The Perks of Being a VUMC Nurse

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is a place where nursing isn’t just a job, it’s a career. It’s a place where there is plenty of room to follow your passions. Our nursing colleagues are teachers, researchers, clinicians and much more. They are a community of colleagues who have each other’s backs. But, most of all, they are caring advocates for the needs of our patients and families.

At VUMC, our nurses don’t standstill. More than 4,800 nurses serve in inpatient and outpatient roles, for adults and children, in-home and in behavioral health. That’s about two out of every 10 employees at our Medical Center. If you join us, you will be encouraged to advance your career through professional development opportunities offered continuously throughout the year.

VUMC is an exceptional place to be a nurse. It is the only medical system in Middle Tennessee to receive Magnet Designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Only 7 percent of hospitals nationwide have this distinction. Magnet recognition measures organizations for excellence in five areas — transformational leadership; structural empowerment; exemplary professional practice; new knowledge, innovations and improvements; and outcomes.

As a VUMC nurse, you have access to a comprehensive benefits package including paid time off, an outstanding health plan, retirement, and exclusive discounts. We also offer tuition assistance that is unlike any other health system in our community.

We invite you to learn more about what it means to be a VUMC Nurse. Click on topics for information:

  • At VUMC, every nurse has a voice. Our culture of Shared Governance supports the principles of decentralized decision making, shared accountability, and partnerships among all staff to deliver exceptional patient care, improve quality of care and enhance work life.

    The Medical Center encourages participation in boards from the Unit, Clinic, and Department level to the Nursing Executive Board. All of this is supported by our Nursing Bylaws, which are democratically developed by nurses themselves at conventions every two years. VUMC was among the first medical centers in the country to introduce this concept, starting in 1980, and the tradition continues.

    In addition, nurses are invited to join committees, boards, and task-forces dedicated to improving patient and family care and the experience for our caregivers.

  • Nursing is a challenging job, and it’s important that our nurses not only provide great care for our patients and families but also care for themselves and each other. VUMC offers several tools to promote wellness and resilience in our fellow nurses.

    Every VUMC employee has access to our award-winning Health and Wellness program. It includes Health Plus, which provides health promotion and prevention services that promote healthy lifestyles 24 hours a day, at home and at work. Part of that is free lifestyle coaching, cooking classes, and physical activity programs, as well as discounted access to the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center. Health Plus encourages all employees to participate in our yearly Go for the Gold program, where employees can earn up to $240 per year in credits for health care spending by participating in a health assessment, completing wellness actions and completing a wellness video.

    Work/life balance is incredibly important, which is why VUMC’s comprehensive benefits package offers paid time off (PTO) days available on the first day of work, which employees can use throughout the year. But sometimes life and work get out of balance, and help is available. Work/Life Connections and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) promotes problem-solving and stress resilience through group education and brief individual counseling or coaching. It has services devoted to the special issues encountered by faculty, physicians, and nurses in addition to those provided by other staff. A Hardship Fund is available to help employees with financial assistance through a fund for small unexpected needs. Critical Stress Management Debriefing for groups following major events is available.

    For more information, visit Nurse Wellness: Around the Clock.

  • VUMC is Magnet designated.

    At VUMC, nurses are recognized for the great work that they do during fun events throughout the year. One of those is our research poster sessions. Nurses throughout the Medical Center display their research, and we recognize the best. Another can’t-miss event is our annual Awards and Recognition event, kind of the Academy Awards of VUMC Nursing. Nurses throughout VUMC nominate colleagues to be recognized at an award ceremony and reception.

    VUMC is partnering with The DAISY Foundation to present The DAISY Award, which recognizes nurses for their compassionate care to our patients and families. Anyone can nominate a nurse for this prestigious award.

    For more information, visit

  • At VUMC, nurses work at a leading academic medical center where learning is in our DNA. Working at VUMC is a fantastic opportunity to advance your nursing education with the Nursing Tuition Assistance Benefit

    However, you don’t have to be enrolled in college to advance your career.  Educational events are offered throughout the year, most offering contact hour opportunities. Leadership programs are offered through Vanderbilt Nursing and VUMC Human Resources. Nursing certification is strongly encouraged. VUMC also offers special vouchers to pay for the cost of certification and offers free certification review courses. In addition, nurses have access privileges at Eskind Biomedical Library at Vanderbilt University.

    All direct care nurses participate in the Vanderbilt Professional Practice Program (VPNPP), a structured ladder to advance their careers. This comprehensive performance evaluation system utilizes self-, peer-, and manager- evaluation to recognize and reward clinical nursing expertise in direct patient care. Nurses participate in VPNPP in one of four levels – novice, competent, proficient and expert. VPNPP exists to promote, support, recognize and reward you as you grow within the role of the professional nurse as defined by internal and external practice standards, the context of the organization culture, and external environmental influences.

  • We believe highly skilled and specialized nursing care is essential to VUMC’s mission of quality in patient care, education and research. We are responsible for patient-centered, high quality, cost-effective nursing care for all patients and their families. Our guiding philosophy recognizes the inherent worth, dignity, and uniqueness of every person. We involve patients and their families in decisions about their health, and we help them reach their top level of wellness.

    Each nurse is a role model of quality professional practice. We are accountable for our practice, and we strive to exceed professional standards and ethical codes. We welcome the challenge of providing high-quality nursing care as members of a leading health care community. To achieve this, we are committed to lifelong learning.

  • To that end, every VUMC employee adheres to the Medical Center’s Credo:
    We provide excellence in healthcare, research, and education. We treat others as we wish to be treated. We continuously evaluate and improve our performance.

    Each employee commits to Credo behaviors:

    • I make those I serve my highest priority
    • I respect privacy and confidentiality
    • I communicate effectively
    • I conduct myself professionally I have a sense of ownership
    • I am committed to my colleagues
  • At VUMC, our Professional Practice Model has four primary components:

    1. Our interdisciplinary team surrounds the patient/family to provide evidence-based care. Our commitment extends to those in the community through support and outreach programs.
    2. Our focus is to provide safe, quality care based on evidence from all disciplines and the measure of outcomes.
    3. We bring professionalism to our work through VPNPP and certification and continuing education. Our shared governance structure gives nurses a voice at the local and organizational level through our committees/councils.
    4. Integrated technology helps us provide coordinated care and communicate with each other as well as our patients.
  • Family-and-patient-centered care is more than just a slogan at VUMC; it is a way of life. It is an innovative approach to the planning, delivery, and evaluation of health care. It is grounded in mutually beneficial partnerships among our patients, their families, and their health care providers.

    At VUMC, patients are part of advisory councils at our adult, children’s and psychiatric hospitals. We are committed to promoting a positive relationship between care providers and patients. We promise to listen to our patients’ recommendations to promote quality healthcare.

  • Nursing Research is one of the primary missions of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). Vanderbilt is one of the nation’s top leaders in educating and supporting nurses as they work to improve patient care and generate game-changing research through Evidence-Based Practice initiatives. The Nursing Research department supports nurses' involvement in the use, generation, and dissemination of knowledge to advance nursing practice and patient care.

    The Evidenced-Based Practice and Nursing Research Department provides many services to the nursing community:

    • One-on-one consultations for nurses at all levels conducting research
    • Education on the research process, evidence-based practice, and dissemination
    • Assistance with poster development and presentation
    • Mentoring nurses at all levels in scholarly activities
    • Assistance with IRB applications
    • Manuscript review
  • VUMC's Office of Diversity and Inclusion serves to cultivate a workforce that is diverse, inclusive, and reflects the populations we serve. Our goal is to train, educate, advocate, and consult on DEI-related issues for staff members of Vanderbilt Health.

    VUMC nurses play a vital role in this work.

    VUMC Staff Members
    For examples of VUMC's nursing contributions to VUMC's DEI initiatives, please visit our website.

    picNurse Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
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  • As a leading academic medical center that collaborates with one of the nation’s top universities, nurses have wide opportunities to work with colleagues in many other disciplines. Nurses not only have the chance to work with medical professionals in a wide array of disciplines, but also academic leaders in other disciplines.

  • VUMC has embraced the preceptor model to ensure staff competency and improve job satisfaction. Precepting is an active, formal relationship where the preceptor teaches and supervises the novice, and the novice learns. The preceptor is assigned for a specific period to another in a systematic, comprehensive manner that promotes successful completion of goals and social integration into the workgroup.

    The Nursing Preceptor Program at VUMC, Preceptor Treasures, is geared toward supporting the transition of new staff into the Vanderbilt workplace. Nursing preceptors are provided with training content framed on Benner's Theory of Stages of Development and principles of adult learning. Strategies to promote critical thinking, to manage conflict, and giving and receiving feedback are carefully addressed. Preceptor workshops are offered several times a year and are open to staff who are new to the preceptor role or who are veterans looking for renewal.

  • With so many patient areas to choose from, nurses at VUMC have limitless opportunities to pursue a rewarding career. Every nurse has the opportunity to transfer internally to find the perfect fit – be it in an inpatient, clinical, educational or research area. Preceptors and mentors help guide nurses through the process.

    To view current opportunities, visit Work at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

  • Vanderbilt Nursing offers many ways to keep in touch and stay informed about the latest happenings, nursing-related events, and interesting nurses throughout the Medical Center.

    • State of Nursing Address
      Every year, Executive Chief Officer Marilyn Dubree delivers a State of Nursing Address as a part of Nurse’s Week, a celebration of all things nursing.
    • Marilyn Dubree’s monthly Nursing News
      Catch up on the latest happenings in this monthly newsletter just about nursing at Vanderbilt.
    • Nurse Alerts
      Subscribe to Nurse Alerts to learn the latest about Vanderbilt Nurses via alerts sent directly to your email.
    • In the Know
      Be “In the Know” with this monthly publication that focuses on nursing education and professional development. Career advancement events are featured monthly (for employees only; login required).
    • The Empowered Nurse
      This new peer-reviewed journal for innovative VUMC Nursing Research is released twice per year.