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Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Residency (PC-NPR) Program

The VA Central Iowa Healthcare System (VA CIHCS) Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Residency Program is a 12-month program that offers newly licensed Nurse Practitioners 100% protected time to master clinical skills, enhance competence, and improve professional confidence. This comprehensive training experience is competency based, offering experiential, scholarly, and didactic learning opportunities. Rotations through a variety of specialty and primary care settings will provide residents with exposure to diverse perspectives and structured mentoring.

In this program, individual development plans will allow each resident to address specific needs and explore areas of interest.  The PC-NPR program serves as a bridge to support novice Nurse Practitioners as they develop into competent, confident, and independent primary care providers.  


Applicant should meet the following criteria:  
•    Be a recent graduate (within 12 months) of a master's, post-master's certificate, or doctoral level NP program accredited by CCNE or the ACEN
•    Be serving in their first Nurse Practitioner role in Primary Care
•    Possess current board certification as an Adult-Gerontological Primary Care or Family Nurse Practitioner prior to the start of the PC-NPR program
•    Possess a current, full, active and unrestrictive registration as a nurse practitioner in a state, commonwealth, or territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia prior to the start of the PC-NPR program
•    Be a citizen of the United States

Benefits and Compensation

•    $79,203 (stipend reviewed and set by VA Office of Academic Affiliations)
•    Accrued annual leave 
•    Accrued sick leave 
•    Paid federal holidays 
•    No weekends, call, overtime, or night shift duties 
•    Eligible for VA paid trainee benefits, including Federal Employee Health Benefits
•    Access to VA provided resources (UpToDate, Visual Dx, and many more)
•    Certificate of VA Residency Completion upon successful program completion
•    Pathway to prioritized hiring of qualified resident program graduates within the VA

Program Goals and Objectives

•    Provide an intensive clinical experience that is enhanced by interprofessional educational and leadership activities
•    Prepare newly licensed Nurse Practitioners to function confidently and independently in a rapidly changing and diverse healthcare environment
•    Equip newly licensed Nurse Practitioners with the evidence-based knowledge, skills, and judgment needed to address the specific needs of the Veteran population 
•    Recruit and retain well-trained and highly qualified Nurse Practitioners for careers within the VA
•    Increase access to Veteran-centric primary care services for our nation’s Veterans

Application Process

Applications are currently being accepted for Fall Cohort 2023-2024
To be considered, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Letter of interest
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Graduate school transcripts
  • Personal statement (2 pages) that includes:
  1. Personal, educational, and professional experiences that led to your interest in working with Veterans in the primary care specialty 
  2. Personal goals for this residency program and how these will impact your long-term career goals
  3. Specific areas of interest you would like to develop during the residency program
  • Three recommendation letters mailed or emailed directly from the individual writing the letter to the program contacts below.  Letters should include information regarding your clinical competence and experience.  Preferred sources include:
  1. NP program faculty or program director
  2. NP program preceptors
  3. Previous supervisors
  4. Colleagues familiar with your clinical practice

Inquiries and application documents may be sent to:

If you have questions, would like additional information, or would like to set up a time to discuss the program over the phone, please reach out to:

Program Contacts

Lindsay Prendergast, DNP, APRN, FNP-C
PC NPR Program Director
VA Central Iowa Health Care System
3600 30th St., Bldg. 4, Room 3100
Des Moines, IA  50310

Rhonda Ross, BSN, RN
PC NPR Program Coordinator
VA Central Iowa Health Care System
3600 30th St., Bldg. 4, Room 3100
Des Moines, IA  50310