Clinical Ladder


Clinical Ladder Provides a Framework for the Nurse on a Professional Journey
SOARn (Supplying Opportunities for the Advancement of the RN)

SOARn is the UAMS Medical Center clinical ladder program. Through performance appraisal documents, SOARn describes the roles and competency expectations within each practice level, i.e., RN I, RN II, RN III, etc.  The basis for progression of the clinical and leadership expectations in the performance appraisal documents are based upon the “Benner Model” which delineates the nurse’s career path from novice to expert.

While every UAMS Medical Center RN will be expected to attain and maintain the RN III level of proficient practice, progression beyond that level is optional. This voluntary progression allows each RN to determine whether the addition of a 6 month commitment in one of the resource nurse roles or promotion to RN IV  (BSN) or RNV (Master’s) is right for their own work-life balance and professional development goals.

Whether the RN’s goal is to reach the RN III level, the RN IV level or to eventually seek a formal clinical leadership, education or administrative position, objective feedback and mentoring from colleagues about the RN’s job performance is critical. SOARn’s implementation will also include planned face to face interactions between the RN and the Clinical Services Manager on a quarterly basis to share observations about the RNs practice obtained through the quarterly assessment process.

These quarterly reviews are aimed at supporting attainment of professional goals the RN will identify and will contribute to the annual performance appraisal. Self appraisal and peer review processes will also provide additional sources of input into the annual appraisal process. While portfolio development, goal setting and writing exemplars are new skills to some, the RN will receive education and support to develop these documents which serve to celebrate their clinical, leadership and educational achievements.

If the track the RN chooses requires attainment of additional formal education (BSN or Masters), our flexible staffing options and tuition reimbursement benefits make this possible while continuing to work. Please refer to the attached chart to help further explain this program.