ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Kids of all ages are celebrating summer, but they aren’t the only ones! Nurses at Sentara Martha Jefferson also are celebrating graduations, and a small break from school too, as many are enrolled in programs to further their education. 

Understanding the importance of advanced degrees, Sentara Martha Jefferson has a goal of having 80% of its nursing staff at the BSN level or above by 2020. Shaune McKinnon is just one nurse that’s taken the initiative and recently celebrated graduation. 

“When you have an advanced degree it teaches you how to collect information, how to run rigorous research, and then you can disseminate that information and we can make stronger nurses,” noted McKinnon.  

Without the support of the hospital though, she says her accomplishment wouldn’t have been possible. “The managers were so supportive of my schedule changes; they always wanted to know what I was doing, so it was very easy.” 

In addition to being supportive, Sentara Martha Jefferson also offers a robust scholarship program for its nurses. It’s meant to be one more way to support education and eliminate any barriers. 

“If you’re doing it here at Martha Jefferson, you definitely picked a place where you will receive a lot of support and be able to grow. Nobody here is going to stunt that growth, they are only going to encourage it,” said McKinnon.

For more information on this topic, please call 1-800-SENTARA. If you have a question about your health you’d like us to answer, email