Inova Fairfax is the largest healthcare facility in the Washington, D.C. metro region and ranked as the top hospital in Virginia and Washington, D.C., for the second year in a row in 2022-2023 per U.S. News & World Report. Recognized for excellence in patient care, this Magnet-designated hospital also provides a rewarding environment to build a thriving nursing career.
In this spotlight, we’ll take a closer look at what Inova Fairfax Hospital offers its nursing staff regarding high-performing specialties, diversity initiatives and nursing education. Whether you’re a new grad, experienced nurse or travel RN, you’ll get insight into what to expect if you accept a position at this leading Washington, D.C. hospital.
Overview of Inova Fairfax Hospital
Located in Falls Church, Virginia, Inova Fairfax Hospital serves the Washington, D.C. metro area and Northern Virginia. It opened its doors in 1961 with 96 beds and has since evolved into the region’s largest hospital with 1,151 staffed beds. According to September 2022 data from the Washington Business Journal, Inova Fairfax has 9,200 employees and admits more than 45,300 patients and sees 410,000 outpatients annually.
Inova Fairfax sits on a medical campus that’s also home to the Inova L. J. Murphy Children’s Hospital, Inova Women’s Hospital and Inova Heart and Vascular Institute. Named a top teaching hospital in 2022 by Leapfrog Group, Inova Fairfax provides a range of learning opportunities, including physician residencies and extensive nursing education programs.
Inova Health System, which owns Inova Fairfax Hospital, operates other healthcare facilities in Northern Virginia, including four other hospitals, primary and specialty care practices, urgent care centers and ambulatory clinics. The company’s mission is “to provide world-class healthcare — every time, every touch — to each person in every community we have the privilege to serve.”
Benefits at Inova Fairfax Hospital
Inova Fairfax Hospital believes that for its employees to provide the best patient care, they must feel supported in caring for themselves physically, emotionally, psychologically, economically and socially.
Inova Fairfax’s Total Rewards benefits package is one of the ways the hospital strives to support its employees. Complementing its comprehensive medical, dental and vision plans, the healthcare facility offers paid time off, paid parental leave and flexible work schedules.
It also offers significant emotional and psychological support for all Inova team members, their spouses/partners and children with 25 mental health coaching or therapy sessions, per person, per year at no cost to the employee.
Retirement benefits match from day one of employment, and health savings and flexible spending accounts are also available. To support employees’ professional growth, Inova Fairfax offers student loan assistance programs and tuition reimbursement.
Specialty Care at Inova Fairfax Hospital
Inova Fairfax Hospital provides opportunities for nurses to work in various specialties, many recognized as high-performing. Top specialties nurses may pursue span patient populations, offering the perfect niche no matter your personal and professional preferences.
Northern Virginia’s only Level 1 Trauma Center is at Inova Fairfax Hospital. The trauma center admits patients with life-threatening injuries transported from Fairfax and nearby counties, West Virginia and Maryland. The hospital’s emergency room staff treats about 134,000 patients per year, according to a September 2022 article in the Washington Business Journal.
Nurses interested in neonatal care can work at Inova Children’s Hospital, named one of the top 50 hospitals for neonatology in the nation by U.S. News. The hospital was the first in the United States to receive a Gold Seal in Prematurity from the Joint Commission, recognizing the high level of care provided to premature infants. The Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit cares for high-risk infants, and the Small Baby Unit cares for babies born before 29 weeks or weighing less than 2.2 pounds.
Cardiology nurses have employment opportunities at the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, the only dedicated cardiac hospital in the region. The award-winning facility uses advanced technology to prevent, diagnose and treat heart disease. Its comprehensive cardiovascular care includes minimally invasive procedures, complex surgery and heart transplants.
Obstetrics and Gynecology
OB/GYN nurses can land jobs in one of the nation’s busiest obstetrical programs, ranked 10th in the nation by U.S. News. In addition to birthing nearly 10,000 babies a year, Inova Women’s Hospital also has comprehensive gynecology oncology, reproductive endocrinology and infertility programs.
Inova Fairfax has one of the most active organ transplant centers among Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. hospitals. Inova Transplant Center performs heart, kidney, pancreas, lung and bone marrow transplants, offering a solid career choice for transplant nurses.
The transplant center is also known for a long line of firsts, including the first heart transplant, lung transplant and simultaneous heart-kidney transplant in the Washington, D.C. area, and the first autologous bone marrow transplant, kidney transplant, liver transplant, kidney-pancreas transplant, laparoscopic nephrectomy, simultaneous kidney-liver transplant and simultaneous pancreas-liver transplant in Northern Virginia.
Other High-Performing Specialties
Besides its national ranking in Obstetrics and gynecology, U.S. News ranked Inova Fairfax Hospital as high-performing in five adult specialties, including:
- Cardiology and heart surgery
- Diabetes and endocrinology
- Gastroenterology and GI surgery
- Neurology and neurosurgery
- Pulmonology and lung surgery
The hospital also ranked high-performing in 17 adult procedures and conditions. Inova L.J. Murphy Children’s Hospital also received a national ranking for neonatology.
Nursing Excellence at Inova Fairfax Hospital
Inova Fairfax is one of the Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. hospitals recognized with a Magnet designation for nursing excellence. Only 9% of U.S. hospitals have earned this recognition, according to Inova’s 2020 Nursing Annual Report. The medical campus was among the first in the nation to earn Magnet recognition in 1997, maintaining this designation through 2105. Inova Fairfax committed to regaining Magnet status, earning this honor once more in 2020.
The hospital aims to empower nurses through shared governance, supporting nurses to consult, educate, lead and facilitate change. Nurses across the medical campus regularly meet to focus on collaboration, professional development, quality, safety and outcomes.
Nursing Education Opportunities
Inova Fairfax encourages its nurses to continue developing and advancing their clinical skills and knowledge. The hospital has programs in place to support these goals for:
- Recent graduates
- Newly hired RNs
- Nurses changing specialties
- Nurses taking on leadership roles
- APRNs transitioning to practice
Staff nurses can access a variety of continuing education and professional development programs, including:
- Mentorship and coaching sessions to help with career planning
- Clinical orientation in specialty areas of nursing
- Tuition reimbursement
- Professional development awards
- Scholarships for pursuing BSN, MSN, DNP and Ph.D. nursing programs
According to Inova’s 2020 Nursing Annual Report, 86% of Inova Fairfax nurses have achieved a minimum of a BSN. National board certification rates at the hospital have reached 35%.
Support for Nurses Changing Specialties
During your career, your clinical interests may shift. Nurses inspired to move into another specialty while at Inova Fairfax can apply for fellowships to acquire new skills. The hospital provides support to help nurses transition into the following specialties:
- Behavioral Health
- Critical Care
- Emergency Nursing
- Perioperative Nursing
- Perinatal High-Risk Pregnancy
- Perinatal Family-Centered Care
- Perinatal Labor and Delivery
- Progressive Care
Residency Program for New RN Grads
Recent nursing graduates can apply to the Vizient/American Association of Colleges of Nursing Nurse Residency Program at Inova Fairfax Hospital. This 1-year program helps new RNs transition their skills into clinical practice in an acute care setting. Through its efforts to ease the transition of new graduates to practice, Inova Fairfax reduced first-year RN turnover from 20% to 14% in 2018, according to the hospital’s website.
Diversity and Inclusion at Inova Fairfax
Washington, D.C. hospitals exist in one of the country’s most diverse regions. According to a 2021 report by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, 73.2% of the area’s overall population comprises different racial and ethnic groups, compared to 61.1% in the United States overall.
Inova Hospital strives to create an inclusive environment for patients and staff and has a zero-tolerance policy toward racism and discrimination. The Inova Inclusion Council leads initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion and advocates for change where necessary. The hospital strives for equity with regard to age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, national or ethnic origin, religion, veteran status and other areas.
The hospital also has Team Member Resource Groups (TMRG) led by employees. These voluntary groups are organized around shared experiences and provide a way for employees to connect and support each other, as well as provide mentorship, education and community outreach initiatives. Inova’s TMRGs include:
- Black Leader Advisory Committee – Black and African American
- Healthcare Young Professionals Exchange – Younger Professionals
- Inova Pride – LGBTQ+
- InovAbility – People with Disabilities
- INOVAsians – Asian American and Pacific Islander
- Interfaith Unity Council – Religious and Spiritual Persons
- LatinX – Hispanic & Latino/a
- Multicultural Empowerment Through Inclusion and Support – Multicultural
- Supporting Advances in Generational Empowerment – Seasoned Professionals
- Uncharted – Women
- We Who Serve – Veterans, Active Service Members and Families
Inova Fairfax in the Community
When choosing an employer, you may want to consider whether your values align. As a nonprofit healthcare provider, the Inova Health System is committed to caring for residents in all of its communities. This commitment takes the form of health improvement programs, subsidized health services, programs for low-income residents and free or discounted charity care.
Inova is also committed to incorporating sustainability into its operations. It received Practice Greenhealth’s System for Change Award for its sustainability efforts. All five Inova hospitals received 2022 Environmental Excellence Awards. Achievements include reducing energy usage by 20% over a decade, launching a Community Supported Agriculture program to improve access to locally farmed foods and creating an antibiotic-free chicken procurement program for its hospitals.
Travel Nursing in the D.C. Metro Area
If you don’t live in Northern Virginia or the D.C. metro area, you can still work at Inova Fairfax as a travel nurse. A travel nurse job enables you to add this prestigious hospital to your resume. You can also enjoy the professional and personal benefits of working in Washington, D.C.
A travel contract allows you to explore the nation’s capital during your days off. Visit the Smithsonian museums and famous monuments at your leisure. Wander through local neighborhoods and dine at Michelin-starred restaurants. When you’re ready for a day trip or weekend getaway, head to Shenandoah National Park, the Maryland coast or Harpers Ferry in West Virginia.
Getting to Inova Fairfax Hospital
Inova Fairfax is in Falls Church, Virginia, part of the Washington, D.C. metro area. The hospital is about 10 miles from Arlington, 15 miles from Alexandria and easily accessible by Routes 66 and 50.
The Inova Fairfax Medical Campus lies on Gallows Road. Employees who commute by car can park in a designated employee lot. For those who take public transportation, the Metrobus system, operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, has several routes that stop on campus and connect the hospital to the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metrorail station about two miles north on Gallows Road. Northern Virginia’s Fairfax Connector bus system also has one route that stops on campus.
Amenities Near Inova Fairfax Hospital
Inova Fairfax has multiple food and beverage options right on the medical campus, with a variety of cafés, Starbucks and sandwich shops available for grabbing a bite to eat. Food choices run the gamut from pizza and burgers to soups, sandwiches and a salad bar. Grab ‘n Go options ensure employees and hospital visitors can grab a bite 24/7. The walkable Mosaic District is only 1.5 miles from the hospital and offers additional dining opportunities. You can also indulge in delicious Vietnamese and Asian cuisine at Eden Center’s restaurants and food stalls, just a short drive down the road.
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus
3300 Gallows Road
Falls Church VA 22042-3300