To celebrate National Nurses Month and to share her expertise about working as a nurse at VA, Laura J. Sarmiento, MSN, RN, was welcomed as a guest on “Talk About It Tuesday” (TAIT).

TAIT is a livestream dedicated to discussing VA career opportunities and advice that airs each week at noon EDT on our LinkedIn page.

Coming to VA

Sarmiento, an Army Veteran and a nurse recruiter with the El Paso VA Health Care System, trained as a combat medic and served during the Vietnam War. Following her time in the military, she moved to Texas to pursue her nursing degree. She joined VA in 2008, where she spoke to the El Paso team about multiple nursing positions before ultimately deciding on the role of nurse recruiter.

“I said, ‘I can absolutely interview for that position,'” she recalled, “because I am passionate about serving Veterans, being a Veteran myself.”

However, Sarmiento had previously considered a job at VA over a decade earlier. At that time, she was asked by a VA physician to join a Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT). Sarmiento’s direct attitude and mission-focused manner made her a natural fit for VA, though she wouldn’t take advantage of what VA had to offer for a few more years.

“If I ever made a mistake in my nursing career, it was that I didn’t join VA sooner,” she joked.

The VA difference

When asked about the opportunities that VA offers nurses, Sarmiento noted, “VA offers so much more than any other employer.” Whether a nurse wants to pursue clinical work directly with patients or consult, as Sarmiento herself does, there are numerous opportunities available. Those opportunities extend to educational roles, as well as leadership positions.

“Each area has a distinctive career progression, but because we’re so flexible and we want to attract the best and brightest nurses, there’s always upward mobility,” Sarmiento explained. “They have that opportunity, and I’ve never seen that with our competitors.”

In addition to broad career paths, Sarmiento noted VA’s extensive benefits, as well as the numerous educational advantages available to VA employees.

Positive experiences

Closing out her visit to TAIT, Sarmiento shared that some of her best experiences at VA came from the times she’s heard back from nurses she’s helped recruit – people who valued her expertise. Hearing stories of how those same nurses went on to assist a patient in a positive and proactive way reminds her that she’d made the right choice by coming to VA.

“Being a Veteran myself, I always knew I would continue to serve in some capacity,” she said.

Work at VA

If you’re a nurse looking for best-in-class benefits and a mission that matters, a career at VA should be your next stop.

By VA Careers

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Published on Jun. 24, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.5 min.

Views to date: 213


  1. Pathways July 6, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    Then click on the Nursing field for which you would like to apply or click View All Opportunities to see all Nursing jobs posted on

  2. Carlos Leiva June 29, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    I just don’t see were I can apply

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