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Professional Development

The mission of the UF Health Jacksonville Professional Practice Department is to provide innovative and creative educational opportunities for nursing staff which facilitate professional and personal growth, professional competence and advance career goals.

This mission is achieved by the following goals:

  • Foster nursing research and evidenced-based practice
  • Facilitate competence in nursing services by ongoing assessment, development of programs, and evaluation of the outcomes
  • Improve the quality of patient care by educating nurses in their role regarding nurse specific quality indicators, national patient safety goals, benchmarking data, and best practice, evidence-based guidelines

Detailed information regarding some of our many development programs is provided below:

Charge Nurse Leadership Development

UF Health Jacksonville Nursing hosts Charge Nurse Leadership Development Programs to foster skills in the areas of supervision and delegation, communication, conflict resolution, and team building.

Specialty Fellowships

Throughout the year, we host several fellowships allowing nurses to transition into specialty practice areas. Some of these fellowships include:

  • Periop 101
  • Emergency Department Fellowship
  • Critical Care Fellowship
  • Maternal Child Fellowship

New Nurse Fellowship Program

UF Health Jacksonville offers a New Nurse Fellowship Program (NNFP) that is a 10-week program developed to provide transition of the graduate nurse to that of a professional nurse. Critical thinking scenarios and practice of skills practiced on most nursing units are essential components of this program. The program provides new nurses the ability to demonstrate the core competencies required for entry-level nurses through practice with equipment and use of the simulation lab for critical thinking scenarios. During the 10-week program, the new nurse will participate in classroom learning, skill practice in the simulation and skill-teaching labs, work with a "buddy" and preceptor on the nursing unit assigned and will spend a shift with Wound Care, a day in the ED to start IVs (if needed) and a day in the lab drawing blood, if that skill is needed.

Professional Recognition Program

The Nursing Professional Recognition Program rewards bedside nurses who demonstrate behaviors that excel the professional practice of nursing.

Depending on a point system, participants are eligible for a monetary bonus.

Nursing Simulation Lab

UF Health Jacksonville has a state of the art Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research (CSESaR).

The Nursing Simulation Lab is used for our fellowship programs and ongoing skills training. CSESaR is located in a large facility spanning approximately 24,000 square feet, and is divided into three areas in the Pavilion building on the UF Health Jacksonville campus.

Main Simulation and Conference/Instruction Area
This 7,000 square-foot area occupies a former hospital emergency department. The area is supported by an additional 800 square-foot conference and instructional area.

Operating Room Simulation and Instruction Area
This 14,000 square-foot area contains 12 operating rooms. It is supported by an additional 1,900 square-foot instruction area.

Disaster Simulation Area
This area includes a previous parking lot and ambulance entrance to the former emergency department. It is prepared to be equipped with tents, emergency mobile facilities and other disaster preparation equipment, as the training scenarios and events may require.

Technology, Equipment and Tools
The center uses an impressive array of equipment, including:

  • 1 Laerdal NewB newborn simulator
  • 1 Simulab Trauma Man vascular trainer
  • 2 Laerdal Air Man upper torso simulators
  • 2 Laerdal ALS Baby Trainer airway trainers
  • 2 Laerdal Baby Umbi airway trainers
  • 2 Laerdal Mega Code Kid with Vital Sim cardiac trainers
  • 2 Laerdal Nita Newborn airway trainers
  • 2 Laerdal Noelle adult/infant birthing simulators
  • 2 Laerdal Resusci Junior airway trainers
  • 2 Laerdal Resuscitation Baby airway trainers
  • 2 MedSim Ultra SIM ultrasound OB/GYN simulator
  • 2 Simulab Central Line Man vascular trainer
  • 3 Laerdal Resusci Baby airway trainers
  • 3 Laerdal SIM Baby pediatric 4-year-old child simulators
  • 4 Laerdal Baby Anne infant simulators
  • 5 Laerdal SIMMAN © full body simulators
  • 18 Laerdal Infant airway management trainers

Tuition Reimbursement

Employees who are classified as a non-probationary, full-time employee are eligible for tuition reimbursement benefits. The degree program, certification, or course work must clearly provide benefit to UF Health Jacksonville as well as the employee.

Nursing Leadership Speaker Bureau

Patrice Jones DNP, RN, NE-BC

Patrice Jones DNP, RN, NE-BC

Topics: Nursing Leadership, Nursing Roles, Strategic Planning, Delegation


Cynthia Gerdik DNP, MBA, RN NE-BC

Cynthia Gerdik DNP, MBA, RN NE-BC

Topics: Emergency Services, Trauma Services, Pediatrics, Nursing Leadership


Carol Fultz MSN, RN, RN-BC, CPEN

Carol Fultz MSN, RN, RN-BC, CPEN

Topics: Pediatrics, Nursing Leadership, Team Stepps, Emergency Services, Trauma Services,


Jenny VanRavestein, MSN, RN, NE-BC

Jenny VanRavestein, MSN, RN, NE-BC

Topics: Labor and Delivery, Mother Baby, Neonatal, Just Culture, Appreciative Inquiry


Joan Sacerio, MHSA, BSN, RN-BC, CHPN

Joan Sacerio, MHSA, BSN, RN-BC, CHPN

Topics: Bioethical principles Nursing ethics, End of life, regional trainer for Hospice and Palliative Nurse Certification ELNEC core and critical care, Relationship Based Care Med/Surg certification (Dimensions, Pain and EOL)


Valerie Platt, DNP, RN, NE-BC

Valerie Platt, DNP, RN, NE-BC

Topics: Team Building or Building Strong Teams, Quality Improvement, Leadership Topics, Delegation, Improving Patient Safety, Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology (Stoke or becoming a stroke center), opening or closing new units, service lines or clinics, customer service, evidence based process change


Linda Lawson, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

Linda Lawson, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

Topics: Leadership, strategic Planning, Team Building, Nursing Finance