Pediatric Nursing | Professional Development Programs

Professional Development Opportunities for Nurses

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.

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 along new graduate transition to practice programs going into critical care, medical surgical care and psychiatric care.

ANCC logo.At Cincinnati Children's, our nurses are empowered to advocate for self, patient, and provide safe, evidence-based high-quality care. Innovations continue to make patients safer and result in state of the art care allowing nurses to partner with teams to propel advances in healthcare at the point of care.

The Nurse Residency Program at Cincinnati Children’s is accredited with distinction by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The 12-month program is designed for new graduate nurses and nurses with less than one year of experience. New graduate nurses are automatically enrolled into the program once hired into an RN position. No need for additional application or interview.

Our program is based on the Vizient®/AACN Nurse Residency Program that transitions new nurses into clinical roles and builds self-confidence. The program includes a focus on strategic priorities, delivers an evidence-based curriculum and facilitates the professional development and socialization of the new graduate nurse.

The program includes:

  • An evidence-based curriculum
  • Mandatory seminar days that include group networking, discussions, simulations and interactive opportunities to enhance learning and review
  • Review of patient outcomes and data dashboards
  • Development of an evidence-based practice project

The Critical Care Transition to Practice Program (C2T2P2) at Cincinnati Children’s was created to help transition newly-graduated critical care and float pool RNs into pediatric nursing using the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains of learning, while also promoting critical thinking, skill acquisition, and confidence in patient care delivery. The Critical Care Transition to Practice Program is mandatory for new graduate nurses working in the critical care environments, as well as the float pool (Specialty Resource Unit).

The program structure includes six classes that take place during the first 3-4 months of nursing practice. Classes 1-6 are 8 hours in length and use didactic methods for instruction, as well as kinesthetic learning, gaming, case studies, and group discussion. Class 7 is 4 hours in length and occurs at the 6-month mark from the start of the program. This class focuses on professional development as the new graduate nurse has completed orientation and continues to transition into practice in the clinical environment.

The Medical Surgical Transition to Practice Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital was created to help transition newly-graduated medical/surgical RNs into pediatric nursing using the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains of learning, while promoting critical thinking, skill acquisition, and confidence in patient care delivery.

This program is mandatory for the new graduate nurse working in a medical/surgical inpatient unit.

The program structure includes five sessions that take place during the first year of nursing practice.

  • Sessions 1, 2, and 3 are eight hours long and utilize the flipped classroom educational approach with pre-work required for each session
  • Sessions 4 & 5 are four hours long (generally outside of orientation) at the 6-month and 1-year mark directed more towards professional development.

The Adult to Pediatric Fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s is a yearlong advanced clinical experience tailored to meet the specific needs of adult care nurses interested in pursuing a career in pediatric nursing.

The Fellowship is a best practice exemplar designed to expedite the transition from adult care to pediatrics through an adult care cohort, structured curriculum, peer mentoring, and ongoing development.

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

Professional Growth Opportunities

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.

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. Five unique leadership courses have been created to meet learning needs ranging from the bedside RN to Clinical Directors.

Charge Nurse

Charge Nurse class is designed for newly promoted charge nurse to ensure a smooth transition into the role. This class consists of online learning and a one day in person active/interactive class where the new charge nurse learns communication and leadership styles, critical thinking skills and emergency preparedness.

RN Clinical Leader

A clinical leader influences the entire health care team resulting in improved patient outcomes and nurse satisfaction.

RN Clinical Leader I

The RN clinical Leader I course is designed for nurses with less than 5 years of experience who choose to remain at the bedside yet want to participate in leadership education and activities. A basic and broad introduction to leadership tenets within a healthcare organization are covered in the RN Clinical Leader I course. Coaching and mentoring are provided to course attendees.

RN Clinical Leader II

The RN Clinical Leader II course is designed for nurses with greater than 5 years’ experience who choose to remain at the bedside or wish to pursue a leadership role other than clinical manager. The course is designed using the AACN Healthy Work Environment Model and uses a flipped classroom approach to learning. The course consists of six-monthly classes where 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

The Emerging Leader program is open to nurses and other allied health professional looking to advance their leadership knowledge. The course promotes succession planning by creating a pool of applicants who are prepared to transition into formal leadership roles. The blended course consists of online and active/interactive classroom activities. Participants receive mentoring by hospital leaders focuses on contextual application of knowledge... Admittance to Emerging Leader is by application and accompanied by recommendation from the candidate’s director. To date, more than 45% of those who have attended the program have been promoted to leadership positions including both clinical Manager and clinical director positions.

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

The New Manager course is comprised of active/interactive education directed at contextual integration of knowledge. Subject matter experts, members of the hospital leadership, lead class discussions addressing practical and theoretical leadership proficiencies. The New Manager course is cross-walked with the AONL/AACN Manager Course, the Advisory Board Leadership Competencies, Magnet Competencies and organizational core values.

Topics include:

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

In both the RN Clinical Leader I & II course, participants have an opportunity to present a topic and receive valuable feedback from the group about their presentation.

The Point of Care (POC) Scholar Program is offered to clinically-advanced healthcare professionals in Patient Services with at least two years of experience at the point of care or management. The program provides 96 hours of instructor-led training in evidence-based practice methods and dedicated work time to develop an evidence based practice recommendation. The objectives of the POC Scholar Program are to advance the practice of nursing and allied health through the use of evidence and research to improve patient, family and staff outcomes, facilitate the development and integration of a clinically relevant evidence based practice, and foster professional and personal development.

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, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Children’s National Health Center, Children’s Hospital of Alabama, Miami Children’s, and SickKids of Toronto, Canada.

The program supports sending a nurse to one of the participating hospitals for 5 days of immersion in the department(s) of interest, participating in Shared Governance meetings and networking with healthcare team members. To be selected to participate in this program, the experienced nurse must meet the requirements, complete an application, and interview with team members.

Nurses at Cincinnati Children's interested in pursuing continuing education at any local or regional university can receive tuition reimbursement. Reimbursement is up to $5,250 for undergraduate and $7500 for graduate degrees based upon employees FTE.

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 in the area. The programs offered are online and address the special needs and circumstances of working adults.

Opportunities include:

  • RN-BSN degree
  • Graduate degree opportunities depending on hospital needs Pre-paid tuition

A Week for Our Nurses