Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

The Vanderbilt Professional Nursing Practice Program: Part 1: Growing and Supporting Professional Nursing Practice

Robinson, Karen MSN, RN; Eck, Carol MBA, RN; Keck, Becky MSN, RN; Wells, Nancy DNSc, RN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: September 2003 - Volume 33 - Issue 9 - p 441-450

Professional practice programs are designed to attract, retain, and reward nurses. This three-part series will describe Vanderbilt’s performance-based career advancement system, the Vanderbilt Professional Nursing Practice Program (VPNPP). Part 1 outlines the overall program’s foundation, philosophical background, and basic structure. The VPNPP is built upon Benner’s work, distinguishing among four levels of practice: novice, competent, proficient, and expert. Work by many in the organization identified the expected behaviors for nurses at each level, which were then used to develop clear process evaluation criteria. Part 2 will examine the performance measurement and evaluation system created to support the program. The process of advancing within the program will be described in part 3.

Authors’ affiliation: Coordinator (Ms Robinson), Case Management Practice; Administrative Director (Ms Eck), Cancer Patient Care Center; Assistant Hospital Director (Ms Keck), Nursing Finance and Operations; Director of Nursing Research (Dr Wells), Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Patient Care Services, Nashville, Tenn.

Corresponding author: Karen Robinson, MSN, RN, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Case Management Practice Medicine, A-1202 MCN (2415), Nashville, TN 37232 (

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.