Help Veterans Reclaim Their Independence as an Occupational Therapist

Help Veterans Reclaim Their Independence as an Occupational Therapist

As an occupational therapist at VA, your expertise could make a huge difference in a Veteran’s life by helping them regain a sense of normalcy.

Employing more than 1,400 occupational therapists and certified occupational therapy assistants, VA provides state-of-the-art, evidence-based care to those who have served our country with dignity and honor.

Now, these Veterans need your assistance in reclaiming the control over their daily lives that will make them feel whole.

An array of expertise

No other discipline measures the functional, physical and cognitive skills that make up the daily lives of our Veterans more than occupational therapy.

These “occupations” – whether at home, school, the workplace, the community or elsewhere – can take on a number of forms. As an occupational therapist at VA, you’ll be able to explore opportunities across the continuum of clinical care.

Areas of practice include:

  • Acute care
  • Assistive technology
  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • Drivers’ rehabilitation
  • Geriatrics
  • Mental health
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pain management
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Rheumatology
  • Substance abuse
  • Traumatic brain injury

Practice where you want

Occupational therapy evaluation and treatment supports Veterans’ engagement in everyday life, and there is no better way to see that than in the variety of settings where you can practice your trade.

Those settings include VA medical centers, outpatient clinics, long-term community living centers and even inside Veterans’ homes through our Home-Based Primary Care program. Telehealth options allow you to meet with your patients virtually and conduct assessments at a distance.

More than just a job

VA offers a remarkable compensation package, with an assortment of benefits that make the job of serving Veterans all the more appealing.

  • Competitive starting salaries. We offer our employees strong starting salaries based on education, training and experience. We also offer steady growth, with periodic pay raises that address inflation and local market changes.
  • Flexible schedules. Our employees receive 13-26 paid vacation/personal days, as well as 13 sick days annually with no limit on accumulation, and we celebrate 11 paid federal holidays each year.
  • Robust insurance. You can choose from a variety of health maintenance organizations or fee-for-service health plans, and all cover preexisting conditions. Additionally, we pay up to 75% of health premiums, a benefit that can continue into retirement.
  • Education and leadership. We offer ongoing leadership development through every level of employment, whether it is mandatory programs or competitive opportunities. All leadership programs align the organization around a set of core competencies that facilitate career development through continuous learning, coaching/mentoring and assessment throughout your career.

Work at VA

Become an integral part of our patient care team as an occupational therapist, and apply the latest advances in rehabilitative treatment to create the best treatment plans for Veterans.

Let a VA career pay you back for school with loan forgiveness

Trade your student debt for a promising career serving Veterans. If you’re looking for help repaying your student loans, you can qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program with a VA career.

By cancelling loans after 10 years of public service, PSLF removes the burden of student debt on public servants and entices people to work in high-need fields. Because VA is a federal employer, new and existing VA workers with federal student loans may be eligible for this national loan forgiveness program.

Qualifying for the program

The PSLF program forgives your remaining loan balance after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying student loan repayment plan while working full-time for certain employers, like VA.

Right now, the U.S. Department of Education has waived some requirements for applications submitted through Oct. 31, 2022, opening up loan forgiveness to more borrowers.

Still, though, you need qualifying employment to be considered, which is one of many reasons why you should consider a career at VA.

Investing in your future

Despite the short-term waiver that expands PSLF, the program is ongoing, which means that anyone looking for a career at VA can participate once they begin their employment.

But that’s not all VA has to offer. With our Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), VA employees with qualifying student loans who are in specific, difficult-to-recruit direct patient care positions may receive up to $200,000 over a five-year period.

And for those looking to continue their education, the Employee Incentive Scholarship Program (EISP) offers significant support. This program provides eligible VA employees with tax-free scholarships of up to $41,572 toward the cost of higher education, including tuition, registration fees and books. In return, you agree to work at VA for one to three years after you complete the program.

We offer some of the most comprehensive employee education benefits in the nation, and we work hard to ensure you have access to tools, benefits and training that provide the personal and professional growth needed to take your career to next level.

Work at VA

A job at VA could provide some relief from your student loans and be the next step on your journey to a fulfilling career.

VA Offers Nursing Opportunities For Education and Training

VA Offers Nursing Opportunities For Education and Training

With all that nurses do for our patients, it is only fitting that we do just as much for them, supporting nurses as they grow in their VA career.

Whether at the bedside of a Veteran or working in an outpatient clinic, our nurses deliver quality care and lead the way in innovating how we provide nursing care. Nurses also develop patient safety initiatives, conduct research to improve care delivery, and help guide the next generation of nurses.

Academic partnerships

VA and schools of nursing around the country offer academic affiliations. These collaborative efforts between VA facilities and the country’s finest nursing schools provide students with clinical experiences that specifically address the unique needs of Veteran population and prepare them to excel in careers at VA.

These partnerships offer nursing students a comprehensive and intensive four-year clinical training. The programs create a stronger, mutually beneficial relationship 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.

By the end of the program, graduates are fully accustomed to the culture and mission at VA and ready to care for our Veterans.

Transition to practice

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 RNs with less than one year of experience.

The comprehensive 12-month curriculum explores the clinical, leadership and professional dimensions of nursing at VA. Post-graduate RNs perform the typical roles, duties, patient care activities and procedures that are carried out by nurses on our team.

Availability varies by location, so contact the nurse educator or nurse recruiter at a facility near you for more information.

Financial aid

VA offers eligible employees and students nursing scholarships to advance their education and skills training through the following programs:

  • The National Nursing Education Initiative (NNEI), a component of the Employee Incentive Scholarship Program, funds the pursuit of bachelor’s and advanced degrees for VA RNs.
  • The VA National Education for Employees Program (VANEEP) is offered to employees in a clinical program pursuing first-time licensure in a clinical occupation. Participants can earn their degree faster by attending school full time, with VA covering not only some education costs but also replacement salary while they are enrolled.
  • The VA Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) program provides an opportunity for outstanding college nursing students to develop clinical competencies at an approved VA Medical Center. VALOR is designed to increase participants’ clinical skills, clinical judgement and critical thinking while caring for our nation’s Veterans. This program provides opportunities for learning with a qualified RN preceptor. Students must have completed their junior year in an accredited baccalaureate nursing program. VALOR students are offered up to 800 hours of salary dollars.

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.

Increasing Nurse Recruitment and Retention through Diversity and Inclusion

Increasing Nurse Recruitment and Retention through Diversity and Inclusion

Nursing diversity and inclusion have become a top priority for healthcare organizations. To provide the best possible care for your patients, ideally, nurses would come from all walks of life and represent the communities they serve.

The Benefits of Nursing Diversity for Organizations

Nursing diversity and inclusion can benefit your healthcare organization in several ways. Having a diverse and inclusive nursing staff can help improve patient care, communication and collaboration. In addition, organizations that embrace diversity and inclusion are more likely to attract top talent and be viewed as attractive places to work. By understanding the benefits of diversity and inclusion, healthcare recruiting can help better attract nurses from diverse backgrounds. Nurse leaders can also create a more welcoming environment for all nurses in their organization. Finally, nurses can also play an active role in promoting diversity and inclusion in the nursing profession and nursing jobs.

Recruitment Tips for Successful Nursing Diversity and Inclusion

As the nursing profession becomes increasingly diverse, recruiters can take steps to ensure they are making hires that reflect this diversity. Here are some tips that can increase nurse recruiting from a variety of backgrounds:

Make sure your job descriptions and advertisements are inclusive and welcoming to all potential candidates.

Utilize social media and other online platforms to reach out to potential candidates from underrepresented groups.

Attend career fairs and events that focus on diversity in nursing.

Develop relationships with nursing schools and programs that strongly focus on diversity.

Be conscious of any personal biases and make an effort to put all candidates on an equal footing when conducting interviews.

Nursing is a field that is rich in diversity. Nurses come from all walks of life, with different backgrounds and experiences. However, this diversity can also be a challenge, as nurses may face more significant difficulties adapting to new environments and cultures. As a result, it is essential to consider how you can best support nurses from diverse backgrounds to assure their retention in the profession. Following these recruiting tips could help the nursing staff to be as diverse and inclusive as possible, which, in turn, can produce improved patient outcomes.

Strategies to Improve Nurse Retention Among Diverse Nurses

Nursing is a demanding and challenging profession. Nurses are often the front line of care in many healthcare settings, and they play a vital role in patient care and outcomes. Nursing is also a diverse profession, with nurses coming from various backgrounds and cultures. As the healthcare landscape evolves, hospitals and other healthcare employers will need to focus on strategies to improve nurse retention among diverse nurses.

One way you may improve nurse retention among diverse nurses is to create a supportive and inclusive work environment. This practice can help ensure career development and growth opportunities and implement policies and approaches that foster a sense of belonging.

Fostering a Welcoming and Diverse Environment for All Nurses

Studies have shown that healthcare organizations are at the most significant risk of employees leaving if they do not perceive the workplace as diverse and equal. Additionally, many employees and leaders who are disabled choose not to share their disability in the workplace. Furthermore, roughly three-quarters feel the need to mask their differences while working.

Nurse leaders can create a more welcoming environment for all nurses when they understand the benefits of diversity and inclusion. Healthcare recruiters can also attract top talent when they promote diversity and inclusion in their organizations. Helping healthcare professionals for over 70 years, Springer Publishing understands the importance of nursing diversity. Learn more about our award-winning resources written by noted scholars and practitioners, which span over 20 nursing subject areas to support every facet of the profession.