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4 Reasons to Consider Clinical Rotations at the VA

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There are many reasons why you may want to do your clinicals in various settings, but if you’re a future PT, OT, or SLP who hasn’t  considered doing a rotation at the VA, you’re selling yourself short.  Here are 4 reasons to look to Veterans Affairs:

  1. It will make it easier to get your first job right after licensure.  You’ve got your license at last, time to take the final leap into your career and land that first job.  This can present a bit of a conundrum though, as many facilities want only experienced therapists.  If you did a clinical with the VA, they will actually hire you as a new grad before they will hire a more experienced therapist when possible.  The military take care of their own, and that principle will be extended to you as a new grad.  A little known factoid.
  2. This one is BIG: travel freely about the country on a single State license.  Ladies and gents, it’s true!  Another little known fact from behind the staffing scenes.  The VA is Federally regulated, so they’re exempt from States’ requirements to hire therapists licensed in any particular State. As long as you have a valid license in any US State, you can work in a VA facility in any US State!  Even for you lucky PTs who have the PT Compact to look forward to, that still covers less than have the country, with the VA, you can work in the non-participating States as well.
  3. Kaiser Permanente, among other hospital systems, will also favor you if you’ve done a rotation at the VA.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kaiser, they are the big boys in California, and they have a lot of really desirable facilities.  If you did a rotation at the VA, it will increase your chances of getting hired on with them once you obtain your license.
  4. You will have the pleasure of serving the noble men and women who served our great nation.  What could be more rewarding than that?!

Well, now you’re armed with the knowledge, do with it what you will, and best of luck with your rotations, boards, and embarking on your next adventure!

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