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VA anticipates hiring 105,000 by end of 2011

By Ed O'Keefe

If you've watched the Olympics or other big events on television in recent weeks, then you've likely seen ads with doctors and nurses talking about careers with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The department plans to hire a mix of medical professionals and clerical staffers to fill roughly 105,000 positions by the end of 2011. The total includes about 90,000 people to replace retiring workers, 10,000 new hires this year and another 5,700 in 2011, according to Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould.

"It’s a big number and a great opportunity for us to try to attract our fair share of the best and brightest," Gould said during an interview on Monday.

VA's new $12.4 million ad campaign specifically targets interested nurses and doctors with messages airing in English and Spanish.

"I'm proud to be a health-care professional with VA," says the nurse in the ad above. "Our work truly fulfills America's promise to take care of our veterans. And that's rewarding. I can use my current license to work for VA anywhere in the U.S. And since it's one of the world's most advanced health-care systems, we can get to the heart of what our patients really need."

Virtually unanimous political support for the department's planned growth should calm the nerves of weary applicants, Gould said.

"I’ve yet to find on either side of the aisle a politician who hasn’t asked me the question, What can we do to help our veterans? So you’re going to a place and an organization that I think is bound for growth," he said.

It takes roughly 102 days to complete the VA application process, but Gould said the department plans to eventually cut that period to 60 days.

"We have a lot of middle-level managers who have to learn how to do this in a different way," Gould said, adding that the department plans to devote a considerable amount of time to how it hires and retains workers.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

RELATED: Read an extended Q&A with Gould in Tuesday's Washington Post

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 22, 2010; 4:45 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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Why don't we just have the VA run the health care system? It could just hire a few more people and the system is already there.

Posted by: member5 | February 22, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

This is REALLY funny. Being a fed worker with DoD for 30 years... and having worked for other agencies during my career... I have applied several times with the VA within the past year or two. Think I'll waste my time anymore? How many thousands of highly qualified (best of the best) applicants do you think they lose just from their ridiculous application manager? After the few accountant postitions I applied for, I never got an interview and always someone else was selected. I only know this cause I followed up on them... their HR are worthless to keep applicants informed. Well, it is apparent that they were looking for rookies to fill GS14 positions. Sorry, I got better things to do than waste my time with VA, and DHS that use the application manager... and obviously violate merit principles when hiring!

Posted by: darbyohara | February 23, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

In counterpoint to darbyohara, when I came back from working for the DOD overseas, I was hired in less than a month at the VA and the hiring process at DOD was to lengthy! Hopefully the VA will be able to streamline their processes closer to that level soon.

Posted by: kawilson69 | February 23, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Best way to get a government job: go overseas to kill brown people.

Posted by: member5 | February 23, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: fireball72 | February 24, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

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