VA hospital seeking to hire dozens of temporary nurses in Houston

HOUSTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs is looking to hire dozens of temporary nurses in Houston, as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They can have assignments for as little as 120 days, up to one year,” said Kelly Irving, associate director patient care services at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.

Irving said she has already brought on around 30 temporary nurses since March. However, they are hoping for another 50, especially if they have experience in the ICU.

“It’s an expedited process where we receive resumes. We review them. If we’re interested in the candidates, we call them. We interview them. They can be here on station in roughly four to five days,” Irving said.

Nationally, the VA has been on a hiring spree over the last few months, bringing on thousands of workers to beef up staffing during COVID-19.

Irving said she still needs fulltime nurses, but the temporary workers have a place too.

“We also know that over time, if this continues the way it’s projected to continue, you could have some burnout and we’re looking to avoid that,” she said.

The VA’s facilities in Houston are currently reporting 261 active cases of COVID-19, according to a tracking summary on the department’s website. The vast majority of those cases are veterans, but the total includes eight employees.