Wondering whether you need more education to land a job after your military career? Here at VA, we have job opportunities for applicants at all educational levels, including those working toward a degree or certification.
However, there are a number of educational programs that can give you a leg up in the VA application process. Here are five degrees and certifications we commonly look for when considering applicants for clinical shortage positions:
- Nursing certifications
One of our top clinical shortage occupations is nursing: in particular, nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs).
You can become a nursing assistant or LPN by completing a state-approved certification program and passing a state exam. Nursing assistants, under the supervision of LPNs or RNs, provide varying levels of support and care to patients unable to care for themselves. LPNs provide basic medical care to sick, injured and disabled patients under the supervision of an RN or a physician.
- Nursing degrees
An associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing is the usual academic path to becoming an RN. Aspiring RNs also must take a national standardized test leading to state licensure. RNs who have been at VA for a year can apply for a higher education scholarship through the National Nursing Education Initiative.
- Psychology degree
At VA, we’ve made a commitment to providing Veterans with the mental health resources they deserve. That’s why we’ve recently hired more than 1,000 mental health professionals and continue to seek qualified mental health clinicians. Our psychologists assess, diagnose and treat many different mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. VA psychologists usually have a doctoral degree in psychology.
- Physician assistant degree/certification
Physician assistants (PAs) perform physical exams, order lab tests, diagnose illnesses and prescribe medications. Students take undergraduate- and graduate-level courses before entering a PA program and taking an exam to become a certified PA. PA programs are usually about 27 months long and culminate in a master’s degree.
- Medical degree
Physicians can train as primary care clinicians or specialists. After college, all physicians complete at least four years of medical school and onsite clinical training at a health care facility. The length of a residency program varies by specialty. Physicians hired by VA for a specific, hard-to-recruit direct patient care position may be eligible for VA’s Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), which offers qualifying physicians student loan reimbursement up to $200,000 over five years. VA physicians can also earn continuing medical education credits at no cost.
Choose VA today
In addition to numerous job opportunities and education support to advance your career, we offer a total rewards benefits package that includes generous paid time off, robust retirement plans and work-life balance. Explore VA careers and apply today!