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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.

Clinical Ladder Advancement Resources
Forms for Career Ladder Processes

Application for Advancement is now done
through Employee Self-Service!

How to submit an Application for Advancement Form (instructions with screenshots) 
The form itself is NOW LIVE in Employee Self-Service, and replaces the previous Notice of Intent form and Manager/Director Letter of Support)

Portfolio Submission

Advancement of Clinician 1 to Clinician 2 takes place at the local level: 

  • See page 9 of the Clinician 1 to 4 Handbook for a description of the process and a list of items to include in your portfolio (summarized in this checklist, which should be submitted with your portfolio).
  • Submit a hardcopy of portfolio materials to your Manager (not to the PNSO Office).

Advancement beyond Clinician 2 or APN 1:  

  • Please use this guide as a tool to ensure you have the required portfolio documents. This tool is not a formal document and will not be submitted with your portfolio (a formal checklist is no longer required beyond the Clinician 2 or APN 1 level).
  • Use this  Career Ladder Portfolio Submission form  to submit your materials. Click here for instructions on using the submission tool. 
  • After posting each file, click its link to be sure it opens!
Helpful Resources




Contact the PNSO with questions!

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Welcome to the Professional Nursing Staff Organization! All Registered Nurses employed by the UVA Health System's Medical Center, School of Nursing and School of Medicine are members of our Professional Nursing Staff Organization (PNSO). Please provide us feedback!

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PNSO APN Clinical Career Ladder changes!

Check here for links and resources to information on the coming Clinical Career Ladder changes!

(Link) Main web page for Ladder changes




IMPORTANT Career Ladder Dates

03/15/2018 - DEADLINE to submit Application to Advance for Spring cycle

03/26/2018 - DEADLINE to Submit portfolio for Spring cycle

04/24/2018 - INTERVIEWS

04/30/2018 - INTERVIEWS

05/21/2018 - Final Decision notification to candidates

06/03/2018 - Effective date for new position for successful advances

06/22/2018 - Paycheck that will have any compensation adjustment for successful advancees

09/15/2018 - DEADLINE to submit Application for Advancement for Fall cycle

09/22/2018 - DEADLINE to Submit portfolio for Fall cycle

10/29/2018 - INTERVIEWS

11/06/2018 - INTERVIEWS

11/30/2018 - Final Decision notifications to candidates

12/02/2018 - Effective date for new position for successful advances

12/21/2018 - Paycheck that will have any compensation adjustment for successful advancees