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Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Residency (PC-NPR) Program

This 12-month post-graduate program provides clinical and academic experience for new graduates transitioning into professional roles as Primary Care Nurse Practitioners. The Zablocki VA, in academic partnership with the Marquette University College of Nursing, promotes mentorship and fosters a supportive interprofessional learning environment for providing evidence-based care to our Veteran population.

The PC-NPs will advance from novice to competent nurse practitioners while developing competencies in Veterans' health care needs.  Through intensive mentored clinical experiences and professional development activities, PC-NPRs will be prepared to provide health services for the Veteran population.

Program Description

  • 32 hours clinical and 8 hours didactic experiences per 40-hour work week.
  • Experiential learning will include direct patient care experiences through precepted clinics, clinical rotations, simulations and non-clinical experiences.
  • Weekly didactic experiences will be drawn from educational sessions, case presentations and grand rounds. These didactic experiences will facilitate the PC-NPRs meeting specific components within the core curriculum domains.
  • Training domains include:
    • Professional role development and career management.
    • Clinical assessment and case formulation.
    • Clinical Documentation.
    • Patient-Centered Cultural Competency (with emphasis on military and Veteran culture).
    • Clinical Scholarship, Leadership, and Program Development and Evaluation.
  • Clinical rotations on interprofessional teams.
  • Integrated and parallel didactic sessions.
  • Didactic sessions frequently occur in conjunction with other resident training programs to promote interprofessional learning.
  • Clinical rotations customized to meet residents’ needs may include: Primary Care, Home Based Primary Care, Urology, Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, Pulmonology, Pain Management, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neurosurgery, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Emergency Medicine/Urgent Care, Mental Health Service, Long Term Care, Telehealth, Residential Home Programs, Dermatology, Spinal Cord Injury and Outpatient Surgical Clinic.
  • Clinical experiences and didactic topics include Veteran Culture, Military Service, Combat Veterans, Mental Health, Suicide, Tele Health, Women Veterans, Spinal Cord Injuries, Health Promotion, Disease Prevention, Whole Health, Gerontology, Healthcare Leadership and Quality Improvement (QI).
  • High Reliability Organization (HRO) Principles and QI Seminars: Seminars focus on developing knowledge and skills to improve care using VA-approved LEAN and PDSA tools and methods. Residents learn about HRO principles that lead to zero harm through patient safety and safety culture forums. The Milwaukee VA Medical Center is on an HRO journey and thus has a dedicated interprofessional HRO team that is enthusiastic to work with PC-NPR program.
  • Professional Development: Residents are provided opportunities to interact with interprofessional teams including other residents (PAs, MH-NPRs and Advanced Fellows) in interprofessional patient safety electives and activities such as journal clubs and presentations. 
  • Leadership at all levels supports protected time for preceptors/faculty to provide enriching teaching experiences.
  • Program Director serves as a resource and provides support as residents transition to performing as autonomous NPs.
  • A certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the residency.
  • Candidates who successfully complete the residency training program will be given the opportunity to apply for available vacancies within the VA system.

Facility Spotlight

Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center is a vibrant class 1A VHA Medical Center that provides many health care services to Veterans from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

On the main campus in Milwaukee, there are 196 inpatient care beds (inclusive of 34 mental health beds and spinal cord injury), 113 Community Living Center, 9 Transitional Care, and 125 Domiciliary beds. Our facility includes three Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) in Appleton, Union Grove, Cleveland, and a Health Care Center (HCC) in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

In FY 2021, the Milwaukee facility had over 33,000 primary care encounters with 17,000 unique Veterans seen in primary care

Primary Care staff is made up of Patient Aligned Care Teams consisting of Physicians, certified NPs, Social Workers, RNs, LPNs, Medical Care Assistants, and Pharmacists who interact regularly with residents and Advanced Fellows of different disciplines during meetings and educational sessions.

The Zablocki VAMC is located on 245 acres just west of downtown Milwaukee, WI. Originally established in 1867, we are one of the oldest VA sites in the country.


  • Be a recent graduate (within 12 months of program start) of a master’s, post-master’s certificate or doctoral level NP program accredited by CCNE or the ACEN.
  • Be serving in first NP role in the same program specialty area as program focus: Primary Care.
  • Possess a current board certification in the same program specialty area as the program focus:
    • PC-NPR:  Adult-Gerontological NP, Gerontological NP, Adult NP or Family NP board certification.
  • Possess a current, full active and unrestrictive registration as a graduate professional nurse AND nurse practitioner in a state, commonwealth or territory of the United States, or District of Columbia, prior to the start of the NPR program .
  • Be a citizen of the United States.
  • Pass a background/security investigation as required by the Veterans Health Administration.
  • Pass pre-trainee physical examination.  Random drug testing may be required.  COVID vaccination is a requirement for this residency.

Compensation and Benefits

  • NP residents are trainees, not employees
  • Resident trainee appointments are for 2080 program hours to accrue benefits, including health insurance.
  • Benefits (4 hours of sick leave and 4 hours of vacation/annual leave per 2-week pay period)
  • Stipend: $82,036 per annum ($39.44/hour) – determined and funded by the Office of Academic Affiliations 
  • Hiring preference for open positions at any VA on successful completion of the residency program

Application Process

For the cohort starting Fall 2024:

  • Applications accepted through March 1.
  • Interviews conducted in March 2024.
  • Selections communicated in early April.
  • Residency begins Sept. 3.

Application packet:

  • Cover letter, including why you are interested in this residency program.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • School transcript (does not need to be official for application process).
  • Three letters of reference, including one reference from a senior year nursing faculty member.

Program Contact

Laura Tobon, MSN, FNP-BC

PC-NPR Program Director


About VA

“To fulfill President Lincoln's promise to care for those who have served in our nation's military and for their families, caregivers and survivors."

VHA Mission

Honor America’s Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.

VHA Vision

VHA will continue to be the benchmark of excellence and value in health care and benefits by providing exemplary services that are both patient centered and evidence based.

This care will be delivered by engaged, collaborative teams in an integrated environment that supports learning, discovery, and continuous improvement.

It will emphasize prevention and population health and contribute to the nation's well-being through education, research, and service in National emergencies.