Career Progression


Wise enough to know: There’s always more to learn

At Sentara Healthcare, we hire nurses who are committed to lifelong learning.  Our nurses expand their proficiencies as they commit to our culture of excellence and continuous growth.  We enable our nurses to further their educations through tuition assistance/reimbursement, scholarships, and flexible scheduling.  As an integrated Health Care System, we provide a variety of settings, opportunities, and roles in which our nurses can further their careers.

When the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing Report recommended an 80% BSN-prepared nurse workforce by 2020, we took immediate steps. Leaders encouraged nurses to return to school, offered financial support and flexible scheduling and promoted the convenient, online RN-to-BSN program at Sentara College of Health Sciences. Thanks to their foresight, we are reaching this national standard.

Step Down, Sentara CarePlex Hospital.
Andrea earned her bachelor’s of nursing degree in September 2019, 49 years after becoming a nurse.

“People ask ‘why?’ and I say ‘why not?’ You should want to learn your whole life. It’s always been my goal to earn my BSN, and I gained a new appreciation for how nurses play a very important role in getting patients back to good health.”

Our Transition to Practice Programs

These Sentara programs, led by our nursing educators and leaders, prepare nurses for their transition to practice.

Nurse Residency Program — Designed by Vizient and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to build confidence and competency in new nurse graduates, the residency features four-hour seminars monthly for one year.

ED Internship Program — Launched in 2018, this system-wide program prepares nurses for the variety of patients and the demanding pace in our emergency departments. It combines Emergency Nursing Association modules, master preceptors, an apprenticeship and classes over several months.

Perioperative 101 Internship Program — This training for nurses interested in an operating room career includes Association of periOperative Registered Nurses online modules, classroom learning, skills labs and clinical experience in the hospital.

Sentara Nurse Professional Certifications

The number of eligible Sentara nurses earning certifications to demonstrate their expertise in their specialty continues to grow.

A NURSE’S PERSPECTIVE: Jeffrey Barnhizer, RN,
Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center and an ED internship graduate.
He enrolled in the internship while working as a med-surg nurse.

“People come to me on the worst day of their life. I’m ready to stabilize them or to just hold their hand if that’s what’s needed. The ED internship was invaluable in getting ready for such a fast-paced environment with varied patients.”

Sentara Nursing Report