In honor of Nurses Week, this is the fourth of a five part series about the nurses of VA. Read part I, II and III here. Visit VACareers.va.gov/NursesWeek to share your thanks.

Starting with nursing students on clinical rotations, all the way to the most advanced critical care nurses, VA enables our nurses to build a lifetime of experience. Our goal is to continually develop VA’s comprehensive learning environment to elevate the art and science of nursing and ultimately, provide the best quality care for our patients. We believe it’s this continuous learning that helps our nurses grow and keeps them engaged by giving them the tools to better care for our Nation’s Veterans.

We have programs that help our employees in leadership positions fulfill their responsibilities and help guide the next generation. As nurses gain more experience through our programs, they provide critical guidance for newer nurses, as well as nursing students. Our nursing education and leadership programs include:

  • Nurse Executive Leadership Development Program: Offers three week-long sessions of VA specific leadership training to nurse managers
  • Nurse Executive Mentor/Mentee program: Provides guidance and support to Nurse Executives who are new to their role or new to VA
  • Nurse Executive Rotation: Gives VA nurse executives the opportunity to work in the VA Central Office or the Office of Nursing Services for a two- to four-week rotation.

VA is one of the largest research organizations in the United States and supports nurse-led research with funded research opportunities. We also have numerous initiatives to help nurses build their knowledge and skills:

  • Magnet Recognition Program and Pathway to Excellence Program: demonstrates nursing excellence and innovation in practice and leadership. We offer guidance and resources for nurse leaders to achieve practice excellence in specialty areas.
  • VA Nursing Outcomes Database: supports strategic decision-making by providing a national resource for clinically relevant, nursing-sensitive quality indicators. It utilizes internal and external benchmarking, making it an accurate and dependable resource for all care areas.
  • Nursing Polytrauma Consortium: shares clinical, administrative, educational, and research initiatives related to polytrauma care. This unique effort unites nursing leaders from each polytrauma center with additional VA facilities to communicate best practices.
  • Clinical Practice Program: supports the ability of nursing clinical practice to develop policies with other VHA program offices and disseminate communications to the field. This keeps practices consistent across locations and is immensely helpful for nurses who change locations.
  • Patient Safety Programs: helps us provide a superior level of care to our Veterans through initiatives like the 5 Million Lives Campaign, Nothing Left Behind Program, and Patient Safety Reporting System. These ensure the implementation of evidence-based practice initiatives, tracking operating room materials and identifying issues or processes that need to be addressed.

Nursing is a dynamic and ever-changing field. We believe that learning keeps our nurses engaged with our mission – to provide the best care for Veterans. Our nurses equipped with knowledge, experience and purpose have the power to change the face of healthcare.

Explore nursing careers at VAcareers.va.gov/nursing and find out more about our professional development programs at VA.

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Published on May. 11, 2015

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