Transplant, General Surgery, General Oncology, Renal, Hepatobiliary, and Burn Surgery, 3rd Floor VUH

Hello and welcome to my unit!

I’m Karen Ferris, MSN, RN, CNOR, Manager of the Transplant, General Surgery, General Oncology, Renal, Hepatobiliary, and Burn surgery unit, also known as the Black Team.  We are located on the 3rd floor Main Operating Room at Vanderbilt University Hospital (VUH).

The environment on our unit is fast-paced, collaborative, and highly flexible to meet the needs of all our patients.

We care for adult patients who need liver, kidney, or pancreas transplants; those concerned with the care of abdominal disorders involving emergency general surgery, advanced laparoscopy, bariatric surgery, colorectal surgery, esophageal and pancreatic procedures; the treatment of patients with benign and malignant tissue disorders; liver and bile duct diseases; and surgical interventions for burn patients.  Our patients are unique because of their wide variety of needs.

One of the perks of working on my unit is the vast diversity of our patients. Some of our patients have been anticipating their surgery for an extended period of time, for others, it is the first time in a hospital setting due to an accident. We aim to provide safe, high-quality patient care for all of our patients. 

Our nurses are successful because they believe our patient’s safety comes first and they believe in multi-disciplinary collaborative teamwork. 

We orient new nurses to our unit by providing an extensive specialized multi-specialty orientation period dependent upon the candidate’s learning style and speed. 

We encourage professional growth.

If your career goal is to expand your nursing career outside of the traditional bedside care model, the Main Operating Room Black team can help with this by providing you with numerous ways to expand your skillset by running the room as the circulating nurse, team leadership, scrubbing, or first assisting in cases.

If you have any questions about my unit, please email me at or visit Work at Vanderbilt University Medical Center to explore open nursing positions.


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