Full Job Description
The position is located in the ATP/SARP section within the Special Emphasis Programs of the Mental Health Department located at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) in North Chicago, IL. The ATP/SARP section includes the Addiction Treatment Program (ATP) and Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program (SARP).
Psychiatric Nursing Assistant GS-5 is the full performance level for the Nursing Assistant Grade Level. The distinguishing factor is that patient assignments typically involve more complex nursing needs which can vary within a range of predictable to unpredictable requirements. The PNAs at this grade level function as a member of the nursing care team and assist licensed nursing staff in the care of patients receiving substance use and mental health treatment, who require ongoing monitoring and observation to ensure their safety and well-being. The PNA continues to observe patients for physical and/or emotional status changes and refer deviations and/or problem to the supervisor appropriately. As an integral member of the interdisciplinary mental health team, the PNA provides healthcare that maximizes the principles of strength-based mental health recovery.
The position provides support to the clinical positions located within the ATP/SARP section of the Special Emphasis Programs in the Mental Health Department. The incumbent supports staff providing substance use and mental health treatment. The incumbent in this position is an active participant on the team. The incumbent will build upon knowledge of basic nursing care and standardized procedures to provide service to patients.
He/she is able to perform tasks after receipt of patient data and information. S/he performs complex nursing care procedures according to established procedures. Managing equipment special to the area is required.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
Functions as a member of the healthcare team in the ATP/SARP section. Has skills in observing and recognizing changes in patient's mental and physical condition. Duties of the PNA to this position include all functions and responsibilities performed at GS-5 Nursing Assistant (Full Performance Level). Performs patient care duties, ranging from routine to moderately specialized, within mental health patient care setting.
Communicates calmly, courteously, and tactfully to patients, clinic staff, and all individuals with whom there is contact. Has a basic understanding of mental health and substance use disorders and how these disorders may be behaviorally represented. Acts as a role model, thus promoting a sense of warmth and dignity to the patient. Interacts in a courteous/respectful manner with coworkers/members of other services, families, and visitors.
Follows safety guidelines in accordance with training classes, written procedures, and supervisory instructions. Appropriately utilizes safety equipment and other devices/procedures necessary for protection; reports unsafe/unhealthful working conditions or unsafe equipment.
Identifies crisis situations and communicated with the interdisciplinary clinical staff. Identifies clinic supply needs and notifies clinic staff and/or places order for necessary supplies. Sets goals for self-improvement and identifies goals for personal development; attends a variety of educational forums.
Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 7:30 am - 4:00 pm
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
Job family (Series)
0621 Nursing Assistant
Conditions of Employment
You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
You may be required to serve a probationary period
Subject to a background/security investigation
Must be proficient in written and spoken English
Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.
United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
Education or Training. One year above high school with courses related to the [NA] occupation. Completion of an intensive, specialized, occupation-related course of study of less than one year as a nursing assistant may also meet in full the experience requirements for GS-3.
English Language Proficiency. [NAs] must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, part II, chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3j.
Grandfathering Provisions. All Nursing Assistants employed in VHA on the effective date of this qualification standard are considered to have met all qualification requirements for the series and grade held that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements required in this standard, but who met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to it, the following provisions apply:[(1)] Employees who are appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended or be reappointed, on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard.[(2)] If an employee who was retained (grandfathered) under this provision leaves the occupation, the employee loses protected status of the grandfathering provision and must meet the full VA qualification standard basic requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation.
Creditable Experience(1) Knowledge of Current Practice. To be creditable, the experience must have required the use of knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with the current practice.(2) Quality of Experience. To be creditable, [NA] experience must be documented on the application or resume and verified in an employment reference, or through other independent means.(3) Part-Time Experience. Part-time experience as a [NA] is creditable according to its relationship to the full-time workweek. For example, a [NA] employed 20 hours a week, or on a 1/2-time basis, would receive 1 full-time workweek of credit for each 2 weeks of service.
May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).
Experience in a substance use treatment setting.
Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates.
GS-05 (Full Performance Level)
Experience. One year of progressively responsible assignments and experience equivalent to the GS-4 level which demonstrates knowledge, skills, and abilities that are directly related to the specific assignment. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate the professional KSAs in subparagraph (c) below;
Education. Successful completion of a 4-year course of study above high school leading to a bachelor's degree that included 24 semester hours of courses related to health care or possession of a bachelor's degree; AND
1. Ability to assist in the full range of nursing care to patients/residents with physical and/or behavioral problems in a hospital, long term care or outpatient setting under the direction of a Registered Nurse and/or Licensed Vocational Nurse/Licensed Practical Nurse.
2. Ability to communicate orally with patients/residents, families, interdisciplinary team and other personnel. This includes serving as a preceptor to new [NAs] by assisting with the coordination of their orientation and overseeing/assessing their practical experience while in a clinical setting.
3. Ability to recognize and react to emergent patient/resident care situations and intervene while waiting for assistance. For example, recognizing need for basic life support, controlling bleeding and assisting with behavior crisis, etc.
Assignment. This is the full performance level for [NAs]. [NAs] at this grade level function as a member of the nursing care team and assist licensed nursing staff in the care of patients/residents receiving outpatient care, home or community living care or other patients/residents who are in acute, sub acute or chronic states of illness. The distinguishing factor is that patient/resident assignments typically involve more complex nursing needs which can vary within a range of predictable to unpredictable requirements. [NAs] at this level also assume more of a peer education/mentorship role.
References: VA HANDBOOK 5005/81, PART II, APPENDIX G46
The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-5.
Physical Requirements: Work center requires some physical exertions, such as walking, sitting, standing, lifting and bending. Work may require prolonged periods of data entry and/or retrieval on a computer. May be utilized for patient transport via wheelchair or gurney.
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.
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. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. 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.
It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.
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.
Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.
If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, résumé, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
Position sensitivity and risk
Noncritical-Sensitive (NCS)/Moderate Risk
Trust determination process
To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:
VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at: http://www.va.gov/vaforms/search_action.asp?FormNo=2850&tkey=&Action=Search. (Required)
The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.
DD-214/ Statement of Service
Disability Letter (Schedule A)
Disability Letter (VA)
VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations
SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
Review our benefits
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
This job is open to
U.S. citizens, nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.
Clarification from the agency
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: 1. CURRENT PERMANENT EMPLOYEES OF THE AGENCY FOR WHICH THE POSITION IS BEING ADVERTISED 2. ALL OTHER CANDIDATES.