The time and service America’s veterans have dedicated, in the name and spirit of their country, make them a very special demographic. VA nurses know better than anyone what veterans have contributed, as they are the main medical professionals in charge of their care and transitioning them back into civilian life after their military careers are done.
Becoming a VA nurse means working in a unique environment with patients who oftentimes require very delicate or special methods of care. Anyone looking to make a difference in other people’s lives will find the VA nurse occupation to be one that is very rewarding and fulfilling.
Aside from being able to implement the skills they’ve learned in nursing schools, VA nurses enjoy many benefits in this chosen field.
Many people might be surprised to know that the VA is the largest employer of nurses. From LPNs, LVNs and RNs to APNs, the VA currently has more than 80,000 nurses under its employ. This means a wide range of job positions to apply to outside of traditional hospitals, clinics, private practices and public health agencies.
In addition to being a hiring magnet, the VA offers a wide range of career choices, including clinical nurse specialists, psychiatric nurses, travel nurses and nurse anesthetists, among many others. As a result, there is also room for growth. The VA strongly encourages its nurses to advance into upper levels of management to serve not just as providers of care but as leaders within their respective field.
Flexibility in Work Environment
VA hospitals are where a majority of nurses can be found but they are certainly not limited to this type of setting for work. VA nurses have the option of choosing to work in outpatient clinics, home-based primary care and in nursing homes.
Special Patient Demographic
Contrary to popular belief, VA nurses don’t just restrict themselves to treating and caring for wounded veterans, they are responsible for providing assistance in helping veterans recover from post-traumatic stress disorder, aid them during rehabilitation, as well as teaching them how to deal with–and be successful at–living with their disability. In a sense, VA nurses are kind of like the cheerleaders and morale boosters for those returning from war who are no longer able to serve in a military capacity.
Generous Benefits Package
Veterans Affairs recognizes the good service VA nurses offer and as a show of thanks, getting employed by the VA means the opportunity to earn a competitive salary and a hearty benefits package that includes plenty of paid leave, sick days and full health insurance. By taking care of its nurses and ensuring they won’t ever have to go without, the VA can feel confident that its nurses will feel empowered and the sense of support necessary to keep them motivated to provide the best quality of patient care for veterans.
Interested in becoming a VA nurse? Before applying, the first step is to enroll in an accredited nursing program or school, graduate with the appropriate degree or certification required and earn your license to practice.