Application Steps

Download the application-packet (ZIP of Word docs)

Review Process

  • The portfolio is submitted to the chief nursing executive administrative assistant.
  • Portfolio review and recommendations typically are completed within six weeks of submission.
  • Professional Development Committee (PDC) members will review the portfolio and make recommendations.
  • If revisions are needed, the portfolio is re-submitted within eight weeks. If the application is not re-submitted within this timeframe, the applicant must begin the process again.
  • The applicant will be contacted with a scheduled time to meet with the PDC.
  • The applicant’s nursing manager/director (or designee) will be invited to attend this meeting.
  • The applicant will present a summary of the portfolio and make remarks.
  • The applicant will be recognized with the designation on the Professional Practice Ladder at this meeting.
  • When the PDC recommends the applicant to Professional Practice Ladder status, a salary adjustment will be implemented the first pay period after approval.


  • Obtain application packet and review.
  • Make an appointment to discuss the process with the Clinical Nursing Education Department, if desired.
  • Develop portfolio contents.
  • Submit portfolio to the chief nursing executive’s administrative assistant.
  • PDC reviews portfolio and makes recommendations (within six weeks of submission).
  • Candidate meets with PDC to present portfolio.
  • Interview, presentation of portfolio and celebration!

Renewal of Professional Practice Ladder Status

  • Renewal of Professional Practice Ladder status is completed annually on the anniversary of the clinical nurse’s initial approval.
  • An abbreviated portfolio is submitted to the PDC. Contents of this portfolio include:
  1. A copy of the most current staff performance review summary form with rating of “3” (numerical based or higher signed by the nursing director).
  2. Documentation of a minimum of eighteen continuing education units completed by attending classes or programs coordinated by the medical center using a nationally-recognized organization or programs presented by providers other than those offered through the medical center (e.g. attendance at national meeting for specialty area, a webinar or college program to achieve a nursing degree – BSN, MSN ,or doctorate).
  3. Professional activities summary, including evidence to support performance category elements for six elements.
  4. One peer review
  5. Three measurable, objective professional goals for the upcoming year.
  6. A scoring form.
  • The renewal portfolio is submitted to the PDC for review annually, no later than six weeks prior to the anniversary date of the Professional Practice designation.
  • If the clinical nurse is on a leave of absence during the renewal period, the abbreviated portfolio is submitted within sixty days of return to work.


A Professional Practice Ladder nurse who transfers to another unit or department that is not a similar area of expertise, such as transfers from the intensive care unit to the emergency department or from a surgical unit to the maternity unit, may reapply for Professional Practice Ladder designation if they meet the performance criteria elements and submit a complete portfolio as described in the Maintenance of Professional Practice Ladder Nurse Status section. This process can be waived using the clinical areas defined in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU, Side Letter Number 3) at the discretion of the PDC.

Appeal Process

Any applicant that is denied Professional Practice Ladder designation may appeal the decision of the PDC subcommittee as follows:

  • A written appeal stating the basis for the appeal must be submitted to PDC no later than thirty days after written notification of denial. The appeal should reference or contain only information submitted with the original application as justification of the appeal.
  • The PDC will review the appeal and accept the application or deny the appeal, providing a written explanation of the reasons for the written denial.
  • If the appeal is denied, the applicant may appeal the decision to the chief nursing executive (CNE) no later than thirty days after denial by the PDC. The original portfolio must be submitted to this nurse.
  • The CNE will render a decision within thirty days. The decision of the chief nursing executive is final.
  • Denial of an appeal does not preclude future application to the Professional Practice Ladder program.