Cardiovascular Surgical Stepdown

Shatika Taylor

Welcome to the Cardiovascular Surgical Stepdown Unit!

Our unit treats clinically complex and challenging cardiac patients — those patients who many times may have been told they were too high risk for treatment at other facilities. Many of our patients suffer from an acute illness like a heart attack or irregular rhythm. Sometimes the cutting-edge procedures they undergo while at Vanderbilt have a lasting impact on their lives.  Our nurses need to be able to meet the patient where they are and treat each patient holistically. Besides compassion and empathy, we look for nurses who are intuitive — for example, noticing the subtle signs that your patient needs to talk or ask questions. We believe in shared responsibility in our unit. When new admissions arrive, all available staff helps welcome them and get them settled. Everyone is encouraged to check on his or her peers and ask if they need help. The comradery on the unit not only helps in effectively evening out the workload, but it also extends outside the hospital. Many of our nurses get together outside of work for sporting events, unit sponsored events or just social networking. We have several staff members who are from out of state and rely on relationships that they build at work to provide work-life balance. We also believe in mentorship and education. Our unit has won several preceptor awards because, simply put, our preceptors love to teach. Many of them started out in the Nurse Residency program and remember the anxiety related to starting a new job. They take pride in getting our new staff started on the right track. If you want to be part of a team that strives to provide the best possible care through utilizing evidence-based practice, apply now and join us!

Shatika E. Taylor, MSN, APRN
Manager, Inpatient Cardiology
5 South Progressive Care Unit
6 South Cardiovascular Surgical Stepdown Unit


Location Location
Sixth floor of Vanderbilt University Hospital
Nurse to Patient Ration Nurse to Patient Ratio
Number of Beds
Focus of Care Patient Profile
Adult patients with acute cardiology, cardiac surgery or vascular conditions. 
Unit Team Staff Mix •    Registered Nurses
•    Care Partners
•    Medical Receptionists
•    Nurse Educator
•    Patient Flow Nurses
Certifications Required Certifications •    BLS
•    Basic Arrhythmia
•    ACLS
•    PCCN Certification encouraged
Shift Rotations Rotation/Shifts
•    12 hour shifts, 36 hour week
•    Self-scheduling 
•    Flexible holiday scheduling
awards Awards •    PRC 5-Star Award
•    VUMC Nurse Residency Program Teamwork Awards
•    Multiple Nurse Residency Preceptor Awards
Nurse Residency Program Our unit is part of VUMC's Nurse Residency Program
Nursing Careers at Vanderbilt


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“I love working in the Cardiovascular Surgical Stepdown unit for a number of reasons but, the biggest one would have to be my coworkers. We have such a great morale and great teamwork. Cardiac care has always been my passion, so I enjoy the type of patients we see, but I also appreciate the great leadership in this unit. They have always made me feel like my voice is important and have helped me grow as a leader as well.”

Kelli W., RN2-CC
Cardiovascular Surgical Stepdown