2811 Tieton Drive,
Yakima, WA 98902 Map this address

(509) 575-8000

Theory Of Caring

Introducing VMM's new Nursing Theory and Professional Practice Model

To all the nurses of Virginia Mason Memorial, we are adopting Swanson's Theory of Caring as our formal nursing theory and have updated our professional practice model to reflect this exciting change. By defining what we mean by "care" and "the professional practice of nurses", we help ourselves, patients, families, the full medical team and our community understand why there is no substitute for genuine nursing care. We are using these academic documents to magnify the never ending good work you do at the hospital bedside, in our clinics and in the community. To start this project, we asked a group of nurse leaders to record stories about their career, or a specific meaningful event and viewed how each unique story fit into the characteristics outlined in the Theory of Caring.

We invite you to explore the content below with the hope that it will help you relate to how these documents can help you in your daily routine of nursing, and especially in those defining moments of your career.

Learn more about the "Structure of Caring" »

The Theory of Caring

Nursing theories can help nurses set healthy boundaries as we provide care in an ever-evolving profession that has us working squarely in the middle of a stranger's stressful journey through the healthcare system. The specific challenges of our profession have been well documented in the article entitled "Nurses' perceived and actual caregiving roles: identifying factors that can contribute to job satisfaction". Ask yourself, as a nurse do you know how to set appropriate boundaries when you provide care for a patient, family member, or yourself in order to keep yourself from exhaustion or burnout? Do you feel that your definition of "care" mirrors the expectations of your patients, managers, organization and yourself?

Get to know our new nursing theory's definition of "caring" and the five characteristics of caring by reading this article and listening to the stories of the VMM nurses below.


A nurturing way of relating to a valued other toward whom one feels a personal sense of commitment and responsibility.

Being With

Being emotionally present to the other.

Maintain Belief

Sustaining faith in the other's capacity to get through an event or transition and face a future with meaning.


Striving to understand an event as it has meaning in the life of the other.

Doing For

Doing for the other as he/she would do for the self if it were at all possible.


Facilitating the other's passage through life transitions and unfamiliar events.

The Professional Practice Model

The Professional Practice Model

Nursing theories describe the abstract reasons why we do what we do. A professional practice model, on the other hand, outlines exactly how a nurse can bring about change in their organization to ensure they are able to give care in healthy ways for themselves and their patients. One way to understand why we need professional practice models is to read about the state of the profession in countries that do not have them. Within this article nurses reported a lack of opportunities for career advancement, a lack of opportunities to participate in policy decision making, a perception that their chief nursing officers did not have equal standing with other high level hospital executives, and the expectations to perform tasks outside their scope of practice when medical providers were short staffed.

Our revised Professional Practice Model defines our perfect state in terms of our professional values, professional relationships with each other and the healthcare team, management approach, professional culture, new care delivery system and our compensation/reward profile. When you identify an opportunity for improvement or an ethical dilemma in practice, we ask that you refer to this document as a resource to help VMM get closer to our defined "perfect state" in the mechanics of nursing care.

Professional Values »

Professional Relationships »

Management Approach »

Care Delivery System »

Professional Culture »


VMM has determined that nurses will receive monetary compensation for the time they attend Shared Leadership meetings and projects, and non-monetary compensation for their commitment to excel through the Inspire Program and the achievement of their SMART goals.

Smart Goals

Inspire »

We Want To Tell Your Story...

Every VMM nurse has a story to tell, and we built this webpage to tell yours:

  • When have you been/how have you become the nurse you always wanted to be?
  • How do you express to patients/families that you care for them or for their outcomes?
  • How do you express to your co-workers or to yourself as a nurse that you care for them/you?
  • What does/has the nursing field mean(t) to you?

We are looking for stories that are 4 minutes or less, are free from patient identifiers and have minimal background noise. Tell your story solo or with a friend. Contact (socialmedia@yvmh.org) in Communications to either set up a time to record your story in the sound booth, or send him an email of your story via a voice recorder/memo app. If you type up your story before you record please send us a copy of your transcript so we can post that, as well.

COVID-19 News & Announcements

New! June 23: Going Home after Birth during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Learn more »

New! June 23: Volver a casa después de dar a luz durante la pandemia de COVID-19

Aprende Más »

Mask Requirements

To minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19, Virginia Mason Memorial (VMM) would like to remind all patients and visitors that masks are REQUIRED at all VMM facilities, including our clinics.

To conserve supplies, we request that all patients and visitors bring masks to their appointments. A limited number of reusable cloth masks, made by community members, will be available if you need one.

We also strongly encourage all community members to wear masks when in public - this is one of our best tools to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

UPDATED! May 26: New Visitation Policy

As a response to the current community situation with COVID-19, we are suspending most in-person visits to our hospitalized patients. The decision to suspend hospital visits was difficult and made only after careful consideration.
Read More »

Prescription Home Delivery

We now offer home delivery for your prescription medications.

Learn more »

Visitors to Generations OB/GYN

As part of our continuing efforts to focus on patient safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, Generations has changed its visitor policy.

No visitors will be allowed for clinic visits, with the only exceptions being:

1 Visitor will be allowed for the first OB appointment
1 visitor will be allowed at the 20 week anatomy ultrasound

Visitors to the Family Birthplace

Women in the Family Birthplace may have one visitor.

Telehealth: Your questions answered

Learn more about joining one of our providers for a Telehealth visit »

COVID-19 Evaluation Clinic

Our Creekside HealthyNow location is now a COVID-19 evaluation clinic. If you have cough and fever, please schedule your visit at our Creekside Location. Please list your symptoms in the reason for visit so our team is better prepared to assist you.

This location completes an evaluation to determine if you're a candidate for COVID testing. Learn more »

Physician Recruitment:

We have reduced the number of Physician and Provider positions we are recruiting for in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Should you be interested in possible employment with Virginia Mason Memorial, please contact us at physicianrecruitment@yvmh.org. We are actively reviewing our staffing needs and new positions are being approved for posting. We appreciate your interest in us and hope to have the opportunity to consider you for a role with VMM.

Additional Spiritual Resources During COVID-19

Chaplains at Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital provide care for every patient regardless of their personal beliefs or non-beliefs. For support, assistance, prayers, and all other spiritual care requests, please email spiritualcare@yvmh.org or call the spiritual care office: (509) 575-8035


There are times when a direct face to face spiritual care conversation is not the best option (due to distance, a pandemic, patient preference). That's where Tele-Chaplaincy provides another possibility. You can request chaplain support using your personal, or hospital room, phone. Calls are confidential. Chaplains will listen, provide encouragement, offer help and resources, and if desired, offer prayer. If you are part of a faith community a chaplain can help you connect with them.

Virtual Chaplaincy

Without regular visits from family and friends a stay in the hospital can be even more challenging. One of our newest offerings, Virtual Chaplaincy using Zoom, helps make connections. By contacting the Spiritual Care team at the email or phone number above you can request a Zoom meeting. Family and friends throughout the Yakima Valley, from the four corners of the state, from across the country and even internationally, are meeting with patients via Zoom to offer their love and support. Due to the popularity of this option scheduling and frequency may, at times, be limited.

Hospital Lab Services

All out-patient lab services - including newborn screens and bilirubin collections - will now be provided at Memorial Cornerstone Medicine, 4003 Creekside Loop. Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday and Sunday.

Hospital Pharmacy

Beginning Thursday, March 19, the hospital pharmacy is closed to the public for the duration of the pandemic. The public may choose to have those prescriptions transferred to VMM's Pharmacy at Creekside or the pharmacy of their choice.

The Pharmacy at Creekside, 4003 Creekside Loop, is open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and offers walk-in or drive-through options for pickup.

Farmacia Del Hospital

A partir del jueves 19 de marzo, la farmacia del hospital estará cerrada al público mientras dure la pandemia. El público puede escoger si quiere que sus recetas sean transferidas a la otra farmacia de Virginia Mason Memorial, localizada en la clínica Cornerstone o también puede elegir cualquier otra farmacia de su preferencia. La clínica de Cornerstone, está localizada en el 4003 Creekside Loop. En esta farmacia se puede recoger la medicina por la ventana y/o adentro de la clínica.

Horario: Lunes a Viernes de 8:30 a.m. a 6:00 p.m. y sábado y domingo de las 8:00 a.m. a las 4:30 pm