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VA Nurses: Quality and Innovation in Patient Care

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A group of nurses and hospital patients in a hospital.

“Veterans and Nurses, in partnership, make a world class patient experience,” says Cathy Rick, VA Chief Nursing Officer, second from the right, with patients and nursing staff at Milwaukee VA Medical Center.

by Hans Petersen, VA Staff Writer
Monday, May 6, 2013

This is National Nurses Week.

The American Nurses Association has designated this year’s National Nurses Week theme: “Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care.”

Join us in celebrating the men and women who serve this country by caring for its Veterans.

80,000 Nurses Caring for America’s Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs has one of the largest nursing staffs of any health care system in the world.

Numbering more than 80,000 nationwide, the VA integrated nursing team provides comprehensive, complex, and compassionate care to our nation’s Veterans.

VA’s nurses are a dynamic, diverse group of honored, respected, and compassionate professionals. VA is the leader in the creation of an organizational culture where excellence in nursing is valued as essential for quality health care to those who served America.

“VA nursing is at the center of generating value-based innovation. Their work is a demonstration of integrity, commitment, respect and excellence as we shape efforts to ensure access to personalized, proactive health care for Veterans,” according to Cathy Rick, VA’s Chief Nursing Officer.

She adds, “I am extremely proud to call myself a VA nurse.”

 National Nurses Week: Every year — May 6th through May 12. May 12 is Florence Nightingale’s birthday. 

The VA nursing team is composed of registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPNs/LVNs), nursing assistants, and intermediate care technicians.

VA nursing provides the largest clinical training and cooperative education opportunities in association with undergraduate and graduate programs at numerous colleges and universities.

In the 1990s, VA provided clinical experience to one out of every four professional nursing students in the country. VA nurses are highly valued members and leaders of the health care team, contributing their knowledge and expertise to the care of patients.

In addition to clinical care, VA nursing is also a significant part of advancing research in VA and keeping up with the latest technological innovations. Nurse researchers help to promote inclusion of evidence into practice to provide quality care for Veterans.

Components of VA Nursing

Professional nursing supports the mission of the VA health care system by providing state-of-the-art, cost-effective care to patients and families as they respond to illness and health issues.

In addition to medical, surgical and psychiatric units, VA nurses work in intensive care, spinal cord injury, geriatric, dialysis, blind rehabilitation, specialty care (such as diabetes clinics), hospice, domiciliary, oncology, and organ transplant units.

VA nurses provide care across a variety of settings including primary, ambulatory, acute, geriatrics, rehabilitation, and extended care settings.

They work in outpatient clinics, community living centers, and home-based primary care programs.

VA nurses also play a considerable role in emergency planning, preparedness, response, and recovery.

VA nurses proudly serve America’s heroes by practicing the art and science of nursing in order to provide holistic, evidence-based, high quality care.

Interested in a career as VA nurse? Start here: VA Careers