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VA Puget Sound Health Care System

 

VA Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) Program


Welcome BSN Nursing Students!


This information is for VA Puget Sound only.
For information about VALOR programs outside of VA Puget Sound, please contact Glenda Fuller: Glenda.Fuller@va.gov

For more than 20 years, the VA Puget Sound Health Care System has offered this exciting, year-long clinical residency for BSN students between their junior and senior years. VALOR is designed to increase participants’ clinical skills, clinical judgment, and critical thinking while caring for our nation’s Veterans. This program provides opportunities for learning including didactic or classroom experiences and clinical practice with a qualified RN (Registered Nurse) preceptor.  Students recruited for the program must have completed the final semester or quarter of the junior year in an accredited baccalaureate nursing program.  Students are appointed during the summer months for 400 hours.  This experience may continue during their senior academic year on a part-time basis to no more than 800 hours.

Program Overview

The VALOR program at VA Puget Sound begins with ten weeks of paid, full-time work during the summer months (June – August). Applicants should be available to work 40 hours per week during this time.
The summer program includes:
  • New Nurse Orientation
  • Clinical practice with a preceptor on an assigned unit
  • Opportunities to rotate to other units/specialties for observation experiences
  • Weekly meetings with the program coordinator and VALOR student peers
  • Other planned educational experiences
After completing the initial ten weeks of full-time work, VALOR students will continue to work four days per month (two days per pay period) through the academic year, until graduation.

Program Eligibility

 Eligible students will:
  • Be currently enrolled in an accredited BSN program;
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, with no grade lower than a B in any nursing course;
  • Have completed the final semester/quarter of junior year prior to the program start date;
  • Be eligible to graduate by the following June;
  • Have had at least one clinical experience in a medical center or hospital;
  • Be a U.S. Citizen;
  • Provide documentation of immunization status and current Health Care Provider BLS training;
  • Submit all application materials by the deadline;
  • Not have a service obligation to any Federal, state, or private institution or be a recipient of any Federal scholarship that incurs a service obligation;
  • Be able to work full-time during the summer months and part-time during the academic year.

Application Process

Students should submit all application materials via the VALOR Student position posting on USA Jobs www.usajobs.gov.

The posting will be open for applications in January 28th. search USA Jobs for "VALOR."

•Government forms 10-2850a and OP-306
•Resume
•Two letters of reference:
-One from Dean/Director of the school of nursing, on school letterhead, including a nomination of the student to the program, verification of enrollment as a full-time student, and anticipated graduation date.
-One from a clinical or faculty advisor on school letterhead, recommending the student for the program.
•Unofficial transcript
•Evidence of current BLS certifications (expiring within no less than 60 days of the program start-date)Application materials will include:

Applications missing any of these materials will not be considered.
Students with the most competitive applications will be invited to interview with a panel of VA nurses.
If selected for the program, students may be required to complete a physical exam and a drug screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are VALOR students paid?
Yes. VALOR students are paid as hourly, intermittent employees. VALOR students are not eligible for overtime pay, holiday pay, or shift differentials. The rate of pay changes each year.

Can VALOR students choose the unit where they work?
No. VALOR students may express a preference for a unit, but they will be placed according to preceptor availability and unit needs. VALOR students may rotate to other units for observational experiences.

I am in an accelerated BSN program. Can I apply for the VALOR program?
Students in an accelerated BSN program can apply for the VALOR program IF they meet the program requirements and are available to work full time from June – August of the program start year.

How can I make my application competitive?
First, assure you have submitted all the required materials. Seek recommendations from faculty or instructors who will give positive feedback about your performance in nursing school. Assure your resume reflects not only your clinical and health care experience, but also other paid employment, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities.

I still have questions. Who can I speak to about the program?
For questions about the VALOR program at VA Puget Sound, email Yolanda Grandjean: Yolanda.grandjean@va.gov