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Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Residency Program

The VA Western Colorado Healthcare System Nurse Practitioner Residency Program is a twelve-month post-graduate mental health care training program located in Grand Junction, Colorado. By providing intensive clinical experiences supplemented by inter-professional development activities, we prepare new graduate nurse practitioners to deliver high-quality, compassionate, and patient-centered care to function assuming full-practice authority (FPA) as nurse practitioners.

Salary and Benefits

  • Generous stipend paid over 12 months, plus benefits
  • Accrual of 4 hours of Annual Leave and 4 hours of Sick Leave per pay period
  • Eleven Paid Federal Holidays
  • Eligibility for Health Insurance Benefits


To be eligible for the program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • US Citizen by birth or naturalization
  • Fluent in Written and Spoken English
  • Graduated from an NLN or CCNE accredited Nurse Practitioner Program between July 1, 2023 - June 15, 2024. Can not have held a position as a NP previously
  • Certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Hold a current, full, and unrestricted license as an NP (may start without this however MUST have within 90 days of residency start date)
  • Submit to background check, physical exam, and random drug testing
  • Am I Eligible? Checklist for VA HPTs

Residency Details

The residency offers new graduates the opportunity to strengthen clinical and scholarly skills as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioner residents will collaborate with medicine, pharmacy, and various mental health providers as members of an interdisciplinary team. Together, they will attend didactics, work on a quality improvement project, and provide care for Veterans using a patient centered approach. Clinical rotations will be within the Western Slope VA Healthcare system, inclusive of its surrounding Community Based Out-Patient Clinics (CBOCs).

How to Apply

Application Process

To apply for this residency program, you must submit the following documents to:
PMHNP Residency Director
Kari Weirath, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC at

Place in the subject line: Applicant's Last then First Name - Applicant NPR 2024
Example: Smith, John - Applicant NPR 2024

  1. Application For Health Professions Trainees, VA Form 10-2850D (
  2. Declaration for Federal Employment, Optional Form 306 (Rev. October 2011) (
  3. Current Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  4. A one-page narrative describing why you are interested in postgraduate training in the VA Health Care System, and your future career goals within VHA
  5. Three letters of recommendation, at least one from a current or past professional peer, and at least one from your graduate academic program
  6. All applicants must submit to a background screening, physical exam, drug testing and credentialing verification of education and employment to be a part of the VA Federal System


Application period: October 1, 2023 to December 1, 2023.

Interviews scheduled: To Be Decided.

Residency Period: July of current year to the July of the following year (e.g., July 2024-July 2025).

Documents must be received by the first of December to be considered. Please send an email request to if requesting to apply after this timeframe.

Selection Process

Applicants will be reviewed and rated. An offer for an interview will be extended to the strongest applicants. Three offers will be extended by email as soon as committee consensus is reached and references have been contacted, ideally no later than February 15, 2024. Those candidates that are not ranked in the top three may be waitlisted. Once an email offer is made, applicants will be asked to accept or decline. Positions may be held for 72 hours but we ask you notify us of a decision as soon as feasible. These applicants then must complete federal application documents and undergo eligibility verification.

All applicants must submit to a background screening, physical exam, drug testing and credentialing verification of education and employment to be a part of the VA Federal System.

Commonly Asked Questions

Am I guaranteed employment with VA at completion of the program?

No. One of our top priorities is to prepare our NP residents for VA employment and facilitate retention, but the program does not guarantee employment.

As a current VA Registered Nurse (RN), can I stay employed and do the NP residency?

No. As a current VA employee, you may apply but to become a resident trainee, you will have to resign your VA position during the residency. Further, the VA training year does not count towards your VA employee work years, seniority, or retirement.

As a VA RN soon to be NP, does the residency help me get hired at VA as an NP?

As a former employee who completes the residency, you are not guaranteed a VA position upon completion, but you will have a valuable one year of VA NP psychiatric mental health care experience. We are happy to report thus far, 75% of our former VA employee resident graduates have secured VA NP positions.

Can I count the residency as VA National Nursing Education Initiative (NNEI) payback time?

No. The residency is a trainee stipend position, not VA employment. As an NNEI with an obligation, you may not apply for the Residency program.

Do you have other start dates?

No. Currently we only offer start date in July. NP residents must complete the full year (2080 hours) to successfully complete the residency.

Can I work during the residency?

The residency offers a competitive stipend, including benefits, to enable residents the ability to focus on the training. Moonlighting is discouraged as it tends to diminish the learning experience.

What departments will NP residents rotate through?

Your main preceptor will be in Mental Health. Rotations include, but not limited to, Primary Care Mental Health Integration, General Mental Health, Inpatient Psychiatry, Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program, Veterans Recovery Center, Same Day Access Team, Home-Based Primary Care, Whole Health, and Pharmacy. Didactic presentations include Professional Development, Evidence Based Practice, Diagnostics and Treatment, and Special Topics.