Skip Navigation

Professional Development Framework:

Click on question to see answer:

Where do I hand in my portfolio?


See this page on the Website for directions on submitting your portfolio:

Hide this text


How do I contact the Framework/RSAM coach?


Use this email address to contact our Framework/RSAM coach: Please do not use her regular email.

Hide this text


What are the key features of the Professional Development Framework?


  • Framework recognizes, rewards, and provides professional advancement opportunities for nurses who provide direct patient care.
  • “Abundance” is an essential aspect of the model. There are no budgetary restrictions on the number of nurses who can apply per unit or area.  Nurses do not compete with one another for a limited number of advancement opportunities. All nurses who apply for advancement and demonstrate achievement of a preponderance of the defined behaviors are able to advance.
  • Framework advancement is self initiated and self directed.  A nurse may apply to advance whenever he/she is ready and able to demonstrate behaviors that align with a level.
  • Nurses apply for advancement by submitting a portfolio that describes their practice from their own perspective, as well as that of their manager and colleagues. This portfolio contains specific elements that, when viewed together, provide a comprehensive picture of the applicant’s practice as a Registered Nurse in their current clinical setting. 
  • A Central Committee composed of nurses in clinical and management roles reviews the portfolios, interviews nurse applicants, and renders decisions on advancement.
  • The Professional Development Framework, and the advancement program for role specific nurses, the Role Specific Advancement Model, are part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and are described in Addendum D, pages 212 -217 of the 2013 nursing contract.

Hide this text


What are the Domains of the Professional Framework?

  • Clinical Skills and Knowledge
  • Therapeutic Relationships
  • Professional Relationships
  • Professional Development
  • Advancing Practice through Innovation and Research

Hide this text


Where can I find a description of the Professional Framework behaviors?

The knowledge, skill, depth of practice, critical thinking, and contributions of the nurse are evident in the Professional Development Framework Domains and Behaviors. A developmental progression from Level A (a nurse with 0-12 months of experience) to the very skilled nurse at Level E is described in the Behaviors associated with each Level across each Domain. The behaviors are located on the Framework website.

Hide this text


Where did the behaviors come from?

The Behaviors were first drafted by the Framework Design Team who benchmarked numerous hospitals, reviewed the literature, and examined all existing UMHS Nursing position descriptions. Much thought was given to our rapidly changing practice environment in Health Care and the essential role of Nursing. During the course of Contract Negotiations, the behaviors underwent significant revisions that were the result of dialog and open forums with nurses from across the Health System. Through the process of contract ratification, these behaviors were endorsed by the entire nursing community. The behaviors, in total, describe “Nursing at Michigan”!

Hide this text


If I want to advance, do I need anyone's "OK" to do so?

No, the decision to advance is entirely up to you.

Hide this text


What are the incentives for applying for advancement?

Incentives include the opportunity for an increase in your hourly rate, recognition of expertise, and the personal satisfaction around professional goals and achievement.

Hide this text


Can I advance to Level D or E if I am not a charge nurse?

Framework represents a paradigm shift: A role, such as Charge Nurse, preceptor, or committee member, describes something you do that involves a number of specific tasks. Behaviors describe how you practice in a qualitative way.

Roles, in and of themselves, do not determine the depth of one’s nursing practice. Framework values how you practice nursing. It encompasses the depth and the scope of all of your work, and it does not require wearing the mantel of any particular role to advance.

So, yes, you can advance without being a Charge Nurse.

Hide this text


When asking a Peer for a Letter of Support for Advancement to Level D or E, can the peer be from any Level?

Yes, Letters of Support can be written by a nurse in any Level of Framework or from a nurse that is not part of Framework, such as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Educational Nurse Coordinator, or Nurse Practitioner. You cannot, however, utilize a letter from a nursing supervisor. Supervisors may complete the manager voice tool as designated by the Nurse Manager.

Hide this text


What happens if I want to transfer to another unit? Will my progression through the levels start over?

It depends on whether that unit is determined to be a “like” or “unlike” area of current or past practice. Through a succinct set of criteria, “like” and “unlike” areas are determined, and thus assist the nurse to maintain a level wherever possible. See Transfers Across Units

Hide this text


Is there an educational requirement for advancement?

No, there is not an educational requirement to advance through Levels A-E.

Hide this text


What happens if a nurse’s application for a higher level is not granted?

The goal of Framework is to support as well as recognize the development of a nurse’s practice from Novice to Expert. If a nurse is not advanced, suggestions will be offered to assist the nurse in achieving their goal.

If the RN disagrees with the decision and the reasons given for not advancing, he or she may appeal the decision. The appeals process is described on the website under Tools and Resources

Hide this text


Will a nurse who has discipline in his/her file be automatically barred from advancement or renewal?

Discipline will not be an automatic bar to advancement or renewal, nor will the facts giving rise to the discipline be automatically discarded from consideration of advancement. See Contract, Addendum D; section C; 4.

Hide this text


Will I have to reapply each year to retain my Framework Level?

No, but each year you will be expected to demonstrate at your performance evaluation that you continue to meet the behaviors associated with your Framework Level. The annual performance evaluation occurs at the unit level between you and your manager. The performance evaluation is aligned with the Framework behaviors. Signed peer input, self evaluation, and manager voice will be used for the renewal process. (See Contract Addendum D, Section C for more information on the Annual Review Process.)

Hide this text


Will I be given release time to complete my application?

Application for advancement in Framework is an individual professional choice, not a job requirement. No release or business time will be granted for the preparation of advancement applications.

Hide this text


We welcome your questions throughContact us

Target Audience:UMHS Nurses | Author/Contact: Stephanie Minerath
Last reviewed: 11/10/2015 April Stingo