Posted on Monday, 27th July 2015 by

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In part 4 of this series we continue with the registered nursing positions at the Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), which is part of the VA Capitol Health Care Network located in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

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.

For additional nursing career information, review Part 2 and Part 3 of this series and visit our GS-0600 Nursing Jobs page.

Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center 

Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center is a general medical and surgical hospital in Martinsburg, WV, with 246 beds. It has service area of more than 126,000 veterans in West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. It offers a comprehensive range of services, including internal medicine, ambulatory surgery, audiology, and speech pathology, dental, nursing home, nutrition, podiatry, prosthetics, women’s health, mental health, and rehabilitation medicine.

Registered Nurse Career Path (GS-0610)

The interviews that follow provide insight into specific healthcare specialties, why they entered the field, and the nurses talk about rewarding aspects of their jobs. They also address the demands of the position with recommendations for those who would like to follow in their footsteps.

Home Based Primary Care Nurse

Charlotte M. Scott, RN currently works with Home Based Primary Care in Stephens City and is a RN with the Caregiver Program at the Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Her specialty is Primary Care and Public Health with a background in emergency nursing. She has been a nurse since 1998. Scott has a Bachelors of Nursing (BSN) from Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA and will complete her Master’s of Nursing (MSN) from the University of Virginia in Public Health Leadership in July 2015.

 

Charlotte Scott, RN

Charlotte Scott, RN

Q&A With Charlotte M. Scott

What is the most rewarding part of your job as a Registered Nurse?

Most rewarding part of my job is knowing I make a difference in helping improve the lives of Veterans. Being able to give back to the Veterans who have served for our country and us.

What is the most challenging part of being a Registered Nurse?

The most challenging part of my job is finding the best avenue to help each Veteran because every person has a unique situation.

Would you recommend Registered Nurse as a good career path?

I would absolutely recommend pursuing a RN career. It has been the most rewarding job I have had. My next adventure in nursing will be perusing my Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Virginia. You will not find a better career path with so many exciting and rewarding opportunities.

Registered Nurse (Home Based Primary Care-HBPC) Requirements

  • U.S. citizenship is required.
  • Full-unrestricted Licensure, Certification or Registration required.
  • A minimum of three (3) years of successful clinical nursing practice in medical/surgical, and experience in home care is preferred.
  • It is preferred that candidates possess demonstrated advanced competency and skills in physical assessment with the ability to organize, plan, set priorities and make decisions in the home setting.
  • Excellent assessment skills and the ability to work collaboratively are highly desirable.
  • Have and maintain a current certification in BLS/CPR.

Visit our Qualification Standards page for detailed information for each pay grade in this job series. Click on the appropriate occupational title under the GS-0600 family.

Emergency Critical Care Nurse

Daniel T. Schiro, RN currently works in the Emergency Department at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center. He served 2 deployments in Iraq as Medic and retired from the Air Force/Air National Guard. Schiro worked as a Pre-Hospital/In-Hospital Emergency and Trauma Nurse since 2008.

 

Daniel Schiro, RN

Daniel Schiro, RN

Q&A With Daniel T. Schiro

Why did you become a Registered Nurse?

I started as a Medic/EMT in the military, then I became an orderly working nights in a hospital and I wanted more. A few nurses that I worked with convinced me to go back to school and I am happy I did.

What is the most rewarding part of your job as a Registered Nurse?

Helping people through some of the most difficult times of injury and illness.

What is the most demanding part of being a Registered Nurse?

The most rewarding part of nursing can also be the most demanding part. Being with a person on their worst day of their lives can be very uplifting when the outcome is a good one. Unfortunately, the same situation can be very emotionally draining when the outcome is poor. Standing next to a patient, holding their hand, with the family in the room as they pass from this world is the hardest part of nursing.

Would you recommend Registered Nurse as a good career path?    

I would if someone wanted to choose nursing for the right reasons. Nursing is a field that demands a lot of emotion, time and energy that money will never compensate. Those who enter the field for monetary reasons are often disappointed. If you want a career that leaves you fulfilled at the end of the day with a sense that you made a difference in at least one person’s life then nursing is worth the consideration.

Registered Nurse (Emergency Department) Requirements

  • U.S. Citizenship is required.
  • Full-unrestricted Licensure, Certification, or Registration is required.
  • Serve as a staff nurse you will provide prescribed medical treatment and personal care services to ill and injured veterans.
  • Duties include documenting observations, assessments, and changes inpatient’s condition; collaborating with health team members to facilitate positive patient care outcomes; providing a full range of nursing care to patients with a variety of physical and/or behavior problems.
  • Ability to assume leadership in a patient centered program, and the ability to establish effective communication with patients, families, visitors and members of the interdisciplinary team.
  • Work schedule will be such that must be able and willing to rotate tours of duty and or work permanent evening or night tour.
  • Minimum of 2 years of recent, full time clinical experience as a RN in Emergency Department or Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Certification in Emergency Nursing is strongly preferred.

Visit our Qualification Standards page for detailed information for each pay grade in this job series. Click on the appropriate occupational title under the GS-0600 family.

ICU Nurse

Julia B. Houser, RN,specialty is medical surgery and ICU at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center.

 

Julie Houser, RN

Julie Houser, RN

Q&A With Julie B. Houser

Why did you become a Registered Nurse?

I wanted to become a nurse after watching my grandmother battle lung cancer, which spread to the brain. I was so amazed and impressed with how the nursing staff took care of my grandmother and our family.

What is the most rewarding part of your job as a Registered Nurse?

The most rewarding part of the job is getting the patient back to their baseline      and getting them home with their loved ones.

What is the most demanding part of being a Registered Nurse?

The most demanding part of the job is the lives we cannot save. The patients and their families become your second family and you really feel their loss and pain.

Would you recommend Registered Nurse as a good career path?    

I would definitely recommend a career in nursing to someone who has      compassion and wants to make a difference in so many Veterans’ lives. It is     truly an amazing and rewarding career choice.

Registered Nurse (Intensive Care Unit) Requirements

  • U.S. citizenship is required.
  • Full-unrestricted Licensure, Certification, or Registration is required.
  • Experience in various areas of emergency care.
  • The RN is accountable to function as a primary care nurse providing complete nursing care to 1-3 patients each shift while also maintaining a global perspective in order to prioritize work and assist other team members as needed.
  • Patients may need advanced life support including mechanical ventilation and/or Continuous Renal Reperfusion Therapy (CRRT).
  • Additional assignments include assisting with in-services and staff development.
  • Additional duties include maintaining competencies to cross-train as a staff nurse in the Emergency Department, Surgical Post Anesthesia Care Unit, and on the Med/Surg/Psych ward.
  • Additional assignments include assisting with staff development, patient education, and applying evidence based practice to unit specific processes.
  • In part 5 on registered nurses, we will be interviewing nurses and their specialties from the Washington D.C VA Medical Center.

Visit our Qualification Standards page for detailed information for each pay grade in this job series. Click on the appropriate occupational title under the GS-0600 family

In part 5 we will be interviewing registered nurses in various specialties from the Washington D.C. VA Medical Center.

Credits

  • Michele Hammonds, Communications Specialist, US Department of Veterans Affairs, VHA Office of Public Communications (10B2B)
  • Photos provided by Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), which is part of the VA Capitol Health Care Network located in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Other career information

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Sunday, 19th July 2015 by

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In part 3 of this series we continue with registered nursing positions at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, a division of the VA Maryland Health Care System.

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. However, all professional nurse positions require the same basic qualifications as a foundation upon which specialized knowledge is built. Thus, since all those classes of positions share the same basic requirement, all are included in this series.

Similarly, the nursing specialties that will be discussed require the same basic education and physical requirements needed for the occupation. Each of the three Baltimore VA Medical Center nurses interviewed here works in a different specialty, with unique requirements. For additional nursing career information, review Part 2 of this series and  visit our GS-0600 Nursing Jobs page.

Registered Nurse Career Path (GS-0610)

The interviews that follow provide insight into specific healthcare specialties, why they entered the field, and the nurses talk about rewarding aspects of their jobs. They also address the demands of the position with recommendations for those who would like to follow in their footsteps.

Brenda I. Ortiz, RN, BSN works at the Baltimore VA Medical Center and is currently a Patient Safety / Risk Manager assisting veterans in a different way. Ortiz states that, “As a Risk Manager, I’m prepared to handle various issues in multiple settings. I work evaluating and identifying risks to reduce patient safety concerns. I have been a Nurse for 24 years, working at the VA Maryland Health Care System since 2004.” She started her Nursing profession in a Pediatric ward where helping children and their families was very rewarding. While working in the Pediatric ward, she requested to be assigned to the Medical/Surgical Unit, where she gained additional medical experience in that field. Ortiz remarks, “I really enjoyed working with the Medical and Surgical population.”

 

Brenda Ortiz, Patient Safety/Risk Manager RB BSN

Brenda Ortiz, Patient Safety/Risk Manager RN BSN

Q&A With Brenda Ortiz

Why did you become a Registered Nurse?

My inspiration to become a Registered Nurse was my Grandmother Francisca, who was a Nurse as well. I remember that every time she came home from work, she always had a smile on her face. She said that it was a great satisfaction helping others, especially those patients who were very sick. She enjoyed making them feel good without hesitation. At that point I knew I wanted to become a Nurse. While attending Nursing School, I met my current husband. We both graduated from college and he became an Officer in the United State Army.

What is the most rewarding part of your job as a Registered Nurse?

After the 9/11 terror attacks, due to military reasons, we moved to Maryland. I knew then that I wanted to serve those who sacrificed their lives to keep the freedom that we enjoy. I started working at the VA Maryland Health Care System in 2004, and working with veterans is the most rewarding part of being a Nurse. I’m able to help/serve those who gave everything for our freedom and for our nation.

As a compassionate Nurse, I love every minute I spend with each veteran/patient, helping them to overcome the difficulties they encounter in the healing process. As a Holistic Nurse, one aims to promote health and wellness in our veterans. Through the years while serving veterans and while working to promote health and caring for them, one learns a lot of history from their point of view, and of course, one gets to cry and laugh with them and their families.

What is the most demanding part of being a Registered Nurse?

The most demanding part of being a Nurse is the long hours of the job and the last minute tasks that have to be completed, which in most cases are unpredictable. However, once you have worked for a period of time, it doesn’t matter. You’ll get used to it. Nursing is also physically demanding, which helps you to stay healthy and in shape since you are exercising from the time you begin your day until the end of the shift.

Would you recommend the Registered Nurse career path?

I’m passionate about Nursing and that is the reason I’d recommend it as the best career/profession ever. In this field, you meet a lot of people and make friends along the way. You are constantly learning while helping patients and their families, for whom you may be their only support. You work hard, laugh and cry, but at the end of the day, I guarantee it will be the most rewarding experience.

Patient Safety Manager Specialty Requirements

  • U.S. Citizenship is required.
  • Active, current, full, and unrestricted Registered Nurse License.
  • A minimum of 5 years of nursing supervisory and program management experience in a Medical Center setting.
  • Provides leadership in educational program development.
  • Directs operation improvement and automation of Patient Safety Program.
  • Develops data collection tools, monitors, and utilize the latest advances in information management technology.
  • Serves as an advocate for Veterans and works with frontline staff to monitor and ensure patient safety developing mechanisms for feedback and for implementation of improvements in a all aspects of Veteran’s health care services.

Pamela Nichols, RN, BSN, CNOR works at the Baltimore VA Medical Center and has been an operating room nurse for over 20 years.

 

Pamela Nichols, RN, BSN, CNOR

Pamela Nichols, RN, BSN, CNOR

Q&A With Pamela Nichols

Why did you become a Registered Nurse?

I loved assisting with surgery when I worked as a veterinary technician. I provided anesthesia for multiple types of animals for surgeries and later in research, and that led me to want to do the same for people. I always knew I wanted to be in the OR and went there right out of school. Participating in all different kinds of cases and learning new technologies was something that appealed to me. Nursing job security was something also very important to me.

What is the most rewarding part of your job as a Registered Nurse?
I want the patients and their families to feel they are getting the best possible care. I work hard helping patients get better by providing the safest and most efficient operating room experience. As a charge nurse, I work with multiple disciplines (surgeons, anesthesiologist, blood bank, case managers, vendors, biomedical dept., etc.) to make sure the surgery go smoothly.

What is the most demanding part of being a Registered Nurse?

An OR nurse must be very flexible. Emergencies come up and your whole day can be changed. Every case is different and every person’s response to a surgery can be different. Technology is constantly changing and you must be willing to learn new things.

Would you recommend the Registered Nurse career path?

If you are an energetic, self-motivated person who is willing to care, teach and advocate for others who are unable care for themselves this job is perfect. There are so many different job opportunities in nursing, and fortunately there are always jobs available anywhere you might want to live.

Operating Room Nurse Specialty Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen is required.
  • Full-unrestricted Licensure, Certification, or Registration required.
  • Have a Masters in Nursing (MSN) or a Masters in a related along with a Bachelors of Nursing (BSN) in a related field.
  • Minimum of 2 years of operating room experience.
  • Must be able to scrub and circulate in the operating room.
  • A minimum of 5 years of successful and progressive acute care nursing practice.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of airway management and the ability to use appropriate equipment.
  • Focus in on problems and is able to assess cardio-respiratory systems for changes and provide appropriate treatment.
  • Specific nursing activities include patient evaluation, creating and maintaining a sterile and safe surgical environment, pre and post operative patient education, monitoring the patients physical and emotional well being, and integrating and coordinating patient.
  • This position potentially requires flexibility in schedule and assignments, as this is a 24/7 hospital (i.e. On-Call).
  • Makes caring for the Veteran his/her priority while in the work setting and demonstrates customer service principles in all aspects of work.

Audrey M. Pinnock is a Nurse Manager of a Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Post Anesthesia Care Unit, and Interventional Radiology Nurses at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, a division of the VA Maryland Health Care System. Her specialty is in critical care with 33 years in nursing and 29 years as a critical care nurse in ICU, ER, PACU, trauma and transplant. Pinnock has a diverse nursing career background.

 

Audrey Pinnock, Nurse Manager

Audrey Pinnock, Critical Care Nurse Manager

Q&A With Audrey Pinnock

Why did you become a Registered Nurse?

I became a registered nurse because it was my goal from when I was a young girl to have a career in medicine. I chose nursing because I love interacting with people from all walks of life. I simply love the challenge that comes with each patient. I never know what will happen and I loved putting the puzzle together of understanding what is going on with each patient, and also the satisfaction it brings when I make a difference in the health and life of others. I enjoy teaching patients and helping them to understand what is happening to their bodies and the disease process they are experiencing.

What is the most rewarding part of your job as a Registered Nurse?

The most rewarding part of the job of being a nurse is knowing that the skills and knowledge I have obtained over the years can actually save someone’s life. To see a patient return after a major illness to say words of thanks, and knowing that I had a part in helping that person recover is worth all the sacrifice it took to obtain my nursing degree and knowledge.

What is the most demanding part of being a Registered Nurse?

The most demanding part of being a nurse is delivering the best care possible when we are shorted staffed, and sometimes working long hours over a regular tour of duty to care for our patients and doing it with a smile.

Would you recommend the Registered Nurse career path?

I would recommend nursing as a good career path. A good nurse is never out of a job and there are so many career paths one can take as a nurse that allow you to re-invent your career and gain a broader knowledge base over the years. I have enjoyed caring for our veterans, and in fact I chose to work for the VA because of the veteran patients I cared for in the private sector and the satisfaction I felt caring for them. They made me appreciate the freedoms I took for granted and renewed my dedication to my nursing career.

Critical Care Specialty Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen is required.
  • Full-unrestricted Licensure, Certification, or Registration required.
  • RN with a minimum of 2 years of critical care experience preferred.
  • Oversee the delivery of quality and timely emergency nursing care to a culturally diverse veteran population.
  • Assesses, monitors, and treats patient responses to life-threatening health problems, including functioning effectively in an emergency.
  • Possess the knowledge and skills in the following areas: ventilator support, acute respiratory failure, post-cardiac catheterization with interventions, medically critical patients with diagnosis such as acute substance abuse withdrawal, acute CVA, multi-system failure, post-operative care of all surgeries, care of spinal cord injury patients with acute surgical or medical interventions Critical Care Unit (CCU) staff also are members of the Code Blue Team and Rapid Response Team.

In part 4 of 6 on registered nurses, we will be interviewing nurses and their specialties fromMartinsburg VA Medical Center.

Credits

  • Michele Hammonds, Communications Specialist, US Department of Veterans Affairs, VHA Office of Public Communications (10B2B)
  • Photos provided by Baltimore VA Medical Center, a division of the VA Maryland Health Care System.

Other career information

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Sunday, 12th July 2015 by

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In Parts 2 through 6 of this10 part series, we will explore the registered nursing career path. From the time of Florence Nightingale, nurses have had a unique responsibility of providing health care at all levels within the healthcare industry. As members of an independent health profession, nurses collaborate with physicians and other health professionals to improve the quality of life, prevent disease, and promote good physical and mental health.

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 work for the Veterans Administration (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 think 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.

Of the 77,456 registered medical nurses employed by the federal government 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.

Registered Nurse (GS-610) Career Path

There are many different nursing specialties within this occupation. The Baltimore VA Medical Center, a division of the VA Maryland Health Care System is featured here. This Medical Center is a general medical and surgical hospital in Baltimore, MD, with 727 beds. It is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and it is also a teaching hospital. Survey data for the latest year available shows that 30,000 patients visited the hospital’s emergency room. The hospital had a total of 6,719 admissions. Its physicians performed 650 inpatient and 2,200 outpatient surgeries.

 

Roger Weilert Clinical Nurse Manager

Roger Weilert
Clinical Nurse Manager

Roger Weikert  is a progressive care certified nurse,  certified medical surgical registered nurse, Nurse 2 Step 5 and has been a nurse for 7 years. 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.”

General Education/ Experience Requirements for all Registered Nurses

All nursing specialists must be a U.S. citizen to apply. However, you do not need to be a Veteran to apply for federal government or VA jobs. A

full-unrestricted Licensure, Certification, or Registration is required for the particular state that you work in.

Nurse I Level III – An Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Diploma in Nursing and approximately 2-3 years of experience. An ADN or Diploma in Nursing and a bachelor’s degree in a related field and approximately 1-2 years of experience. A BSN with approximately 1-2 years of experience, or a Master’s degree in nursing (MSN) or related field with a BSN and no experience.

Nurse II – A Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) with approximately 2-3 years of experience, or ADN or Diploma in Nursing and a bachelors degree in a related field and approximately 2-3 years experience or a Master’s degree in nursing or related field with a BSN and approximately 1-2 years experience, or a doctoral degree in nursing or meets basic requirements for appointment and has a doctoral degree in a related field with no experience.

Nurse III – Master’s degree in nursing or related field with BSN and approximately 2-3 years experience or Doctoral degree in nursing or related field and approximately 2-3 years experience.

Physical Requirements for all Registered Nurses

You will be requried to do heavy lifting, 45 pounds and over; heavy carrying, 45 pounds or over; straight pulling 8-12 hours, pushing 8-12 hours; reaching above shoulder; use of fingers, both hands required; walking 8-12 hours; standing 8-12 hours; kneeling 8-12 hours; repeated bending 8-12 hours; both legs required. In addition the ability for rapid mental and muscular coordination simultaneously; ability to distinguish basic colors; hearing (aid permitted); emotional/mental stability; keyboarding 8-12 hours; viewing computer screens 8-12 hours. These tasks listed will be performed intermittently over the course of the scheduled shift.

Education and Duties of a Clinical Nurse Manager

There are different duties for each specialty within the registered nurse occupation. For part 2 in the series our interviewee, Roger Weikert, is a clinical nurse manager. There are more specific education requirements and duties for this category.

Education includes:

  • Masters degree in Clinical Nurse Leadership (CNL) with certification as a CNL
  • Minimum of 3 to 4 years of professional acute care nursing experience and an active Basic Life Support (BLS) certification at the time of appointment

Duties include:

  • Demonstrates the ability to work effectively and develop sound relationships with patients, caregivers and other professionals
  • Act as a liaison between the nursing staff and the medical and ancillary staff
  • Assist with coordination of education programs to assist staff in improving their performance
  • Modeling the utilization of evidence-based research to improve practice
  • Promote an environment that fosters employees to perform to their full potential
  • Promote new initiatives
  • Assist with coordination and outcomes of new programs and inpatient operations

In the next article, part 3 of this series, I will feature 3 additional interviewees from the Baltimore VA Medical Center, a division of the VA Maryland Health Care System. Part 3 will present a broader picture of each nurses’ unique specialty.

Credits

  • Michele Hammonds, Communications Specialist, US Department of Veterans Affairs, VHA Office of Public Communications (10B2B)
  • Photos provided by Baltimore VA Medical Center, a division of the VA Maryland Health Care System.

Other career information

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Interviews, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Overseas Jobs, Veterans Preference

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Posted on Wednesday, 10th June 2015 by

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a vast array of career paths available including all health care occupations and many support, administrative, and management opportunities.

We will be doing a 6 part series about the VA and the tremendous opportunities that are available. The VA is the largest employer of medical specialties. However, there are other agencies that hire medical workers including Health and Human Services (HHS) Federal Prison Jobs with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and the Department of Defense (DOD).

 

VA Medical Facility

VA Medical Facility

The Veteran’s Administration staffs 153 medical centers, 135 nursing homes, over 900 ambulatory and community-based outpatient clinics, Veterans centers at 232 locations, 47 counseling centers, and 108 home-care programs. These facilities are located nationwide including the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. They are also the largest employer of Federal Nursing Jobs in this country. The VA states that. “over 7.9 million Veterans, family members, and survivors are enrolled in the VA health system, with more than 6.3 million seeking treatment each year. Currently, annual treatment involves 773,600 inpatient visits and 60 million outpatient visits. About 250,000 full-time employees and 90,000 health professional trainees work in interdisciplinary care teams to deliver those patient services daily.”

The VA employs 239,299 workers and operates programs to benefit veterans and their families. Benefits include disability compensation payments or death related to military service; education; pensions; rehabilitation; home loan guaranty; burial; and medical care programs incorporating nursing homes, clinics, and medical centers. The VA employs physicians, and all medical specialties under the VA’s excepted merit system. This does not require civil service eligibility.

Mission of the VA

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.

History  

The U.S. has the most comprehensive system of assistance for Veterans of any nation in the world. As early as 1636, the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were at war with the Pequot Indians. The Pilgrims passed a law that stated that disabled soldiers would be support by the colony.

During the Revolutionary War the Continental Congress of 1776 supported providing pensions for disabled soldiers. As the Republic continued, the individual states and communities provided medical and hospital care to Veterans. In 1811, the federal government authorized the first domiciliary and medical facility for Veterans. During the 19th century, the Veterans assistance program was expanded to include benefits, pensions to both the Veterans and for widows and dependents.

As our country entered into World War I, Congress established a new system of Veterans benefits to include disability compensation, insurance for service personnel and Veterans, and vocational rehabilitation for the disabled.

In the 1920′s, there were 3 different federal agencies that were administering various benefits. In 1921, Congress authorized the first consolidation of Veterans programs. The second consolidation was in 1930, and President Herbert Hoover signed Executive Order 5398 and this elevated the Veterans Bureau to a federal administration, and thus created the Veterans Administration.

The VA was elevated to a cabinet-level executive department by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The Veterans Administration was renamed to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Administration Programs in the VA

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is America’s largest integrated health care system with over 1,700 sites of care, serving 8.76 million Veterans each year.

It the largest of their three administrations and it continues to meet Veterans’ changing medical, surgical, and quality-of-life needs. It provides new programs for treatment of traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress, suicide prevention, women Veterans and more.

The VA has opened outpatient clinics, and established telemedicine and other services to accommodate a diverse Veteran population, and continues to cultivate ongoing medical research and innovation to improve the lives of America’s patriots. VHA operates one of the largest health care systems in the world and provides training for a majority of America’s medical, nursing, and allied health professionals.

Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The Veterans Benefits Administration(VBA) administers the VA programs that provide financial and other forms of assistance to Veterans, their dependents, and survivors. Major benefits include Veterans’ compensation, Veterans’ pension, survivors’ benefits, rehabilitation and employment assistance, education assistance, home loan guaranties, and life insurance coverage.

These programs include the Compensation and Pension programs, Education Program, Insurance Program, The Loan Guaranty Program, and The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program

National Cemetery Administration (NCA)

The National Cemetery Administration(NCA) has 147 national cemeteries in all, with new cemeteries in development. Through NCA, VA administers 131 of them. There are 2 national cemeteries, Arlington and the United States Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery are still maintained by the Department of the Army. Fourteen national cemeteries are maintained by the Department of the Interior. More than 3.7 million people, including Veterans of every war and conflict, from the Revolutionary War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are honored by burial in the VA’s national cemeteries.

Today more than 22 million living Veterans have earned the honor of burial in a national cemetery, including the more than 350 Medal of Honor recipients buried in VA cemeteries. More than 19,000 acres of land are devoted to the memorialization of those who served this nation.

In part 2 of this 6 part series, we will be covering the Registered Nurse (GS-0600) occupational series.See Nursing Jobs for additional information.

Other career information

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Veterans Preference

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Posted on Friday, 5th June 2015 by

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The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently announced that a cyber security incident affecting its systems and data may have compromised the personal information of over 4 million current and former Federal employees.

OPM partnered with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), and the FBI to determine the impact to Federal personnel. OPM immediately implemented additional security measures to protect the large amount of sensitive information it manages.

OPM states that “beginning June 8 and continuing through June 19, OPM will be sending notifications to approximately 4 million individuals whose Personally Identifiable Information was potentially compromised in this incident. The email will come from opmcio@csid.com and it will contain information regarding credit monitoring and identity theft protection services being provided to those Federal employees impacted by the data breach. In the event OPM does not have an email address for the individual on file, a standard letter will be sent via the U.S. Postal Service.”

OPM is offering affected individuals credit monitoring services and identity theft insurance with CSID, a company that specializes in identity theft protection and fraud resolution. The coverage includes a 18-month membership including credit monitoring, credit report access, identity theft insurance, and recovery services. This service is available immediately at no cost to affected individuals identified by OPM.

Additional information will be released starting at 8 a.m. CST on June 8, 2015 on www.csid.com/opm, and by calling toll-free 844-222-2743 (International callers may call collect at 512-327-0700).

OPM suggests taking the following steps to monitor your identity and financial information:

  • Monitor financial account statements and immediately report any suspicious or unusual activity to financial institutions.
  • Request a free credit report at www.AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228. Consumers are entitled by law to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion® – for a total of three reports every year. Contact information for the credit bureaus can be found on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website, www.ftc.gov. (NOTE: You will be asked to provide your Social Security Number in order to receive a free report.)
  • Review resources provided on the FTC identity theft website, www.identitytheft.gov. The FTC maintains a variety of consumer publications providing comprehensive information on computer intrusions and identity theft.
  • You may place a fraud alert on your credit file to let creditors know to contact you before opening a new account in your name. Simply call TransUnion® at 1-800-680-7289 to place this alert. TransUnion® will then notify the other two credit bureaus on your behalf.

Take precautions to avoid becoming a victim and learn how to protect your personal information. OPM will be providing more information soon and those potentially impacted will be notified by mail.

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Federal Employees

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Posted on Wednesday, 27th May 2015 by

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In the first part of this series we featured the USGS history, programs, and the economist (GS-0110) careers. In part 2 the ecologist (GS-0408) and chemist (GS-1320) careers were featured. In the final part of this series we will discuss the geographer (GS-0150) and cartographer (GS-1370) career paths.

Geographer (GS-0150) Career Path

This series includes positions the duties of which involve professional work in the field of geography, including the compilation, synthesis, analysis, interpretation and presentation of information regarding the location, distribution, and interrelationships of and processes of change affecting such natural and human phenomena as the physical features of the earth, climate, plant and animal life, and man’s settlements and institutions.

 

Geographer USGS Career Brochure Photo

Geographer USGS Career Brochure Photo

The federal government employs 1,481 in this occupation. You can review the geographer Job Series Definition for additional occupational information and to discover the largest employers of this group with links to geographer job vacancies.

Roger Sayre, is a GS-15 ecosystems geographer at the USGS in Reston, VA. He maps the distribution of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems globally. Sayre indicates that “ecosystems geography is knowing the types, distributions, and condition of the ecosystems that are on the landscape and the seascape because ecosystems give humans the goods and services that are critical for our survival.” Sayre states, “I would rather hire an employee with a science background. The science background is more important than proficiency in using tools such as GIS and remote sensing. It is easier to train GIS specialists with a science background than without.”

Geography is an interdisciplinary study of the spatial aspects of the surface of the Earth. The work of geographers encompasses a number of the sciences including climate and land-use changes, geology, meteorology, soil sciences, hydrology, biology, and much more.

USGS geographers collect and analyze spatial and hydrologic data, plan and develop geospatial and geographic information databases to facilitate scientific analysis, and enhance communications of results through reports and maps.

Duties

The duties include:

  • Performing data reconciliation between GIS (systems) and organizational or other data storage systems.
  • Creating symbology comprehensive map products (e.g. disaster assessment maps, jurisdictional mapbooks, utility mapbooks by commodity) to support organizational initiatives.
  • Performing geospatial analysis to identify inconsistent information.

Experience and Education

The qualifications are based on education and experience that will vary for each of the different grade levels. A bachelor’s degree or higher in geography or a related physical or social science such as geology, meteorology, economics, statistics, sociology, anthropology, political science, history, cartography, computer science, urban studies, or planning that include at least 24 semester hours in geography or related fields. You will need to have worked at least 1 year at the next lowest grade level. You must a U.S. citizen to apply.

A GS-0150-9/11 can earn $48,403.00 to $80,427.00 per year or more depending on the Locality Pay Area you work in.

Cartographer (GS-1370) Career Path

This series includes positions requiring the application of professional knowledge and skills in mapping and related sciences, and relevant mathematics and statistics to plan, design, research, develop, construct, evaluate, and modify mapping and charting systems, products, and technology.

 

Cartographer USGS Career Brochure Photo

Cartographer USGS Career Brochure Photo

The federal government employs 620 in this occupation. Review the cartographer Job Series Definition for additional occupational information and to discover the largest employers of this group with links to cartographer job vacancies.

Kari Craun is aGS-1370-15 supervisory cartographer at Rolla, MO. She has also held physical scientist and geographer positions. Craun leads a national center that acquires, processes, manages, and distributes all kinds of geospatial data to a variety of users, including the public. They create topographic maps and other cartographic products, and provides other related services. Craun relates, “there is an interdisciplinary aspect that is inherent to cartography. You need to know something about the subject you are portraying. This includes topography, population demographics, biological such as habitat, geology, transportation, etc. Maps are one of the most effective ways to communicate a large amount of information.” Craun recommends “that you take computer classes and the basic cartography classes. This will help you understand the science behind projections, geoids, and coordinates.”

Combining both science and art, today’s cartographers design and produce maps using geographic information systems, incorporating satellite data, aerial reconnaissance, and field surveys to produce datasets used by both scientists and everyday people.

Besides map design, today’s cartographers are working with geographic information systems, incorporating satellite data, aerial reconnaissance, and field surveys to produce datasets used by both scientists and everyday people. Cartographers create both paper and digital products that help define our surroundings, enabling us to gain a more accurate view of the world—past, present, and future.

Duties

The duties include:

  • Use of Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CAD) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software in developing maps.
  • Perform complex cartographic computations.
  • Analyze real estate plat records, electronic data files from federal agencies to develop project-reporting tools.
  • Review engineering documents and drawings, such as design memoranda, construction plans, and specs to determine real estate and location requirements for projects.
  • They may provide legal testimony relevant to boundary determination, Real Estate mapping procedures and land area calculations.
  • Serve as a technical point of contact for cartographic and GIS interests.

Education and Experience

Basic qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree with at least 30 semester hours of cartography, related physical science, computer science, or physical geography.

You will be required to have 1 year of specialized experience that is equivalent to the next lowest grade level. Some of the specialized experience can include:

  • Prepare and compile cartographic products using GIS, surveying, CAD mapping techniques and remote sensing.
  • Developing geospatial digital databases and other products
  • Experience reading, interpreting, reviewing, and preparing legal land descriptions.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this career path. The salary range for a GS-11 is $58,562.00 to $76,131.00 per year or more depending on the Locality Pay Area you work in.

The USGS has remarkable career paths. Go and explore the great opportunities that the USGS has to offer.

Credits

  • Diane Noserale, USGS Public Affairs Officer, Reston, VA
  • Photos are from the USGS website and career brochures
  • USGS Web Site: http://www.usgs.gov

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Sunday, 17th May 2015 by

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In the first part of this series we featured the USGS history, programs, and the economist (GS-0110) career path. In part 2 the ecologist (GS-0408) and chemist (GS-1320) career paths are featured.

Ecologist (GS-0408) Career Path

This series covers positions that manage, supervise, lead, or perform professional, research, or scientific work involving the study of the relationships of organisms with each other, with their physical and chemical environments, and with society.

The federal government employs 1,351 in this occupation. Review the ecologist job series definition for additional occupational information and to discover the largest employers of this group with links to ecologist job vacancies.

 

Ecologist USGS Career Brochure Photo

Ecologist USGS Career Brochure Photo

Kristen Marie Hart is a GS-0408-14, Ecologist, stationed at the Southeast Ecological Science Center in Gainesville, FL.

Hart is a research ecologist and leads a large reptile research program. She designs, plans and leads in the sampling of turtles (both marine and brackish water), crocodilians, and Burmese pythons. Hart deals with rare, threatened, endangered, and invasive species of animals. Hart indicates, “this work is important because we’re often dealing with trying to plan and execute studies to determine vital rates (survival, growth, abundance) for either imperiled populations (such as sea turtles and crocodiles) or invasive species (such as Burmese pythons). This data is critical for assessing population trends and trajectories.”

Hart has to educate the public about the importance of her work and the findings. Hart comments, “I really enjoy the field work, but the discovery of what the data means is very exhilarating!”

Hart relates that you have to “do well in math and science, and learn how to write and know how to do accounting. We have to keep track of our funds, budgeting of projects, and deliverables. There are many scientific papers so writing that is both concise and clear is very important. Finally, take courses in statistics that is used to show the importance or significance of our findings.”

Ecologists may study the distribution and density of organisms that live in ecosystems. Studying changes in the distribution and density before and after specific human activities enables ecologists to model the ecosystem impacts of human activities. Factors in ecology studies including:

  • Quantitative attributes of population, such as population density, birth rate, spatial distribution, age structure, and resource demands;
  • The structure and interactions of populations of species in a community:
  • Environment factors, such as tide pools, salt marshes, grasslands, deciduous forests, rangelands, deserts, vernal pools, and fens, and the interactions between them;
  • Pesticide testing and control;
  • Energy sources; and
  • Air and water quality and flows in urban areas.

Duties

The duties of an ecologist can include:

  • Gather, organize, and interpret ecological, biological, physical, public use or other information pertinent to research studies and/or investigations.
  • Plan the approach and data collection. Lead field crews of 1-3 people to carry out complex ecological studies.
  • Utilize established ecological simulation models to evaluate scenarios of potential future climatic and vegetation conditions.
  • Use GIS to assemble layers, run spatial models, and analyze patterns.
  • Write reports or scientific papers including, conducting literature reviews, reporting results, and preparing graphs and tables.
  • Perform data analysis including data summarization and complex statistical analyses of large datasets.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this job. A GS-09 needs to have at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest level. For example, a GS-09 can earn from $48,403.00 to $62,920.00 per year or more depending on the locality salary rate for the area where they work.

Kevin Lafferty is a GS-0408 Ecologist at the Western Ecological Research Center.

Lafferty reveals the best part of the job is “making a discovery that changes the way people think about the natural world.” He suggests that “you need to have very strong quantitative skills. If you are analytical, understand graphs, and have a skeptical attitude, you can develop the scientific skills to excel in Ecology. You also need strong skill areas such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, GIS, computer programming, and good writing skills.”

Chemist (GS-1320) Career Path

This series includes all positions involving work that requires full professional education and training in the field of chemistry. This work includes the investigation, analysis, and interpretation of the composition, molecular structure, and properties of substances, the transformations which they undergo, and the amounts of matter and energy included in these transformations.

There are 5,493 chemists employed in the federal government with 61 working overseas. Review the chemist job series definition for additional occupational information and to discover the largest employers of this group with links to nationwide and overseas chemist job listings.

 

Chemist USGS Career Brochure Photo

Chemist USGS Career Brochure Photo

Dr. Keith A. Loftin is a GS-1320-13, Research Chemist, located at the USGS KS Water Science Center, Lawrence, KS.

Loftin works on interdisciplinary research teams, and conducts research independently to provide solutions and expanded understanding on understudied environmental issues of public and ecological health concern.

Loftin is a research chemist, this gives him the opportunity to identify and work on solutions to environmental problems with human and ecological health relevance. He relates, “chemistry is used to understand, make, or enhance the quality of agriculture, clothing, building materials, clean drinking water, manufacturing of a full range of luxury items, as well as medications.”

Loftin explains, “chemistry allows a person to breakdown complex systems and processes at a fundamental level that can be used to solve problems.”

Experience and Education

For all grades in this series, you will need at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest grade. The salary range for a GS-12 is$75,333 (Step 01) to $97,938 (Step 10). You have to be U.S. citizen to apply for this career path. Review the qualification standards to determine the requirements for each grade level. Also review the job announcement for the specific education and experience required for each grade level.

Geographers (GS-0150) and Cartographers (GS-1370) will be featured in Part 3.

Credits

  • Diane Noserale, USGS Public Affairs Officer, Reston, VA
  • Photos are from the USGS website and career brochures
  • USGS Web Site: http://www.usgs.gov

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Overseas Jobs

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Posted on Wednesday, 6th May 2015 by

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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) tracks earthquakes, geological phenomenon, provides civilian mapping, and many other important functions. Part one of this three part series explores their history, programs, and the economist (GS-0110) job series. Three economists were interviewed for this article.

About the USGS

 

Seismological Device

Seismological Device

The USGS agency is a science organization that provides,” impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information.”

The mission of the USGS is to serve “the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.”

The USGS has over 10,000 scientists, technicians, and other support staff that work in over 400 locations nationwide.

The USGS is the largest water, earth, biological science, and civilian mapping agency. They collect, monitor, analyze, and provide scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems. This agency provides diverse scientific expertise and can carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations, and provides impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners and other customers.

History

The USGS was formed on March 3, 1879 and President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill appropriating money for sundry civil expenses for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1879.

The sundry civil expenses bill included the establishing of the USGS, and charging it with a unique combination of responsibilities: “classification of the public lands, and examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain.”

The USGS is 110 years old and this agency stills fulfills its original mission in the classification of public lands, the examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and the produces of the national domain. The USGS conducts research on the cutting edge of science that effects on the economy, and helps to develop and apply innovative means in solving problems in resource management.

USGS Programs

The USGS has many varied programs that focus on science, climate ecosystem among others. Here is a sampling of 2 of their more prominent programs.

Core Science System

The Core Science System is a new mission for the USGS. The role of this program is the understanding of the Earth’s complex ecosystems. Ecosystems exist all over the world. By using an ecosystem-based approach, the USGS can use all science themes that will provide specific data and other information that can be utilized by the USGS and its partners. “The vision for Core Science Systems builds on core strengths of the USGS in characterizing and understanding complex Earth and biological systems through research, modeling, mapping, and the production of high quality data on the Nation’s natural resource infrastructure.”

Through research, activities will provide a foundation for ecosystem-based approaches from geologic mapping, topographic mapping, and biodiversity mapping. The framework is designed to improve the efficiency of scientific work. This will enable a way to preserve and recall data for future applications, organizing existing scientific knowledge and data to facilitate new use of older information. This will help with the integration of new data, applications, and other science products to make interdisciplinary research easier and more efficient within the USGS.

Ecosystem Science

The Ecosystem Science program is about how to make well-informed decisions about how to use our national resources wisely and to help sustain our Nation’s economic and environmental well-being.

This program utilizes basic and applied science criterion. From the local, regional and national levels there are issues that affect our Nation. Resource managers and other policymakers face a variety of issues that include renewable and nonrenewable energy development, agriculture, forestry, water supply, and resource allocations in both the urban and rural environments.

Ecosystem science is the study of systems of organisms interacting with their environment and the consequences of natural and human-induced change on these systems. The USGS helps to develop policies that enable decision makers, to better adapt to the changes that occur in these ecosystems.

The USGS provides the necessary information to help decision makers on the matters involving our environment. The USGS uses science to provide managers with options and decision-support tools in resources sustainability.

Here are is great USGS links to their other programs and science topics: Our Programs and Science Topics

Economist (GS-0110) Career Path

This series includes positions that require application of a professional knowledge of economics in the performance of duties that include: research into economic phenomena, analysis of economic data, and the preparation of interpretive reports; advice and consultation on economic matters to governmental officials and private organizations or citizens; and the performance of other professional work in economics including supervision and the direction of economists engaged in the various economics programs of the Federal Government

The federal government employs 4,411 economists including a number that work overseas. All cabinet level agencies and many large independent agencies employ economists.

Grecia R. Matos, is a GS-0110-13 economist and works in Reston, Virginia, in the National Minerals Information Center.

Matos always wanted to make a difference and her economics background helped her succeed in the job.  She suggests that you need a “systems approach not just mathematical, but adding a human/social dimension to a holistic vision a country and the world.” Matos states, “her job as economist provides insights into many challenging and relevant issues, such as to know the dollar value of resources we produce and the physical quantity needed to keep up with our standard of living.”

Matos has many responsibilities as an economist. One of these is to provide information to the public, and policy makers regarding the current use and flow of minerals and materials in the United States and the world. Additionally, she helps to identify areas where there are adverse impacts of using materials, and identifies efficiencies in reuse, recycling and in waste management.

Matos indicates, “working in a science agency such as USGS, economists provide science to decision makers for environmental policy, study the effects of global climate change, the green economy, provide science to help protect public health, the environment, and to restore ecosystems.”

Duties

This specialization includes (1) positions which analyze and interpret relationships incorporating economic factors which cut across all sectors of the economy, (2) positions which specialize in methodology, (3) positions which are not appropriately classifiable to any other specialization in this series, and (4) all positions at the GS-5 and GS-7 levels. Positions in this specialization may be characterized by a variety of assignment patterns.

At all grade levels there are economists who analyze, interpret, synthesize, and project the movements and relationships among the many forces playing upon the economy. Typically, such economists use secondary sources and depend on their colleagues in the various branches of economics to collect and distill primary data. Frequently (though not necessarily), their work results in publication, sometimes in the “learned paper” tradition, but more typically in regular periodic publications of the Government.

Education and Experience

For all grade levels you need at least 1 year of experience at the next lowest grade. Additionally, a bachelor’s degree is required that includes at least 21 semester hours in economics and 3 semesters hours in statistics, accounting, or calculus.

The GS-05 to GS-09 grade levels, you not only need a bachelor’s degree and the experience may include:

  1. Developing detailed plans for economic studies in accordance with established specifications and other requirements.
  2. The collecting and compiling of economic data from primary or secondary sources following detailed and exact procedures and regulations.
  3. The preparation of preliminary interpretive reports, or portions of such reports following precise instructions.

The GS-11 to GS-14 grade levels, in addition to the basic education requirement as stated above, applicants must have 1 year of appropriate professional experience in economics that is equivalent to at least the next lowest grade level  The additional experience may include:

  1. The performance of collecting data from primary sources necessary for a project, such as employment statistics or marketing data. The procedures are exact and well defined and adjusted as necessary.
  2. The planning and preparing an interpretive report on the productivity capacity of a particular industry, and use the data for a comprehensive industry analysis.
  3. Assignments include the full scope of the research process, from the initiation of investigations and planning of methods, through the interpretation of finding and the preparation of final reports.
  4. Other experience can include initiating, planning, formulating, and executing major special studies or continuing projects.

The salary range for a GS-12 is $76,378 (Step 01) to $99,296 (Step 10). A

GS-13 salary range is $90,823 (Step 01) to $118,069 (Step 10). You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position.

Carl Shapiro, is a GS-0110 Economist. Shapiro works in the USGS Science and Decisions Center, Reston, VA.

Shapiro was looking for a field that provided structure to complex societal issues. He cites, “economic concepts provide an objective and structured way of considering the issues to form many types of decisions.”

Shapiro does studies in ecosystem services, which are beneficial to nature. He states, “economists work with biological and physical scientists to understand how ecosystem services are produced and with natural resource managers to understand how ecosystem services in making informed decisions.”

Shapiro recommends a career in economics because, “it has a clear and analytical methodology and addresses issues ranging from natural resources, to labor productivity, to policies relating to the money supply.  Economists are needed in a wide range of diverse fields.”

Shapiro suggests, “you should narrow your field to a specialty. Economics provides an analytical framework for considering the consequences of scarcity, alternative decisions, and tradeoffs, but it is not always a stand-alone discipline. Its value can be enhanced by connecting its approach with a broad set of societal challenges.”

Stephen R. Gillespie, is a GS-0110-14 economist. He works in the Director’s Office in Reston, VA.

Gillespie states the most exciting part of my job is getting to work with scientists in all sorts of different fields. He suggests that you take math courses in high school. As an economist you will spend a lot of time working with numbers.”

Credits

Economist Career Path

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Employees, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies, Overseas Jobs

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Posted on Friday, 24th April 2015 by

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The administrative officer position is utilized in most executive department agencies and with military units such as the National Guard. The federal government employs 9,285 administrative officers in all cabinet level agencies and most large independent agencies. There re 340 working overseas. The largest employer is the Veterans Administration with 1,809 followed by Health and Human Services with 1,301. The Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force employ a combined 2,272. This article covers the relevant duties, qualifications, and education requirements for this position.

Administrative Officer (GS-0341) (Military Unit)

Eric Brenner, is a GS-0341-11, administrative officer who is stationed at HQ/41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) in Clackamas, OR.

Brenner was originally hired as a training specialist stationed at state headquarters in Salem OR. He transferred to Clackamas as a way to broaden his current assignment. Brenner is involved in day-to-day operations of a brigade and he has direct influence over plans and policies for the betterment of the brigade.

 

Major Eric Brenner and Wife

Major Eric Brenner and Wife

Brenner remarks that, “the job is ideal for someone that enjoys operational planning and execution at the brigade level, understands National Guard personnel budgets, and can manage multiple projects at the same time. They must understand fiscal law, budgeting practices, the Army’s force generation model, and Army training priorities and make recommendations to the commander and senior staff members.” 

Brenner serves as an administrative officer in a military unit, and he cites “that it is considerably different than other governmental positions. My duties as an administrative officer mostly resemble those of a staff major in the operations section of an IBCT headquarters. It is a rewarding career that carries the potential for upward mobility and compliments my National Guard career.”

An administrative officer is associated with a military unit is considered a civilian employee and is placed in an Excepted Service position. It requires membership in a state’s National Guard or Reserve component and is a requirement for employment. The employee will be required to wear a military uniform and this is a condition of employment.

They are the officer in charge and serve as the principal staff officer and primary advisor to the Commander for providing leadership, oversight, information, analysis, guidance, and recommendations on readiness and day-to-day matters of the command.

Major Duties

The administrative officer is a full-time representative of the commander and there are numerous responsibilities involved. They ensure goals are in accordance with higher headquarters directions. Oversee the development and execution of both long and short-range plans and programs. Provide instructions and guidance to staff sections in conducting daily activities. They are responsible for making day-to-day decisions for the commander relevant to personnel and equipment assignments, instructions to staff members. Directs, coordinates, trains and oversees the work of employees.

The administrative officer has oversight in the development of unit goals, provides readiness reports. Evaluates organizational readiness reports and will provide recommendations for improvement or modifications to the organizational priorities based upon the ever-changing needs of the organization. Finally, they make sure that the National Guard armories and facilities under the control of the command are properly utilized and cared for. Arranges for repair, upkeep, and custodial services for the facilities.

General Experience

The employee is responsible for providing a variety of management services that is essential to the direction and operation of the organization. The most important qualifications are an extensive knowledge and understanding of management principles, practices, methods and techniques, and skill integrating management services with the general management of the organization.

Specialized experience

At the GS-12 level, either you must have a Bachelors Degree or must have 3 years of general and specialized experience. This can include education or training in analyzing problems, identifying significant factors, gathering relevant data and providing solutions. You will need to have experience in preparing reports, plans, policies, and various correspondence. You should be able to evaluate objectives and develop appropriate plans. Understand the utilization of the organization, its mission, and the organizational staff procedures. Experience in the use of quantitative and qualitative techniques for analyzing and measuring effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity of administrative and technical programs. Finally, have experience in both analytical and investigative techniques. You must be able to lead, direct, and assign work to personnel.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply. The salary range for a GS-0341-12/12 is $73,265.00- $95,243.00 per year.

LTC Kotz, is a GS-1102/12 administrative officer, assigned to HHD, Joint Force Headquarters, and Oregon Military Department.

 

LTC Dominic Kotz

LTC Dominic Kotz

Kotz indicates, “the most exciting thing about being an administrative officer is the flexibility within the series to conduct different types of jobs. He would recommend this to any officer early in their career. Finally, I would tell a young officer to make sure that they have a plan “B” and continue to diversify their work experience”.

Administrative Officer (GS-0341) (Non-Military)

The administrative officer in the competitive service isn’t associated with a military unit and they do not have to report to a commander, nor wear a uniform.

Duties

The employee assists a supervisor, other office personnel, or managers in providing various management activities. The activities generally include Federal operations management, human capital management, contract administration, property and space management and other functional areas. Other additional functions and responsibilities include assisting in research and investigating new ways to improve programs, employee recruitment, performance management, employee recognition, contract initiation, office moves, evacuation planning/emergency preparedness, and team building.

Maintains complete files on employees, contracts and recruitment programs. Serves as a liaison on various matters such as recruitment, placement, payroll, performance appraisals, awards, initiating personnel actions and collaborates with personnel specialists in personal related matters. Can advise management on such topics as contract administration, acquisition, recruiting operations, social media strategy, web content and branding, effective performance management and workplace diversity. They can also serve on various task forces.

Qualifications

At a GS-09 level, you must have at least 1 year of specialized experience at the GS-07 level or a Masters Degree or equivalent degree. At the GS-11 level you must have 1 year of specialized experience at the GS-09 level. The specialized experience can include performing a variety of management and administrative services in the operation of an office. This includes professional and support staff recruitment, operations and management reports, property management issues, organizational practices, procurement, and human resource allocation. You must have 3 full years of progressively higher-level graduate degree.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for this position. A GS-0341-09/11 salary range is $52,668.00 to $82,840.00 per year. 

Credits

  • Christopher L. Ingersoll, Public Affairs Specialist, Oregon Military Dept.
  • The Oregon Military Dept. public relations department supplied the photographs used in this article.

Administrative Officer Job Description & Vacancy list

Administrative Officer

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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Posted on Tuesday, 14th April 2015 by

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In parts 1 and 2 of this series we explored Petroleum Engineer and Archeologist positions with the BLM. In part 3 and final installment, we feature planning and environmental coordinator (GS-0301) and hydrologist (GS-1315) occupations.

Planning and Environmental Coordinator (GS-0301)

 

BLM Planning Coordination Meeting

BLM Planning Coordination Meeting

 

Kristy Swartz is a GS-0301-12/13 planning and environmental coordinator who is stationed at the BLM Fire & Aviation Directorate, which is at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, ID.

Swartz was previously a firefighter before moving into the fuels management program. She believes, “that the restoration work that we do before a fire starts is so important – both for the natural resources as well as for our human environment that we share.” Swartz enjoys being involvedin environmental planning and working collaboratively with stakeholders to reach consensus on how to move forward to achieve restoration objectives. She reveals that, “we can accomplish the work on the ground that will help protect and improve our natural and human environment.”

Swartz is excited about her career and relates, “we reach consensus on challenging topics and are able to initiate projects that move us towards our goals. I also love the challenges and diversity of issues that we work with and learning a little bit about the perspectives of each resource specialist and our stakeholders.”

Some of the baseline requirements on performing the job include    understanding policies, environmental laws and how the government works. She contends that you must be able to, “facilitate effective meetings (or find someone who can), listen and support the staff assigned to your project(s) so they can be effective in their work.”  You must understand your role and responsibilities.

In this position, you will need to interpret, provide guidance, develop, and implement planning on various programs such as Resource Management Plans (RMPs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs).  Additionally, ensure that the plans documentation meets all relevant prescribed quality standards and complies with all Federal Land Policy and other environmental and quality policies or programs.

Other required skills are writing of various issue papers, briefings and other public presentations.  Knowledge, principles, concepts, and techniques of land use planning.  Coordinating inventory and data collection, monitor budgets and act as technical liaison between Field Offices and other entities to include State and local governments and other external customers.

Both A GS-11 and GS-12 will need 1 year of specialized experience at the next lowest grade level.  Each can have specialized experience that includes planning and environmental specialist related work in Natural Resource Programs. Other specialized experience is in land use and multiple use and resource management planning, being a lead or a member of an interdisciplinary team tasked with review and analysis of various documents to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Assist in developing public land related planning and strategies.

The GS-12 grade level in addition to the above mentioned specialized experience should also have budget and programming, planning, professional writing, policy development and monitoring and perform program audits.  At this grade level there is no substitution for education.

You must be a U.S. citizen to apply for a planning and environmental coordinator position, and a GS-11/12 will earn $58,562.00 to $91,255.00 per year.

Michael Hildner, is a GS-301-12 planning and environmental coordinator located in the BLM Washington D.C. Office.

Hildner wanted to help manage public lands on behalf of the American people. He strives to ensure, “the best balance of uses and resource protections for America’s public lands. The BLM undertakes extensive land use planning through a collaborative approach with local, state, and tribal governments, the public, user groups and industry. The result is a set of land use plans – called Resource Management Plans (RMP) – that provide the framework to guide decisions for every action and approved use on over 245 million acres of surface land and 700 million acres of subsurface minerals.”

Hildner explains, “The BLM prepares RMPs for areas of public lands, called planning areas, which tend to have similar resource characteristics. RMPs are used to allocate resources and determine appropriate multiple uses for the public lands, develop a strategy to manage and protect resources; and establish systems to monitor and evaluate status of resources and effectiveness of management practices over time.”

Hildner comments that, “education requirements vary, however a background in science, and experience in leadership positions with effective communication skills will serve you well. Experience in leading teams of resource specialists in preparing land use plans for BLM resource areas is essential. Teams represent the full range of BLM programs such as range, forestry, minerals, lands, wildlife, hydrology, archeology, and recreation”.

Hydrologist (GS-1315)

 

BLM Hydrology Particle Sampling

BLM Hydrology Particle Sampling

 

Bryce Bohn, is a GS-1315-13 hydrologist, who is located at the BLM Idaho State Office in Boise, ID.

Bohn was interested in becoming a hydrologist when he participated in the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program in high school. He states, “I became interested in being a hydrologist when a Forest Service hydrologist came to talk about his job.From that moment on, all of my education and career planning was directed towards being a hydrologist.  Since entering federal service, I have been the forest hydrologist on four National Forests before becoming the state hydrologist for BLM-Idaho.”

Bohn is excited about his career because, “I use my training and education to make a difference in the quality of the environment. I love being responsible for the protection, restoration and monitoring of aquatic resources on public lands in the west. It is a job that allows me to make a difference in the quality of people’s lives as well as the quality of the environment that persists long into the future”.

Bohn suggests that individual interested in becoming  a hydrologist to, “talk to as many people as you can. Read books and professional literature to see what the current research topics are. Never forget that the success of any science hinges upon the effective communication of your findings and making it relevant to the public. Develop your people skills with the same focus and urgency as you develop your scientific skills.  Hydrology is a field of engineering that you can specialize in any number of sub-disciplines such as groundwater, dams and irrigation, snow hydrology or wildland hydrology.”

The major duties of a hydrologist at the GS-09 level include planning, coordinating projects that involve analysis and evaluation of flow and transport of sediment and pollutants in stream channels and ground water. Give technical advice relevant to water rights applications and claims, review flood forecasts and apply flood forecasting procedures that will determine short-term flood risks and serve on various interdisciplinary teams. One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in hydrologic related work is required.

In addition to all the major duties at the GS-09 level a GS-11 hydrologist must also be able to perform a variety of hydrologic models to generate information on high flows, channel behavior, and sedimentation, calibrating hydrologic models to account for changes in land use patterns and modifying modeling procedures to model validity.  Serve as a subject matterexpert on water resources; perform negotiations for agreements for the use of federally owned water resources.  Make recommendations on the availability of water for BLM administration responsibilities. One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-09 level in hydrologic related work.

The education requirements include a degree in physical, natural science, or engineering.  You must have at least 30 semester hours in a combination of courses in hydrology, the physical sciences, geophysics, chemistry, engineering science, soils, mathematics, aquatic biology, atmospheric science, meteorology, geology, oceanography, or the management or conversation of water resources.  Additional course work can include 6 semester hours in calculus and physics.

The hydrologist has a specialized skill set and you must be a U.S. citizen to apply. A GS-09/11 earns $48,403.00 to $76,131.00 per year.

Ed Rumbold, is aGS-1315-12 hydrologist who works at the BLM Colorado State Office in Lakewood, CO.

 

BLM Hydrological Event at Big Wood River, ID

BLM Hydrological Event at Big Wood River, ID

 

Rumbold always has had an interest in water. He relates, “growing up I spent a lot of time fishing, skipping stones, swimming, skating, camping and participating in Boy Scouts in upstate New York. Closures of beaches along Lake Ontario due to Mercury always concerned me.”

Rumbold indicates, “the collection, analysis and reporting of surface and groundwater data is just one exciting part of being a hydrologist. It is particularly exciting to see new software, models and equipment make water resources analysis more efficient, and accurate I also greatly enjoy working with other stakeholders in accomplishing these types of efforts”.

Rumbold encourages those interested in entering this field to, “take advantage of opportunities to study aspects of streams, water and climate, or at least give it test run to determine whether or not it’s a good fit”.

The BLM offers many unique and varied programs.  Also, go ahead and explore the vast careers opportunities that the BLM has to offer.

Credits

  • Samantha Storms, Public Relations Officer, National Office of New Media, BLM Washington D.C.
  • The Bureau of Land Management’s public relations department supplied the photographs used in this article.
  • The BLM web site at http://www.blm.gov

Helpful Career Planning Tools 

Visit our other informative site

The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

Posted in Applying For Jobs, Federal Career Exploration, Federal Jobs, Job Interviews, Job Qualifications, Job Vacancies

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