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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).