Everyone’s road to a VA career is unique. In the "Why VA" series, we’ll hear from VA Illiana nursing staff as they share their stories of why caring for Veterans is so special. In this edition, we hear from Shawna Mullins, a certified nursing assistant (CNA).
How did you know a career in the medical field was for you?
Growing up being around my grandmothers, I knew that I wanted to do something that involved caring for others. When I was old enough, I started taking classes to become a CNA to learn the basics. I worked years being a CNA, then I started taking classes to become a nurse. I had to put that journey on pause due to me having kids and not being able to balance time with the two, so I continued working as a CNA.
Describe the experience of joining VA Illiana and your work environment?
I am from Danville, so I always heard people speak highly of the VA, especially as to how they treated their employees. The VA has a thorough hiring process. That showed me that they want the best people on their team. I wanted the chance to show my experience and be a part of the team.
Further, VA fosters a positive work environment by making and keeping employees happy and engaged. The VA offers opportunities for growth by allowing employees to express and share their ideas, which adds value and shows strength through skills and teamwork. Finally, VA provides continuous training so that employees are at their best and in turn, give their best to the Veterans. I have proudly given my service for 22 years.
What sets a VA career apart?
The best part of serving Veterans is the rewarding feeling I get after providing them with assistance and guidance they may need.
While serving Veterans, I have learned how to establish a caregiver- patient relationship built on trust, respect and listening. That way, Veterans can have faith in me and know that I can be relied upon.