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Post-Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Residency Program

VA Northern California Health Care System's Post-Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Residency (PB-RNR) program is 1 of 16 federally funded nurse residency programs in the United States.

Our Post-Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Residency (PB-RNR) program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) since January 2019. We are committed to engaging new registered nurse (RN) graduates during their transition from entry-level to advanced beginner professional nurses providing Veteran-centric care.


Our program is a highly competitive, intensive 12-month, four-stage curriculum,  seeking registered nurses who are mission-centric, compassionate, resilient, and possess effective interpersonal skills to be effective change agents, designed to prepare the new graduate to transition into acute care, ambulatory, and outpatient settings. 

The PB-RNR program provides:

  • A set of learning opportunities focused on institutional and departmental practices that help new nurses learn VA Northern California Healthcare System’s policies, procedures, and standards of care
  • Reflection and learning opportunities through case review and quarterly competency self-assessments
  • Skill development and confidence building by connecting critical thinking with critical actions

Sponsored by the Veterans Administration Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA), each resident will receive:

  • 12-month stipend amounting to $67,133
  • Health insurance
  • Accrual of paid leave for sick time and personal time off
  • Access to the VA-Trainee Recruitment Event (VA-TRE) connecting trainees with VA facilities across the nation that have job openings, match them to interview with these sites, place trainees where there is a good fit and retain trainees in the VA system


Grant Ciffone

Previous resident personal statement

“The VA’s PB-RNR program was exactly what I needed after nursing school. The program allowed me to rotate through a diverse range of units, many of which I would not have been able to experience this early in my career such as the ICU, Interventional Radiology, GI, and the wound clinic. The program’s didactic portion informed me about nursing informatics, hospital logistics, and current events that are happening in the medical community. I was able to develop an evidence-based practice project that focused on code management and attended courses like Essentials of Critical Care Orientation, Cardiac Monitoring Course, and Trauma Nursing Core Course. These experiences over the year-long program gave me the confidence to know where I wanted to start my career and how I could set myself up for success."

  • Grant Ciffone, PB-RNR 2021-2022

Course content

The Post-Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Residency Program (PB-RNR) based at VA Northern California Healthcare System located at Mather includes a Veteran-centric perspective in all aspects of training. The expected program level outcomes compliment and mirror our facility’s commitment to excellence in care for Veterans.  They are:

  • The resident will participate in an interdisciplinary healthcare team as a competent Registered Nurse to provide and promote quality care at the patient and department level
  • The resident will develop a professional, ethical, and culturally sensitive approach when working with Veteran patients, families, populations, or systems
  • The resident will appropriately use available technology to provide quality care and support communication to improve Veteran health outcomes
  • The resident will apply evidence-based practice (EBP) and LEAN  improvement processes towards real-world issues affecting the care and health of Veteran patients wherever they are encountered
  • The resident will complete a 2.5 month intensive clinical immersion at the end of the program
  • Educational Opportunities
    • Didactic Lectures
    • Simulation Lab
    • Online training modules
    • Cardiac Monitoring Course certificate and CEUs
    • ACLS Code Management Simulation
    • Trauma Nurse Core Course (TNCC)
    • Essentials of Critical Care Orientation (ECCO)
  • Clinical Experiences (may need to travel to other VA facilities)
    • Outpatient Units
      • Wound Clinic
      • Catheterization Lab
      • Interventional Radiology
      • Post Anesthesia Care Unit
      • Gastroenterology Unit
      • Infusion Clinic/Vascular Access Team
    • Acute Care Units
      • Emergency Department
      • Intensive Care Unit
      • Behavioral Health Inpatient Care Unit
      • Medical Surgical Unit
      • Telemetry/Transitional Care Unit
      • Hematology/Oncology
      • Palliative Care
      • Hospice (VA Martinez)
  • Weekly/Rotation Assignments
    • Reflections
    • Case studies
    • Clinical site evaluations

Eligibility requirements

  1. You MUST be a U.S. citizen
  2. Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or master's entry program in nursing (MEPN) degree from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited program
  3. MUST not have had ANY paid RN or paid Graduate Nurse Technician (GNT) work experience before the start of the program
  4. Current unrestricted RN license (obtained by start date) from any US state
  5. Must have graduated less than a year from program start date with a GPA 3.0 or greater
  6. Proficient in both spoken and written English
  7. Pass the VA pre-employment medical exam and drug testing

How to apply

We are accepting applications for a limited space of 10 residents for the program year 2024-2025, with a program start date of October 2024. To apply, please submit the following by email to Dr. Mary Donnelly by June 15, 2024:

  1. Cover letter to include your interest in the residency program
  2. Resume not to exceed two pages
  3. VA application form 10-2850D (Application for Health Trainees) 
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation written on official letterhead
    • from a nursing school faculty
    • from a clinical faculty and
    • from a current or previous work manager
  5. School transcripts (may be unofficial)
  6. Form DD 214 if you are a Veteran


Point of Contact: Dr. Mary Donnelly with a subject heading: PB-RNR APPLICATION WOC 2024-2025

You may contact the PB-RNR program office at 916-843-9390 or email for more information.