• Professional Development

    The professional development of our nurses at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is critical if we are to achieve our vision of being the leader in improving child health.

  • Our formal Nursing Advancement Program is a unique promotional program. It provides career opportunities for clinical nurses who demonstrate leadership and advanced clinical knowledge and skills. The program allows nurses to be formally recognized, make more money and assume leadership roles that impact patient care and the organization.

    All registered nurses are eligible to be hired into an advanced nursing position if they meet the requirements. Your nurse recruiter will inform you of these requirements and the process needed for entry into an advanced nursing level position.

    Nurses may apply for the Nursing Advancement Program at any time.

    As a Cincinnati Children's employee, it is possible to fulfill all of your continuing education requirements for your Ohio license free of charge. To meet the variety of scheduling needs of the nursing staff, many programs are offered as independent study activities and are available online.

    These programs are free of charge to Cincinnati Children's employees. Our Center for Professional Excellence develops more than 75 different continuing professional education programs and research activities each year. 

    Continuing education opportunities include advanced practice registered nurse pharmacology series, preceptor development workshops and monthly Nursing Grand Rounds, a live and independent study program offered monthly that includes topics to keep clinical nurses up to date on recent issues in pediatric nursing care.

    Nurses at Cincinnati Children's interested in pursuing continuing education at any local or regional university can receive tuition reimbursement.

    We offer a formal preceptor program that identifies a primary preceptor for every new nurse. The preceptor is responsible for the assessment of learning needs, identification of goals and the implementation of an orientation plan.

    Experienced nurses new to Cincinnati Children's receive an orientation that is customized based on their unique needs and previous experience. This orientation focuses on the customized care required of pediatric nurses − bridging the gap between adult-oriented and pediatric nursing education.

    New nurses take part in our unique RN residency program.

    Established in 2006, the RN Residency Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is a prestigious, 1-year program offered in association with the University Healthcare Consortium (UHC) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for all new graduate nurses entering into clinical nursing practice. The program’s focus is on the transition of new nurses to professional nursing practice and is primarily based on Dr. Patricia Benner’s research published  in her book: From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice.

    Program Overview

    All new graduate nurses hired into the hospital participate in the UHC/AACN RN Residency program. The goal of the program is to transition the new graduate nurse from Level Two (advanced beginner nurse) to Level Three (competent professional nurse) in the clinical environment in a period of one year. RN residents participate in monthly seminar sessions facilitated by expert nurses with special emphasis on:

    • Critical thinking skills
    • Leadership development
    • Patient safety
    • Professional career development
    • Evidenced-based practice
    • Written and verbal communication

    The RN Residents work in groups to complete an evidenced-based project and poster presentation at the end of the program. All residents receive paid time for participating in seminar sessions with time allotted to complete their unique group projects.

    The RN Residency Program has enrolled over 1400 new graduate nurses since its inception in 2006. The program has witnessed turnover rates dropping significantly and leveling off today around 3%. Retention of new nurses is a high priority at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. 


    “What I enjoyed most about the RN Residency program is that it was a safe place to share my experiences, thoughts, and concerns. I also enjoyed listening about where others worked in the hospital and the experiences they had there. The RN Residency program made me aware of all the different resources available to me as a nurse here at Cincinnati Children's.” - Jennifer Hall, MSN, RN

    “The RN Residency Program at Cincinnati Children's provided me with an invaluable, hands-on learning experience. In my first year of being a nurse, I was able to work with a team to identify an improvement area within my division, and complete an evidence-based research project/video at the residency completion ceremony. It was also presented to the leadership team within the division of psychiatry at their leadership meeting. The residency program truly helped me to start my career off right by encouraging questions and critical thinking, providing me with an opportunity to discuss successes and challenges with peers, facilitating interaction with many different disciplines, dedicating time and support for learning to use available resources, and showing me Cincinnati Children’s commitment to changing the outcome.” - Heather Morath, BBA, BSN, RN

    Cincinnati Children's offers an array of continuing education opportunities for our employees. Learn more about our programs.

    The Nurse Exchange Program (NEP) is a program coordinated by the Nursing Professional Coordinating Council (NPCC) that offers exciting opportunities for nurses to share their expertise with colleagues from pediatric hospitals around the nation, as well as present their peers at home with learned nursing practices.

    NEP creates development opportunities for experienced nurses to seek, learn and share knowledge through adoption of best practice, improvement science and investigative research. NEP has collaborative relationships with Akron Children’s, Miami Children’s, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Children’s National, Cincinnati Children’s, Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

    The undergraduate and graduate degree cohort programs are designed for employees of Cincinnati Children's who are licensed registered nurses. We offer new enrollment classes annually at various schools such as the College of Mount Saint Joseph, Northern Kentucky University, University of Cincinnati, Ohio University, Kent State, Indiana Wesleyan, Miami University, Xavier University, Wright State University and Chamberlain College of Nursing.  The program addresses the special needs and circumstances of working adults and offers:

      • An opportunity to earn a BSN, MSN or DNP while still working
      • Classes held on-site at Cincinnati Children's or at the College
      • Classes that meet one night a week
      • Free tuition

    Developing strong nursing leaders is critical to ensuring robust healthcare organizations. The 2010 IOM Report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health recommends that nurses at every level become healthcare leaders and work to the highest level of their professional scope. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is committed to supporting leadership development throughout the professional nursing continuum. Four unique leadership courses have been created to meet learning needs ranging from the bedside RN to Clinical Directors.

    Bedside Leader

    A bedside leader influences the entire health care team resulting in improved patient outcomes and nurse satisfaction. This leadership course is designed for nurses who choose to remain at the bedside, but want to expand their leadership capabilities to affect patient care and outcomes. During this course the learner is introduced to leadership behaviors and systems thinking. 

    Topics include:

    • Introduction to Healthcare Economics in the United States
    • Introductory Finance for Nurses
    • Strategic Thinking Applied to Bedside Care
    • Understanding Data Application to Care
    • Fostering Healthy Work Environments
    • Healthcare Law: Nurse Practice Act, Delegation, Social Media, Boundaries
    • Professional Development and Career Planning

    Emerging Leader

    Leadership development and effective succession planning are strategic goals integral to the health of an organization. The Emerging Leader Program promotes succession planning by developing a pool of bedside nurses who demonstrate clinical excellence and an interest in professional advancement. The course is structured as a blended format that includes online and active/interactive classroom activities, mentoring by hospital leaders, and coaching by the leadership development team. Admittance to Emerging Leader is by application and accompanied by recommendation from the candidate’s director.

    Topics include:

    • Leadership and Professional Development
    • Measuring Excellence: How Data Informs Care
    • Legal Aspects of Nursing Practice
    • Finance and Staffing
    • Making the Connection: Rounding, Informatics and Safety
    • Excellence in Caring

    New Manager

    Frontline managers are vital to staff retention and performance. New clinical managers are often promoted because of excellent clinical skills yet lack confidence in managerial competencies. Our New Manager course is cross-walked with the AONE/AACN Manager Course, the Advisory Board Leadership Competencies, Magnet Competencies and organizational core values. Leadership and management education is combined with individualized professional coaching and mentoring. Concurrent coaching and mentoring supports new managers with contextual integration and application of new learning within the clinical work environment

    Topics include:

    • Strategic Thinking
    • Measuring Excellence
    • Nursing and the Law
    • Safety
    • Human Resources
    • Finance and Staffing
    • Professional Development

    Experienced Leader

    Cincinnati Children’s is committed to developing leadership throughout the RN professional continuum. Experienced Leader classes provide in depth analysis and discussion of issues that experienced clinical managers and clinical directors will address in their environment. 

    Topics include:

    • Mindfulness in Nursing Care
    • Strategic Thinking and Healthcare Legislation
    • Future Trends in Healthcare Informatics
    • HR: Understanding Labor Laws
    • Nursing Research
  • The professional development of our nurses at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is critical if we are to achieve our vision of being the leader in improving child health.