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Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta employs more than 3,000 nurses who excel both on the front line and behind the scenes. Our nurses are committed to providing exceptional patient care and a meaningful experience to our patients and their families. To support lifelong learning, Children’s offers a variety of development programs designed to help nurses new to Children’s learn more about our team and personally experience our environment of family-centered care.

We provide a comprehensive onboarding program for experienced nurses and recent grads.

At Children’s, we teach you everything you need to know about being a pediatric nurse. Whether you are an experienced nurse switching from adult care to pediatric care or a recent graduate, we have the resources and tools to help you make a successful transition.


The professional practice model (PPM) is a framework that serves as a guide for defining, overseeing and evaluating professional nursing practice to ensure and support the advancement of the nursing profession at Children’s. The PPM, also referred to as our practice framework, represents nurses’ professional identity through the following eight components that describe how nurses at Children’s practice, collaborate, communicate and develop professionally to provide patient-centered care of the highest quality:

  • Care delivery: The foundation of practice begins with care delivery, making sure patients and families remain at the center of practice. Relationship-based care (RBC) is our model of care delivery that cultivates nurses’ key relationships with patients, colleagues and each other.
  • Healthy work environment: To find balance within the key relationships of RBC, nurses and interprofessional partners foster a caring and healing environment and have the resources required for safe, patient-centered care delivery.
  • Improving outcomes: Creating and sustaining a culture of safety is vital to improving outcomes and the level of care provided to patients.
  • Leadership: Transformational leaders provide strategic vision for nursing through leadership support and advocacy, and they empower nurses at all levels and across all settings to share in decisions that affect their practice.
  • Development: Nurses are committed to lifelong learning and have opportunities for professional development. Nurses teaching and developing their peers is essential to passing the profession on to the future.
  • Research and evidence-based practice: Clinical inquiry and evidence-based practice enables nurses to identify new knowledge, apply innovative approaches to care delivery and implement the best care for patients.
  • Engagement: Professional recognition and valuing nurses for their contributions to the practice support professional advancement. Nurses are committed to serving patients in the community through healthcare outreach.
  • Nursing practice: Demonstrating professional accountability through practice standards supports autonomous nursing practice. Advanced nursing practice demonstrates clinical expertise and encourages top-of-license practice.


Care delivery systems

RBC principles make up the care delivery component of our PPM and function as the foundation of nursing practice, helping ensure patients remain at the center of our practice. RBC centers healthcare delivery on three crucial relationships that sustain and are supported by a caring and healing environment: nurses’ relationships with patients and families, colleagues, and each other. Each clinical unit and department that provides nursing care applies the following guiding principles in a manner that meets the needs of the specific patient population served:

  • Nurse-patient relationship and decision-making
  • Work allocation and patient assignment
  • Communication and teamwork
  • Management of the unit and environment of care


As nursing’s care delivery system, RBC primary nursing involves establishing a therapeutic relationship between the nurse and an individual patient and family. RBC primary nursing is practiced across all care delivery settings, because no matter where a patient receives care at Children’s, the nurse’s role is always to establish a therapeutic relationship, identify the patient’s unique health needs, and communicate those needs to and coordinate with other members of the healthcare team.

Children’s provides a number of resources to develop the expertise and skills of our nursing professionals, including continuing education, professional certification and career advancement.

Continuing education

Each year, Children’s offers new and ongoing programs to enhance the competency of our nurses. The Pediatric Simulation Center focuses on interprofessional simulations to build skills, teamwork and communication at all levels of nursing experience, while new graduates benefit from a comprehensive first-year experience program. In addition, quarterly clinical professional development seminars occur at our Egleston, Hughes Spalding and Scottish Rite hospitals.

Professional certification

Children’s reimburses expenses for our nurses who successfully pass their certification exam and offers a preparation course for the Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) exam.

Nursing leadership committees

The following committees have high-level accountability and decision-making responsibilities:

  • Nursing Leadership Forum (NLF): This group of nursing leaders makes practice decisions and fosters discussions on patient care and quality improvements. The NLF establishes the Nursing Strategic Plan and annual nursing goals, which are aligned with the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Shared Leadership: Children’s supports clinical decision-making and leadership through our shared governance structure, Shared Leadership. This accountability-based structure facilitates the delivery of progressive and high-quality care and enables clinical care providers to collaborate and participate in decision-making that affects the delivery of care to their patients and families. The Shared Leadership framework is based on System, campus and unit council structures that collaborate to enhance and improve patient care for the organization as well as individual units and departments. Each unit has councils that coordinate clinical decision-making at the unit level. These may be separate in distinct councils or combined councils depending on the unit or department. The councils collaborate with their unit leaders to coordinate decision-making and communicate progress in resolving unit-based issues. Campus and System councils comprise direct-care representatives from designated areas, with these members responsible for representing key units of accountability.

Nursing leaders at Children’s

Chief Nursing and Hospital Operations Officer
Phone: 404-785-2080

Lorisa Williams, MPS, BSN, NEA-BC, RN-BC
Vice President, Nursing and Hospital Operations, Scottish Rite hospital
Phone: 404-785-7841

Cheryl Head, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC
Vice President, Nursing and Hospital Operations, Egleston hospital
Phone: 404-785-1269

My Nursing Career Path Program

The Children’s My Nursing Career Path Program offers direct patient care nurses a variety of development opportunities and allows nurses to build a customized career portfolio based on their interests. The purpose of the program is to promote career development and raise the bar of professional excellence among clinical nurses while also providing recognition and advancement opportunities.

The program outlines flexible criteria for demonstration of excellence within four domains of professional nursing practice at Children’s: practice, engagement, development and outcomes. Clinical nurses can earn points by documenting their roles and specific projects. The program provides suggested learning activities for clinical nurses who wish to further explore related development opportunities.

Nursing certification review courses

In an effort to support our commitment to lifelong learning, nursing certification review courses are also offered annually in an effort to expand clinical knowledge and professional growth opportunities for nurses. Through our partnership with the American Nurses Credentialing Center and Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, Children’s nurses are provided the opportunity to sit for certification exams at no cost to them.

For decades, Children’s has been well-known for providing superior pediatric care throughout Georgia and the Southeast. In November 2018 and February 2019, respectively, our Egleston and Scottish Rite hospitals received initial Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

The ANCC’s Magnet Recognition Program recognizes healthcare organizations worldwide who demonstrate superior nursing standards in the delivery of quality patient care, leading to the highest levels of patient safety, quality and patient satisfaction.

The program advances three goals within healthcare organizations:

  1. Promoting quality in a setting that supports professional practice.
  2. Identifying excellence in the delivery of care to patients and families.
  3. Disseminating best practices among healthcare professionals.

Achieving Magnet status is a recognition of quality nursing care, teamwork and collaboration among all healthcare professionals and is validation that our teams love what they do and continue to exceed national standards in the delivery of quality patient care.