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VA Student Trainee Experience Program (VA-STEP)

For more than 20 years, the VA has offered a year-long clinical residency for BSN students between their junior and senior years. VA-STEP is designed to increase participants’ clinical skills, clinical judgment, and critical thinking while caring for our nation’s Veterans. This program provides opportunities including didactic or classroom experiences and clinical practice with a qualified RN (Registered Nurse) preceptor. Students are appointed during the summer months for 400 hours. This experience may continue during their senior academic year on a part-time basis of no more than 800 hours.

Why Wichita?

The largest city in the state of Kansas, Wichita offers many areas of interest, including museums, music theatres and restaurants. We are known for our amazing zoos (we have 2!) and Botanica. Take a walk along the Arkansas river and check out the unique art along the way. Our downtown area is growing with many new apartments, parks, and breweries to discover.

If you like sports, check out the Wichita Wind Surge, Wichita Thunder, Wichita Force, and the Wichita State University basketball team! Interested in checking out a concert? Wichita offers both a large venue with INTRUST Bank Arena and smaller venues downtown for musical entertainment. Wichita has all the amenities of a large city with the feel of a small town, including low cost of living and short commute times. Come check us out!

You can watch other videos about Wichita's features and amenities at Visit Wichita's YouTube Page.

VA-STEP Eligibility Requirements

  • Be currently enrolled in an accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) 
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The CGPA must be computed on post-secondary academic work taken within the past 3 years or based on academic work accepted for credit towards the nursing. While a student may have a grade of “C” in a specialty course, the cumulative GPA for their specialty courses may not be less than a 3.0. Only data on official transcripts will be used for determining grade qualifications;
  • Have completed the final semester/quarter of junior year prior to the program start date;
  • Be eligible to graduate by the following June;
  • Have had at least one clinical experience in a medical center or hospital;
  • Be a U.S. Citizen;
  • Provide documentation of immunization status and current Health Care Provider BLS training;
  • Submit all application materials by the deadline;
  • Not have a service obligation to any Federal, state, or private institution or be a recipient of any Federal scholarship that incurs a service obligation;
  • Be able to work full-time during the summer months and part-time during the academic year.

VA-STEP Academic Requirements

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)

To be eligible to apply for your facilities VA-STEP program, you will need a minimum CGPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. CGPA must be computed on post-secondary academic work taken within the past 3-years or based on academic work accepted for credit towards a nursing.

Program Accreditation for Nursing

An Accreditation Commission for Education (ACEN), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) of the American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) accredited baccalaureate or generic equivalent nursing program for nursing students.

VA-STEP Graduation

What to expect after graduation? Each facility has its own transition type programs to keep you employed until you are ready to start the facilities residency program. While you are preparing for your certification exams and prior to getting your license, the facility could use you in several paid roles:

  • Student Nurse Technician
  • Graduate Nurse Technician


Delivers fundamental, knowledge-based care to assigned patients while developing technical competencies. The Nurse I/Level 1 registered nurse is a NOVICE nurse, with, upon hiring, no experience of the situations in which they are ultimately expected to perform.


The post-associate or post-baccalaureate degree graduate nurse technician interprets the philosophy and goals of nursing service to others in the work setting; functions within established guidelines and demonstrates the ability to work effectively and develop therapeutic relationships with patients, their families, and other professional and supportive personnel who provide patient care.

VA-STEP Application Process

The VA’s Application Management System (VA AMS) enables students to provide the required data and documents for the successful submission of the scholarship application package. The application process will require the following documents to be completed and uploaded for submission into VA AMS.

  • Application (Completed by student applicant in AMS)
  • Two (2) Recommendations Letters:
    • Required: Dean/Academic Faculty
    • Required: Employer/Manager/Other
  • Resume
  • Transcript
  • DD214 (current and former service members)
  • Other documents as you deem necessary.

For a detailed step-by-step process on how to apply to VA-STEP follow this link (VA-STEP)