Clinical Career Ladder

Welcome to the guide for the University of Virginia Health System's Professional Nursing Staff Organization Clinical Career Ladder. The Ladder was initiated at UVA in 1988 and is based on Patricia Benner's work From Novice to Expert published in 1984. The Ladder continues to evolve based on nursing feedback and the needs of the organization. The decision to pursue advancement beyond the entry level is an individual choice based on interest in professional development, increased responsibility and accountability. Click the links below for more detailed information about UVAHS's Clinical Career Ladder.

Find Career Ladder information for 2014 in:

The full Clinical Career Ladder Reference Handbook     (55 page PDF, web & printer-friendly; 2013 version)
[IMPORTANT: updates posted June 2013] 

Submission Deadlines depend on your goal:

  • Advancing beyond Clinician 2 level, two opportunities annually:
    OPTION 1 - Notice of Intent due 3/15 and Portfolio due 4/1
    OPTION 2 - Notice of Intent due 9/15 and Portfolio due 10/1
  • For Validation post-hire and Revalidation, schedules are individualized; contact PNSO with questions.
    Validation (top of page) | Revalidation Cn4 | Revalidation APN

Quick Links to Specific Handbook Sections:

PNSO Clinical Career Ladder Overview
- Overview of Clinical Career Ladder
    - Key Concepts
    - General Regulations

Career Ladder Processes - Clinician I to Clinician IV Levels
   - Mandatory Clinician 1 to Clinician II Advancement 
   - External Applicants to Clinician II validate 5 months post-hire
   - Advancement Clinician II to III and Clinician III to IV  
   - Timelines for Portfolio Submission 
   - Step by step process for Portfolio Submission 
   - Clinician IV Revalidation of Practice | Clinician IV Revalidation Schedule
   - The Clinician III/IV Panels (information about the panels) |   2014 Panelists 
   -  Appeals process related to Clinician III and Clinician IV Advancement  

Career Ladder Processes - Advanced Practice Levels
   - Process for Applicants Seeking APN positions
   - Timeline for Portfolio Submission
   - Step by step process for Portfolio Submission (Internal Applicants)
   - APN Revalidation of Practice
   - The APN Panel (information about the panel) | 2014 Panelists
    - Appeals process related to APN Advancement

Clinician Behaviors
   - Clinical Career Ladder Behaviors Clinician I to Clinician IV

Clinical Career Ladder Behaviors APN 1 to APN 3

Notice of Intent

   Now web-based:  Notice of Intent to Advance form

Portfolio Submission

  • Now web-based: Career Ladder Portfolio Submission form 
      for Advancement, Validation, and Revalidation into Clinician III or higher roles.
      Use this form to submit your materials, and check on progress updates from the Panelists regarding
      your interview status and decision letters!
  • Hardcopy submission is still requested in these circumstances:
    - Submit just a hardcopy CV and applicable Checklist (not a full portfolio) to your Manager (not to the PNSO Office),
       if you are...
                   - Clinician 1 advancing to Clinician 2 | checklist 
                   - externally hired Clinician 2 validating post-hire | checklist
    - EXTERNAL applicant for APN 1, 2, or 3 positions: Please submit your hardcopy portfolio to the Human Resources
       Nurse Recruiter

Make sure to include the appropriate Checklist when submitting your portfolio:

   - Pre-Hire Portfolio Checklist (For external applicants to APN 2 and 3 positions)

   - Advancement Portfolio Checklist (Clinician I to II)
        - Clinician II Validation Assessment Tool 
   - Advancement Portfolio Checklist (Clinician II to III and Clincian III to IV) 
   - Advancement Portfolio Checklist (APN1-to-2 and APN 2-to-3) 

VALIDATION (post-hire situations, within 6 months):
Validation Portfolio Checklist (Newly-hired Clinician II) 
        -  Clinician II Validation Assessment Tool
   - Validation Portfolio Checklist (For external & wage hires to Clinician 3 and
     Clinician 4)

REVALIDATION (every 2 years, Clinician IV & APN roles):
   - Revalidation Portfolio Checklist (Clinician IV)
        - Clinician IV Revalidation Assessment Tool
   - Revalidation Portfolio Checklist (APN)

(tip: if a "SSL / Secure Sockets Layer" popup appears, just click NO, and the document opens fine) 

   - Career Ladder Processes Tip Sheet Summary
List of Potential Mentors (Updated for 2014)     
   - Examples of Portfolio Development Materials

   - APNs' & Administrators' Toolkit for Advanced Practice ladder
   - Orientation resources for New APNs
   - APN Outcomes editable template | process overview & examples

Managers' Toolkit    
   - Administrators' & APNs' Toolkit for Advanced Practice ladder



Contact the PNSO with questions!