Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Registered Nurse (RN) - Mental Health in Tomah, Wisconsin

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Many vacancies in the following location:
  • Tomah, WI
Work Schedule is Multiple Schedules - Excepted Service Permanent

Opened Friday 10/7/2016 (15 day(s) ago)

** Closes Friday 1/6/2017 (76 day(s) away)

Job Overview

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 1821527

OUR MISSION: To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans?

As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries.

VAMC Tomah ( ) has been improving the health of the men and women who have so proudly served our nation. We consider it our privilege to serve your health care needs in any way we can. Services are available to veterans living in a Western/Central area of Wisconsin.

In addition to our main facility in Tomah, we offer services in four community-based outpatient clinics. These clinics are located in La Crosse, Clark County, Wausau, and Wisconsin Rapids. VAMC Tomah is one of seven facilities that comprise Veterans Integrated Services Network 12 (VISN 12) which is administratively headquartered at Hines, IL, and includes facilities in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.


NOTE: The Professional Standards Board (a peer-review group) will review the selected candidate's education and experience and recommend the step at which the candidate will be placed in that specific grade. The salary is based on the grade and step approved for the selected candidate.

You could be part of an important initiative to provide mental health care for our nations Veterans!

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) needs mental health professionals who possess the energy, compassion, and commitment to serve those who serve our Country. Whatever the job title, every position in VA will give you a chance to make a meaningful and personal contribution to the lives of truly special and deserving people - our Veterans. Working for VA is one of the most emotionally satisfying and professionally rewarding ways to dedicate the best within you to your country's service.

If you are transitioning from the military or a Veteran already, we invite you to explore the benefits of continuing your career at the VA. The VA is committed to hiring Veterans.

The VA is much more than just another employer. It is an honorable, open and welcoming community of those who care. Gratitude is our motivation and service is our mission. The VA has adopted Core Values and Characteristics that apply universally across the Department. The five Core Values define "who we are," our culture, and how we care for Veterans, their families and other beneficiaries. The Values are Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence ("I CARE").

Position is open until filled, applications will be referred as they are received. Position may be filled before the closing date.


The Registered Nurse (Psychiatric/Mental Health) at the Tomah VA Healthcare System is located within three areas: acute psychiatry, mental health residential treatment programs, and long term mental health care. The mental health registered nurse will provide comprehensive care to Veterans utilizing specialized nursing skills and knowledge in a relatively independent fashion in areas of nursing research, consultation, patient and family education, outreach, follow-up, intake, program coordination and evaluation, and other activities appropriate to case management.

The major duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Assume delegated responsibility for the care of a particular group of clients at the Domiciliary or other program to which assigned.

  • Assume delegated responsibility to oversee health technicians and/or licensed practical nurses.

  • Support policies and procedures of the MHRRTP, Mental Health Services (MHS), Patient Care Services (PCS), and the Tomah VAMC.

  • Maintain responsibility for quality patient care; demonstrate willingness to support change for improvement of patient care and unit operation.

  • Provide skilled nursing care and give guidance to clients in the management of their physical and psychosocial needs.

  • Provide a safe, therapeutic environment that protects patient rights.

  • Perform clinical assessment and treatment procedures identified in the Annual Health Maintenance Review and clinical reminders posted in the Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS), and other assessment and treatment procedures (e.g. immunizations, injections, PPDs).

  • Assess client's health status by gathering information and identify client's actual and potential problems; maintain ongoing assessment of client's status based on information gathered by interviewing and observation.

  • Develop a therapeutic relationship with assigned clients to coordinate psychosocial treatment with standardized physical nursing care and guidance.

  • Develop care plans using assessment data that integrates medical and nursing therapies including input from client's family and other health care team members.

  • Collaborate with other health care team members in delivery of health care services according to established standards and patient care principles.

  • Involve client's family and other health care team members in discharge planning.

  • Organize and conduct, as appropriate, various treatment modalities such as individual and group counseling, milieu therapy, etc.

  • Evaluate response of client to plan of care and nursing interventions and revise patient care to meet changing needs.

  • Monitor client behavior to intervene when appropriate; monitor clients for critical changes and initiates appropriate emergency procedures.

  • Demonstrate competency in performance of technical skills.

  • Maintain a safe environment for clients and strive to meet their maximum security and comfort needs.

  • Provide effective management of crisis in disturbed clients in emergency situations.

  • Monitor client behavior to intervene when appropriate.

  • Incorporate results on quality assurance programs in daily patient care activities.

  • Promote, participate and evaluate patient/family health education.

  • Contribute to the learning experiences of students.

  • Participate in education and direction of nursing personnel.

  • Educate clients in a variety of prevention, health promotion and maintenance interventions.

  • Assist medical providers and pharmacist with evaluating medication compliance and knowledge of the clients' prescribed medications.

  • Conduct other group therapy and/or education sessions as assigned.

  • Participate as a member of the interdisciplinary team in assessment, planning, providing, and evaluating care for MHRRTP clients.

  • Establish the clinical record and overall treatment plan and for case management of assigned residents in the program.

Work Schedule: All days and shifts available and will vary to meet the needs of the neighborhood and service. Compressed Tour, Twelve (12) hour shifts days or nights, Eight (8) hour shifts nights, days, or evenings. Please indicate on your application materials the shift(s) you are applying for.

Functional Statement Title/#: Registered Nurse

You must include VA Form 10-2850a - Application for Nurses and Nurse Anesthetists.Available at the VA Forms website:

Travel Required
  • Not Required
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • Must pass pre-employment examination.
  • Designated and/or Random Drug Testing required.
  • Background and/or Security Investigation required.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.


  • U.S. citizenship. Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.

  • Graduate of a school of professional nursing approved by the appropriate State-accrediting agency and accredited by one of the following accrediting bodies at the time the program was completed by the applicant: The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). 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.

  • The completion of course work 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. Students should submit the certificate of professional nursing to sit for the NCLEX to the VA along with a copy of the MSN transcript. (Reference VA Handbook 5005, Appendix G6)

  • Current, full, active, and unrestricted registration as a graduate professional nurse in a State, Territory or Commonwealth (i.e., Puerto Rico) of the United States, or the District of Columbia.

*Grade Determinations: *The following criteria must be met in determining the grade assignment of candidates, and if appropriate, the level within a grade:

  • Nurse I Level I - An Associate Degree (ADN) or Diploma in Nursing, with no additional nursing practice/experience required.

  • Nurse I Level II - An ADN or Diploma in Nursing and approximately 1 year of nursing practice/experience; OR an ADN or Diploma in Nursing and a bachelor's degree in a related field with no additional nursing practice/experience; OR a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) with no additional nursing practice/experience.

  • Nurse I Level III - An ADN or Diploma in Nursing and approximately 2-3 years of nursing practice/experience; OR an ADN or Diploma in Nursing and a Bachelor's degree in a related field and approximately 1-2 years of nursing practice/experience; OR a BSN with approximately 1-2 years of nursing practice/experience; ORa Master's degree in nursing (MSN) or related field with a BSN and no additional nursing practice/experience.

  • Nurse II - A BSN with approximately 2-3 years of nursing practice/experience; OR ADN or Diploma in Nursing and a Bachelor's degree in a related field and approximately 2-3 years of nursing practice/experience; OR a Master's degree in nursing or related field with a BSN and approximately 1-2 years of nursing practice/experience; ORa Doctoral degree in nursing or meets basic requirements for appointment and has doctoral degree in a related field with no additional nursing practice/experience required.

  • Nurse III - Master's degree in nursing or related field with BSN and approximately 2-3 years of nursing practice/experience; OR a Doctoral degree in nursing or related field and approximately 2-3 years of nursing practice/experience.

Preferred Experience:

  • Two (2) recent years of successful RN experience in mental health, residential treatment, long-term mental health care, and/or domiciliary care.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

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: 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.

*Education/Experience Requirements:*

Experience as a RN will be evaluated to determine if the experience is of an acceptable level of quality with regard to the following four dimensions of nursing: Practice, Professional Development, Collaboration and Scientific Inquiry. Each dimension of practice has criteria that demonstrate essential core competencies for VHA Nursing Personnel. The criteria are as follows:

  • Practice: practice, ethics and resource utilization;
  • Professional Development: performance, education/career development;
  • Collaboration; collaboration, collegiality;
  • Scientific Inquiry: quality of care, research.

Physical Requirements:Walking, bending, stooping, and some lifting in the direct care of patients. There may also be extended periods of sitting.

Security Clearance


Additional Information
What To Expect Next

After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. During our review, if your résumé and application package do not support your questionnaire answers, we will adjust your rating accordingly. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email (if provided); otherwise, applicants will receive a notification letter via the U.S. Postal Service. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USAJOBS account and clicking on "Application Status." For a more detailed update of your status, click on "more information." Information regarding applicant notification points can be found in the USAJobs Resource Center.

The first list of eligible applicants will be pulled for referral on October 21, 2016. Subsequent referrals will be made every 2 weeks after that date. Applications received after the first cut-off date, will be considered for the second cut-off, and so on throughout the life of the announcement and within your specific period of eligibility.

All applicants may receive consideration for 3 months from the date of application. If you wish to be considered after that period, and the announcement is still open to receive applications, you must re-apply to indicate your continued interest.


VA offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered:

Annual leave shall accrue for full-time Nurses, and Nurse Anesthetists at the rate of 8 hours for each full biweekly pay period.

Other Information

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

Salary Range: $54,686.00 to $101,408.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: VN-0610-00/00

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: United States Citizens

Control Number: 452914900

Job Announcement Number: TM-16-AZ-1821527-BU-OCA