Professional Development

Learn and excel: Our nurses surpass national education benchmarks linked to improving patient outcomes

To realize the Sentara nursing mission of improving health every day through nursing excellence and our nursing vision of creating an environment of health and healing, our nurses know they must be committed to lifelong learning, individually and as a team. To do so, they look inward to assess their current knowledge and skills and outward for guidance and opportunities from their leaders.

In 2018, our Nursing Professional Practice Council re-envisioned the Sentara Professional Practice Model, fine-tuning the design with additional pillars to further highlight our care philosophies and the initiatives that engage our nurses’ talents and voices.

Sentara Healthcare Professional
Practice Model (PPM)

Our new Sentara Professional Practice Model reflects our expanded care philosophies and nurse-driven improvement initiatives.

Sentara continues to offer the Nurse Residency Program for all new graduate nurses and Periop 101 training classes for those looking to move into the perioperative field. All nurses are encouraged to advance their formal education and professional certifications because ongoing education is strongly linked to positive patient outcomes.

30.8% of eligible Sentara nurses
have earned a professional certification.

Sentara Healthcare Nurse Residency Program

residents graduated in 2018

evidence-based projects presented at graduation

Periop 101 Successes

participants in 2018


pass rate on AORN Periop101 final exam


retention rate in program

A NURSE’S STORY: Rudy Almanzor, BSN, RN
ICU Nurse, Magnet® committee member, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital

“My why is seeing the effect I have on patients and their families. If I can just get a patient to smile once or twice during my shift, I know that he’s going to feel better. Sometimes if you take away the heaviness of a situation, it takes away some of that stress.”

Taking charge of your professional growth

“Nurses should always be lifelong learners. The more educated you are, the better you’re going to be in your field. I tell other nurses that we’re always learning something new. I don’t think a day goes by that I haven’t learned something, even if it’s just one little thing. We’re constantly getting in-service for the latest procedures. People should take it a step further and get as educated as they can.

Every time I see my nurse executive, she encourages me to go to school again. I started with a nursing diploma and have since earned my BSN and plan to get a master’s to be a family nurse practitioner.

My manager also encourages me to further my education and was the one who asked me to serve on the Magnet® committee. I wanted to learn more about it. I was president of our unit partnership council at my manager’s urging. I was always someone who wanted to be involved with committees. I’m not shy. I have a tendency to collect people and gather them together.

Being a Magnet® champion for nine years solidified the value of an education on our journey to nursing excellence recognition. One of the most amazing things I’ve experienced was going to the Magnet® conference in Orlando in 2013. To be in a room with 7,000 nurses all wanting to make a difference in people’s lives and learning that my hospital, which isn’t a huge hospital, isn’t any different than large hospitals that also have Magnet® was inspiring. We all do excellent work for the patient, because everything we do is for the patient.”

Sentara Nursing Report