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Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Practical Nurse (Lead) in Tacoma, Washington

Summary This position is eligible for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), a student loan payment reimbursement program. You must meet specific individual eligibility requirements in accordance with VHA policy and submit your EDRP application within four months of appointment. Approval, award amount (up to $200,000) and eligibility period (one to five years) are determined by the VHA Education Loan Repayment Services program office after complete review of the EDRP application. Learn more Responsibilities Lead LPNs within the General Medicine Service (GMS) Line at the Medical Center or the Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC's) in VA Puget Sound support and demonstrate an exceptional degree of practical nursing knowledge and skills necessary for concentrated effort and self-direction to provide care for the Veteran population. The incumbent must exhibit independent technical judgment, critical thinking skills, and the use of independent judgment to carry out their assigned duties which include: The ability to prioritize and coordinate care of Veterans with minimal supervision. Plan and carry out successive steps and manage problems and deviations in work assignment in accordance with instructions, policy, training, or accepted practices. Identify areas of improvement and implement changes, within scope of practice, such as Veteran and employee safety, medication, and quality improvement. The Lead LPN is under supervision of the Nurse Manager or RN designee, the position involves independent performance of the full range of functions using a variety of conventional techniques and independent thought and action. The work serves a variety of Veterans and staff of diverse cultural, spiritual, and educational backgrounds, and directly affects their overall well-being. Responsibilities require the application of operational principles, practices, methods, techniques, and skills to foster operations and care within General Medicine. The incumbent serves as the major communication link and provides continuity between members of the patient care team, they are expected to be thoroughly familiar with all administrative and operational functions of the activities that form Primary Care. The incumbent must have the knowledge and skill to promptly recognize potential urgent or emergent patient care situations, seek assistance of the RN or MD for appropriate team intervention, and effectively intervene to assure the continuation of optimal, safe, and therapeutic patient care delivery. Some of the roles and Responsibilities include: Work as the lead LPN for the shift and in the team LPN/LVN huddles. Initiate/assist with emergency care, assess work area and ensure coverage for staff who are absent and balance workloads, helping in busy areas to ensure timely completion of patient care and work responsibilities. Assist the RN or MD to appropriately prioritize overall patient care needs and adjust plans for care delivery. Make astute observations of subtle, less obvious changes, both physical and emotional in patient's condition, and accurately and thoroughly document care delivered and patient's response to care that could require immediate modification of the patient's care plan. Assist individuals or groups of patients and their families to take an active role in promoting healthy lifestyles for more positive patient outcomes. Exercise skill in influencing and communicating with unusually difficult to care for or communicate with patients and/or family members who may exhibit problems with lack of self-control, resistant or abusive behaviors, or impediments in their ability to understand or follow instructions. Oversee work of all LPN's assigned to primary care within their assigned location. Identify educational needs of LPN's and ensure those needs are addressed. Ensure timely completion of all required staff training of competencies and TMS. Plan and organize work with little assistance from the supervisor to meet local and VA wide time frames for clinic operations and patient care. Report safety issues, environmental concerns, uncooperative Veterans and staff, and difficulties in meeting assigned deadlines. Devise procedures and plans to accomplish goals of the supervisor and prioritize work and activities based on an independent assessment of the needs of the program. Work as a liaison between management and staff LPN's. Serve as Team lead for LPNs on the PACT Teams, orienting and mentoring LPNs on PACT Best Practice to promote consistency, excellence, and adherence to standards under the general supervision of the RN Manager or designee. Conduct regular, informal reviews of area documentation and techniques to ensure accuracy and efficiency. Monitor scheduled leave requests for LPN's and provide coverage for critical areas during staff leave times. Monitor the workload and alerts for all team members to ensure backlogs are being addressed. Demonstrate and exhibit de-escalation communication skills that promote rapport, trust, and prevent unsafe situations. Work Schedule: Mon - Fri, 7:30am to 4pm Telework: Not Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position Functional Statement #: 000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized EDRP Authorized: Contact the VISN 20 EDRP Coordinators, Stacy Hermann or Taia Henderson @ V20CompensationTeam@va.gov Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required Requirements Conditions of Employment You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job. All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA. Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959. Must be proficient in written and spoken English. You may be required to serve a probationary period. Subject to background/security investigation. Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process. Must pass pre-employment physical examination. Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP). Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details. Qualifications To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements within 30 days of the closing date of this announcement. BASIC REQUIREMENTS Citizenship. Citizen of the United States. Education. Graduate of a school of practical or vocational nursing approved by the appropriate State agency and/or accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) at the time the program was completed by the applicant. Licensure. Full, active, current and unrestricted licensure as a licensed practical or vocational nurse in a State, Territory or Commonwealth (i.e., Puerto Rico) of the United States, or District of Columbia. English Language Proficiency. Licensed practical or vocational nurses appointed to direct patient care positions must be proficient in both spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d). Grade Determination: In addition to the basic requirements, the following qualification criteria must be met for each grade. The candidate's qualifications must clearly demonstrate the level of competence required for the grade. GS-7. The GS-7 grade level is for select, complex LPN/LVN positions, as established by each health care facility. To be advanced, employees must meet all of the following standards, provided the standard is part of their assignment. NOTE: Determinations concerning placement of positions at this grade level shall take into consideration the skill mix and the availability of supervision in the work unit. Although these positions are under the supervision of an RN and/or MD/DO, employees in such settings successfully and consistently demonstrate the exercise of independent technical judgment (without the need for readily available supervision), as well as a comprehensive and thorough working knowledge of the most complex or difficult practices and procedures. Such individuals may also serve as leaders or co-leaders in a nursing unit or for a specifically identified group of patients. (a) Completion of at least one (1) year of additional qualifying experience at the GS-6 level or equivalent, fully meeting all of the performance requirements for the GS-6 LPN/LVN. (b) Knowledge and skills necessary to carry out more specialized patient care duties, including assignments in selected, more complex inpatient and/or outpatient care settings. Knowledge base promotes the incorporation of current patient care data in actively contributing to the development of the patient's overall health plan and in carrying out assigned nursing interventions. Positions at this grade level require broader knowledge and skills because supervision is more general and employees are expected to be involved to a greater degree in the development and modification of treatment plans. (c) Ability to assist RN and/or MD/DO to appropriately prioritize overall patient care needs and adjust plans for care delivery. Makes astute observations of subtle, less obvious changes, both physical and emotional, in patient's condition, and accurately and thoroughly documents care delivered and patient's response to care that could require immediate modification of the patient's care plan. Appropriately seeks assistance and guidance by informing RN or MD/DO of changes in patient's condition requiring higher-level intervention. At this grade level, the LPN/LVN is expected to participate to a greater degree in prioritizing, and, as appropriate, modifying patient care treatment. They must also possess the ability to observe more subtle physical and emotional changes in patients and demonstrate taking appropriate action based on those observations. (d) Ability to proactively assist the RN or MD/DO in addressing patient's needs for medication/treatments, accurately administering prescribed medications/treatments according to established policies/procedures and appropriately recording administration and patient's response to medications/treatments received. (This may include restricted medication locally authorized for administration by employees at this grade level.) Demonstrates the knowledge and ability to readily recognize the more subtle signs and symptoms of potential or actual drug reactions, promptly inform the RN or MD/DO of observed changes in patient's condition and initiate appropriate, prescribed interventions. Employees at this grade level demonstrate broader knowledge and skill with respect to these responsibilities than employees at lower grade levels. (e) Knowledge and skill to promptly recognize potential urgent or emergent patient care situations, seek assistance of the RN and/or MD/DO for appropriate team intervention and effectively intervene, as directed, to assure the continuation of optimal, safe and therapeutic patient care delivery. At this grade level, the LPN/LVN must have a broader knowledge of the patient treatment process and exercise judgment that demonstrates the ability to effectively intervene when appropriate. (f) Assists individuals or groups of patients and their families to take an active role in promoting healthy lifestyles for more positive patient outcomes. Exercises skill in influencing and communicating with unusually difficult to care for or communicate with patients and/or family members who may exhibit problems with lack of self-control, resistant or abusive behaviors, or impediments in their ability to understand or follow instructions. This includes the ability to effectively deal with the above types of patients under very general supervision. (g) Exhibits skill, creativity and initiative in contributing to the improvement of overall care delivery and patient and/or family satisfaction levels through active participation in committees/task forces, research projects or in developing educational materials/media. Actively promotes and effectively incorporates established customer service standards in all aspects of their practice. (h) Possesses comprehensive practical nursing knowledge and skills in specialized procedures and practices to serve as a resource person for other staff in organizing and implementing more complex/specialized patient care. Serves as a role model and mentor to other nursing staff in the application of more complex technology, effectively guiding and directing their continuing practice in these areas. (i) Supports the RN or MD/DO in monitoring the practice of unlicensed nursing or non-medical staff in patient care delivery. Promptly reports any deviations from normal practice patterns to the RN or MD/DO. In addition to responsibilities at the lower grade level, the LPN/LVN is responsible for monitoring the practice of non-licensed nursing and medical staff. (j) Work of considerable difficulty and responsibility is performed under general supervision. Individuals in these positions are, to a considerable extent, expected to exercise independent technical judgments and to possess and apply a comprehensive working knowledge of the principles, art and science of practical nursing. The staff mix is such that employees at this grade level are expected to perform practical nursing duties of considerable difficulty and responsibility under very general supervision. (k) Actively seeks out educational opportunities to enhance nursing knowledge and skills, and providing leadership in assisting other staff improve and advance their nursing practice. References: VA Handbook 5005/3, Part II, Appendix G13, April 10, 2003.The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-7. Physical Requirements: The work requires heavy lifting (over 45 pounds), straight pulling (up to 6 hours), pushing (up to 2 hours), use of fingers, walking (up to 6 hours), standing (up to 2 hours), repeated bending (up to 6 hours), the ability to distinguish basic colors, and hearing (aid permitted). Environmental Factors: Must be able to work with hands in water and be able to work closely with others. Education This position is eligible for the Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP). If selected for this position, you are encouraged to apply for EDRP within four (4) months of appointment and must meet specific individual eligibility criteria in accordance with VHA Policy 1021. Final award amount and program start date is determined after review of a complete EDRP application, supporting documentation, and final approval by the VHA Education Loan Repayment Services office. Please contact the EDRP Coordinators, Stacy Hermann at Stacy.Hermann@va.gov and Taia Henderson at Taia.Henderson@va.gov IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html. Additional Information Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed. This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority. Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process. If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.

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