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Nurse Recruiter: Don’t Wait, Start Your VA Career Today

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To celebrate National Nurses Month and to share her expertise on working as a nurse in VA, Laura J. Sarmiento, MSN, RN, was welcomed as a guest on “Talk About It Tuesday” (TAIT).

TAIT is a live stream dedicated to discussing career opportunities and VA advice that airs weekly at noon EDT on our LinkedIn page.

Coming to VA

Sarmiento, an Army veteran and nurse recruiter for the El Paso VA health care system, trained as a combat medic and served in the Vietnam War. After her time in the military, she moved to Texas to continue her nursing education. She joined VA in 2008, where she spoke to the El Paso team about several nursing positions before finally deciding on the role of nurse recruiter.

“I said, ‘I can absolutely interview for this job,’” she recalls, “because I’m passionate about veteran service, being a veteran myself. »

However, Sarmiento had already considered a job at VA more than a decade earlier. At that time, a VA doctor asked her to join a patient-aligned care team (PACT). Sarmiento’s direct demeanor and mission-focused manner made her a natural fit for VA, even though she wouldn’t take advantage of what VA had to offer for another few years.

“If I’ve ever made a mistake in my nursing career, it’s that I didn’t join VA sooner,” she joked.

The VA difference

Asked about the opportunities that VA offers nurses, Sarmiento noted, “VA offers so much more than any other employer.” Whether a nurse wants to pursue clinical work directly with patients or consult, as Sarmiento herself does, there are many opportunities available to her. These opportunities extend to educational roles, as well as leadership positions.

“Each field has a distinct career progression, but because we’re so flexible and want to attract the best and brightest nurses, there’s always upward mobility,” Sarmiento explained. “They have that opportunity, and I’ve never seen that in our competitors.”

In addition to the broad career paths, Sarmiento noted the many VA benefits, as well as the many educational benefits available to VA employees.

Positive experiences

Closing her visit to TAIT, Sarmiento shared that some of her best experiences at VA came from hearing from nurses she helped recruit – people who value her expertise. Hearing stories of how these same nurses positively and proactively helped a patient reminds her that she made the right choice in coming to VA.

“Being a veteran myself, I always knew I would continue to serve in some capacity,” she said.

Work at VA

If you’re a nurse looking for best-in-class benefits and a mission that matters, a VA career should be your next step.