August 25, 2022

Jackson named senior director of VUMC Nursing Education & Professional Development

Crystal Jackson, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, has been named senior director of Vanderbilt Nursing Education & Professional Development.

Crystal Jackson, MSN, RN, NPD-BC

Crystal Jackson, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, has been named senior director of Nursing Education & Professional Development, effective Sept. 1.

Jackson, who is director of Clinical Education & Professional Development for Vanderbilt Adult Ambulatory Clinics, succeeds Chris Wilson, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, who retired at the end of July.

Jackson said she is an enthusiastic coach, lifelong learner and promoter of diversity, inclusion and equity in professional development.

“I’m grateful to be able to challenge myself in a new role, continue to add value to the organization, grow and develop professionally, and also continue to help and develop and grow others,” she said. “That’s really a passion of mine.”

A native of St. Louis, Jackson began her career there as a registered nurse at St. John’s Mercy Hospital, providing care for medical-surgical (med-surg) patients with a variety of complex diagnoses. She also became a preceptor for new nurses and fell in love with nursing education.

She then moved to SSM Health as Clinical Educator for Med-Surg, and then manager of Nursing Education. In the latter role, she collaborated with nursing leadership at St. Mary’s Hospital-St. Louis and St. Clare Hospital-Fenton on nursing education initiatives.

Jackson came to Vanderbilt in 2018 as nursing education specialist for Medicine, Specialty Clinics and Walk-In Clinics. A year later, she began a new role as director of Clinical Education & Professional Development for Vanderbilt Adult Ambulatory Clinics.

Among her efforts, she redesigned the LPN Transition to Practice program, implemented an Adult Ambulatory Nurse residency track and established a core competency-based orientation checklist for the Clinics.

Jackson said she was particularly proud of helping create a clinical ladder for medical assistants. All MAs start as MA I and can progress to MA II and MA III, with incremental increases in salary. Obtaining a new level requires a year of educational programs. The system recognizes MAs for continuing education and allows them to work at the peak of their license. It is designed to retain high-quality MAs by recognizing excellence in engagement, clinical skills and research.

“It was a great pleasure to get a chance to work on it, develop it and then implement it and see how it evolved,” she said. “We’ve had the medical assistant ladder since November of 2021, and that has really impacted a lot of staff in a great way.”

Much of Jackson’s nursing education work was done during the COVID-19 pandemic, requiring greater use of technology to train nurses virtually. In her new role, Jackson said she would like to explore using more social media, in an appropriate way, to teach nurses.

“If you can learn a recipe on TikTok, you certainly learn about clinical education,” she said.

Jackson said she was also excited about building on VUMC’s Nurse Residency Program, which trains hundreds of nurses each year. She wants to build further partnerships with nursing schools to further diversity, equity and inclusion in the nurse workforce.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome Crystal to this important role,” said Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, NE-BC, executive chief nursing officer. “She is passionate about nursing education, has a variety of important experiences and is full of great ideas for training our nurses in the latest, evidence-based practice to care for our patients and families.”