Vanderbilt Professional Nursing Practice Program (VPNPP)

The VPNPP employee website has a brand new look with improved user-friendly features!  Click on VPNPP to check it out! 

Non-Vanderbilt nurses interested in learning more about our program click here.

The Vanderbilt Professional Nursing Practice Program (VPNPP) is a performance-based career advancement program for nurses.   It is supported by a comprehensive performance evaluation system that utilizes self-, peer-, and manager- evaluation to recognize and reward clinical nursing expertise in direct patient care. All direct care nurses participate in VPNPP at one of four levels

 Level 1 – Novice

  • This group consists of nurses with less than 12 months of clinical nursing experience.

Level 2 – Competent

  • This group consists of nurses with more than 12 months of clinical nursing experience.
  • All nurses are required to attain and maintain practice at this level.

Level 3 – Proficient

  • This group consists of nurses who participate in continued self-education, changing unit or organizational processes

Level 4 – Expert

  • This group consists of nurses who lead and evaluate unit and organizational process changes using evidence as a guide for change.


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.

The goals of VPNPP are to:
1.  Attract and retain clinical nurses in direct patient care

2.  Position Vanderbilt to be the “Employer of Choice” in the community

3.  Reward nursing performance in accordance with indicators of clinical expertise and contribution to
     the team, the work area, and the organization

4.  Provide opportunities for promotion for nurses in the practice of direct patient care

5.  Achieve consistent nursing performance standards and pay equity across the clinical enterprise

6.  Build a Performance Development System that promotes, supports, recognizes, 
     and rewards nurses by:


  • Clearly defining expectation of job for each nursing job description
  • Challenging the status quo for the improvement of patient care
  • Accurately and objectively measuring performance
  • Highlighting strengths and targeting areas for professional growth
  • Noting areas of strength and areas for continued development as a pathway to the next practice level

Click VPNPP* to access the employee site for further information, including VPNPP class times and forms.

VPNPP Contact Information

Regina Stuart
Associate Program Manager
Nursing Education & Professional Development
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
3401 West End Avenue, Suite 790

  Professional Development