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Pennsylvania veterans’ homes need nurses and health care workers

Tom Cherry / Department of Military and Veterans Affairs The Hollidaysburg Veterans’ Home
Tom Cherry / Department of Military and Veterans Affairs The Hollidaysburg Veterans’ Home

TRANFORMING HEALTH - Pennsylvanians who served their country are waiting for weeks or even months to get into one of the commonwealth’s homes for military veterans.

About 1,500 former servicemembers and their spouses live in the state’s six veterans homes. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs executive director Travis Davis says they have enough beds for another 500 people — and about 330 veterans waiting to get in.

What Davis doesn’t have are enough nurses and certified nurse assistants. The state is urging qualified job seekers to walk in to one of the veterans’ homes to find what he says is a rewarding career.

“The majority of our residents come and they live the remainder of their lives with us,” Davis said. “So our staff becomes very close and personal with them, and sometimes our staff are the closest thing to family for them.”

The jobs come with state benefits and retirement, Davis noted. They also have a better nurse-to-patient staffing ratio than is often found in the private sector. That staffing ratio is one reason the homes can’t simply accept more veterans without hiring more workers.

Davis says interested people may show up any Wednesday and are encouraged to bring two forms of ID. They may be offered a job on the spot. Veterans’ homes are in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Scranton, Spring City and Hollidaysburg.