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Clinical Ladder

Patient care is increasing in complexity, with shorter lengths of stay, higher acuity levels and the proliferation of technology.  Expert clinicians are needed at the bedside to provide direct care to challenging patients.  The Clinical Ladder program at OSU Medical Center recognizes and rewards staff nurses for clinical expertise in delivering direct care to patients. The participating RN is recognized with a promotion from Staff Nurse II to Staff Nurse III or IV and an increase in base salary.

The Clinical Ladder program is a voluntary program in which the nurse demonstrates expertise in the areas of clinical management, educational activities and research.  Examples of activities in these areas include:

§         Serving on unit and hospital committees

§         Demonstrating excellent patient care in complex situations

§         Providing education to other healthcare providers

§         Precepting other staff members

§         Obtaining continuing education credits

§         Participating in quality improvement initiatives

§         Evaluating and utilizing nursing research

§         Achieving specialty certification


The application for promotion involves submission of a notebook documenting all activities completed as well as a professional resume, a performance review and interviews with the Clinical Ladder review panel. The applicant also must identify peers who will be interviewed about the applicant’s performance and effectiveness in the clinical setting.

The Clinical Ladder program offers professional nurses the opportunity for career development and advancement while maintaining a clinical focus on patient care at the bedside.