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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the PNSO?

Within the UVA Health System structure, the discipline of nursing is responsible for maintaining its own professional standards of clinical practice and professional development. Nursing carries out this responsibility through the Professional Nursing Staff Organization structure. The PNSO is governed by Bylaws and guided by a number of core reference documents. The PNSO speaks for nursing as a clinical discipline via our Nursing Cabinet and elected President. The PNSO President and our Chief Nursing Officer represent nursing on various Health System committees charged with oversight of patient care.

Who belongs to the PNSO?

With the exception of University Physicians Group nurses (at their request), all registered nurses employed by the UVA Health System - staff nurses, nurse managers, administrators, school of nursing faculty, nurses of all types - are automatically deemed to be members of the PNSO. There are approximately 1,900 nurses employed by UVAHS, and they are all PNSO members.

What does it mean to be a member?

  • You are accountable for your own nursing practice.
  • You share aggregate accountability with your peers for the overall quality of nursing practice.

Rights of Members:

  • Participate in the annual nomination and election of President-elect & nominating committee members, and ratify PNSO Bylaws changes.
  • Participate in the identification and resolution of practice and professional development issues and concerns.
  • Participate in activities of the PNSO.

How does the work of the PNSO get done?

Annually, the PNSO elects a President-elect. The current President leads the Nursing Cabinet and its Executive Committee (comprised of the Chief Nursing Officer, the President-elect, the immediate Past-President, the Administrator for Workforce Development,  the Director for Nursing Governance Programs, the Magnet Program Manager, and the Dean of the School of Nursing). In 2003, the Office of Nursing Governance Programs was formed to provide coordination and infrastructure support for nursing-related initiatives, both in the PNSO and in the larger Health System community.

All patient care areas have one or more Local PNSO Committees addressing nursing aspects of clinical practice, quality, research, and professional development. The work of these local committees funnels up through a broader central PNSO Committee to make decisions affecting multiple areas or nursing-wide.  These central committees are convened and overseen by the Nursing Cabinet to accomplish the ongoing work of the PNSO. The Nursing Cabinet itself is appointed by the PNSO President and Executive Committee, as a representative selection of nursing direct-care and administrative roles from across the Health System to collaboratively accomplish the work of shared governance and oversee the practice and professional development of nursing.

How do you know what is going on in the PNSO?

  • Keeping up-to-date with PNSO newsletters and email updates
  • Becoming familiar with the resources on PNSO websites, Nursing Summit, Evidence-based Practice Symposium, and other PNSO-sponsored events
  • Minutes of Cabinet Meetings are sent to all RNs, and posted on the intranet
  • Communication with your local & central committee chairs and your Nursing Cabinet representative.
  • Local practice area leadership: find out who your committee chairs and members are, and stay connected with them - and consider becoming a leader yourself!
  • Read the PNSO's Annual Report and President's Report, usually distributed in May to all UVA nurses, highlighting the previous year's accomplishments by PNSO committees and individual PNSO members

Additional questions? Want to get involved? Please email us!

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Welcome to the Professional Nursing Staff Organization! All Registered Nurses employed by the UVA Health System's Medical Center, School of Nursing and School of Medicine are members of our Professional Nursing Staff Organization (PNSO). Please provide us feedback!

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