In September 2003, the Nursing Practice Council approved the Clinical Advancement Program (CAP), which rewards nurses who advance practice through research, mentoring, and collaboration. This process is independent from the annual performance appraisal. Nurses from the Practice, Research, and Leadership councils designed the program to reward nurses who go beyond excellent bedside care.
Nurses who choose to participate in the program may apply for Clinician I or Clinician II. To be considered for either of these roles, nurses must advance nursing practice by not only providing excellent care but also by taking active roles in mentoring, research, performance improvement, and education. A nurse applying for Clinician I level must have at least an associate’s degree and a specialty certification, or a baccalaureate degree. A nurse applying for Clinician II designation must have at least a baccalaureate degree in nursing and a specialty certification, or a master’s degree in nursing.
The Clinician I and Clinician II levels are further differentiated by their involvement in the activities listed above. While both Clinician I and Clinician II levels demand substantial professional involvement beyond bedside care, the Clinician II criteria demand not only participation, but also leadership and demonstration of a proactive approach in meeting the needs of patient populations, the organization, and the profession.
Nurses who wish to be leveled as Clinician I or II submit an application to the CAP Review Board, which is composed of practicing nurses. Nurses who earn Clinician I or II recognition are rewarded with an educational stipend, to be used on any combination of professional dues, journal subscriptions, continuing education, reference materials, etc. Nurses may reapply annually.