursing corps. VA nurses touch Veterans’ lives 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
VA nurses provide support for Veterans at risk of homelessness, Veterans in crisis and Veterans who just need someone to talk to. They learn the history of war to assist a Veteran diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder or conduct research to improve nursing practices. Every day, they impact the more than 9 million Veterans enrolled in VA care.
All of this work adds up to better care for Veterans. “When you look at the quality outcomes for our health system, VA nurses make such a strong contribution to improving the health of our Veterans,” says Beth Taylor, Chief Nursing Officer, Veterans Health Administration.
Find opportunities to grow and lead
We offer our nurses almost limitless opportunities to lead and grow. Nurses at VA are part of a Veteran’s treatment team, serve on leadership boards and contribute to interdisciplinary collaborations to improve patient outcomes.
“Within our healthcare system, there’s different departments and there’s different opportunities that, once you’re here, you can really find that niche and there really is a place, I feel like, for everyone,” adds Topeka VA Inpatient Acute Psychiatry Nurse Manager Karalie Gantz in another video.
At all of our 1,255 sites of care, nurses have a voice at the table. VA nursing staff often weigh in alongside physicians and leadership to improve nursing care at their facility.
But we also empower our nurses by encouraging them to accelerate their healthcare career training and skill set through several scholarship opportunities available to nurses both before and after they embark on a career path at VA.
Enjoy work-life balance and robust benefits
Here at VA, we also offer an unbeatable roster of benefits that encourages work-life balance. If you’re hired under Title 38, you can enjoy 39 days of paid time off each year — and you start enjoying them right away. Our nurses also receive premium-support group health insurance, life insurance and, in some cases, transit support. Nurses have access to the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS), a three-tier retirement plan composed of Social Security, FERS basic benefits and the Thrift Savings Plan.
With one active license, work at a VA by the beach, in a city or in the countryside. Your benefits travel with you. Apply for an open position at VA facilities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the Philippines. And if you transfer to a new location, you won’t lose benefits or accumulated paid leave. Other perks that come with choosing a VA career as a nurse include:
- Flexible work schedules and shifts.
- Diversity and inclusion programs.
- Leadership development and mentoring programs.
- Career training and enhancement opportunities.
- Dining options and a tax-free retail store.
- A smoke/drug-free workplace.
VA nurses take their mission to heart, advocating for Veterans and making sure they get the care they need, when they need it. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun along the way.
“They make me laugh every single day,” Lueger says of the Veterans she serves.
Choose VA today
Join VA Careers this Year of the Nurse as we take special notice of Lueger, Gantz, Taylor and the many thousands of VA nurses around the country pursuing careers with the purpose of caring for those who’ve served our nation.