America’s largest integrated health care system is the VHA that provides care at 1,298 health care facilities, including 171 medical centers and 1,113 outpatient sites (VHA outpatient clinics). They serve 9 million enrolled Veterans each year. To find locations in your area search the VA’s national facilities list.
The PACT Act
The increased demand for VA health care has accelerating hiring in part due to the toxic-exposure PACT Act signed into law last summer. The PACT Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic substances.
This new initiative is considered the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history. More than 274,980 new health care enrollees signed up between August 2022 and May 2023. The agency estimates that approximately 80,000 of those veterans are linked to the agency’s PACT Act outreach program.
There were 442,938 employed by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs at the end of December 2022 of which 4,803 worked in the U.S. Territories and 15 overseas. This fiscal year they hired 38,433 new employees, and they intend to hire 52,000 by Sept. 30, 2023.
The VHA is making firm salary offers for prospective hires before they accept a job to fast track recruitment. They must compete with the private sector and health care is one of the fastest growing fields today.
There are thousands of openings nationwide in a wide range of occupations. A search for registered nursing positions, open to the general public, presented over a thousand job announcements with locations across the country. A number of the announcements are for multiple positions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare jobs will increase dramatically over the next eight to ten years.
There has been a sea change in the federal application process since I first applied many years ago. Back then, your only option was to visit a federal building and view job listings posted on their personnel office’s walls. You had to fill out a vacancy request form, put it through a mail slot in the room, and wait for a copy of the complete job announcement to be sent to you through the mail!
Today, with a few key strokes, you literally have tens of thousands of job announcements available and with one click you start the application process online. USAJOBS allows applicants to create, edit, and store your federal resume online and you can apply for multiple positions as they arise.
The following links provide occupational details for a number of major health care careers with direct links to active job announcements on USAJOBS. You will also find interviews with federal employees currently working in these occupations:
Nursing Occupations GS-610, GS-620 and GS-621
Diagnostic Radiology Technologist GS-647
Medical Technologist GS-644
Medical Records Technician (MRT) GS-0675
Nuclear Medicine Technologist GS-642
Medical Jobs (All Sectors)
It takes time and perseverance to apply for federal jobs. Unlike the private sector’s one page resume format, the federal application requires considerably more information to rate you eligible for the job. If you thoroughly read the job announcement and complete all required information, your chances improve considerably.
Print a copy of the job announcement, there is contact information for a HR specialist that you can call or email to answer any questions you may have. The benefits of federal employment are considerable and most are unaware of their generous retirement plans, vacation, and sick leave that is available to all federal employees.