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VA Student Trainee Experience Program (VA-STEP)

This clinically intensive paid internship provides opportunities for outstanding students to develop competencies in clinical nursing while at an approved VA health care facility.

Opportunities for learning include didactic classroom and simulation experiences, competency-based clinical practice with a qualified Registered Nurse preceptor, and participation in nursing-focused clinical conferences. VA-STEP is formerly known as the VALOR Program.


  • Pay is 80% of a starting RNs salary, no other benefits such as insurance, paid leave are given as part of this intermittent position
  • One-on-one clinical preceptorship with a highly qualified RN throughout the internship.
  • Shadowing opportunities in specialty areas such as the ICU, infusion clinic, OR, wound care, and others.
  • A seamless transition into the Madison VA’s accredited Transition to Practice Nurse Residency.

Eligibility criteria

  • Must be U.S. Citizen.
  • Currently enrolled in a CCNE or NLNAC accredited BSN program.
  • Proficient in written and spoken English.
  • Background & Security Investigation are required.
  • Meet physical examination requirements at the time of entry
  • Random Drug Testing is required.
  • A desire and plan to continue as a RN at the VA after completion of the internship
  • Ability to complete 400 hours as a Nursing VALOR student at the Madison VA facility during the months of June through August with an additional 400 hours available to work during the school year.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Application requirements

  • PERSONAL STATEMENT/ COVER LETTER: 500 words or less “Why I Wish to be Selected for Madison VA-STEP”
  • TWO reference names: One reference must be from a clinical faculty, the second reference can be from a current or past supervisor.
  • TRANSCRIPTS: Official or unofficial are acceptable.
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 12, 2024

For more information, contact:

Patrick Wilcox

Patrick Wilcox MSN, RN, CNL

Manager, Nurse Residency and Internship Programs

VA Madison health care