As the number of female Veterans has grown — tripling in just the last 20 years — VA has pivoted its care models to meet their needs. Women are the fastest growing Veteran group, accounting for about 10% of the nation’s Veterans.
At every VA medical center, designated women’s health providers coordinate care for female Veterans to ensure they receive equitable, timely care from a single primary care provider.
“Women who are assigned to a women’s health primary care provider have higher satisfaction and higher quality of gender-specific care,” said Dr. Patricia Hayes, VA’s chief consultant for women’s health services.
“They are twice as likely to choose to stay in VA care over time. That is why we are concentrating our efforts on training staff and actively recruiting additional providers with experience in women’s health care.”
Are you as committed as we are to providing the best care to the brave women who have served our country? Consider a career in women’s health at VA.
A Veteran-centered approach
You’ll be a vital part of Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACTs). The PACTs are centered on Veterans and include family members, caregivers and a range of health care professionals — from gynecologists to mental health providers to medical assistants.
Designated women’s health providers coordinate all care for female Veterans, including:
- General medical care for acute or chronic illnesses.
- Preventive care such as nutrition counseling, weight control and smoking cessation.
- Gender-specific care such as mammograms, birth control, menopause care and more.
- Specialty services for depression, homelessness, military sexual trauma (MST), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse.
Our Women Veterans Health Program, founded in 1988, works everyday to strengthen and refine the care we provide to female Veterans.
For example, we’ve recently ramped up our support of rural health care providers, since approximately one in four female Veterans live in a rural area. This new program provides onsite women’s health training for rural primary care teams. Providers and nurses train side-by-side, receiving more than 18 hours of accredited medical training.
“Our goal at VA is to be the place where women who have proudly served their country receive excellent care in a safe, sensitive climate where they feel at home,” wrote VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.
A wide range of benefits are available to VA primary care providers, such as:
- A competitive starting salary based on education, training and experience.
- Periodic pay raises that address inflation and local market changes.
- Incentive and performance awards, including superior performance awards, special contribution awards, quality step increases, VA honor awards, non-monetary recognition and Title 38 awards.
- Up to 49 days off, including vacation days that begin accruing immediately and sick time that doesn’t expire.
- Premium-support group health insurance, including dental, vision and long-term care, that may become effective on the first full pay period after you start.
- Enrollment in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), a three-tier retirement plan composed of Social Security benefits, FERS basic benefits and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).
You can work anywhere in the United States and its territories with one active license, and all your benefits transition with you if you move to a new facility.
Come and #WorkatVA
Bring your background in women’s health care to VA and help us serve female Veterans.
Learn recruitment strategies that tie in with National Nurses Week and how they can be a helpful tool in gaining quality nursing staff that you are more likely to retain. With the national nursing shortage still an issue today, recruiting new nurses for your clinical positions as well as enticing new student nurses is a top priority. How you go about recruitment can make a difference in whether potential hires choose your hospital as their place of employment.
The Importance of a Recruitment Strategy
The nursing shortage doesn’t necessarily affect your ability to
find new hires. Because many hospitals have difficulty with
retention, nurses are often looking for new jobs. There are also
still plenty of nursing students entering the profession. The real
issue is how to attract them. This is where your recruitment strategy
becomes invaluable. It’s also vital to keep in mind that your
retention strategy starts with your recruitment efforts. The steps
you take to recruit new nurses to your program is also what will make
them want to stay if you handle it properly.
According to the American
Organization of Nurse Executives, a conservative
estimate of the money a hospital spends indirect
recruitment costs related to a turn-over is $10,000. Building a
robust recruitment strategy that is backed by the same fervor of
retention efforts can help eliminate the need for this expenditure.
Why National Nurses Week is the Perfect Opportunity to Utilize Your Strategy
During National Nurses Week, employers take the time to celebrate
their nursing staff and recognize the hard job they have. Many times,
the best recruitments strategies come down to which hospital showed
they were the most invested in their employees. That’s why
utilizing National Nurses Week in your recruitment strategy can be so
helpful – your current employees have a lot to say in the matter.
of nurses surveyed in Nurse.com’s salary survey
said that salary was of utmost importance for job satisfaction, money
wasn’t everything. And salary didn’t just mean the
dollars they took home. A high salary may look enticing, but
cost-of-living has to be factored in as well. Indeed.com
surveyed nurses as well, according
to their data, scheduling flexibility and work-life
balance often took priority over salary. They also reported that 26%
of nurses with existing jobs say they’re contacted weekly by
recruiters. Standing out from the competition is a must.
With the market as competitive as it is, healthcare organizations need to find new and unique ways to recruit potential hires. National Nurses Week allows you to highlight what makes working for your facility so outstanding. Below are some options for using this week of recognition to help recruit new talent.
When you begin highlighting your open positions via job boards, mass emails, and other techniques, consider the impersonal nature of such strategies. Rather than sending the same form email to all 50 candidates, personalize each with a message related to National Nurses Week. Contact them to show appreciation, maybe including a discount, freebie, or invite to an event you’re holding. You may also want to point out why they’d be a good fit, using specific reasons that stood out to you during the interview process. Tout their potential and offerings, not yours, during this exchange, and you’ll show them that you’re already a step ahead of the competition.
Show, Don’t Just Tell
Part of the promise is what comes of it. Make sure that you are following up on your promises that you make to your potential hires. Give them proof that you’ve been faithful to your word. Perhaps having special nurse week marketing materials that showcase happy employees talking about what is best about your hospital or having a coffee hour each day where a satisfied family comes in and tells about a nurse at your facility that stood out. The more good publicity you can get from happy patients and current staff, the better it looks. Of course, please don’t force it or coerce it in any way, because doing so will come out and backfire.
Let the Data Drive You
One of the smartest things you can do when it comes to hiring is to
defer to the data. Not only by doing your research on how things
historically go, but by collecting some data of your own. Asking your
potential hires questions regarding why they did or didn’t choose
your hospital, which recruitment strategy enticed them the most, and
even how they prefer to find a job can all be a great source of
information to help drive your recruitment strategies. Involving your
potential hires and current nurses can also lead to more trust, as it
creates a feeling of being heard and valued, which is a trait that
many employees look for in a job.
National Nurses Week is an excellent time to implement this. Along with a note of appreciation to each nurse, include a survey with some of these questions and then a section asking how you can make their job better as well as how you can continue to show your appreciation. Consider incentivizing the return of the survey by making it anonymous or adding a gift upon completion. You can even send these surveys along to student nursing programs, giving the students a personal one-on-one invite to tour your hospital or shadow a nurse for a day. Former nursing staff in good standing could also get a survey asking why they left and letting them know you appreciate them and are remembering them during this week.
Your Existing Nursing Staff Should Not Be Overlooked
Letting your nurses know they are appreciated should be a daily occurrence, but during National Nurses Week, it can be especially helpful. Your existing nursing staff is one of the best ways to find new nurses. If they are happy, they will be more likely to recommend an open position to a friend. This is even more true for traveling nurses who may encounter unhappy employees on their journeys. Be sure to treat them just like the long-term staff and find a way to recognize them as well. Consider treating your nurses to some bonus activities during the week, such as a free meal. If you decide to have events during the week, invite the nurses’ families. And remind them how to care for themselves to maintain a positive work-life balance.
Open Your Doors to New Hires
Having an event during National Nurses Week that is part job-fair and part celebration can go a long way with nursing students and potential hires. Give them an inside look into what working for your hospital would look like. Treat each person as if you are genuinely invested in their success by helping them take steps toward getting their first program acceptance or new job. Along with inviting them in for a tour, give them a chance to meet some of the staff they would be working with, including nurses, management, and doctors. Provide a photographer that can take free headshots for their portfolios. Don’t focus on pushing your recruitment strategy and instead let each person walk away with a booklet that covers the approach along with other relevant information about your hospital. If you impress them upfront, the brochure will be the icing on the cake.
Put Out a Press Release
National Nurses Week is the perfect time to announce something new your program is offering or doing. Recently, the news was released that the US Senate vowed to strengthen academic nursing. They were strategic in announcing it during National Nurses Week. Why? Because nurses are paying attention. It’s their week of recognition, and more news comes across their desk that they might want to pay attention to between those discounts and freebie offers that also inevitably come.
Take a Page from the Book of Success
Ideas abound for how to make an impression on potential candidates. If you’re looking for fresh nursing talent and you’re willing to invest in them early, why not take a page out of Western Governors University’s book? To celebrate National Nurses Week in 2016, they awarded scholarships to nurses across the nation. Your program could offer this to student nurses as well as tenured nurses looking to advance in their careers by going back to school.
A Call to Action: Begin Today
Increasing your chances of attracting top nursing talent takes a
focus on your potential hire’s best interests. What do they want?
Professional development, flexibility, work-life balance, unique
perks, fair pair, tuition assistance, and other such incentives go a
long way. Taking a personalized approach and showing how much your
facility values its nursing staff will attract more potential hires
than you expect. It’s easy enough to implement that you can begin
right now. The key is to make sure you continue appreciating your
nurses every day of the year, as well. For more information on
supporting your staff, nurses, or other departments, see
library of published resources that are designed for
those in the healthcare field.
For graduate nursing programs seeking to engage and attract nurses to their programs, the key to effectiveness is knowing your program, your prospective graduate nurses, and your resources.
There are as many unique academic needs as there are
individual nurses. For successful interaction to begin, you need to know what
should be shared regarding your graduate nursing program. Questions that
prospective graduate nurses have include the following:
- What is the class attendance format? Are
classes, online, in-person, or hybrid?
- Is your program affordable?
- Are academic and professional resources
- What types of relationships does your program
have with local and regional clinical sites?
- What are the clinical practicum requirements for
each program and how do they prepare the graduate student to take on a new
- Will a graduate degree increase the graduate
nurse’s income significantly enough to warrant the investment?
The first of these is perhaps the most important. Today, there is a rapid shift happening in the norms of what is considered a learning environment. It has expanded far beyond the four walls of the classroom. Although the online format is increasing in popularity, it’s not for everyone. Many students avoid online classes because they either don’t feel capable of learning outside of the classroom, or they are concerned that the convenience of online learning sacrifices the quality of in-person learning. If your graduate program is online, you should communicate how you compensate for the decreased face-to-face interaction. If it is in person, you need to emphasize how the quality of education makes up for the lack of flexibility.
Beyond the learning environment, decide what makes your graduate program useful, and invest your resources wisely into it.
With student loan debt in the United States at $1.5 trillion
and growing, it’s no wonder Americans are reconsidering the notion that “more
is better” when it comes to education. Today, prudent potential graduate
students consider their return on temporal and financial investments for more
education before enrolling. This is why approaching established adult
professionals is so different from undergraduate programs. Especially for
those who are putting some of their income toward paying student debt, they may
be hesitant to move further in their academic career without a clear and sure
payoff. Promote your nursing education by sharing stories of successful
graduate nurses, and promoting any programs in place that assist before,
during, and after the transition from school to work, both financially and
Money and time aren’t the only concerns of potential graduate nurses. What is it about a graduate degree that could augment a nurse’s sense of purpose in their work? Engage nurses by showing them not only how their income could increase with a graduate degree, but how a greater sense of purpose can improve the quality of their careers.
The way to draw interest to any endeavor is to answer
questions before anyone has to ask. For nurses considering graduate
school, it’s not hard to imagine what the most common concerns might be:
work/life balance, financial and time investment, flexibility with their work
schedule and personal life, and of course, the practical application of the
degree in question. Be a resource for that content; nurses don’t have to
be applying to your program to get to your site. This can be done by having
a blog on your program’s site with topics potential graduate nurses are
interested in. Get nurses to your site through search engine optimization
(SEO). Have a web development team that can put this into place.
The sheer volume of social media users is reason enough to
utilize it to connect to prospective students. Having a social media
presence, in addition to targeted advertising on social media, are keys to
connecting to potential graduate nurses. As a requisite of modern nursing,
nurses are tech-savvy; they are on these sites. Many social media
platforms have become tools for nurses in their own right. YouTube is
packed with nursing skill review videos, exam reviews, and vlogging that is
specific to nurses’ lifestyle and career hints. LinkedIn is a popular way
to create a professional network. Collaborating with popular nursing
social media personalities, or “influencer marketing,” in addition to
traditional advertising, can connect you with many potential students.
Word of mouth is the most reliable and least expensive
advertisement there is. Foster positive relationships with your active
stakeholders; namely, your current students and clinical sites. Having working
nurses witness clinical graduate students on-site not only demonstrates the feasibility
of clinical placement, but it also allows the prospective student to have a
candid conversation that they may not otherwise have. For this reason, make
sure your current students have something good to say about your
program. Don’t let recruiting new students bypass the importance of taking
care of those that you already have.
The degree to which you implement and combine each of these strategies will depend upon your institution’s own budget and logistical limitations. Your formula for success will be unique to your organization and context. Engaging and attracting prospective students to graduate nursing programs take high-quality consideration of logistics and allocation of tasks.
You entered the field of psychiatric nursing because you wanted to make a difference in the lives of patients. As a psychiatric nurse with VHA, you’ll do that and more. Not only will you play a critical role in changing the lives of Veterans, often in the most challenging stage of their life, but you’ll work with their network of family and friends to provide whole healing and a successful outcome. Learn more about the specific Veteran populations you’ll be working with and the opportunities for making an impact.
1. The families of Veterans
VA offers a range of family services for Veterans and their family members, including family education, brief problem-focused consultation, family psychoeducation, and marriage and family counseling. Our psychiatric nurses play an integral part in facilitating these services, working with all members of the family to provide holistic solutions.
2. Homeless Veterans
VA is the only Federal agency that provides substantial hands-on assistance directly to homeless Veterans. As a VHA psychiatric nurse, you’ll have the unique opportunity to step outside the hospital walls and treat Veterans who would not otherwise seek help. Additional VA assistance programs where you can make an impact include:
- Drop-in centers where Veterans who are homeless can shower, get a meal, and get help with a job or getting back into society
- Transitional housing in community-based programs
- Long-term assistance, case management and rehabilitation
3. Veterans with Serious Mental Illness
Veterans diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder and Bipolar Disorder work with VHA psychiatric nurses on a variety of treatment plans, including psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery services to optimize functioning. In addition, you’ll be a part of our Mental Health Intensive Case Management team. The team of mental health physicians, nurses, psychologists and social workers helps Veterans experiencing symptoms of severe mental illness cope with their symptoms and live more successfully at home and in the community.
4. Veterans adjusting to civilian life
The transition process from military to civilian life is a challenging one, and our psychiatric nurses are there from the beginning to provide crucial support. At our 300 community-based Vet Centers, our staff provides adjustment counseling and outreach services to all Veterans who served in any combat zone. Services are also available for family members for military-related issues, and bereavement counseling is offered for parents, spouses and children of Armed Forces, National Guard and Reserve personnel who died in the service of their country.
5. Older Veterans
To provide specialized care for our older Veterans, we’ve developed VA Community Living Centers (CLCs). Here, you will treat older Veterans needing temporary assisted care until they can return home or find placement in a nursing home. Our staff also works on ensuring that Veterans can safely live independently by screening for dementia and general assessments that help us decide whether the Veteran can make informed medical decisions.
As a psychiatric nurse at VHA, the work you do will deeply affect the Veteran, their family and generations of families to come. View our Nursing positions or, Join VA in making a difference in one of the many other health care fields available.
This story was originally posted on VAntage Point.
The word “nurse” brings a very specific picture to mind for most of us. We
picture someone in scrubs working in a hospital or a clinic, helping to treat
patients at the bedside and making rounds. But the skill set developed through
nursing opens up entire worlds beyond that traditional environment. Nursing
jobs away from the bedside are challenging, rewarding and not at all what you’d
In this article, we’ll go over some non-bedside nursing jobs and what they entail. We’ll talk about the duties of those nurses, the environments in which they work, and in some cases, what they can expect to earn. If you’re looking to move your career into a more interesting phase, you might consider pursuing a non-traditional nursing career.
From summer camp programs to the NASCAR racetrack, some surprising places need
medical professionals on hand. These career options could offer more work-life
stability, travel opportunities or a shot of adrenaline.
1. Cruise Ship Nurse
A nurse working in this role would help care for a cruise ship’s passengers and staff as part of the ship’s medical personnel. Depending on the size of the ship, the medical facilities could be quite state-of-the-art, rivaling an emergency room in a hospital on land. Cruise ship nurses work in the infirmary and report to the chief nurse. Working in this role requires at least two years of emergency care experience and an advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certification. Working on a cruise ship brings these nurses into contact with people from all over the world, and of course, offers the opportunity to travel. Nursing staff on a cruise ship are divided into three distinct categories: chief nurse, nurse practitioner and staff nurse. Duties here are much the same as nursing on land, but a cruise ship nurse could accompany a patient if they must be evacuated from the ship to land. Tours of duty are six months long, with two months off afterward.
2. Camp Nurse
If you’re someone who prefers the outdoors and doesn’t like to stay in one place for very long, camp nursing could be for you. There are myriad camp organizations that employ camp nurses. There are camps for children diagnosed with cancer, adults with mental disabilities or camps that center around an activity like whitewater rafting or horseback riding. The Association of Camp Nurses (ACN) lists opportunities on their website, so you can browse through them and see which one most closely fits your background. Those with experience in emergency care or pediatrics would be well-suited, and an ability to make decisions independently is key, as camp nurses often work alone. According to PayScale, camp nurses can expect to earn between $22-$41 per hour.
3. Correctional Nurse/Prison Nurse
A nurse working in this role will often be the first person to see an inmate
about a health complaint. A correctional nurse will assess the patient and
determine the requirements of care the same as they would if they were working
in a hospital. They conduct intake screenings, work in chronic care clinics to
help inmates manage chronic conditions, keep track of medications so they
aren’t misused and provide what’s known as “sick call” services. Sick call is
when an inmate requests to see a nurse for a sudden issue, which can result in
an appointment with a physician. This role could also offer the opportunity to
become a coordinator for programs like prison hospice care, in which inmates
are trained to take care of their peers during the final phase of their lives
4. Clinical Nurse Educator/RN Medical
This may be one of the more well-known non-bedside nursing careers, in which an experienced nursing professional opts to instruct others in the practices and techniques of the job. Nurse educators can work in a classroom setting in a university or nursing school, as well as in the field with nurses-in-training or with those who need a clinical education, such as people who work in insurance or public healthcare workers. Because being employed in this role often requires a bachelor’s or other advanced degree, nurse educators can train medical staff to instruct non-medical personnel in medical procedures and equipment. A very high satisfaction rate is reported with this job, and the median salary is just over $75,000 per year, according to PayScale.
5. Nurse Writer/Medical Writer
A background in or passion for writing as well as experience in healthcare can be leveraged into a career as a nurse writer. Their job is to write up training materials, manuals and educational papers for their employers. Nurse writers usually work for a healthcare provider, pharmaceutical company, medical equipment company or something in a similar vein. They must be able to research well, express specialized information in a readable manner and conduct interviews, similar to the duties of a journalist. PayScale reported that job satisfaction rates for this role are also high, and the median salary is similar to that of a nurse educator at just over $70,000 per year.
6. NASCAR Nurse
NASCAR drivers are just as much athletes as players in the NBA or NFL are, and the sport is one of the most popular in North America. When a driver has a crash, medical staff need to be on site to help. NASCAR nurses do initial assessments of the pit crew and drivers after an accident occurs, but a large part of their work is looking after the fans. This role can involve travel as well, if you’re working as an official part of the NASCAR team and following the races as they move across the country. NASCAR nurses also act as liaisons between the team and local medical staff working an event, making sure the proper equipment is on hand to handle anything from dehydration to lacerations and blunt force trauma.
7. Flight Nurse
Perhaps the most action-packed on this list of non-bedside nursing jobs, a flight nurse isn’t what you might think when reading the job title. Rather than working on an aircraft, flight nurse travel to remote locations not easily accessible to help the injured. They provide specialized, hospital-level care to their patients as they’re being airlifted to a medical facility. This can be at the scene of a major accident, between hospitals or in a remote wilderness location. Flight nurse Matt Tederman, in an interview with PBS, detailed the time he had to help a snowmobiler in the rural plains of Omaha with a neck laceration from barbed wire. Helping to bring that patient back, he says, was a reminder of why he does the job. This position requires a BSN and three to five years of experience working in the ER or intensive care unit (ICU).
8. Parish Nurse
Last on our list of non-bedside nursing jobs is the parish nurse. Parish
nurses care for the members of a parish or religious congregation. They
approach their work differently than the other people on this list as they
integrate elements of faith into their work alongside medicine. Relatively new
as nursing specialties go, it was only recognized as such in 1998. Parish
nurses work mostly in churches, but you can also find them in hospitals or
social service agencies, as many hospitals have chapel areas set aside for
people to worship. If a hospital is faith-based, it’s more likely to employ
parish nurses. The duties of a parish nurse include visiting patients,
mentoring members of their religious community, acting as a patient advocate
and starting support groups. Parish nurses are required to hold active RN licenses
and have practiced as an RN for two years or more.
Want to Take the Next Step?
If getting outside of the hospital sounds like the next step in your career, Fairleigh Dickinson University can help you get there. Our accredited RN to BSN online program trains working nurses to deliver comprehensive care to individuals and families in all environments so that you’ll have the skills necessary to become competitive in the job market. If you already have your BSN and are looking to advance your knowledge and care practices, consider our MSN nurse educator online program. We’ll prepare you to become an instructor in collegiate nursing programs. Through a state-of-the-art curriculum, you’ll acquire the training you need to effectively work with students, parents and patients.
This sponsored post is brought to you by Fairleigh Dickinson University.
While medical technology is booming, the art of caring is becoming a highly profitable field as well. By focusing on employee engagement, hospitals embrace the staff and the highly personable touch they have to offer. The healthcare workers are essential to improving HCAHPS scores and reducing hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) (source).
Employee Engagement versus Satisfaction
Employee engagement and employee satisfaction are miles apart. A nurse can be satisfied with a position, show up to every shift without complaint, and leave for a neighboring hospital that offers a seven minute shorter commute. Job satisfaction rewards the bare minimum of effort and reliability to the hospital. Employee engagement is the nurse’s dedication to working on behalf of the hospitals and patients.
Engagement Prevents Medical Errors
Nurse engagement requires more than showing up with a smile to do the job. It entails an emotional commitment to the company and its goals. A Gallup study showed that the most critical element in reducing medical errors is employee engagement. Engagement matters more than any other single factor including staffing.
How to Foster Employee Engagement
While employees welcome picnics and parties, the most important factors are recognition and feeling connected to nursing management. There is a significant positive link between a high-quality supervisor and nursing engagement. It is vital that nurse managers create an environment of appreciation, trust, and growth.
Employee engagement increases nurse retention and keeps costs down. It reduces medical errors, the transmission of HACs, and the hospital mortality rate. By believing in both the management and hospital, patients and nurses thrive.