Becoming a nurse at Stanford Health Care opens up a world of
professional opportunities. RN Voice shares the stories of individual
nurses' career paths and nursing experiences. Learn about their career
paths, opportunities at SHC they've enjoyed, and where they see their
careers at one of the world's leading teaching hospitals going next.
It was an evening under the stars where eight Stanford Nurses got
together to dine and discuss their passion for learning and nursing.
Teri Vidal, RN, CCRN
Nearly four decades of nursing at Stanford continues to bring
challenges and rewards.
What began as a summer preceptorship required for nursing school
graduation turned out to be the beginning of 37 years (and still
counting) of nursing at Stanford Health Care (SHC) for Teri Vidal, RN,
As a nursing student in 1975, Vidal couldn't have imagined the
changes in health care delivery and the nursing profession that would
occur over the course of her nursing career. She is certain, however,
that the opportunities she's had as a nurse at SHC enabled her to
provide outstanding patient care and to help shape the role of nursing
at the hospital.
"From day one, I experienced enormous opportunity as a nurse
at Stanford,” Vidal said. "I stayed here because there
is so much to learn and our leadership is committed to our success
Vidal spent much of her nursing career as a bedside nurse on the E2
Intensive Care Unit (E2ICU). She enjoyed the pace and challenges
inherent in caring for patients with complex cases.
"At Stanford, we get the sickest of the sick. Caring for these
patients and supporting their families during their time of need is
rewarding and challenging as a nurse," Vidal said.
"Being a nurse at a world-class teaching hospital like
Stanford is exciting because you're exposed to the latest research
and innovation in standards of care."
In 2007, Vidal became one of two unit educators for the E2ICU. With
165 nurses on the unit, 17 annual and bi-annual competencies,
orientations, equipment training workshops, critical care training,
and more, the job keeps her busy.
Vidal was a founding member of the Patient Advisory Council and
remains a part of its leadership team. The council includes long-term
patients and their family members, nurses, physicians and other team
members. Its goal is to gain insight from patients to improve the
patient experience across all levels of care.
"The Patient Advisory Council is a fantastic example of how
committed Stanford is to the practice of Patient and Family Centered
Care," Vidal said.
In part because of recommendations from the council, the E2ICU
implemented open visiting hours in 2011. Vidal led this initiative,
which required six months of research, planning and strategy.
"I always knew open visiting hours were the right thing to
do," she said. "It's so important for patients and
their families to be able to be together. However, we faced a lot of
operational challenges in implementing this standard."
To learn more about the issue, the hospital sent Vidal and other
representatives (WHEN?) to a four-day patient and family-centered care
workshop in North Carolina. "It was a great experience. I
attended all of the break-sessions relating to open visiting hours and
met colleagues who had faced similar challenges and overcame them."
Over the course of six months, Vidal surveyed her team, reached out
to other hospitals and worked with the E2ICU Practice Council in order
to develop a successful plan for open visiting hours.
"It was important that our nurses had a venue for expressing
their opinions and concerns about open visiting hours,” she
said. "They raised important issues which we were able to plan
for and address early on, thus easing the transition to open
visiting hours, which was successfully launched in September of 2011."
In 2009, Teri earned her CCRN. In June 2012, she went through the
PNDP and was promoted to Clinical Nurse IV.
Governance and the Professional
Nurse Development Program are the formal systems for
participating in leadership and structuring your career
path," Vidal said. "But long before those were in
place, the culture at Stanford has always been one that values the
contributions of nurses and recognizes our role in quality patient
care and good outcomes."
This September, Vidal will celebrate her 38th year as a nurse at
Stanford Health Care.
Monica Cfarku, RN, MSN
When Monica Cfarku, R.N., MSN joined Stanford Hospital & Clinics
(SHC) in October of 2003, she candidly told her manager, "I
never stay anywhere longer than two years because I always need a
Nearly ten years later, when asked about working at SHC, Monica
replies, "I'm never leaving, this is the best organization
I've ever worked for!"
She credits her loyalty to SHC to the deep support, both practically
and logistically, that she has received from the Nursing
administration as she has taken advantage of the many professional
growth and development opportunities available to SHC nurses.
In 2012, she graduated with an MSN from SFSU's cohort program with
financial support from the Transformation
Scholarship, which provides grants to SHC nurses seeking graduate degrees.
The SFSU cohort program holds many classes at SHC, which mostly
eliminates the need for a commute into San Francisco. Monica says her
managers at the time were extremely supportive of her goals and helped
her with scheduling so as to accommodate her class schedule.
Early in her career at SHC, Monica saw a need for greater
communication between residents and nurses. In response to this need,
and with support from Nancy Lee, Chief Nursing Officer, she started
the Interprofessional Education Program at the Stanford School of Medicine.
"I realized I had a potential Master's thesis as I was working
on setting up this program and had always wanted to go to graduate
school. This was the perfect opening!"
Monica has also completed the Professional
Nurse Development Program (PNDP) at SHC. Of that process, she
says that writing the exemplars was a challenge because so much of
what nurses do in their daily practice is deeply ingrained and
In speaking of the support she received, Monica says,
"Carole Kulik spent an afternoon helping me talk through my
exemplar examples so I could better articulate the reasons behind
the clinical decisions in my examples. It was a really good exercise."
Monica encourages all nurses considering going through the PNDP to
reach out to the numerous sources of support available, and says that
the process itself is very doable if you take it step by step.
In November of 2012, Monica was promoted to Assistant Clinical Nurse
Manager in the Infusion Treatment Area of the Bone Marrow Transplant
Department. She is enjoying the challenges of her new job, and is
grateful for the support she has had from the Nursing Administration
throughout her employment at SHC.
"I have had four great mentors behind me every step of the
way, including Nancy Lee, R.N, Carole Kulik, Lynn Forsey, and Nina
Davis. Most people don't go looking for management positions, but I
had these people behind me and I felt very supported as I went
through graduate school and the PNDP process, as well as getting
into management myself."
Monica feels that SHC is a great place for nurses interested in
growing their careers. "Our administration really, really
wants nurses to succeed. Nancy Lee has said that people may choose
Stanford for the physicians, but they come back for the nursing
care. They want us to rise as high as we can and I'm taking
advantage of it, because, how can you not?"
Rey Marvin Avelino RN, BSN, CCRN, PCCN
As a child, Rey Alvino's aunt inspired him to become a nurse.
"I saw that her job enabled her to help people and also take
care of her family." Rey completed his RN degree in the
Philippines, which is his home country.
After a one year stint in London, in 2002 his career in nursing
brought him to a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. It was during this
time in the Midwest that he first learned of Stanford Hospital &
Clinics (SHC). "Stanford Hospital is obviously world renowned
and I kept hearing about their focus on patient centered care,
research and education, and I became determined to work there!"
Rey succeeded in becoming a SHC team member in June of 2005 and has
never looked back. He has taken advantage of the many opportunities
available at SHC that enable him to continue to grow as a nurse. He is
currently a Charge Nurse on D1, CCUCSU.
Early in his career at SHC, he was asked to be a member of the
Stanford Medication Safety Team, a group that conducts monthly audits
on each unit to ensure that medications are being safely monitored and dispersed.
Rey has also enjoyed acting as a preceptor to new hires.
"Being a preceptor is great for both the newly hired nurse
and the nurse who has been at the hospital for a longer time. When
you have to articulate why you make the decisions you do, it keeps
your knowledge fresh and keeps you examining your own practice,
which makes you a better nurse."
"When you're browsing through the requirements that you have
to achieve, you might freak out a little bit! But just take it step
by step and it is really reasonable, it isn't overwhelming once you
get into it."
He says that the support offered through Stanford Health Care's
Center for Education and Professional Development and the informal
PNDP support lounges were enormously helpful.
"When I was preparing my portfolio there were a lot of classes
that were offered that were really helpful. There is a lot of
support available to get through the PNDP process. People shouldn't
be intimidated, it is doable!"
After completing the PNDP, Rey was promoted to a Clinical Nurse IV.
When asked about his future career plans, Rey says that he plans on
completing his MSN.
"Learning for me is a lifelong endeavor. Stanford offers me
continuous opportunities to learn and develop myself professionally.
There is endless opportunity for growth as a nurse at Stanford
Hospital & Clinics."