Application for Clinical Nurse Advancement

Write a brief statement, approximately two paragraphs, introducing yourself to the Review Committee. Please include any facts, beliefs, values, or behaviors that you think characterize yourself and your nursing practice. How would you describe yourself and your work? How will clinical advancement support your career goals?

Letters of Reference

In seeking letters of reference from colleagues, it is best to ask someone who can speak to your clinical practice. Two letters of reference are needed from a Clinical Nurse with at least two years experience at BID-Needham or an advanced practice nurse (NP or CNS). The colleague should describe your practice. He/she should use specific examples whenever possible to describe your relationships with patients and peers, your communication skills, and evidence of your clinical leadership. See Guidelines for Letter of Recommendation

Narrative Summary of Most Recent Performance Evaluation by Director

Performance appraisal of the candidate by the nursing director must be completed within six months preceding application or updated to reflect an accurate evaluation of the applicant’s current nursing practice. A narrative summary must be included highlighting the applicant’s strengths in clinical practice and/or professional activities.

Self-evaluation of Professional Performance

A self-evaluation is a tool used to reflect on your current professional practice and progression to date.

  • Your self-evaluation represents an opportunity for you to review and reflect on your past accomplishments, current activities, future interests, strengths, and areas for improvement.
  • Evaluate your practice since your date-of-hire or last evaluation.
  • You can structure the narrative of your self-evaluation in whatever way is most meaningful to you.
  • Please be candid with yourself in describing areas for improvement.

Clinical Exemplar

Please describe and critique your current nursing practice in a Clinical Exemplar. A Clinical Exemplar is a description of a patient care situation that is significant to you and reflects your current practice. It may be a clinical situation that went unusually well, an incident in which there was breakdown (i.e., things did not go as planned), a situation that is very typical, or a situation that you think captures the essence of nursing. If you have difficulty identifying a clinical incident, it is often times helpful to ask a colleague or your director for ideas about a pertinent clinical situation in which you were involved.

Present your account as a story, rather than an analytic case study.

  • Include the following
  • The context of the incident (e.g., shift, time of day, staff resources)
  • A description of what happened
  • What your concerns were at the time
  • What you were thinking about as it was taking place
  • What you were feeling during and after the incident

Show what you learned from this experience by answering the following questions within the description of your Clinical Exemplar or in summary at the end

  • Why was this incident significant to you?
  • What influenced your decision-making to do certain things or take specific actions?
  • What courses of action were considered but not pursued?
  • What happened that was unexpected?
  • What new knowledge or insights were gained from this experience and describe how this has impacted your current practice

The Clinical Exemplar does not have to be lengthy: 3-4 typed pages (double-spaced) is usually sufficient. You can take as much space as you feel is necessary to tell your story.

Professional Goals

Please insure that your goals are

  • Realistic and reflect aspirations for the future that stretch your capabilities.
  • Measurable - use action verbs
  • Achievable within a timeframe
  • Feasible within the framework of your professional role

Examples of Goals

  • I will attend a workshop on sepsis and present a summary to my unit of what I learned within two months.
  • I will achieve my CEN within the next six months.
  • I will develop an information sheet for caring for patients with chest tubes within three months.
  • I will join a hospital committee this year and bring information back to the staff within one week after each monthly meeting.
  • Goals should be specific

Professional Resume or Curriculum Vitae

A professional resume describes what you have achieved and how you have prepared yourself for the role you are seeking. It includes formal education and professional work experience beginning with your most recent experience in each area. It also provides an opportunity for you to identify publications, presentations of papers, honors received, and professional associations of which you are a member. A resume is a useful and convenient mechanism for presenting yourself and your accomplishments.


  • Benner, P. (1984). From novice to expert, excellence and power in clinical nursing practice. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1984.
  • Benner, P. (1987). Clinical judgment: how expert nurses use intuition. AJN, 87(1), 23-31.
  • Benner, P., Tanner,C., & Chesla, C (1997). Becoming an expert nurse. AJN, 97(6).

Clinical Nurse Advancement Program Application for Clinical Nurse Advancement »