G.I. Jobs Virtual Job Fair   |   June 27

Virtual Job Fair   |   June 27

VA Gets First Dibs on Exiting Military Healthcare Professionals

Military Healthcare professionals working for the VA

Healthcare professionals are in high demand, and US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)* is feeling the pinch like everyone else due to the shortage of healthcare professionals. Last fall, Congress gave the VA a head start in recruiting healthcare professionals from the military with the Hire Veteran Health Heroes Act of 2021.

The Hire Veteran Health Heroes Act of 2021 gives the VA a jump on recruiting the best medical talent the Department of Defense (DoD) has to offer. It directs the VA to create a program to actively recruit medical personnel who are within one year of completing their military service.

Shortage of healthcare professionals impacting the VA

There were 111,462 active duty and 67,951 reserve personnel in the DoD’s medical departments in 2020. At the end of enlistments or through retirement each year, an average of 13,000 active duty medical department members separate from the military.

The DoD employs a full spectrum of the medical professions. From primary care physicians to neurosurgeons, nurse practitioners, healthcare administrators, physical therapists, pharmacists, radiology technicians, medical logisticians, biomedical maintenance, etc. All of these medical specialties can be utilized by the VA.

healthcare professionals

The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN and Maggie Hassan (D-NH). Braun believes it will give the VA some much-needed assistance in retaining federally trained talent.

“The VA Inspector General has reported that staff shortages are a challenge for solving problems in veteran care,” he said, citing a 2019 report pinpointing staffing shortages as a systemic problem plaguing the VA. “This bill will empower the VA to proactively recruit active duty medical personnel who are separating from the military after their contract or at retirement to improve health care services for veterans. We owe it to our brave veterans who deserve the absolute best services available,” Braun said.

How does the Hire Veteran Health Heroes Act of 2021 help veterans get hired with the VA?

The VA would identify openings to troops on active duty who are within a year of separation, matching their skills. The VA would potentially extend job offers to military healthcare professionals before separation. Preferences on location after separation will be a priority, in addition to medical specialty. 

Hassan says the bill continues to honor the country’s commitment to those who wear the uniform. “We promise our veterans that we will be there for them, and today, here at the White House, we took a small step forward in helping keep that promise,” Hassan said.

Hassan continued, “I was proud to work with Senator Braun on this important legislation because we must always ensure that veterans have the support and resources that they need to succeed, and a critical way to do that is by expanding employment opportunities for our nation’s heroes and strengthening their healthcare. Our veterans continue to serve even after they transition to civilian life and I am pleased to help service members find meaningful employment that allows them to continue their mission to support the safety and health of their fellow Americans.” 

Finding A Career After The Military

If you’re taking your next steps with the VA, you’ll want to prepare for your interview with them. The VA shared tips on how to prepare for an interview with the VA with GI Jobs.

For more tips and resources to help you prepare for your career after the military download the GI Jobs app