Nurse Residency Program (New Grads)

Summer 2013 Placement Day Awards

One of the most popular aspects of VUMC's Nurse Residency program is the opportunity to rotate through units in various tracks. This helps give nurse residents a big picture of the organization, and it can encourage collaboration among the teams. On Placement Day, we ask the residents to vote on Best Nursing Teams (in the rotating tracks) and the Best Preceptors in all the tracks. Here, then, are the winners, and some of the nominating comments:


Best Preceptor: Theresa George

Best Preceptor:  Theresa George"Theresa was an excellent preceptor [because of] her willingness to teach, credo-like behavior, and mentoring ability. She gave me a look into what it's like for an ED nurse on a fairly busy day. She helped me work through time management, procedural sedations, and general new-nurse tips for the ED. I appreciate her and all she did for me for two days."



Best Preceptor: Paul Habegger (not pictured)

"Paul puts 110 percent into his work. He really cares for his patients and they respond accordingly. As a preceptor he is patient and has a strong willingness to teach."

"He took the time to teach me and was very patient. I was so nervous my first week and he really made it a great transition."

Women's Health

Best Preceptor: Alexandra Speros

"Alexandra went above and beyond to make sure that I got the most out of my experience on the floor. She made me feel welcome and excited about the possibility of working in Labor and Delivery. Her passion and positive attitude make her an excellent mentor/preceptor and an even more excellent nurse."

"Even when I was with another preceptor Alexandra did a great job making me feel involved and included with the unit."

"Even though she wasn't my preceptor she made me feel welcome to ask her questions and encouraged learning and involvement."

Acute Medicine

Best Nursing Team:  11 North

  • "Their day-to-day interactions are the pure definition of team work. They are diligent in their practice, and they work together to provide the highest level of care posible to their patients.

This unit was definitely a team. They did everything as a team and when one nurse was weighed down, several others would come to the rescue. They were super-hospitable to the nurse residents and several were willing to let us practice our skills and let us see interesting cases." 

Best Preceptor:  Rose Hayes (7 RW)

Rose is such a role model. She is a true inspiration for the nursing profession. She does every skill with poise and grace. She treats every patient like her own family. She has a positive attitude and makes everyone feel welcome. I could only hope I would be as professional as her in the future.

  • Rose worked so well with the patients on this unit. Her enthusiasm for geriatrics was reflected in her work as a nurse. She was extremely caring and provided a great experience for me. I learned so much from her and think of her as a role model for nursing.
  • Rose had a very high acuity assignment both days and handled each problem/complication with grace. She was a true advocate for her patients and her passion for geriatric patients was evident from the start. It was great to work with her and witness exemplary nursing care.


Acute Progressive

Best Preceptor: Alissa Ramirez (5 South) (not pictured)

Positive attitude, great commitment to nursing, enthusiasm for nursing, great communication with the patients and other co-workers

Alissa set forth a very high standard of nursing care and strove to provide the best care possible regardless of the circumstances. Her positive attitude created a calm environment in which to learn, yet she still pushed me out of my comfort zone to grow as a nurse.

This preceptor always had a positive attitude and out look. She was very knowledgeable and willing to help and answer any questions.

Best Nursing Team: 5 South

  • They have excellent team work that was noticeable from the very beginning of the shift. The charge nurses are constantly making rounds and helping other nurses with any care necessary. All of the nurses on this unit always checked on one another to offer help. There was never a moment when my preceptor and I had to ask for help because someone had already offered before we could ask. I really admire the teamwork this unit displayed.

Acute Surgery

Best Preceptor: Sheree Overby (Endoscopy)

"She went above and beyond to teach and explain important concepts. She encouraged questions and wanted me to handle and explore the equipment so I would know exactly how to use it in case of an emergency. I could tell she was really passionate about nursing and teaching future generation nurses."

"She went above and beyond in her explanation of the unit, her role as a nurse, and the basics of various procedures I observed that day. She was welcoming, professional, and encouraging."

"Sheree made me feel like part of the team, she introduced me to other members of the healthcare team and gave me the opportunity to help provide care and "get in there" and practice skills and techniques.  She is a wonderful teacher and a great example of a leader in nursing."

Critical Care

Best Preceptor: Lance Frazier (Neuro ICU) (not pictured)

Lance was a great nurse to work with, he allowed me as much independence as I needed to get a feel for the patient care with this group of patients, he tried to find interesting things for me to help with, and he was able to meet the emotional level of the room while keeping things upbeat and positive. He is devoted to his patients and puts their needs and their priorities. He made a point of asking the patients what their normal schedule at home was for medications, bathing, etc and tried to meet it. He also worked to help further my education in nursing skills and how to handle difficult situations. Lance showed a genuine passion for his profession and helping his patients, fellow nurses, and students. Cannot say enough great things about this preceptor, fabulous experience.

Best Nursing Team: MICU

  • This group of health care professionals is devoted, passionate, and caring. They work as a team and come together for the best interests of the patients and their families. The different professions work together and treat each other as equals. The amount of research and initiatives on this unit is high and they are always pushing things to further better patient care. They also have a dynamite educator and management staff, who are very involved with their nurses and finding ways to make things better. Amazing group of people.


The Katie Pierce Award for Best Preceptor: Lydia Ross

Lydia was an incredible preceptor and was so helpful for me as a new nurse in the PNR program. She gave me the confidence in my own nursing abilities during my shift and really provided a lot of encouragement. 

She could easily make any unit a pleasure to be on. She has a passion for her patients and for nursing altogether. She is relatable and strives to make the PNRs feel welcome and excited about our roles and our futures.

On my first day, she made me feel so comfortable. She is super friendly and kind. She took such an interest in all of her patients and helped her coworkers out any time she could. She is a great nurse!

Best Nursing Team:  7 A

I never imagined wanted to work on a cardiac unit, but this team changed that!

I've been impressed with and heard the most praise about this unit. They have excellent teamwork and love their jobs.   

They all worked really well together! Doctors, nurses, care partners, family members, etc., were all involved in their patients' care and it was so great to see!


Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital

Best Preceptor: Sarah McClain (Adult 1)

Sarah was a terrific role model in effortlessly and naturally demonstrating the credo behavior of "making those we serve our highest priority." She spoke to each patient with such respect and compassion, leaving the impression of making each patient feel like they were the most important in the world and that their thoughts and feelings were heard. Even during stressful situations, Sarah was consistent, calm and always had a smile on her face. She made me feel so welcome on the unit and a valued team player even though I was new to the unit. Her confidence in me and encouragement helped me thrive as a nurse on the unit and deliver safe and individualized patient care.

Best Nursing Team: Adult 1

The unit is very welcoming to the nurse residents. It is evident that the staff support one another and go out of their way to support and include the nurse residents in providing quality patient care.

This unit really worked well in making sure all patients were taken care of safely. They helped each other out by rotating the people who were sitting for eyesights and 1:1. If another nurse was busy, one that wasn't busy would help a patient in need.

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