Nursing Professional Development

Two nurses wearing masks take a moment to smile and bump elbows.

As a nurse at OHSU, you will have the support you need to succeed in your job, make clinical decisions and grow your career. Whether you are a new or experienced nurse, you’ll find unique professional development opportunities. We offer: 

  • A range of opportunities for further education—many with funding support. 
  • Paid hours to spend focusing on your professional development. 
  • A personalized Transition to Practice Program for new and experienced RNs. 
  • A professional practice model that supports you to work at the top of your license. 
  • A shared leadership structure that that empowers you to lead and make decisions. 

Education opportunities for RNs

At OHSU you’ll find a range of opportunities and support to learn new skills, get a professional certification, or earn an advanced degree.  

Continuing education

A student nurse is guided by an experienced RN while giving a patient an injection.
Students and new nurses work alongside experienced nurses.

We offer access to tuition benefits, so you can take courses at reduced cost. You can get tuition support for graduate courses at the OHSU School of Nursing and other Oregon schools.  

We can also help pay for new or renewed certification courses and exams. This includes specialty certificates that show you are an expert in your nursing specialty. 

OHSU is an approved provider of continuing education contact hours. As an OHSU nurse, you’ll have opportunities to earn hours by attending events, lectures and workshops. We also offer free continuing education through Elsevier, a virtual clinical education platform.

Fellowship in evidence-based practice

Each year, this fellowship program gives nurses the opportunity to study a clinical practice issue or idea as part of their work. The program includes research support and mentorship by an experienced clinical coach. 

Professional development events

Increase your knowledge and skills, often while earning continuing education credits. Nursing professional development events include: 

  • Annual education days in many nursing areas to support all unit staff. 
  • Professionalism Week. This OHSU-wide event focuses on professional skills. 
  • Workshops to support leadership skills for preceptor and charge nurses.  

Nursing professional practice model

OHSU’s nursing professional practice model will help you provide person-centered, evidence-based care, now and throughout your career. We are proud of how our model supports RNs to make clinical decisions and improve clinical processes.  

Simply put, a nursing professional practice model describes how nurses should provide patient care.  You can expect: 

  • Clear expectations at three levels to help you grow in your career. 
  • Relatable examples that you will encounter in your practice. 
  • A process for creating goals and monitoring your progress with support from your manager. 
  • Opportunities to inform and improve practices and processes, within your unit and beyond. 

Our practice model is built on:  

A diagram showing the levels of professional nursing (leader, scientist and practitioner) and how they lead to patient safety and quality care.
OHSU’s professional practice model for nursing supports you as a professional, so you can provide caring, safe and high-quality patient care.

Professional abilities

We support you to advance your skills as a scientist, leader and practitioner. Learn more about OHSU’s expectations for RNs in each area below. 

Being a scientist means the ability to contribute to the ever-growing body of knowledge in your discipline and specialty. You might work on skills like: 

  • Questioning the value or effectiveness of practices. 
  • Developing new ideas and testing them. 
  • Learning about new evidence-based practices and tools. 
  • Welcoming and supporting constant improvement, for yourself and for the healthcare system. 

These skills support you to achieve goals like: 

  • Monitoring and evaluating a current standard or practice. 
  • Evaluating your own practice for successes and areas to improve. 
  • Linking your daily practice to clinical and financial outcomes.  

Being a leader means the ability to direct your own actions and make clinical decisions. You might work on skills like: 

  • Seeking and evaluating patient information. 
  • Critical thinking. 
  • Asking questions to make sure patient information is correct and care plans are ideal. 
  • Identifying patient risks. 

These skills support you to achieve goals like: 

  • Making strong, clear decisions that meet standards and best practices. 
  • Taking ownership of the patient recovery process. 
  • Taking ownership of coordinating patient care. 

Being a practitioner means success in the practice of your role. This is the ability to do your job well. You might work towards goals like: 

  • Directing and managing all care situations in ways that support patient healing. 
  • Inspiring others to provide excellent care. 
  • Leading your unit in adopting best practices that improve patient outcomes or safety. 

These skills support you to achieve goals like: 

  • Working together with patients and their families to choose care goals. 
  • Changing how you care for patients based on a new evidence-based practice.