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Professional Development Framework:
Tools & Resources: Glossary  

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Abundance

The assured opportunity to advance on the Professional Development Framework based on demonstrated ability to meet identified behaviors, rather than promotion through competition for a limited number of positions.Abundance in action simultaneously rewards individual excellence while promoting teamwork.

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Annual performance review

Yearly evaluation between nurse and nurse manager that includes self-assessment, peer feedback and manager assessment. These annual evaluations will be based on the Domains and Behaviors delineated in the Professional Development Framework. All peer feedback must be non-anonymous, and any nurse providing input into another nurse’s annual performance review must have taken the Professional Development and Education class on Peer Feedback.

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Annual Renewal Process

In order to maintain one’s Framework Level, each RN will demonstrate that he/she continues to meet the practice behaviors in the Domains described in the Professional Development Framework. This will be accomplished through the annual performance review at the unit level. This review incorporates self, peer and manager assessment.

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Appeals Board

This group will hear an appeal and resolve disagreements when application for advancement is denied by the Central Committee. Half of the members of the Board are appointed by the UMPNC, half by the University. Decisions will be made by consensus and are final, meaning that the decision stands and cannot be taken to the dispute process.

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Appeals Process

If advancement to a new level is not granted, the applicant may appeal. Appeals in relation to Central Committee decisions are resolved by the Appeals Board. Strategies for the nurse’s future success will be articulated and shared should advancement be denied.

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Application Portfolio

A set of documents providing evidence of an RN’s clinical expertise. The portfolio includes elements developed from the nurse, the nurse manager and selected peers.

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Behaviors

Observable in the clinical performance of the nurse, behaviors articulate the evolving expertise on a continuum from the Advanced Beginner new graduate in Level A to the highly skilled expert clinical leader in Level E. Behaviors describe nursing practice within the Five Professional Development Framework Domains.

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Central Committee

A group of RNs representative of the nursing community and appointed by the Joint Implementation Team, who reviews applications for advancement to Level D and E. Central Committee members, through portfolio review and the interview process, determine whether the applicant has provided evidence of meeting a preponderance of behaviors that align with the level to which the applicant has applied.

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Coach

A nurse with special training who consults and works with a Framework applicant over the course of the application process.  The consistent 1:1 relationship between the coach and nurse fosters the exploration of professional strengths/accomplishments and promotes effective, full exemplar writing. The coach may assist the applicant in managing the process of developing a portfolio. 

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Consensus

Decisions made by general agreement or accord based on group discussion and alignment. This method contrasts with decisions made by majority vote. Consensus will be used in the Central Committee and Appeals Board processes.

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Corrective Action Plan

Strategies developed by the RN, manager and a UMPNC representative to address issues raised at the Annual Evaluation concerning maintenance of Framework practice level. No loss of Level occurs until a plan is in place and sufficient time has elapsed for the RN to demonstrate designated Level behaviors. It is important to recognize that a corrective action plan in this context is NON-DISCIPLINARY.

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Design Team

A group of 36 Health System RNs, representing a microcosm of the UMHS Nursing Community, that jointly designed the overall plan for a Professional Development Framework at UMHS in 2003. The plan developed by this group formed the basis for the further development of the Professional Development Framework in the 2004 Contract Negotiations.

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Domains

Areas of professional nursing practice described within the UMHS Professional Development Framework. These include:

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

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Exemplar

A detailed first person account of an RN’s clinical practice that tells a story about a specific patient, family or event  Sometimes referred to as a clinical narrative, it serves to “exemplify” an RN’s practice. The exemplars are a key element in the portfolio and show how practice aligns with the behaviors within the domains.

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Framework Assessment Tools

Tools based on the grid of Framework Domains and Behaviors. There are two similar assessment tools: Self-Assessment and Manager Voice. Each facilitates review of an RN’s practice by describing behaviors at various Levels.

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Implementation Team

A group of 41 Health System RNs, a microcosm of the UMHS Nursing Community, brought together to complete the infrastructure and processes for the Professional Development Framework, following Contract ratification by UMHS nurses in August, 2004. This group built upon the work of the Framework Design and Joint Negotiation Teams and sought input from the UMHS Nursing Community.

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Interview

A face to face with the Central Committee Review Panel for Levels D and E. This provides the RN with an opportunity to expand upon elements in his/her application and demonstrate how she/he meets behaviors required for the Level.

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JIT

Abbreviation used for the Joint Implementation Team, a group from UMHS Nursing Administration, Human Resources and the University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council that meets 2-3 times monthly between contract negotiations. 

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Letters of Support

Letters of Support are a required element of the Application Portfolio. They give voice to peers who work side by side with the nurse applicant. Three letters are required, each one based on a particular Framework Domain. An RN Peer (from the unit or area) must write the Letter of Support on the Clinical Skills and Knowledge domain. The other two letters can be written by staff RN or other colleagues from the unit or area.

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Levels

Framework levels A, C, D, E, and F (not yet developed) describe a continuum of Novice to expert practice of an RN at UMHS, based in part on the work of Patricia Benner.

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“Like” Units

A concept used in determining Level retention should a nurse desire to transfer to another unit. Conceptually, “like” areas of current or past practice are determined in the following manner: Units which share at least two of the three following characteristics are considered to be “like units”--

  1. Developmental level of patients (adult, pediatric, neonate/infant)
  2. Level of care (ICU, General Care, Ambulatory Care)
  3. Specialty (Cardiac, Oncology, etc.)

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Manager Voice

The manager voice is heard through the use of the Manager Voice Tool. It is completed by the manager and provides perspective on the behaviors that most closely describe the applicant’s nursing practice within each Domain. This is a required part of the portfolio. 

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Mentor

An RN with expertise in a particular area who assists a colleague to develop greater knowledge and skill in that area.

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Model evaluation

A process of assessment and monitoring designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Professional Development Framework. This process will help to identify successes and propose modification and improvements.

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Negotiations Team

A team of nurses and Human Resources staff representing the University and the University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council who negotiated the agreement and language that set the Professional Development Framework into the Contract. This team used an Interest Based Approach to bargaining and sought community input over the course of the negotiations months prior to the final ratification.

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Novice to Expert Model

A conceptual model describing the ongoing development of nurses’ expertise in clinical practice over time. The Professional Development Framework is based in part on this concept, first articulated by Patricia Benner.

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Professional Statement

A self-described account of an RN’s current practice, practice setting, particular expertise and professional goals and objectives.

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Resume

A factual written summary of one’s professional education, work experience and accomplishments.

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Review Panel

A group of 3 or 4 Central Committee members. The Review Panel studies application portfolios submitted by RN candidates for advancement to Levels D and E, interviews applicants and makes recommendations to the Central Committee.

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Role-specific Nurses

Role Specific Nurses include Educational Nurse Coordinators, Flight Nurse Specialists, Clinical Care Coordinators, and RN Case Managers (formerly Practice Management Coordinators). These nurses are not included in the Professional Development Framework. Instead, they participate in a parallel advancement program called the “Role Specific Advancement Model”. Each role has a separate set of behaviors based on the same general domains of practice. Behaviors have not yet been developed for the RN Case Manager.

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Self-assessment

An individual exercise designed to review one’s own professional practice in the context of the behaviors as described in the five UMHS Framework Domains. The process uses the self-reflective tool and is required for Levels D and E.

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Self-directed Process

A process driven by the RN applicant that empowers the individual to assume responsibility for his/her movement within the Professional Development Framework.

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Transfer

Moving from a position in one unit to a position in another unit within the Health System. Depending upon whether the transfer is determined to be to a “like” or “unlike” area of current or past practice, it may have an effect on whether the nurse maintains his/her level. 

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UMPNC Member

A Registered Nurse who holds a clinical (non-management) nursing position at UMHS and thereby holds membership in the University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council.

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Target Audience:UMHS Nurses | Author/Contact: Stephanie Minerath
Last reviewed: 11/2013