Hiring Programs and Initiatives

Connecting You to Your Best Career

Recruiting and developing the best talent is fundamental to delivering on our promise to care for America’s Veterans. That’s why we’re proud to offer a range of professional, internship and leadership opportunities that match Veterans, students, and new and experienced medical professionals with positions that maximize their capabilities.


Veterans Employment Service Office (VESO) aims to attract, recruit and hire Veterans into VA, while offering career preparation and transition services. VA also implements a number of government initiatives that prioritize the employment of Veterans, including the following:

  • The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA)
  • The Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA)
  • The Disabled Veterans Enrolled in VA Training Program
  • The Vocational Readiness and Employment (VR&E)
  • The Veterans’ Preference

Visit the Office of Personnel Management to learn more about these programs; for details on the VR&E program, visit the Veterans Benefits Administration.

Students and College Graduates

High school, college and trade school students can get a glimpse into a possible future with VA through our Pathways Internship Program. Participants gain hands-on work experience—and pay—while completing their education.

VA offers special opportunities for college graduates from a variety of disciplines—particularly those seeking careers in the analysis and management of public policies and programs—including the Outstanding Scholar Program and the Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF).

Federal Employees

For former employees granted Federal status (i.e., those who’ve held a permanent Federal position for more than three years), VA offers reinstatement eligibility within three years of separation. There is no time limit for those who have Veterans’ preference or have acquired career tenure. Transfer eligibility allows current career and career-conditional employees to be appointed to VA jobs, but transfer candidates may be required to compete under the merit promotion program.

Health Care Professionals

Hiring Incentives

To ensure VA attracts the best health care professionals available, VA promotes several incentive programs:

  • Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP) authorizes VA to provide student loan reduction payments to employees with qualifying loans who are in positions providing direct patient care and that are considered hard to recruit or retain.
  • Employee Incentive Scholarship Program (EISP) authorizes VA to award scholarships to permanent full- and part-time employees pursuing degrees or training in health care disciplines for which recruitment and retention is difficult.
  • National Nursing Education Initiative (NNEI) is a scholarship awarded to permanent full- and part-time VA registered nurses seeking bachelor’s and advanced nursing degrees from an authorized, accredited program.
  • VA Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) allows nursing, pharmacy and medical technology students (who have completed their junior year in an accredited clinical program) to gain experience at a local VA facility.

For more information about these programs, please call the VHA Healthcare Retention and Recruitment Office (HRRO) at 1-844-456-5208.

People with Disabilities

At VA, we fully support the employment and advancement of persons with disabilities, and we encourage candidates with a certification letter from VA or a state Vocational Readiness office to apply for non-competitive appointment.

The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) provides assistive technologies and other solutions to eliminate barriers to employment for people with visual, hearing, cognitive, communication and dexterity disabilities. In addition to CAP, VA supports the following Executive Orders (EOs) designed to benefit those with disabilities:

  • EO 13078, Increasing Employment of Adults with Disabilities
  • EO 13145, To Prohibit Discrimination in Federal Employment Based on Genetic Information
  • EO 13163, Increasing the Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities to be Employed in the Federal Government
  • EO 13164, Requiring Federal Agencies to Establish Procedures to Facilitate the Provision of Reasonable Accommodation
  • EO 13217, Community-Based Alternatives for Individuals with Disabilities