Nursing & Health Sciences Research Journal


Introduction: A major challenge facing nursing administrators and recruiters is the recruitment and retention of bedside nurses. Clinical career ladder programs are used as recruitment and retention tools by many hospitals. The Clinical Competency Advancement Program (CCAP) is a clinical career ladder program developed by a health system in South Florida to help retain clinical nurses at the bedside. The purpose of this study was to assess nurses’ attitudes related to the CCAP, by both participants and non-participants, to determine the perceived barriers and benefits of the program.

Methods: This study used a descriptive comparative design. A convenience sample of 979 registered nurses from seven Magnet® certified hospitals within a healthcare system in South Florida participated in the study. A modified version of The Professional Nurse Contribution Ladder Instrument was used for data collection.

Results: The results showed that CCAP participants perceived monetary rewar d as the main reason for participation and that the CCAP application process is more reasonable and less overwhelming than the former career ladder program, Professional Nursing Advancement Program (PNAP). Furthermore, participants indicated they were happy and satisfied with the benefits and rewards of the CCAP program. Nurses, who participated in CCAP, were more satisfied and more likely to stay in their jobs. The most difficult criteria of CCAP to fulfill included years of service, floating, assuming the charge nurse role, and being a member of entity project or committee. The results were used to modify the current version of CCAP.

Discussion: To increase participation of bedside nurses in clinical career ladders it is imperative that nurse leaders often review these career ladders to make modifications that are impactful on nurse retention and nurse job satisfaction by integrating these satisfiers.

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