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Nursing Jobs (GS-0610, 0620, 0621)

Registered Nurses, Practical Nurses, Nursing Assistant

 

Page updated 4/24/2018

 

There are 108,616 medical nurses, practical nurses, and nursing assistants employed by the federal government of which 1,624 work overseas or in the U.S. Territories. Most of these positions work for the VA, HHS, and the various military departments. There are abundant opportunities to find nursing jobs at over 1,600 veterans care facilities including 152 hospitals, 965 outpatient clinics, 133 community living centers and 293 VET centers. Add to this a good number of positions at federal prisons and with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Health and Human Services.

Positions for registered medical nurses, practical nurses, and nursing assistants are available in all major metropolitan areas in the United States, in the U.S Territories and overseas at numerous locations. There are many occupational titles for this group as delineated within each of the job descriptions below including links to current job vacancies for each occupation.

NOTE: Many believe that you have to be a veteran to be employed by the federal government, especially in the Veterans Administration. In 2013 thirty percent of all federal workers were veterans.  This means that 7 out of 10 federal workers have not served in the military and this means that non vets have an excellent chance of employment in all agencies including with the Veterans administration. Explore all of your options and don't hesitate to apply for any and all federal jobs that you have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to compete. 

 

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Nursing Job Menu

 

Nurse Series, GS-0610

 

 Of the 77,456 nurses employed by the federal government with 1,168 working overseas or in the U.S. Territories and most work for the VA, HHS, and the various military departments. The average annual salary for registered nurses is $81,407. This series includes positions that require a professional knowledge of nursing. Positions involve providing care to patients in hospitals, clinics, occupational health units, homes, schools and communities; administering anesthetic agents and supportive treatments to patients undergoing surgery or other medical procedures; promoting better health practices; teaching; performing research in one or more phases of the field of nursing; or consulting and advising nurses who provide direct care to patients

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series. Click on "Private Sector Job Listings" to search for related occupations in the private sector.)

 

Roger Weikert was interviewed for an article on our federal jobs blog titled Registered Nurses (GS-0610) Careers. Weikert, MS, RN, CNL, PCCN, CMSRN, is a Nurse 2 Step 5, Clinical Nurse Manager at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, a division of the VA Maryland Health Care System. He is a progressive care certified nurse, a certified medical surgical registered nurse. Weikert truly enjoys working with people and helping them. He takes special interest in the understanding of how the human body functions and its Pathophysiology (Merriam Dictionary defines this as the physiology of abnormal states; specifically:  the functional changes that accompany a particular syndrome or disease). Weikert indicates the most rewarding and difficult part of his job is, “Educating everyone that I come into contact with during my work day”. Weikert recommends nursing careers “due to the opportunities and the many career paths that you can choose with a nursing degree.”

This series includes all positions for which a professional knowledge of nursing and registration to practice as a professional nurse are the basic requirements. These positions were formerly included in the Nurse Anesthetist Series, GS-0605; the Nurse Series, GS-0610; and the Public Health Nurse Series, GS-0615. All positions above the training levels require the application of specialized knowledge gained through advanced education or experience or both. For example, the nurse anesthetist, the community health nurse, and the nurse specialist each must learn and apply specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities. But all professional nurse positions require the same basic qualifications as a foundation upon which specialized knowledge are built. Thus, since all those classes of positions share the same basic requirement, all are included in this series.

Nursing is primarily assisting the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to a peaceful death) that would be performed unaided if the patient had the necessary strength, will, or knowledge. It is likewise the unique contribution of nursing to help the individual to be independent of such assistance as soon as possible.

The nurse deliberately assesses the client's health problems, determines his or her role in coping with these problems, sets a plan of action which the nurse is responsible for implementing, and then determines whether the prescribed methods did indeed affect a satisfactory resolution.

The development of a scientific nursing practice necessitates the use of the scientific method. The nurse identifies actual and potential health problems; diagnoses and treats human response to physical and emotional health problems through such services as case finding, management of health problems, health counseling and teaching; provides care supportive to, or restorative of life and well-being; and assists the patient to comply with a medical regimen prescribed by a licensed physician or dentist.

As members of an independent health profession, nurses collaborate with physicians and others of the health professions to provide health care and improve the quality of life, to prevent disease, and promote physical and mental health.

 

Medical Practical Nurse GS-0620

 

Positions are classified in this series when the primary responsibility is for nursing care which requires less than full professional nursing education but requires the knowledge and skills represented by licensure as a licensed practical (vocational) nurse. Such positions typically involve an understanding of the requirements for a patient care plan, knowledge and skill in the preparation and administration of medications, knowledge of physical and emotional reactions to a variety of treatment procedures and skill in maintaining effective work relationships with facility staff, patients and the members of the treatment or nursing care team in the direct service to patients.

There are 18,177 practical nurses employed by the federal government of which 379 work overseas. Most work for the VA, HHS, and the various military departments. The average annual salary for practical nurses is $44,815.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series. Click on "Private Sector Job Listings" to search for related occupations in the private sector.)

 

Practical and vocational nurses are prepared for nursing practice through a program approved by the appropriate nursing authority in each state. These programs stress clinical experience augmented by academic work, primarily in structured care settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes, where direct supervision is readily available

Clinical practice is correlated with appropriate therapeutic knowledge and introductory content from the biological and behavioral sciences. Communication skills and mental concepts are integrated into the total program. Practical and vocational nurses are accountable for the care which they provide to patients, and question any order they believe may not be in the best interest of the patient. They are prepared by training to use observation and assessment skills which greatly influence the outcome of patients' care

Practical and vocational nurses have successfully completed a state-approved written examination and are currently licensed to practice in a state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia. Continuing education is the responsibility of practical and vocational nurses and is mandatory for relicensure in some states. As recognized members of the health team in both public and private practice, they perform nursing functions commensurate with their demonstrated competencies for patients requiring a significant level of skilled nursing care

 

Nursing Assistant GS-0621

 

Nursing Assistants are involved with a variety of personal care, nursing care, or related procedures which do not require (a) the knowledge and skills represented by the licensure of practical and vocational nurses by a State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, or (b) fully professional nurse education.

There are 12,983 nursing assistants employed by the federal government of which 77 work overseas. Most work for the VA, HHS, and the various military departments. The average annual salary for nursing assistants is $36,421.

Job Series Titles: (The USAJOBS selection lists all federal job vacancies for this job series. Click on "Private Sector Job Listings" to search for related occupations in the private sector.)

 

The primary responsibilities for nursing assistants are to provide personal patient care, supporting diagnostic procedures, technical nursing treatments, patient charting and patient teaching which does not require a full professional nurse education or knowledge and skills represented by licensure. The performance of these tasks involves direct work relationships with patients and participation as a member of the treatment or nursing care team in direct service to patients

The types of tasks that characterize this occupation are to:

  1. give nursing care to patients;
  2. assist doctors and nurses in the care and treatment of the ill receiving medical, surgical, psychiatric, or outpatient treatment;
  3. assist surgeons or nurses in operating rooms by performing "scrub" technician duties;
  4. assist obstetricians or nurses in delivery rooms by observing the patient in labor and assisting with delivery by washing and charting the newborn;
  5. assist in premature and regular nurseries by observing infants and caring for them; and
  6. assist doctors and nurses in ambulatory care units by setting up examination rooms, preparing patients and passing instruments and medical supplies for use in examinations.

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