Patients and Visitors go to

Welcome to the updated VPNPP Website! You will find a vast amount of information about our revised process for application for advancement on the website. We are currently working diligently to process the many applications that were submitted in June using the “old” process. These applicants are a priority for us at this time. If you are working to submit an application using the revised process, please be patient with the team. We will begin to process applications using the revised process in late September.

Thank you for your patience.

VPNPP Leadership Team.

What is the Vanderbilt Professional Nursing Practice Program (VPNPP)?

The Vanderbilt Professional Nursing Practice Program (VPNPP) is a performance-based career advancement program for nurses. It is supported by the Magnet Framework and a comprehensive performance evaluation system that recognizes and reward clinical nursing expertise in direct patient care. All direct care nurses participate in VPNPP at one of four levels. 

The Goals of VPNPP are to: 

  • Retain clinical nurses in direct patient care
  • Recognize and reward nursing performance in accordance with indicators of clinical expertise as well as contribution to the team, department, and the organization.
  • Foster an environment that promotes high quality patient care and contributes to positive patient outcomes. 
  • Establish nursing performance standards across the clinical enterprise.​

VPNPP exists to promote, support, recognize, and reward you as you grow within the role of the professional nurse as defined by internal and external practice standards, the context of the organization culture, and external environmental influences.


Contact us at

(click names for email)


Kelly Ernst, MSN, RN-BC
VPNPP Co-Chair
Nursing Education Specialist
Nursing Education & Professional Development


Justin R. Smolder, BSN, RN
VPNPP Co-Chair
Nursing Education Specialist
VUMC Nursing Education and Professional Development


Regina Stuart, MBA
VPNPP Associate Program Manager
Nursing Education and Professional Development