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Professional Development

Patient care is the number one priority at VCU Health, and our staff view their professional development as essential to their ability to provide quality care, achieve personal and professional satisfaction and advance their careers.

VCU Health's Advancement Program supports these goals by recognizing those nurses whose practice is characterized by the highest standards of professionalism and excellence. The program is comprised of five levels:

  • Clinical Nurse I: Novice-to-Advanced beginner (0-24 months experience)
  • Clinical Nurse II: Competent
  • Clinical Nurse III: Proficient
  • Clinical Nurse IV: Expert
  • Clinical Nurse IV: Master Nurse

Advancement to Clinical Nurse II is negotiated between the individual nurse and nurse manager. However, advancement to Clinical Nurse III, IV and V is a more vigorous process and is accomplished only through completion of a challenge process involving presentation of a written portfolio of current practice and a verbal exemplar to a panel of your peers.

These narratives are used as a way to articulate the clinical knowledge and expertise you've acquired over time and are consistent with our firm belief that it is in the articulation of nursing practice that you achieve validation and affirmation and define for yourself your role in patient care.

While the Professional Advancement Program requires nurses to assume accountability for their practice, your advancement is supported by your nurse manager, clinical ladder coach, review board members and through regular portfolio workshops. Successful advancement is celebrated system wide through formal ceremonies, recognition to local media and salary adjustment.