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Professional Development and Education

Professional Development

The concepts of continuous professional development and lifelong learning are cornerstones of a robust nursing career. Whether nurses are new to the profession or have many years of experience in the workplace, ongoing professional development ensures expertise and knowledge of specialty standards, and translates to improved patient safety and clinical outcomes.

Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital offers many relevant and valuable professional learning opportunities to ensure that nurses strengthen their practice throughout their professional careers. This includes financial and schedule support for nurses pursuing advanced degrees and certifications in their specialty areas, a clinical ladder for advancement, a mentored evidenced-based practice (EBP) program, succession planning and mentoring programs, and many opportunities for clinical nurse-led decision making via the SVMH shared governance structure. For career opportunities at SVMH, click here.


The Education Department at SVMH is dedicated to promoting excellence in health care by providing education and resources supporting the healthcare professionals of the hospital and community. This department provides a wide variety of educational opportunities from computer orientation, life safety programs (BLS, PALS, NRP, TNCC, STABLE, and ACLS), e-Learning, nursing competency programs, and more.

Recognizing the challenges that result from rapid changes in the healthcare environment, the Education Department is committed to facilitating excellence in practice with evidence-based information to develop the education classes.

New Graduate Nurse Residency Program

SVMH recognizes the value a New Graduate Nurse Residency Program brings to the organization by supporting the new graduate nurse in their transition into the professional practice setting. SVMH implements strategies to attract and retain new graduate nurses and assists them in their professional and academic progression. The SVMH Nurse Residency Program includes an intensive week-long orientation upon hire and a 6-month unit-specific orientation by a preceptor which includes didactic, simulation, and experiential learning modalities. Orientation is personalized for each new grad to facilitate assessment of the resident’s knowledge, skill, professional development, life-long learning philosophy, and well-being. A team of educators, managers, preceptors, and peer RNs are involved in the process to continually identify knowledge and skills gaps to tailor orientation to the individual resident. Residents complete an evidence-based practice project under the mentorship of the clinical nurse educators which is presented to their unit-based council at the end of the new grad’s orientation. Retention rate of new graduates after one year is 98%.

Practice Transition Programs for Experienced Nurses

Newly Hired Experienced Nurses

SVMH recognizes the knowledge and skill that newly hired experienced nurses contribute to the organization and offers a transition orientation program for skilled nurses joining the SVMH nursing program. Unit-level orientations for newly hired experienced nurses are tailored based on the nurse’s prior experience in the specialty and their individual needs. A team of educators, managers, preceptors, and peer nurses are involved in the process to continually identify knowledge and skills gaps to tailor orientation to the individual newly hired experienced nurse.

Nurses Transitioning to New Practice Environment

SVMH seeks to retain nurses who wish to transfer to a new practice environment or specialty within the hospital by offering internal transition training programs. This training is offered on a case-by-case basis and is tailored for the individual nurse by customizing web-based learning, mentoring, and peer feedback using a team of educators, managers, preceptors, and peer nurses.

Professional Development at SVMH

Opportunity Resources/Support
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)/Advanced Degrees
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Schedule support
  • College/university affiliations, including reduced fees or on-site classes
  • Career/college days
  • Professional development events
Certification Support
  • Certification/recertification bonus
  • On-site prep classes
    • Fees for on-site courses paid plus paid time
  • HealthStream® prep classes available
Continuing Education
  • Support for continuing education and travel expenses
  • Unit-specific trainings offered
  • Specialty courses: EKG and other cardiac classes, ASLS, STABLE, Wound Care, specialty pharmacology
Clinical Ladder
  • Financial incentive
  • Various events/speakers
Peer Feedback
  • Peer Feedback classes
  • Opportunity to become a Peer Feedback Champion with additional training
Physician-Nurse Communication
  • Nurses can apply to be a member of this council
Preceptor Classes
  • 8-hour preceptor workshop includes criteria for preceptors
  • Primary preceptors receive differential pay
Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Program
  • EBP skills development workshop
  • Mentored EBP support
  • John Hopkins Model
Mentoring Program
  • SVMH Nursing Mentoring Program available
Succession Planning
  • SVMH Nursing Succession Planning Program available
Shared Governance (SG)
  • SG leaders orientation
  • Computer classes available for chairs and members
  • Schedule support for SG leaders and members
N-Charge Program
  • Courses for nurses developing skills for charge nurse role
Professional Practice Model (PPM) Task Force
  • Objective: To enhance enculturation of SVMH PPM
  • Roving cart education
Nursing Excellence Committee
  • Incident based peer review
Local Professional Organization Meetings
  • AACN, Oncology, and AWHONN