May 8, 2023

When It Comes to Caring for Others, Nurse Sonya Knight Takes the Lead

Sonya shares what she loves about her job mentoring nurses at the City of Virginia Beach.
Sonya Knight Holding sign

After 26 years as a registered nurse, Sonya Knight agrees her line of work is more than a profession—it’s a calling.

In 2018, that calling led her to a job as a clinical services administrator with the Human Services Department in the City of Virginia Beach. In this role, Sonya supervises a team of nurses in developmental services who provide resident care for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Nurse Sonya Knight and Patient

“When most people think about nursing, they visualize a typical clinical setting,” she said. “What’s unique about working for the City is that our job is done in the community.”

In a typical week, Sonya oversees budgets, develops procedures, and manages staffing and logistics at some of the City’s care facilities. Her role mentoring the nurses on her team ensures the best possible care for the individuals they serve.

“I work with an awesome team of RN’s and LPN’s who go above and beyond day to day,” she said.

The department’s philosophy of providing person-centered care means fulfilling not just medical needs, but social and emotional needs as well. On any given week this might include doing arts and crafts, hosting a birthday party, or leading fun outings to a ball game, the Aquarium and even an amusement park.

Nurse Sonya Knight Teaching Class

“Our nurses make sure our residents are fully involved in the community and get to enjoy all that the City of Virginia Beach offers,” she said.

One of the most important aspects of Sonya’s job is mentoring nurses who are new to the field of developmental services.

“It's rewarding to work with nurses new to the City,” she said. “I help them develop the skills and confidence to provide the greatest care possible.”

After so many years as a nurse, Sonya appreciates her department’s commitment to work/life balance.

“We work really hard to make sure our nurses have flexible schedules,” she said. “Being a nurse in developmental services, we're like a family. We work together to make sure our clients’ needs are met, and we also take care of each other.”

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Virginia Beach Department of Human Services

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