Clinical Ladder MythBusters

Clinical Ladder MythBusters

Professional Development

Have you been thinking about joining AAMC’s Clinical Ladder but wondering if you have all the facts straight? Are you familiar with the requirements? Do you know where to go for help? Let’s take a minute to set the record straight about some myths you might have heard about the Ladder.

Myth – You have to be on a committee to be on the Ladder.

Fact – No, there are plenty of criteria in each category that will allow you to fulfill the requirements of the Clinical Ladder, even if you are not on a committee (i.e. precepting, mentoring, creating bulletin boards or posters, giving a presentation, teaching skills day).

Myth – The Staff Nurse I level is not as important as the other levels.

Fact – Staff Nurse I is a great way to start on the Clinical Ladder. These who apply for Staff Nurse I are doing great work on the unit, but may not be able to dedicate as much extra time as a Staff Nurse II or III. It is an opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for your dedication and hard work.

Myth – You can’t be on the Ladder if you work nights or weekends.

Fact – There are plenty of opportunities to meet criteria for the Ladder even if you work nights and weekends. Meet with a Ladder Coach to help you determine what specific criteria you can use in your application.

Myth – It’s too hard to put my portfolio together.

Fact – It does take some time, especially the first time, but there is help available. Education sessions are offered monthly, during which you’ll be able to ask last-minute questions, practice presenting your portfolio, meet with Clinical Ladder coaches and view sample portfolios. Click here for dates, times and details.

See how one nurse presented her portfolio here: “Climbing Ladders? At my age?” An AAMC nurse shares her Clinical Ladder story.

Myth – Presenting in front of the board is scary.

Fact – Board members are welcoming and eager to hear all about your accomplishments. Attend education sessions to role-play presentations and gather tips for a successful interview.

clinical ladder education session

Preparing to climb the Ladder! This shot was taken during the Clinical Ladder Education Session on 4/17.

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