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HPSP

HPSP Programs

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

  • One year above high school with courses related to the Nursing Assistant 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. OR
  • Successful completion of 2 years above high school in an accredited institution with courses related to nursing care, health care or in a field of study appropriate to the specialization of the position, such as education in a program for psychology, psychiatric, or operating room technicians; AND can demonstrate certain knowledge, skills, and abilities of a nursing assistant. OR
  • 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 can demonstrate certain knowledge, skills, and abilities of a nursing assistant.

Nursing (LPN/LVN)

  • 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. In 2013, the name of the commission was changed to the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
  • 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.

Nursing (ADN, BSN, Psych Mental Health NP) – OAA – Residency Location

Registered nurses (RN) must be an associate degree (ADN), bachelors (BSN) or master’s (MSN) degree graduates of a school of professional nursing approved by the appropriate State agency, and accredited by one of the following accrediting bodies:

  • The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), an accrediting arm of the National League for Nursing. The NLNAC accredits all levels of nursing programs. OR
  • The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), an accrediting arm of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The CCNE accredits bachelors and master’s degree programs.
  • Pass the NCLEX and as a registered nurse (RN) will have a current, full, active and unrestricted registration as a graduate professional nurse in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth (i.e., Puerto Rico) of the U.S. or in the District of Columbia.   

*CNL tracks are not eligible for HPSP

ADN
  • Associate degree RN’s do not have the option to attend a Post Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Residency (PB-RNR).
BSN, MSN
  • New RN’s who possess a BSN or MSN will have the opportunity to attend a highly sought-after Post Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Residency (PB-RNR) which is 12 months. This 12-month training program takes what you have learned in school and builds upon that foundation allowing the RN to receive additional experience and training with a preceptor. PB-RNR programs are highly sought-after, and difficult to get accepted into. If accepted into the PB-RNR program you will attend the 1 year residency which will not count towards your payback for service obligation and your service obligation will be extended by 6 months. Your service obligation will start once you complete residency.
  • Should you not choose the PB-RNR route you will be required to go to a “Rural Location” as designated by the VA. You will start immediately as a VA employee, and there is no additional service obligation. The current list of Rural locations is below. (The list can change depending on VA needs). 

OAA – Residency Program and Locations

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

NP (PMHNP)
  • Nurse Practitioners (NP) are Advanced Practice register nurses (RN). An NP must be licensed or otherwise recognized as a nurse practitioner in a State, possess a master’s degree from a program accredited by the NLNAC or CCNE, and maintain full and current certification as a nurse practitioner from the American Nurses Association or another nationally recognized certifying body. [The certification must be in the specialty to which the individual is being appointed or selected.] Nurse Practitioners will have the opportunity to attend a highly sought-after NP Residency (NPR) for 12 months. This 12 month intensive training program takes what the NP has learned in school and builds upon their RN foundation allowing the NP to receive additional experience and training within their specialty area. NPR programs are highly sought-after, and difficult to get accepted into. However, as an HPSP scholarship recipient you are automatically selected for this program.

*Doctorate (DNP) is not eligible for HPSP.

OAA – Residency Program and Locations

Physician Assistant (PA)

Graduate of a training program (Master’s degree) which is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education of PA (ARC-PA).

  • Certification – Must have successfully passed the PA National Certifying Exam (PANCE).
  • Licensure – PAs must possess an active, current, full, and unrestricted license to practice in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia. PAs must maintain current registration in the State of licensure if this is a requirement for continuing active and current licensure in that State.
  • PA Residency Programs and location

Physician (MD/DO)

Degree of Doctor of Medicine or an equivalent degree resulting from a course of education in allopathic medicine or osteopathic medicine. The degree must have been obtained from a US institution whose accreditation was in place for the year in which the course of study was completed. Approved schools are:

  • Schools of medicine accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) for the year in which the degree was granted, or
  • Schools of osteopathic medicine approved by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation of the American Osteopathic Association for the year in which the degree was granted.
Licensure:
Physicians must possess a current, full and unrestricted license to practice medicine or surgery in a state, territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia. The physician must maintain current registration in the state of licensure if this is a requirement for continuing active, current licensure.
Residency Training:
Physicians must have completed residency training, approved by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in an accredited core specialty training program leading to eligibility for board certification. (NOTE: VA physicians involved in academic training programs may be required to be board certified for faculty status.) Approved residencies are:
  • Those approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), OR
  • Those approved by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
NOTE: No pediatrics related residency training is authorized.

Board Certification: Become Board Eligible (BE) or Board Certified (BC) in their respective specialty as required by the LCME, ACGME, or AOA standards.

Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) or Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS)

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university in medical laboratory science, medical technology, clinical laboratory science or in a related science (e.g., laboratory sciences such as chemistry, biochemistry, biology, microbiology, immunology, etc.). AND
  • Completion of a medical technology clinical practice program. Clinical practice programs completed after 1974 must have been accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP, formerly CAHEA), or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). The professional curriculum may have consisted of a post-baccalaureate certificate program or be integrated into a four-year program of study that culminated in a baccalaureate degree.

Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist (DRT)

A 4-year baccalaureate degree program in radiography or other directly related field to diagnostic radiology/imaging accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) or from [other accrediting agencies as recognized by the Department of Education (DOE).

  • Certification – must become certified in general radiologic technology by the American Registry of Radiologic Technology, Radiography (ARRT) (R). Advanced ARRT certification is required for assignments that include computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), [or Mammography (M) duties performed independently, as applicable]. Advanced certification indicates that the incumbent [can operate independently] and has demonstrated specific clinical competency in the appropriate specialty and taken and passed the designated examination. [In modalities that require advanced certification, to support their continued development, technologists who do not possess an advanced certification may be provided on the job training with oversight from a certified radiologic technologist.

Social Worker (MSW)

Social Workers have a master’s degree in social work from a school of social work fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Graduates of schools of social work that are in candidacy status do not meet this requirement until the School of Social Work is fully accredited. A doctoral degree in social work may not be substituted for the master’s degree in social work. Verification of the degree can be made by going to https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation to verify that the social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a masters of social work.

Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselors (LPMHC)

Master’s or doctoral degree in: Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling; Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling; or a related field, from a program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Examples of related mental health counseling fields include but are not limited to Addiction Counseling; Community Counseling; Gerontology Counseling; Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling. CACREP defines the date when graduates are considered to have graduated from a CACREP accredited program. Additional information may be obtained from http://www.cacrep.org/directory/.

  • NOTE: Traditional Rehabilitation counseling programs that are accredited by CACREP do not meet the LPMHC qualification standards as Traditional Rehabilitation counseling differs from Clinical Rehabilitation counseling.
  • Licensure: Must hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to independently practice as a Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselor, which includes diagnosis and treatment.

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT)

Master’s degree or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy from a program approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).  

  • Licensure: Must hold a full, current, and unrestricted MFT license to independently practice marriage and family therapy in a State.
  • Additional information about COAMFTE may be obtained from https://www.coamfte.org/
  • An emphasis or another degree with specialization in MFT does not qualify. 

Psychologist (Doctoral Degree)

A doctoral degree in psychology from a graduate program in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)* at the time the program was completed. The specialty area of the degree must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. For the purpose of meeting this requirement, the term “specialty area” refers to the specific specialty areas recognized by the accrediting body and not to specific job duties that might require special skills. Currently, APA accredits doctoral programs in the specialty areas of clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, or combinations of two or more of those areas. PCSAS accredits doctoral programs in psychological clinical science. CPA* accredits doctoral programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, clinical neuropsychology, and school psychology. There are no job assignments in VHA that require the skills of a school psychologist; therefore, an applicant with a degree in the specialty area of school psychology is not eligible for appointment. We are also not accepting Health Psychology degree programs at this time.  Strictly for the purpose of determining eligibility for appointment as a psychologist in VHA, there is no distinction between the specialty areas (with the exception of school psychology).

  • Internships: Have successfully completed a professional psychology internship training program that was accredited by APA or CPA* at the time the program was completed and that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed.
  • Licensure: Hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to practice psychology at the doctoral level in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia. 

* The above information references the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). This reference is regarding employment only with the VA and not the HPSP/VetCenter scholarship.  In order to receive the HPSP/VetCenter scholarship you must attend a school located within the United States or it’s territories.

Pharmacy Technician

Successful completion of a nationally recognized pharmacy technician education/training program. American Society of Health System Pharmacists® (ASHP), American Pharmacist Association (APHA), Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), PTCB or NHA are examples of acceptable professional organizations recognizing such training programs. NOTE: Training courses recognized by PTCB and NHA are not actual certifications.  https://www.acpe-accredit.org/

Education leading to the successful completion of an associate’s degree in pharmacy technician or technology (48 semesters hours of concentrated pharmacy technician training).

OR

Four years of post-secondary education with courses related to pharmacy (e.g., 48 semester hours of science, mathematics, pharmacy) leading to a bachelor’s degree.

Pharmacist

Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredited College or School of Pharmacy.  https://www.acpe-accredit.org/