Mr. Johnny L. McLean
Deputy Director, Workforce Staffing,
Compensation and Benefits
Field Advisory Services
Department of Defense
Civilian Personnel Management Service
1400 Key Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22209-5144
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has approved your request to extend an accelerated training and promotion program for Registered Nurses, GS-0610, at the U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) worldwide. This approval, which covers employees at the GS-0610-5/7/9 levels, enables MEDCOM to promote at an accelerated pace, not-to-exceed the rate stipulated in 5 CFR 300.603(b)(6). You requested a 5-year extension of the accelerated training and promotion plan to provide MEDCOM sufficient time to partner with the Department of Defense and other components to develop and implement the Title 38 alternative pay system in order to remain competitive and support the medical mission. This extension approval will expire five years from the date of this letter.
OPM finds this request is justified based on MEDCOM's continuing difficulty to recruit journey-level nurses. This program provides flexibility, along with the use of direct hire authority and pay incentives, and has proven to be invaluable and a viable solution for MEDCOM's long-term recruitment challenges by attracting candidates from the new graduate nurse group.
This letter is your authority to enter employees into the training program and to promote them in accordance with the provisions of the training agreements attached to your request. When making promotions effective under these agreements, the notation, "U .S. OPM Special Training Agreement," folIowed by the date of this letter, must appear on the personnel action forms.
This authority modifies only the qualification standards for promotion and time-in-grade restrictions for employees under this program. MEDCOM must ensure its accelerated training and promotion program complies with merit system principles, and with laws and restrictions pertaining to training and promotion, including 5 U.S.c. chapter 41 and 5 CFR parts 300, 335 and 410. MEDCOM's continued lise of the program over the next five years is subject to periodic OPM oversight.
We hope this authority is helpful in hiring and retaining well qualified employees for this important career field.