Although active members of the military need medical health care, it is often the veterans who need these health services even more. As a nurse, you will already know that nursing is not just a broad term for health care. There are many areas of specialties and many ways in which to advance your career within the ranks and VA nursing career you will find it is no different. Many benefits are attached to being employed by the VA as well for nurses and for professionals in other careers as well.
Be Employed By One Of The Biggest
Because the VA has so many members, it also needs so many more employees. For this reason, VA is the largest employer of nurses and they offer their nurses an experience and career opportunities unlike any other health facility or employer. Because VA wants their members to have the best care, they make sure that all of their nurses have the tools and facilities they need to give the best in healthcare to their members.
If you are looking for an experience where you can learn about new developments in healthcare then you will find the working environment at VA refreshing as well in the research departments of the health care facilities.
Optional Additional Career Opportunities
Conventional medical, nursing and pharmacy careers are not the only opportunities offered by VA.
Other opportunities include:
- Certified Registered Nurse to Anesthetists
- Clinical Nursing Specialists
- Licensed Practical Nurses
- Nursing Assistants
- Registered Nurses
- Psychiatric Nurses
- Nurse Practitioners
- Travel Nurses
Each one of these fields of nursing can lead to another eventually and can help a nurse to build a career within the nursing structure of the VA no matter which line of nursing they choose to pursue.
Study programs are available as well to help nurses to further their careers within diverse nursing fields. With the national nursing shortage, it becomes essential for nurses that are only entering the field of nursing now to advance their studies in order to advance their careers to open up opportunities for other nursing students to take their places
Although other industries may halt the advancement of their employees because of limited funds in their budget or because it is difficult to replace an employee once they advance or leave the company, the advancement of nurses in the VA is encouraged greatly and many opportunities and channels are available to students to help them obtain the qualification they will need to advance to the next level.
Building A Culture Of Trust
In order to uphold the service levels of the VA, all professionals are chosen for the qualities that are necessary to achieve this goal.
Some of the characteristics include:
By employing individuals who exhibit these qualities, the VA can easily achieve its goal of giving exceptional service and care to the patients in their care. In this way the members who belong to VA will want to make use of the services available instead of taking on extra costs of going to other health care facilities.
Another initiative of VA is to reward examples of excellent patient care through recognition. It often happens that when examples are made of those who offer excellent service at these facilities, then its sets the bar for others to follow this example. In the end you have a culture of staff wanting to do more and to give better service because this is what is accepted and rewarded.
Nursing Programs Available
In order for Nurses to further their VA nursing career, there are many nursing programs available.
Often nurses in senior positions are placed in leadership positions and they will need the correct skills in order to manage the nurses placed under their supervision in such a way that they get the best results from them. By having the best leaders in charge, you can help develop better leaders for the future by example.
Clinical Health Care
Clinical care development is widely available as well for nurses to further their careers. The course is split into the different sectors such as:
- Critical Care
- Mental Health Care
- Frail Care
All other sectors of nursing will also be available and nurses will also have access to exceptional funding opportunities to fund their studies so that they do not have to delay their career development because of lack of financial resources. These financial resources are available for both degrees and for specialized training courses.
Making New Opportunities
The revolutionary role of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) takes a VA nursing career to a new level. This nurse becomes a team leader of a group of nurses in their division. By adding this extra step in the ladder to promotion, the nurses at VA now have a chance at advancement in their career and gain experience in a leadership role before they go for any other additional training or complete extra studies. Overall this adds to the moral and job satisfaction of staff in general and adds to the competence of nurses in leadership positions.
Having additional leaders at the ground level takes some of the pressure off the Registered nurses and the more specialized nurses as they will have more time to see to their other responsibilities and to do their tasks with an increased level of quality.
As with any other health organization the safety of the VA’s patients are on the forefront of the priority list.
In order to meet all of the high expectations that have been set by this organization some initiatives have been put in place such as:
- 5 Million lives Campaign – This campaign has a direct influence on the VA Nurse because by having the best in technology and all of the support functions to save lives, prevent the spread of blood borne infections, and the general prevention of the spread of contagious diseases and conditions in place, the workplace will be a lot more user-friendly and beneficial to a nurse than it would be in a facility which lacks all of the state of the art implements.
- ICU Pilot Project – Nurses at VA in the ICU wards work hand in hand with IT technicians to chart the progress of their patients as well as the mortality rates where evidence based nursing is practiced. Nurses who are a part of this program will be the pioneers for the research that is done into helping patients through this system of treatment.
- Nothing Left Behind – So many surgeons and nurses have been blamed for leaving objects inside patients which can lead to potential law suits. With this program there is a set procedure put in place which tracks all operating room materials to give nurses and surgeons the confidence in knowing that they are not going to leave out a step and can focus more on the saving of the patient’s life rather than having the stress of a potential lawsuit hanging over their heads.
- Patient Safety Reporting System – Imagine a working environment where you are encouraged to report when you have made a mistake. Management at the VA recognizes that focusing on only the problem and reprimanding and individual about the problem, may not be a part of the solution of it not happening again. By encouraging individuals to admit their problems and their mistakes, they can learn how to be a part of the solution instead of trying to cover them up instead. If the mistake occurs because of a lack of protocol or infrastructure, then these issues can be addressed as they are brought to light.
- Safe Patient Movement and Handling Program – When moving a patient, a staff member could gradually or suddenly damage their skeletal structure or hurt muscles in the process. This initiative focuses on training staff on the correct way to move and handle patients for their own safety and security.
- Regular Work Weeks – Having enough staff on board is one of the areas on which the VA prides itself. Because there are enough staff members available in each sector to cover shifts, nurses work no more than 12 hours per shift or 60 hours per week. Nurses feel refreshed when starting their working day and they don’t feel overworked or overburdened.
Benefits of Working for VA
Apart from an excellent and supportive working environment, nurses with a VA nursing career can look forward to the following benefits as well:
- Competitive Salary – Just because you work for the military it does not mean that you need to be short-changed on your salary. The salaries paid by VA are comparative with the other salaries on the same level in the rest of the economy.
- Flexible Working schedules – Having a say in which night and which day shifts you are willing to work will go very far in increasing your job satisfaction instead of feeling like you are being worked to death without having a say in it.
- Education Support – all of the courses that you need to do or qualifications you need to complete in order to move up in your career will be freely available at affordable repayment plans.
- Work and Life Balance – When you are able to choose the shifts you work; you can balance your working life with your family life or hobbies.
The Gift Of Giving Back
Having access to all of the benefits available when you work for the VA is of course topped off with the fact that you are now helping those who have had a hand in making America the country that it is today and who have laid their lives on the line to save the values that are so important to all of us.