Understanding the VA Hiring Freeze Announcement

VA job openings are available at VA Medical Centers nationwide.  As you know, on June 9, the Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs announced a hiring freeze for all Veteran Health Administration (VHA) positions at VHA Headquarters.  The hiring freeze does not apply to VA Medical Centers and related-care delivery activities.

Health care professionals are encouraged to join VHA in providing proactive, personalized patient-driven health care to our Veterans.  Go to www.VAcareers.va.gov to learn more about career opportunities at VA.

Recent messaging may be confusing, so I want our external and internal health care audiences to know that VA is hiring health care professionals.  After hearing all of the buzz on Facebook, Twitter and committee hearings I figured it was time to begin telling VA Careers ongoing recruitment story.

There are roughly 20,000 psychiatrists in the US and about 2,200 of them work for VHA. Roughly 1 million primary care doctors and about 10,000 work at VHA. Around 280,000 employees in VHA alone care for 6.3 million Veterans across the nation. The annual health care attrition rate is about 9% for most of America, while VHA has a 6% loss rate.

Because of these factors, VHA has to constantly recruit and hire new health care staff to provide that care and support. While Secretary Gibson announced a hiring freeze for all VHA headquarters and regional program offices, the freeze does not apply to VA Medical Centers. There are close to 3,000 ongoing open positions nationwide.

The recruitment for these 3,000 positions is no easy task. VHA’s top 10 critical occupations are primarily in health care and include physicians, nurses, pharmacists and allied health providers. It is such an important mission, that VA has been given direct hiring authority and the tools to recruit healthcare providers including recruitment marketing and advertising ability. VHA also employs a team of seasoned health care recruiters to search, identify and recruit the best quality providers nationwide. All current members of this team are Veterans themselves.

VA’s health care recruitment marketing efforts will continue nationwide throughout the summer – promoting great opportunities for health care providers to join VA and help serve our Veterans. Through television commercials, public service announcements and through social media, you will see our recruitment message is stronger than ever.

Visit VAcareers.va.gov to learn more about a career at VA. I also urge you to share this message with colleagues, fellow healthcare providers and influencers to make sure everyone knows that VA is hiring. If no vacancies are posted in certain locations, health care providers should contact the national recruitment team for future vacancies within the VHA system (especially in rural areas).

Physicians may contact a Recruiter here.

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Published on Jun. 19, 2014

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