Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Licensed Practical Nurse in Northampton, Massachusetts

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Many vacancies in the following location:
  • Northampton, MA
Work Schedule is Full Time - Permanent

Opened Tuesday 6/7/2016 (140 day(s) ago)

** Closes Monday 6/5/2017 (223 day(s) away)

Job Overview

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 1721586

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


The Medical Center serves over 25,000 patients at its main campus and six community based outpatient clinics in Central and Western Massachusetts. Core missions are primary care, mental health inpatient and outpatient care, and extended care. The Medical Center is engaging employees in a 'Culture of Improvement,' utilizing a variety of Process Improvement techniques to improve efficiency of clinical operational functions to the benefit of veterans and staff.

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

This is an open continuous announcement. Qualified applicants may be referred as early as June 20, 2016 and in 30 day increments thereafter as vacancies become available throughout the year. This announcement covers multiple areas within VA Central Western Massachusetts Health Care System.




  • Competent to care for veterans 18 to 70+ years of age who are experiencing medical and psychological consequences of illness and to assist the veterans in making necessary changes to maintain or enhance wellness.
  • Applies knowledge of human behavior, motivations, and reactions to situations in the provision of nursing care for an aging population.
  • Provides nursing care by observing, identifying, and responding to the physical, emotional, and social needs of specific patients. These factors are considered in modifying nursing care plans to promote the well-being of the patient.
  • Processes patients for admissions, transfer, or discharge following established written nursing program guidelines.
  • Demonstrates the knowledge and ability to provide nursing care to patients with a variety of physical problems in a timely manner as assigned by the Registered Nurse following nursing program guidelines.
  • Demonstrates the knowledge, skill, and ability to recognize emergency situations and initiates appropriate measures. Properly performs basic cardiac life support (BCLS).
  • Utilizes techniques that insure safe, accurate administration of medications and treatments following nursing program guidelines.
  • Performs and documents patient education appropriate to the scope of training and experience.
  • Provides direct hands on care delivery of activities of daily living for geriatric or psychiatric populations.

Additional Duties:

  • Provides a variety of physical and/or behavioral nursing care duties which include but are not limited to: assisting with activities of Daily Living (ADL) i.e., bathing, toileting, ambulating, feeding, positioning, assist with oral hygiene care, takes vital signs, measures intake and output, height, weight, leads nursing groups and unit level therapeutic activities (If applicable to clinical setting/unit)

  • Accountable to learn and adhere to external-reviewer standards (Joint Commission, Long Term Care Institute and CARF), policies, procedures, standard of care, standards of patient, resident centered care guidelines, and cultural transformation.

  • Demonstrates current comprehensive evidence-based knowledge of psychiatric medications including actions, expected effects, side effects/toxicity, and dosage standards, potential interactions with other medications and/or diet and safe administration of all medications.

  • Demonstrates knowledge of risk factors to suicide documentation of on-going suicide risk assessment, application of appropriate risk reduction interventions and management.

  • Completes pain assessment recognizing the impact of mental illness on pain perception and treatment. Identifies chronic pain as an influence on Veteran's sense of well-being and impact on psychiatric symptoms.

  • Practice proper body mechanics in order to prevent injury to self and patients/residents.

Work Schedule:

Days: 7:30am - 4:00pm with rotations to nights and evenings

Evenings: 3:30pm - Midnight

Nights: 11:30pm - 8:00am

* Weekends and Holidays are required*

Shifts will be discussed during the selection process. If you have a preference for shifts, please indicate it on your resume/application materials. Intermittent and part-time positions may be available.

Functional Statement Title/#: Licensed Practical Nurse GS-3; Licensed Practical Nurse GS-4; Licensed Practical Nurse GS-5; Licensed Practical Nurse GS-6.

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

Basic Requirements:

  • U.S. citizenship. Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • Education. Graduate of a school of practical or vocational nursing approved by the appropriate State agency and/or accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) at the time the program was completed by the applicant. Exceptions include:
  • Health care education in the military service or training in the military service which is accepted by the licensing body.
  • VHA employees who were converted to appointments under 38 U.S.C. 7401(3) and 38 U.S.C. 7405. The waiver will not apply to persons appointed under 38 U.S.C. 7401(3) or 7405 after these conversions.
  • Appointing officials may waive the education requirement if an LPN/LVN was licensed in a jurisdiction that does not require graduation from an approved school, provided the individual has demonstrated successful practice as an LPN/LVN. One year of successful practice is considered the equivalent of graduation from an approved school of 12 months duration.
  • Licensure. Full, active, current and unrestricted licensure as a licensed practical or vocational nurse in a State, Territory or Commonwealth (i.e., Puerto Rico) of the United States, or District of Columbia.
  • English Language Proficiency. LPN/LVN appointed to direct patient care positions must be proficient in [both] spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d).

Preferred Experience:

2-3 years of experience with the last 5 years on Inpatient Mental Health Unit, Nursing Home Facility and/or Ambulatory Care setting. Excellent Communication skills and ability to work with interdisciplinary Team.

Grade Determinations:

GS-3. None beyond the basic requirements.

GS-4. Employees may be appointed at or advanced to GS-4 if they meet any of the criteria in paragraphs below:

(a) Six months of qualifying experience as an LPN or LVN; or (b) Graduation from an approved school (which may be waived as provided in paragraph 4 of Section C) and one year of experience that involved nursing care work in a hospital, outpatient clinic, nursing home, or other supervised medical, nursing, or patient care facility that provided a practical knowledge of human body structure and sterile techniques and procedures; or (c) Graduation from an approved school of at least 24 months duration. (d) LPNs at the GS-4 grade level perform all duties expected of employees at the GS-3 grade level; however, they are expected to exercise greater judgment, require less supervision, and to operate in accordance with all established policies, procedure, and techniques.


(a) Completion of at least 1 year of qualifying experience at the GS-4 level or equivalent.

(b) Demonstrated knowledge and ability to provide a full range of practical nursing care to patients with a variety of physical and/or behavioral problems. [Works with the RN and/or MD/DO to appropriately orient/train less experienced LPNs/LVNs and/or Nursing Assistants (NAs)/Health Technicians (HTs) in relation to acceptable standards of practice in promoting optimal patient care delivery. Provides effective education to patients and/or family members in relation to common disease processes, medication, and /or prescribed treatment regimes.

(c) Demonstrated ability to serve as a responsible member of the nursing team and interact in an appropriate manner with patients, family members, professional and [other] supportive personnel involved in the delivery of patient care, [incorporating acceptable, established customer service standards into practice.

(d) Knowledge and skill sufficient to prepare, administer, and appropriately document actions taken specific to commonly prescribed oral, topical, subcutaneous, intramuscular, and/or intravenous medications as permitted by approved local facility policies and procedures. Observation and documentation will include patient's response to medication administered and the reporting of any noted change in patient's condition to RN or MD/DO. (e) Knowledge and ability to recognize the need for and to institute emergency measures when indicated, promptly seek the assistance of the RN or MD/DO, and assist in resuscitation procedures in cardiac and/or pulmonary arrest. (f) Recognizes and appropriately responds to breakage/malfunction or loss of equipment, safety hazards, and supply deficiencies, promptly reporting to appropriate personnel for corrective action.


(a) Completion of] at least one (1) year of additional qualifying experience at the GS-5 level or equivalent, fully meeting all performance requirements for the GS-5 LPN/LVN. (b) Technically proficient in initiating, performing and completing assigned duties in providing care to variable patient populations.

(c) Knowledge and ability to appropriately carry out assigned patient care based on the patients' conditions; to use judgment in selecting the appropriate order and sequence of procedures and treatments; and to accurately recognize, report and record relevant patient information. Completed work should need only a general review by a registered nurse (RN) or physician (MD/DO) for appropriateness and conformity with established policies/procedures. (d) Ability to observe, identify and respond to the patient's needs for care, including medication, equipment-assisted care and patient/family education. In [organizing and delivering care, the LPN/LVN recognizes and considers emotional, cultural, spiritual, socio-economic, and age-related factors. (e) Prepares and administers prescribed medications (oral, topical, subcutaneous, intramuscular and/or intravenous) and performs treatments according to established policies/procedures. Observes for physical and/or emotional changes in patient's condition from prescribed medications/treatments, promptly and accurately documenting noted changes, and reporting any deviations from normal to RN or MD/DO. (f) Knowledge and ability to recognize urgent or emergent patient care situations, seek assistance of the RN and/or MD/DO, and initiate appropriate emergency interventions as directed. (g) Knowledge and understanding of human behavior, patient motivations and reactions to situations, and ability to appropriately utilize this knowledge in working effectively with patients, family members, and other staff. (h) Establishes constructive relationships with individual patients and their families to elicit feelings and attitudes, and to promote positive relationships, communication and socialization skills. Fosters an environment of respect for individual patient and family rights to privacy and dignity in all aspects of care delivery. Effectively incorporates knowledge and understanding of established customer service standards in all interactions with patients, family members, and/or other internal/external customers.

(i) Knowledge and skill in performing support duties for complex diagnostic tests and/or specialized practices or procedures, which include preparing the patient, assisting in the diagnostic examination, preparing and handling specialized instruments or other specialized equipment, and monitoring the patient's condition before, during, and following the procedure. Serves as a preceptor in orienting, educating, and training less experienced LPNs/LVNs or NAs/HTs related to support duties for these more complex, specialized tests/procedures.

(j) Actively seeks out educational opportunities to enhance nursing knowledge and skills, sharing new knowledge gained with other staff to improve and advance nursing practice.**

References: VA Handbook 5005/3 Part II Appendix G13. This can be found in the local Human Resources Office.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education.

*Physical Requirements: *

  1. Physical Demands. Work involves varying periods of sitting, standing, and walking. Work required bending, stooping, teaching, lifting, balancing, kneeling, pushing (i.e. wheelchairs, geri-chairs, litters), and similar activities. Also, it may be necessary to perform such activities such as CPR and psychiatric intervention at a unit-specific level.

  2. Emotional Demands. Many emotional demands are made upon an employee of a psychiatric hospital. The employee will be required to maintain composure and a calm demeanor at all times. Employees will exhibit an unbiased and non-judgmental attitude in working with Veterans, Veteran's families, and significant others as well as with interdisciplinary staff.

Security Clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

Additional Information
What To Expect Next

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

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


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

Receiving Service Credit for Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave.

Other Information

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

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

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

Salary Range: $36,003.00 to $56,107.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: GS-0620-03/06

Promotion Potential: 06

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: US Citizens and Status Candidates

Control Number: 441177300

Job Announcement Number: TK-16-ZKR-1721586-BU