The National League for Nursing declared 2022 the Year of the Nurse Educator to celebrate the essential contributions of nurse educators to public health and nurses everywhere. Nursing Professional Development (NPD) is an important specialized nursing practice that facilitates the professional role development and growth of nurses and other health care personnel along the continuum from novice to expert. We are proud of the work our committed NPD Specialists do to provide the highest level of quality professional development to the nursing profession.


Highlighted NPD Specialists of the Month: Krista Greaves and Alicia Vasey

Krista Greaves, M.S., B.S.N., R.N., C.C.R.N., N.P.D.-B.C. and Alicia Vasey, M.S.N., R.N., N.P.D.,-B.C., C.C.R.N. coordinate foundational programs at UC Davis Health. Together, they facilitate the onboarding and development of numerous new nursing staff annually.


Krista coordinates the UC Davis Health Nursing Orientation program with Nancy Chiang. The UC Davis Health Orientation program is designed to ensure newly hired staff receive consistent information regarding policies, procedures, standards and documentation to support practice and familiarize them with the UC Davis Health vision, mission, values, goals and organizational structure. In keeping with the UC Davis Health vision, the objectives of nursing orientation are geared toward creatively using existing resources to meet the new demands of a constantly changing health-care environment.

Krista has expertly adapted our comprehensive two-week long orientation to successfully manage increasing numbers of new hires to staff our growing health system’s needs while meeting changeable pandemic protocols. In 2021, we onboarded over 800 new hires into patient care roles with similar numbers to date this year. To disseminate processes and outcomes, Krista presented at the 2021 Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD) Conference on her work with restructuring nursing orientation to build an engaged workforce. Beyond her work with orientation, Krista also teaches our Sepsis: Nurses Make the Difference course and served as Chair of the UC Davis Health Professional Development Council.


Alicia is the Director of the New Graduate Nurse Residency Program with Kimiko McCulloch. She was instrumental in the program gaining accredited with distinction as a Practice Transition Program by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation in Practice Transition Programs. UC Davis New Graduate Nurse Residency Program at UC Davis Health is recognized by the ANCC Practice Transition Accreditation Program® (PTAP) as an Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAP). Impressively, Alicia is directing six current cohorts, totaling an 245 nurse residents with recent cohort sizes increasing, including our largest to date at 63 residents.

Alicia does a phenomenal job with the Nurse Residency Program in preparing our new nurses for safe and high-quality patient care. Recently, environmental scanning and program evaluation revealed changing needs of our incoming residents due to the pandemic and changes in prelicensure clinical education. To meet these needs, Alicia and Kimiko worked with academic partners and our UC Davis Health school liaison, managers, and preceptors to conduct a gap analysis. She then designed and implemented targeted supplemental skills labs in our simulation suite to improve competence and confidence for patient care. The skills labs include simulation with patient rescue skills, challenging ethical conflicts, and providing compassionate end-of-life care. Alicia is working to add a monthly support group meeting for residents during their transition to practice as well as an exciting upcoming structured mentorship program to support professional development.

Both Alicia and Krista are strong role models for professional development, holding advanced degrees and specialty certifications in Nursing Professional Development.