Nursing Career Development

Nursing Shared Governance
The nursing department shared governance model is a councilor model that builds on their relationships with members of the nursing department and clinical partners. Nursing has established articles to delineate the responsibility and authority of nursing shared governance within our practice domain. The Article of Governance is the conduit used by nursing to ensure a high level of professional performance, and to carry out our mission.

Each nursing department has a unit based council that is chaired by a member of the professional nursing staff. This elected Chair represents the unit at the nursing department councils and hold seats on the Nursing Leadership Council and the Resource and Partnership Council. It is though this mechanism that communication is enhanced up and down the organization. Other nursing department councils include the Quality Research and Safety and Professional Development. Both councils are chaired by elected professional nursing staff. All councils promote the mission, vision and philosophy of the nursing department and organization. The nursing department councils’ work is coordinated by the Shared Governance Council. The nursing department council chairs, Vice President Patient Care Services and Director of Professional Practice are all members of this coordinating council. The Chair of the Shared Governance Council is elected by the nursing staff annually and host semi annual meetings of the nursing staff.

All information is shared by nursing department council chairs at hospital interdisciplinary councils including the Clinical Practice Committee, Environment of Care Committee, and Improving Organizational Performance Committee where they are members.

Preceptor Program
We offer preceptors for all newly hired or transferring nursing staff. The purpose of the Preceptorship Program is to ease the transition and integration of new hires and transfers into the new work environment. We want all new nursing staff to complete their orientation feeling accepted, supported and competent to perform their new job requirements. During the Preceptorship, newly hired nursing staff is assigned a preceptor to train, mentor, and assist them in completing all competency requirements. They collaborate on identifying learning needs and developing action plans for success. The goal of the Preceptor Program is to assure all new nursing staff that there is always some one close by to facilitate their growth and development. We value our relationships with all customers and take pride in the provision of quality care by providing a Preceptor Program to assure the competence of our staff.

Nurse Extern Program
The Nurse Extern Program is designed to give nursing students hands-on experience during the summer months following the completion of the first two semesters of the RN program. This is an opportunity for RN students to work side by side with a Registered Nurse and to gain knowledge and experience in the nursing specialty of their choice. Nurse Externs are paid for their level of skill giving them an opportunity to earn money while they learn. Nurse Extern applications are available in Human Resources and can be completed at any time during the first semester of the RN program. Staff nurses go through a selection process to become a Nurse Extern Mentor assuring the students are placed in the hands of caring supportive nurses that enjoy teaching, coaching and mentoring.

Clinical Ladder
The Clinical Ladder application is a year long process that provides nurses the opportunity to be recognized for using their skills to advance the profession of nursing, mission and values of VCU Community Memorial Hospital. The process includes the accumulation of points though various professional activities that are planned in advance and accomplished in a professional manner. The accomplishments of each Clinical Ladder applicant are displayed in the form of a portfolio that is peer reviewed and approved by the Clinical Ladder Board. Each successful candidate then becomes a member of the Clinical Ladder and may change their nametag to reflect their nursing clinical ladder status. Our clinical ladder includes opportunities for licensed practical nurses and registered nurses.