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Staff Development

"We will be a model of creative teaching and learning" is a guiding vision for UVAHS, and education and lifelong learning are essential to professional nurses. The Health System introduces and establishes the commitment to these activities in New Employee Orientation, and the PNSO provides UVA nurses with support for their ongoing development.

Quick Links to Staff Development Resources:


New Employee Orientation 

Health System employment begins for all new employees with a centralized, paid orientation program. For nurses, the centralized program consists of 3-eight hour days. Orientation for nurses is designed and managed by a partnership between HRCOD, the Office of Nursing Governance Programs, and Orientation Coordinators & Preceptors. Program design, content, and speakers are overseen by the Office of Nursing Governance Programs and the Nursing Education Coordinators. All partners participate in program evaluation and revision decisions.

From the centralized program, orientation is continued in the practice areas. NECs and Orientation Coordinators are responsible for the design of practice area programs. Although there is a common framework for practice area orientation, the design is individualized by each area. Each practice area orientation program has a general timeframe, but the length of orientation is based upon the individual needs of the new nurse and negotiated with the NEC/Orientation Coordinator, Preceptor, Preceptee and Nurse Manager (in accordance with Orientation Standards & Preceptor Standards).

Preceptors guide the orientation of new staff. The preceptor role is a valued one within the PNSO. Excellence in precepting is celebrated in an annual "Preceptor of the Year" award and also during PNSO annual Preceptor Week. Preceptor development is supported through regular offerings of a Preceptor Class within HRCOD. Preceptors receive support and guidance in their roles from area NEC and nurse managers as they work with new staff throughout orientation.

Ongoing Nursing Skills and Development

The PNSO has a multi-layered approach to planning, implementing and evaluating continuing education and professional development for nurses at all levels.

Individual professional development plans are created annually by nurses together with their evaluators, Managers and/or NECs. Individual needs and goals are considered, as well as practice area needs. Nurse Managers aggregate data from individual plans to construct a professional development plan for the practice area.  Aggregated data are used in budget planning to support professional development activities and to plan regional and institutional educational programs. 

Computer-based learning options are available to staff in the NetLearning system with information about dates and times, CEUs and enrollment status; nurses may access NetLearning from home or any in-house computer to enroll.  Also, non-web-based self-learning modules are located on a shared drive, so clinicians may view or print the documents. 

Lectures and classroom-based sessions are offered in clinical specialty core curricula and classes designed to meet specific interests of professional nurses; centralized class listings are offered for open enrollment in NetLearning. Most practice areas also provide regular on-unit education defined by local staff and leadership.  The format of these offerings is designed to maximize short time frames on-unit to provide sessions immediately accessible to front-line staff during the workday. These offerings provide a good opportunity for more junior staff to be mentored in the teaching and presentation role as well.  Also, local chapters of professional nursing organizations hold educational events, many of which are open to guests as well as members. This all adds up to many and varied opportunities for staff to access continuing education to meet their needs right here in our institution.

Leadership Development

Every nurse is a leader at UVA Health System, and every leader needs opportunities to continue to grow and learn.  The PNSO, HR, Faculty & Employee Assistance Program, and the SON partner to provide new and innovative programs that support the professional growth of clinical leaders, Nurse Managers, Nurse Administrators and direct care nurses.  Programs include formal and expanding leadership development programs for new and experienced Nurse Managers, preceptor development supported by NECs, new graduate and Clinical Nurse Leader programs, practice area-based Shift Manager programs, and more.  A recent focus has been the development of newly-advanced Clinician 3s, supported by classroom experiences and follow-up; their feedback is used to enhance the toolkit for other emerging leaders, such as the recent development of this Individual Development Planning tool.


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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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