A level 3 nurse at the VA is a registered nurse who has completed their bachelor’s degree and licensure as a professional nurse, as well as additional nursing coursework and certification as a Nurse Practitioner (NP).
These nurses provide care for patients with complex health problems or those who require more than traditional nursing care.
Level 3 nurses typically work in specialty units. Common areas where level 3 nurses work in intensive care units, labor and delivery units, cardiac cath labs, stepdown units, emergency departments, postanesthesia recovery units, oncology clinics, and hospice centers.
They may work in primary care clinics, but this is more common for level 2 nurses.
What is the Role of a Level 3 Nurse at the VA?
The role of a level three nurse in the VA system is to provide care for patients with more complex needs. A level three nurse must be able to assess their patient’s individual needs and determine an individualized plan of care for each patient.
The nurse must then ensure that their plans are executed by other nurses or physicians, if necessary.
A level three nurse is responsible for overseeing the care of patients who have chronic conditions and illnesses, such as congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and hypertension, just to name a few.
Level three nurses are also responsible for patients that have acute conditions that require more advanced treatment or interventions that can be provided by lower-level nurses.
Some examples of this would include patients having trouble breathing, needing extensive wound care, or requiring intravenous medications for pain management.
To provide care at the level three level, the nurse must be able to assess their patient’s individual needs. Some examples of this would include monitoring vital signs checking for signs and symptoms of complications related to the patient’s condition or treatment plan.
They also assess pain levels and other subjective data (such as fatigue), perform medical procedures (e.g., respiratory treatments), perform treatments (e.g., wound care), and educate patients, families, and caregivers.
The nurse must then review their patient’s individualized plan of care with the patient or family members to ensure that they understand what can be expected in terms of treatment or interventions.
The nurse should also explain any changes in treatment or procedures to ensure comprehension. Once the plan is agreed upon, the level three nurse must ensure that their plan is executed by other nurses or physicians.
What Are the Benefits of Being a Level 3 Nurse at the VA?
The level 3 nurse position at the VA offers many different benefits for nurses. This includes opportunities for advancement, a variety of work settings, excellent pay and benefits, and job stability.
Nurses in this position also have the opportunity to work with veterans and their families, which can be both rewarding and challenging.
Level 3 nurses at the VA receive excellent benefits that include paid time off, access to health insurance, and eligibility for retirement. These benefits are highly sought-after in the nursing profession.
Additionally, many private hospitals and healthcare systems in the U.S. are for-profit businesses. They offer much less robust benefits to their employees compared with what is offered at the VA.
What sets the VA apart from many other healthcare organizations is that it provides excellent advancement opportunities for nurses. Nurses in level 2 and 3 positions are able to apply for higher-level jobs without having to leave their current facility.
This increases job security makes management more efficient. That is because there isn’t a need to hire new people when existing employees are qualified to perform the job and provide more stability for employees.
Working with veterans can be an extremely rewarding experience for nurses who choose to take on this challenge. Many veterans have experienced PTSD or other mental health problems during service.
So, nurses need to be compassionate and understanding when caring for people who may struggle to communicate what they’re feeling inside due to the effects of their combat experiences.
It can be challenging to communicate effectively with veterans who may not be used to having health care professionals taking an interest in them as individual people.
However, nurses take on this challenge because they know that serving those who have served our country is one of the most important jobs anyone could do.
How to Become a Level 3 Nurse at the VA?
Becoming a Level 3 nurse at the VA is not easy, but it is very rewarding. This title is given to nurses who have reached a certain level of experience and skill set. This allows them to provide care independently, with limited supervision from other nurses or physicians.
Here are some tips on how you can get your foot in the door and become a Level 3 nurse:
First of all, the number one thing you need to become a Level 3 nurse is experience. If you are fresh out of school looking for your first nursing job, this probably isn’t the position for you right now.
The only way that an entry-level nurse could be eligible for this title would be if she was perhaps working as an LPN (licensed practical nurse) in an intensive care unit for several years. If you are still in school, volunteer at the local hospital to get some hands-on experience.
The next thing that’s very important is continuing education. You need to keep your knowledge up-to-date by taking classes and reading journals when possible.
The VA has several nurses who are assigned to research and write articles for the various outreach publications they send out. If you can’t be a writer, recommend improvements or feedback on the writing samples that your colleagues prepare.
Lastly, consider taking some courses through your local community college or university at night or on the weekends. You can demonstrate that you are a serious student and a valuable employee by earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Becoming a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist will really help to bolster your resume as well.
All in all, there is a lot involved in becoming a Level 3 nurse, but it’s more than worth the hard work and dedication.