Take the First Step Toward a Career at VA
Students and Trainees at VA
Partners in the Pursuit of Excellence
For more than 60 years, we’ve partnered with affiliated colleges and universities across the country to train new health care professionals and enhance Veteran health care. VA conducts the largest medical education effort in the U.S., with over 120,000 participants receiving training in 2017.
We’re proud that so many of these professionals accept permanent positions on our team, after getting a glimpse into life at VA. With the number of training and educational opportunities available to accelerate your career growth, it’s easy to see why. Visit the Office of Academic Affiliations to explore all VA has to offer.
Pathways at VA
VA Pathways is a set of three programs that aims to recruit talented students and graduates. Have a specific question about Pathways? Contact the Pathways Program Management Office (PPMO).
The Internship Program
The Internship Program offers current students the opportunity to learn about various career paths, earn a competitive salary while continuing their education, and contribute to VA’s mission in a meaningful way.
The Recent Graduates Program
The Recent Graduates Program gives recent graduates from qualifying institutions valuable training, mentorship, hands-on experience and professional development opportunities.
Length: One year
The PMF Program
The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program is a unique leadership development program that lets advanced degree candidates take charge of their own learning and advancement.
Length: Two years
Reasons to Work at VA
Sure, there are lots of places you could build a health care career. But VA can offer you greater challenge, opportunity, teamwork and satisfaction unlike any other. Here are just a few of the many ways a career at VA stands out from the crowd:
Careers Ahead of the Curve
Graduate Healthcare Administration Training Program (GHATP)
GHATP is a 12-month training program that prepares qualified employees or recent graduates for successful health care management careers. Candidates interact closely with health care administrators in VA facilities, developing core competencies and gaining knowledge through challenging assignments and hands-on experience.
Current VA Employees may qualify via Merit Promotion if they are eligible for GS-9 in the 0671 – Health Systems Specialist field by virtue of experience, time in grade, or a combination of those and education.
Students who recently completed two full-time years of a master's degree in health care administration (MHA), health services administration (MHSA), or public health (MPA), from an accredited program and wish to receive advanced practical experience for up to 12 months may qualify via Pathways (Student Hiring Authority). (GHATP may serve as your required internship)
To qualify, the student’s master's degree program must be accredited by the Secretary, US Department of Education. Preferred degrees are accredited by: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), or National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).
- GHATP Trainees receive a salary, benefits, training and travel opportunity. Experienced VA professionals, known as Preceptors, provide the training.
- Upon successful completion of the training program, GHATP Graduates are eligible for non-competitive placement at GS-11 into a position within the VA health care system. Preceptors work with Graduates to find a position that best fits their skills, needs, and individual circumstances.
Interested candidates should apply via USAJobs when positions are announced by host sites’ HR staff. The locations of the GHATP positions change every year, allowing a multitude of opportunity across the United States. The recruitment phase for GHATP Trainees is typically conducted from January-May for the program that runs from June-June.
For general information about GHATP, contact the GHATP Program Manager at VHAGHATPProgramManager@va.gov
Technical Career Field (TCF) Program
TCF internships function more like apprenticeships—they’re intensive, two-year training programs that are required for certain, specialized career paths. Experienced mentors, known as preceptors, guide trainees through an individualized development plan. Participants receive a salary, benefits, training and relocation assistance. It’s the first step to securing an engaging, one-of-a-kind career with VA.
VA NATIONAL DIVERSITY INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
The VA National Diversity Internship Program (NDIP) provides internship opportunities to diverse undergraduate and graduate students who are currently enrolled, full-time or part-time, in a degree-seeking program at an accredited post-secondary institution. Sessions are offered during the spring, summer and/or fall for students from various institutions such as, but not limited to Minority Serving Institutions (i.e., Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Asian American Pacific Islanders, Tribal Colleges and Universities).