Nursing at Sentara
The unique continuum of care offered at Sentara Healthcare provides nurses with many possibilities. We welcome inquiries from new and experienced nurses who seek opportunities in a variety of care settings and in a variety of roles.
Sentara Healthcare nurses can explore careers with us in numerous areas:
Centralization, automation and a patient-focused commitment make today’s Care Coordination nurse a bridge between patients’ good health and their financial stability.
Years ago, some may have thought of Care Coordination as a job best suited for nurses needing a slower pace. Take one look at their work today, and you’ll know that is not the case:
- Nurses serve as both gatekeepers and guiding lights.
- They often have a background in critical care and emergency nursing.
- They can quickly apply knowledge and easily make decisions using critical thinking.
These nurses help determine which care setting is appropriate for our patients and what support is available through insurance, family and Sentara. They also educate patients on how to care for themselves upon discharge.
While our nurses in hospitals face different challenges depending on their unit, they all could share one title - detective
They look for clues on patients’ progress and stay alert to developments others might never notice. They focus on:
- Trending vital signs and other data.
- Evaluating pain levels and providing relief as needed.
- Educating patients and family members about concerns and ongoing treatments after hospital stays.
With most patients staying in a hospital unexpectedly, our nurses must quickly earn their trust and respect – along with the family’s – by carefully listening and communicating. This is what patient- and family-centered nursing care is all about.
The pace is fast, the patients many, and the priorities ever-changing, but our hospital nurses are driven to serve by two factors:
- Stamina: They’re able to physically keep going and bounce back emotionally when witnessing patient setbacks.
- Teamwork: As BSNs, RNs, LPNs and nursing care partners, they know how to combine efforts so that they’re each working to the full extent of their education for our patients’ benefit.
Hospice nurses offer comfort, advice, and pain relief, and they often grant wishes, big and small. It’s part of meeting our patients’ psychosocial needs.
That might mean stopping by the store before meeting a patient to pick up a favorite childhood treat. Or they might call a pastor to officiate a marriage.
Or they do something simpler but equally important – like reassuring a patient that they’re there for him or her.
Families rely on our hospice nurses for information and guidance, too. They share all of the details that they have, but they do so gently and slowly, so that the patient and the family members have time to take in all that is happening – and can come to terms with it at their own pace.
Sentara Life Care
Our nurses become like family members to our residents.
Through our nursing homes, assisted living communities, and adult daycare centers, our Life Care nurses make connections with our residents and discover what is important to each person.
Many nurses are drawn to this type of care because they once wished they could help a grandparent or other older relative. They see that they can comfort and care for seniors and the elderly, and their skills are growing in demand, as about 10,000 people turn 65 each day in the United States.
That’s why Sentara has been opening new care centers for seniors over the last few years, and why we are positioned to keep growing.
Making a connection and creating change – they’re two goals every Sentara nurse has.
Both are always possible, and are often accomplished, but nurses can face challenges while doing so.
In Home Care, big hurdles – too many patients and too little time – are removed.
Home Care nurses enjoy meeting with about a handful of patients each day, one-on-one, in the patient’s home.
There, they serve as our physicians’ eyes and ears. Nurses will:
- Identify danger zones – rugs that could lead to falls, smokers near oxygen supplies, malfunctioning fire alarms – and suggest remedies.
- Reconcile medications, checking for repetition and possible reactions.
- Check for progress recovering from operations and controlling chronic illnesses.
- Recommend new treatments and implement them after a physician’s approval.
Optima Health nurses could be called the invisible nurses: Not everyone sees them, but their presence is often felt and long remembered. Behind the scenes, the nurses guide in many ways:
- Case managers collaborate with patients, families, physicians, and fellow nurses by phone to double check care choices and determine the right options for a full recovery.
- After-hours triage nurses offer patients advice when their doctor’s offices are closed. A concerned parent of a sick toddler or a panicked adult child with an ill elderly parent can talk to a knowledgeable, understanding nurse and determine if leaping to action is necessary.
- Health and prevention nurses head out into our communities, conducting health screenings and supplying flu shots.
Sentara Medical Group and Sentara Albemarle Physician Services
Nurses in our medical groups could be praised for “doing it all:”
- Promoting wellness.
- Preventing diseases.
- Managing acute, chronic, and terminal conditions.
Such extensive nursing skills are essential as healthcare shifts away from being hospital-centric. Our nurses continue to welcome patients who might face complex health issues – conditions that once may have required hospital visits. Today, we can often treat them at other care sites instead.
We celebrate as we witness the following trends related to our nurses’ and providers’ efforts:
- Patients are using the emergency department for emergencies -- and not for routine care.
- Inappropriate hospital admissions are decreasing.
- Chronic diseases, such as heart failure, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are better self-managed by patients and their families or prevented altogether due to patients’ focus on health maintenance.
Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™ (NRP)
Sentara hospitals have joined the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™ (NRP), which effectively supports new nurse graduates as they transition into their first professional roles. Built on evidence-based curriculum developed by experts from academic medical centers and nursing schools across the country, the program focuses on leadership, patient outcomes and professional role. This program is designed for new graduate nurses who have less than one year of experience. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.