The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking measures to expand the capacity of their facilities in order to provide Veterans with the timely care that they have earned. As part of these measures, the VA is on the hunt for new talent to help staff their 151 medical facilities.
The VA’s national recruitment effort is a direct response to the negative media that the VA has received over the course of this year. New VA Secretary Robert McDonald is intent on improving the VA’s image by improving the quality of care that the VA provides. The quality of care that Veterans receive can be measured by the timeliness of treatment and the knowledge of the staff.
By hiring a large number of new medical professionals, the VA intends to employ a knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff that will provide timely and accurate care for Veterans.
The exact steps that the VA is taking to expand capacity at their facilities include:
- Collaborating on a new nursing academic partnership (VA Nursing Academic Partnerships or VANAP) focused on psychiatric and mental health care to build stronger, mutually beneficial relationships between nursing schools and VA facilities.
- Partnering with the Department of Defense Health Affairs, Army, Navy, and Air Force to improve recruitment of recently or soon to be discharged health care professionals. VHA is already taking advantage of known separations of military health care workers.
- Expansion of a pilot program to bring combat medics and corpsmen in to VA facilities as clinicians
- Improving the credentialing process for VA and DoD health care providers, which will involve sharing credentials to speed up the process.
- Expanding of the loan repayment program, as included in the recently passed Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act.
- Considering options to revise pay tables to offer more competitive salaries for VA providers, in comparison to their academic and private practice colleagues.
These actions build on recruitment policies already in place, including partnerships between local facilities and academic institutions, loan repayment programs, and scholarship programs.
“In order to recruit and retain the highest quality medical professionals, VA needs to be competitive with other healthcare systems, and ultimately that is how we provide the best care to our Veteran patients,” said Interim Under Secretary for Health Carolyn M. Clancy.
To learn more about how to work in VA health care and serve our nation’s Veterans, please visit the VA Career Page.
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Military Connection: VA Recruitment Effort: By Debbie Gregory