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Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Residency Program

Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) Tucson VA Medical Center is now accepting applications for the Primary Care-Nurse Practitioner Residency (PC-NPR) Program funded through the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA). These full-time clinical trainee positions are temporary appointments for one year. Residency programs ensure, supervised transition to autonomous and competent clinical practice. This program is reserved for board certified Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) Family Practice in their first year after graduation without paid experience working at an APRN.

Clinical settings provide a range of experiences in the nurse practitioner role. They provide exposure to Veterans of varying backgrounds and cultures and ease the new NP into practice with 100% protected time. Clinical settings include a NP Continuity Clinic in Primary Care, with rotations to other Primary Care Clinics within SAVAHCS. In addition, collaborative, inter-professional practice opportunities will occur in Dermatology, Mental Health, Women’s Health, Podiatry, General Surgery, ENT, Gastroenterology Clinics, and several others. Residents will be an integral part of interdisciplinary teams to enhance clinical and leadership skills in a variety of clinical settings.  Residents engage in a variety of didactic and academic learning opportunities, including onsite training and opportunities for learning through in-person and virtual courses.  In addition, residents will complete an evidenced-based practice presentation that provides skills necessary for future utilization of evidence-based practice in daily practice for providers.

Mission Statement

The mission of The Tucson VA Primary Care Nurse Residency Program is to develop competent, confident, practice-ready Nurse Practitioners equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to address the specific needs of our nation's Veterans in the Veterans Health Care Administration and community. The program seeks to enhance recruitment and retention of VA Nurse Practitioners by providing a constant supply of highly qualified APRN’s into the workforce.

Residents will master Primary Clinical Care under the mentorship of master clinicians. They will have the opportunity to participate in didactic learning in Primary and Specialty Care, including observations, hands-on specialty care, teaching, service learning, and Evidence Based Practice. The PC-NP Residency Program seeks to create exceptional PC-Nurse Practitioners who will be able to care for the complex Veteran patient.

Program Goals

  • Prepare Nurse Practitioner’s to become competent providers in Primary Care
  • Develop and deliver an experiential curriculum that integrates the teacher-scholar model
  • Contribute to an expanding body of knowledge of Advance Practice Nursing
  • Serve as a resource within professional, academic, and social communities
  • Graduate Nurse Practitioners who demonstrate professional excellence


Our core curriculum is composed of clinical competencies, which are instrumental in the development of the competent PC-Nurse Practitioner practicing in the Primary Care setting.  The competencies are comprised of weekly independent readings, 1:1 clinical instruction, didactic sessions, and integrated learning projects with opportunities for teaching, research, and community service, along with supplemental online materials.  These competencies and online training compliment weekly mentored advanced clinical practice in Primary Care across clinical settings.

  • Practice Based Learning
  • Quality Improvement and Patient safety
  • Communication and Conflict Management
  • Professional Roles and Responsibilities
  • Resource Utilization
  • Health Delivery Systems
  • Information and Technology
  • Interprofessional Collaboration
  • Stress Management
  • Leadership
  • Professional Development
  • Veteran Centric Care
  • Primary Care Specific: Knowledge of Basic Science
  • Primary Care Specific: Knowledge of Adult Gerontological Disorders
  • Primary Care Specific: Knowledge of Diagnostic Criteria
  • Primary Care Specific: Knowledge of Pharmacotherapy
  • Patient Care Competencies: Assessment and Health
  • Patient Care Competencies: Diagnosis
  • Patient Care Competencies: Treatment
  • Patient Care Competencies: Follow-Up and Evaluation
  • Patient Care Competencies: Promotion of Optimal Health
  • Patient Care Competencies: Patient and Family Education

Residency Experiences

  • Primary Care
  • Specialty Care (Podiatry, Pulmonology, PC Mental Health, Gastrointestinal and Dermatology)
  • Women’s Health
  • Wellness Programs (Whole Health)
  • Engagement Programs (Crucial Conversations)
  • Policy and practice issues (State APRN Conference)

Residency Requirements

  • US Citizenship
  • Graduation recent (within 12 months) of a master’s or doctoral level Nurse Practitioner Program accredited by CCNE or ACEN
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Be serving in his/her first Nurse Practitioner role in Primary Care specialty practice area
  • Possess a current board certification in either Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner board certification
  • Current active and unrestricted license as an RN and APRN in a state, commonwealth or territory of the US or DC
  • Be proficient in spoken and written English
  • Must be able to complete 365 days of training starting August 2022


  • work stipend
  • Health insurance
  • Paid leave days: 4 hours vacation/pay period; 4 hours of sick time/pay period; 11 Federal holidays
  • Personal workstation laptop
  • Office supplies
  • Medical Library access

Eligibility Requirements

  • Three letters of reference, including one reference from a graduate nursing faculty member
  • Health Care Professional Trainee Drug Testing Memo
  • Application for Health Professions Trainees
  • Form DD-214 (if you are a Veteran)
  • Checklist for Health Professional Trainees
  • VA Form OF-306 Optional Form 306 (Rev. October 2011) (
  • VA Form 10-2850D; 
  • Detailed resume/CV
  • Cover letter
  • If you meet the above requirements, please submit the application including an essay detailing why you are interested in the program

Spring/Fall 2024 Cohort

Application Deadline for 2024 Spring Cohort:  November 17, 2023 for an intended start date of March 11, 2024

Application Deadline for 2024 Fall Cohort: April 12, 2024 for an intended start date of August 12, 2024

Email all applications and information to:

Lesley Pyron DNP, FNP-BC

Program Coordination Director NPR Program

Southern Arizona VA (SAVAHCS)

3601 S. 6th Ave

Tucson, AZ 85723

ension 1-3547