NURSE QUALIFICATION STANDARD
Basic Requirements(1) Graduation from School of Nursing(a) Graduate of a school of professional nursing approved by the appropriate State agency, and accredited by one of the following accrediting bodies at the time the program was completed by the applicant. [NOTE: See exception in subparagraph (b) below for candidates who are enrolled in a MSN Bridge Program.]
1. The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), an accrediting arm of the National League for Nursing located at 61 Broadway, 33rd Floor, New York, New York 10006 or call (800) 669-1656 extension 153. The NLNAC accredits all levels of nursing programs. Additional information may be obtained from the NLNAC web site;
2. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), an accrediting arm of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The CCNE accredits bachelors and masters degree programs, and is located at One Dupont Circle N.W., Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036 or call (202) 463-6930. Additional information may be obtained from the CCNE web site.
The completion of coursework equivalent to a nursing degree in a MSN Bridge Program that qualifies for professional nursing registration constitutes the completion of an approved course of study of professional nursing. In these programs, students are given a certificate of professional nursing to sit for the NCLEX and should submit this certification to VA prior to appointment. Students do not earn a BSN, but receive a MSN degree upon completion of course work. A copy of the MSN transcript must be provided to VA. Bridge programs that confer a master's degree also fully meet the education requirement, even though a Bachelor's Degree is not awarded.
In cases of graduates of foreign schools of professional nursing, possession of current, full, active, and unrestricted registration will meet the requirement of graduation from an approved school of professional nursing.
Registration: Condition of Employment. A registered nurse (RN) will have a current, full, active and unrestricted registration as a graduate professional nurse in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth (i.e., Puerto Rico) of the U.S. or in the District of Columbia. The RN must maintain a current, full, active and unrestricted registration to continue employment with VA.
Dimension Requirements for Grades (Dimensions should be addressed in Resume or as a separate submission.):
Nurse Level 1:
PRACTICE: 1. Practice: Uses the nursing process (assessment, diagnosis, outcome identification, planning, implementation, and evaluation). Accurately documents care of clients.2. Ethics: Safeguards client privacy and confidentiality. Provides care in a non-judgmental, non-discriminatory manner, respecting the values and belief of members of all cultures.3. Resource Utilization: Provides care in a safe and cost-effective manner.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: 1. Performance: Participates in appraisal of own performance.2. Education/Career Development: Seeks opportunities to acquire and develop basic skills.
COLLABORATION: 1. Collegiality: Establishes professional relationships with peers. Seeks out colleagues for mutual information exchange.2. Collaboration: Communicates with clients and other healthcare providers regarding client care.
SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY: 1. Quality of Care: Describes the quality improvement process, roles and responsibilities, and identifies quality improvement activities on the unit.2. Research: Assists in identifying problem areas in nursing practice.
Nurse level 2:
PRACTICE: 1. Practice: Applies the nursing process to systems or processes at the unit/team/work group level to improve care. Demonstrates leadership by involving others in improving care.2. Ethics: Supports and enhances client self-determination. Serves as a resource for clients and staff in addressing ethical issues.3. Resource Utilization: Identifies and assesses resource utilization and safety issues, taking appropriate action.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: 1. Education/Career Development: Acquires knowledge and skills to maintain expertise in area of practice. Participates in educational activities to improve clinical knowledge and enhance role performance.2. Performance: Evaluates practice of self and others using professional standards, relevant statutes, and regulations. Takes action to improve performance.
COLLABORATION: 1. Collaboration: Uses group process to identify, analyze, and resolve care problems.2. Collegiality: Educates colleagues and/or students and serves as a preceptor and/or mentor.
SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY: 1. Quality of Care: Initiates/participates in quality improvement activities that result in approved outcomes.2. Research: Uses a body of research to validate and/or change work group practice.
Nurse Level III:
PRACTICE: 1. Practice: Provides leadership in the application of the nursing process to client care, organizational processes and/or systems, improving outcomes at the program or service level.2. Ethics: Provides leadership in identifying and addressing ethical issues that impact clients and staff, including initiating and participating in ethics consultations.3. Resource Utilization: Manages program resources (financial, human, material, or informational) to facilitate safe, effective, and efficient care.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:1. Education/Career Development: Implements an educational plan to meet changing program or service needs for self and others. Maintains knowledge of current techniques, trends, and professional issues.2. Performance: Uses professional standards of care and practice to evaluate programs and/or service activities.
COLLABORATION: 1. Collaboration: Uses the group process to identify, analyze, and resolve care problems.2. Collegiality: Coaches colleagues in team building. Makes sustained contributions to health care by sharing expertise within and/or outside the medical facility.
SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY: 1. Quality of Care: Initiates interdisciplinary projects to improve organizational performance.2. Research: Collaborates with others in research activities to improve care.
NOTE: In order to be considered for appointment or promotion above Nurse Level 1, outcomes must be documented. Meeting the Practice dimension involves incorporating and implementing the requirements of the other qualification standards, including:(a) Leading and organizing delivery of care to assure continuity of care and peer accountability for practice, including access to care and discharge planning.(b) Using advanced clinical knowledge/judgment to promote staff involvement in planning, decision-making and evaluating outcomes.(c) Functioning as an expert in clinical practice and/or in areas related to the assigned roles and responsibilities.(d) Systematically evaluating current practice, and formulating outcomes for groups of patients and/or organizational processes within area of expertise.(e) Guiding, developing and supporting staff from a leadership perspective.(f) Using professional standards of care, scientific evidence and practice to evaluate programs and/or service activities. Education
IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.
Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.
In addition, the Veterans Health Administration requires RN degrees to be accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).