Children's Hospital Colorado

Professional Development for Nurses

At Children's Colorado, we support the professional development of our nurses throughout their careers – whether they're just entering the nursing profession or have had decades of experience. Our clinical ladder, education offerings, scholarship opportunities and advanced career opportunities support the continuous growth and development of our nursing team members.

Professional growth and development

Nursing Professional Development

We believe in continuous and lifelong learning. Our clinical ladder, the Professional Career Advancement Program (PCAP), provides a structure and process for nursing career advancement for clinical nurses.

The purpose of the PCAP is to create a clear distinction between each level of advancement. Advancement is based on Quality & Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) Competencies and Benner's novice to expert model.

Each of the four levels of advancement has specific job essential functions that differentiate performance expectations. Nurses can achieve promotion through an electronic application, portfolio and approval by the Nurse Credentialing Review Board. Our advancement is based on the QSEN competencies and includes the six QSEN domains plus Leadership.

Levels in our nursing clinical ladder

The levels of advancement include:

  • Clinical Level I: baccalaureate degree and new graduate registered nurse (RN) in first professional role
  • Clinical Level II: baccalaureate degree and minimum of 12 months of direct care nursing experience
  • Clinical Level III: baccalaureate degree and certification required; member in professional organization, meeting essential functions in the job description
  • Clinical Level IV: baccalaureate degree and certification required; active member in professional organization/profession of nursing, meeting essential functions in job description

Professional development throughout your nursing career

In addition to our professional advancement for nurses, we offer various programs and opportunities to help nurses develop their skills and careers.

Early nursing career opportunities

  • New Graduate Nurse Residency Program: Our nurse residency program is accredited by the commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Through the program, new graduate nurses participate in classroom, clinical lab/simulation instruction, precepted clinical experience and mentorship activities as they begin their nursing careers with us. Learn more about our New Graduate Nurse Residency Program.

Opportunities to enhance nursing education and skills

  • Nurse research fellowship: We offer a nursing research fellowship to help nurses expand knowledge in their clinical area of choice. Learn how these nursing research programs can help you grow your knowledge, skills and expertise.
  • Continuing nursing education: We host continuing education opportunities throughout the year that are open to our nursing team and healthcare professionals from other institutions. These opportunities include conferences, courses and self-study programs. Learn about our continuing education opportunities for nurses.
  • Hearst scholarship: The Hearst Nurse Scholars Program is made possible by generous funding from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. This program provides financial support to 12 nurse leaders who are completing or planning to complete graduate studies to acquire the educational and theoretical foundations necessary to lead as healthcare changes dramatically. Nursing leaders in good standing, who have demonstrated a commitment to the mission, vision and values of Children's Colorado through their service to the organization, are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants will receive a total stipend of $20,000 over a two-year period.

Advanced practice nursing opportunities

In partnership with the University of Colorado, we have opportunities for advanced practice professionals in diverse clinical settings including outpatient primary and specialty care clinics, inpatient and critical care units and surgical services. Learn about advanced practice opportunities.

Research opportunities for nurses

We’re dedicated to advancing pediatric healthcare through research and clinical inquiry. Learn about nursing research and our commitment to advancing healthcare knowledge and nursing practice.