CON Standards for Promotion for Clinical Rank

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Standards and Guidelines for Promotion for Clinical Rank Subsection: Appendix A2
Section - Appendices Originating Date: March 2011
Responsible Reviewing Agency:
Academic Promotion and Tenure Committee
Reviewed: February 2013
Revised: March 2014
Revised: May 2015

A.   Introduction

This document provides guiding principles to assist faculty in preparing their documents for advancement in clinical rank promotion (Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, or Clinical Professor). This is not a tenure leading track. The number of clinical faculty cannot exceed 40% of the total number of faculty. Included are areas of accomplishment that the committee uses in their process of reviewing the faculty documents and forming a recommendation to the Dean. The examples in this document are examples areas of evidence that the faculty will describe to demonstrate their accomplishments in their narratives. The committee anticipates that faculty members may have unique accomplishments to cite in their areas of evidence.

Promotion in clinical rank is available for masters or doctoral prepared faculty members holding a Special Appointment. Those with a master’s degree in nursing and limited academic experience will start at the rank of Clinical Instructor; exceptions can be made for those with outstanding experience. The highest rank possible for the masters prepared individual is a Clinical Assistant Professor. The highest rank possible for the doctoral prepared individual is a Clinical Professor.

If an individual has a Health Professions Appointment (HPA) and wishes to seek an appointment for a clinical rank, he/she will need to request a change from a HPA to a Special Appointment. Consideration of transfer between tracks represents a major career decision and is pursued only after serious consideration of the implications of such a change, and careful deliberation between the faculty member and appropriate Assistant Dean. If mutually agreeable, a one-time, one-way transfer is allowed between a HPA and a clinical track appointment.

The College of Nursing (CON) P&T committee has developed these guidelines and tables of examples to assist faculty during the preparation of the application. Submission deadlines (section B below) must be met in order to apply for promotion. All CON P&T materials can be found on the website All applicants must follow Standards and Guidelines for Promotion for Clinical Rank (Appendix A2) and policy 4.4.6 (2) for the preparation of the documents. Documents that do not follow all of the guidelines will not be reviewed.

B.   CON Academic Promotion Deadline Dates

  1. Faculty members will notify P&T chairman in writing (hard copy or email) of the intent to apply for promotion by April 15 in the year prior to when action regarding promotion will be deliberated. Be specific on exactly what you are seeking; e.g. Clinical Associate Professor. Please indicate your level of accomplishments in each of the areas. For example, Clinical Associate Professor rank must be able to demonstrate a sustained record at Level II for two areas and Level I for one area. For example: My 2 areas for level two are ________ and the area for level one is ________.
  2. Faculty members will complete the Contact Information for External Reviewer Form (See Section G) for each potential external reviewer and submit to the P&T committee chair by May 15. Suggested external reviewers must be outside the University of Nebraska system and cannot be a recent or current collaborator, consultant, mentor or someone with whom the faculty member has another close professional or personal relationship.
  3. The External Reviewer Waiver Form (See Section H) must be signed and submitted along with the Contact Information for External Reviewer Forms to the P&T committee Chair by May 15.
  4. The P & T Committee will meet to select external reviewers by June 15. The committee will use the applicant’s list but reserves the right to ask other nationally known experts in the applicant’s field to serve as an external reviewer. The applicant will not be told who the external reviewers are for her/his document. The P&T Committee Chair will contact the selected external reviewers and secure their willingness to serve by July 15.
  5. Faculty will follow Application Guidelines for electronic submission of documents by August 15 to the Dean’s office. Three written narratives (see Narrative Guidelines) will a) include all relevant and important evidence to support the promotion, b) be consistent with the applicant’s curriculum vitae, and c) be written so individuals outside of the CON understand the significance. Applicants are encouraged to work closely with their Assistant Dean in preparing the narratives and assuring that they are congruent with their curriculum vitae.
  6. CON faculty members promotion tenure documents accompanied by the Assistant Dean’s letter of recommendation must be received in the Dean’s office by August 15 in order for duplicating and mailing of the document to the external reviewers by August 30. All policies and guidelines must be followed or documents will not be reviewed.
  7. Letters from the external reviewers will be requested back by October 15. These will be added to the applicant’s document and the P&T Committee review will be scheduled. The P&T Committee review will be completed by January 15 with recommendations forwarded to the Dean of the College of Nursing by February 15.

C.   Areas of Accomplishment

Clinical faculty contribute to the missions of the College and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). This document describes examples of accomplishments in teaching, professional service, and scholarly activity that merit clinical track promotion.

  • Teaching - This area focuses on teaching excellence, leadership, interprofessional educational activities, and innovation in the classroom and clinical setting.
  • Professional Service - This area focuses on service, clinical practice and policy contributions to the University and professional organizations, health care organizations and community outreach; as well as activities associated with faculty practice endeavors.
  • Scholarly Activity - Scholarship in nursing can be defined as those activities that systematically advance the teaching, research, and practice of nursing through rigorous inquiry that 1) is significant to the profession, 2) is creative, 3) can be documented, 4) can be replicated or elaborated, and can be peer reviewed through various methods (AACN, 1999). See for examples of the major areas of scholarship. Scholarly dissemination includes not only peer-reviewed conferences and journals but also non-peer reviewed conferences, meetings, and media. Other forms of dissemination include legislative testimony, policy briefs, and consultations.

D.   Accomplishments according to clinical rank:

Criteria for accomplishments defined by this document do not specify any set number that should be demonstrated for promotion to a specific rank. Accomplishments are arranged in areas for the clinical rank and illustrate advancing achievement across the ranks. Consideration is usually a reflection of accomplishments during the last 5-7 years for promotion or since the last promotion date.

Required Accomplishments For Clinical Rank Promotion
Clinical Assistant Professor
  1. Sustained record of outstanding accomplishments in at least two areas for Clinical Assistant Professor rank
  2. One area can be at Clinical Instructor rank
Clinical Associate Professor
  1. Sustained record of outstanding accomplishments in at least two areas for Clinical Associate Professor rank and at the state/regional level.
  2. One area can be at Clinical Assistant Professor rank
Clinical Professor
  1. Sustained record of accomplishments in at least two areas for Clinical Professor rank and at the national level
  2. One area can be at Associate Clinical Professor rank

The following table identifies EXAMPLES of accomplishments for the corresponding rank.

Clinical Instructor Clinical Assistant Professor Clinical Associate Professor Clinical Professor
Demonstrates beginning clinical teaching ability (e.g., makes appropriate assignments, clinical conferencing, student evaluations) Demonstrates effective and innovative clinical teaching (e.g., clinical simulations, IPE clinical experiences Demonstrates sustained effective and innovative clinical teaching (e.g., assists students to design and implement scholarly clinical activities, plan IPE activities) Demonstrates sustained excellent and innovative clinical teaching leadership (e.g., chairs a DNP capstone, PhD committee member, leads an IPE initiative)
Is recognized as an experienced clinician by others such as peers and other professionals Is recognized as skilled clinical educator by others such as peers, students and other professionals Demonstrates a broad range of advanced skills related to the instructional process and is recognized as an expert in clinical teaching at the state/regional level Is recognized as a expert teacher and is valued as a consultant in nursing education and matters of curriculum at the national level
Guides students to apply critical thinking principles and evidence –based knowledge in the learning situations Utilizes teaching strategies effectively to promote students’ critical thinking and use of evidence-based knowledge for identifying nursing interventions Utilizes creative teaching strategies to develop critical thinking and analytical skills by students in evaluating proposed care Leads programs or projects for learning, critical thinking, intellectual inquiry and academic achievement by students
Contributes to development, implementation, and evaluation of student learning experiences Demonstrates expertise in use of evaluation data for curricular decision-making Provide leadership for curriculum development, evaluation and revision Demonstrates leadership in the development, evaluation, revision, and benchmarking of curriculum with other Schools of Nursing. Involved in national faculty curriculum organizations.
Develops and/or implements educational materials and/or programs for clinical practice. Develops and actively promotes new learning opportunities/sites for students at the local level. Provides leadership in developing collaborative educational projects with agencies at the state and regional level. Collaborates on educational opportunities for advancing clinical practice at national/international levels.
Develops positive relationships with clinical sites. Facilitates and develops clinical preceptor and clinical agency relationships. Identifies and develops new sites for clinical teaching/practice. Apply strategies to engage students in the development and management of interprofessional clinical experiences.

Clinical Instructor Clinical Assistant Professor Clinical Associate Professor Clinical Professor
Participates as an engaged member of course groups, divisions and CON activities (e.g., proctors test, participates in admission interviews, leads cross-campus discussions) Is a contributing member on CON and UNMC committees and task forces ( volunteers/ accepts ad hoc committee appointments; IPE activities) Serves in a leadership position role for CON (e.g. Chair of Faculty Practice Committee, CON task forces), UNMC committees, or state/regional professional organization Serves in a leadership position at UNMC (e.g., search committees), university level, or national professional organizations
Participates in CON sponsored activities (e.g., recruitment open houses; hosts visiting international students; volunteer at CON Convocation) Coordinates CON sponsored clinical activities (e.g. continuing education activities, visiting scholar activities). Directs UNMC or regional sponsored clinical activities (e.g. TNMC Nursing State –of –the-Art Conference). Represents the CON, UNMC, or professional organization, at national/, international clinical meetings/conferences.
Maintains national certification in clinical specialty/nursing administration. Contributes to activities to support professional certification (e.g., content expert, item-writer for the exam). Serves as a member of committees to review certification criteria (e.g., ANCC External Validation Committee, Standard Setting Panels). Serves as Member on Advanced Practice National Committees (Committee Member that reviews scope and standards of practice for clinical specialty, ANCC or AANP Certification Board).
Maintains active membership in professional nursing organizations Serves on a committee for a professional nursing organization at the local level (e.g., NNA District, Gamma Pi Chapter STTI). Holds leadership position in a professional organization at the state or regional level (e.g., Member of Board of Nursing, NNA President) Holds leadership position in a professional organization at the national or international level (e.g., ONS, AHA, APNA, STTI).
Evidences service activities consistent with clinical expertise (e.g., volunteers at community-based clinics and Health Fairs; Disaster-Preparedness Drills) Receives recognition for professional service/practice at the Local/state level (March of Dimes Nurse of the Year, NNA, and Clinic with a Heart). Serves as a member of state/regional panels to develop or revise clinical practice guidelines or standards of practice/ protocols/ policy at regional level AHA, NNA, AONE). Provides leadership on national panels to develop or revise clinical practice guidelines or standards of practice (National Organization Legislative, Policy Committees, CDC, WHO).
Is recognized as a mentor to students and peers Actively participates in mentoring of new faculty and students Mentors faculty and students in scholarly activities and professional development at state and regional level Mentors faculty to assume new roles at a national level (e.g. committee chairs, guideline development, white papers, and board roles
Participates in quality improvement/ evidence-based practice projects Implements evidence-based practice projects at the local level (e.g., provides leadership for staff development, such as in-service offerings). Provides consultation to state/regional organizations to implement EBP projects. Provides consultation at the national or international level to implement EBP projects.
    Manages a clinical practice Establishes and is accountable for all aspects of a clinical practice enterprise, (e.g. business plan)

Clinical Instructor Clinical Assistant Professor Clinical Associate Professor Clinical Professor
Demonstrates evidence-based practice in clinical teaching and uses/cites evidence in classroom, lab and simulation teaching settings. Demonstrates evidence of accomplishment toward building scholarship in a focused clinical practice or clinical teaching area or with a special population. Demonstrates outcomes of scholarship in a focused clinical practice, policy, or clinical teaching area or with a special population. Demonstrates sustained outcomes of scholarship in a focused clinical practice policy, or clinical teaching area or with a special population.
Implements educational materials and/or programs for clinical teaching and/or practice using evidence-based sources, clinical guidelines or best practices. Disseminates knowledge of clinical practice, policy, or teaching at the local level through publication or presentation (e.g. professional newsletters and practice journals, web-based modalities or CE offering). Disseminates knowledge of clinical practice, policy, or teaching at the state/regional level. (e.g. peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed venues) Disseminates knowledge of clinical practice, policy, or teaching at the national/ international level through peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed venues.
Participates in faculty development opportunities related to evidence-based practice and/or nursing research Contributes clinical knowledge of teaching, practice, or policy through consultation to health care professionals /agencies. Contributes clinical knowledge of teaching, practice, or policy through grants that support nursing science, nursing. educational innovations, or nursing practice Demonstrates sustained contributions of knowledge of teaching, practice, or policy through grants that support nursing science, nursing educational innovations, or nursing practice
  Participates in clinical practice or clinical teaching scholarship projects.(e.g. Clinical demonstration projects) Works with an interprofessional team, or co-leads clinical teaching scholarship projects and disseminates results Demonstrates ability to secure external funding for clinical teaching practice-related and/or student learning projects
  Provides peer reviews of practice or clinical teaching Serves as a reviewer for clinical teaching or practice journals or professional organization abstracts Serves on Editorial Boards for clinical teaching or practice journals
  Participates in programmatic or special projects assessment and/or evaluation (e.g. QI or EBP) Develops integrative literature reviews, policy or programmatic reports, QI or EBP projects Obtains funding for QI and EBP innovations, evaluations projects, and effectiveness studies


E.   Guidelines for Submitting Clinical Track Promotion Document

The following summary provides procedural descriptions to assist faculty with developing their Clinical Track Promotion document.

1.   College of Nursing Clinical Track Promotion Form: This is the form on which you indicate whether you are applying for promotion to Clinical Assistant Professor or Clinical Associate Professor. The faculty member is encouraged to discuss promotion with their Assistant Dean and seek a recommendation and a signed transmittal form well in advance of application deadline.

2.   Division Assistant Dean Letter: There must be a letter of recommendation following a comprehensive evaluation of the applicant. The letter reflects the Assistant Dean recommendation on the UNMC clinical transmittal form (see at end of document). The assistant dean’s letter should identify the areas of academic endeavor (i.e., teaching, professional service and/or scholarly activity) upon which the recommendation is based. The assistant dean’s letter should contain the summaries of teaching evaluations.

3.   Curriculum Vitae: All candidates must submit a current curriculum vitae in the specified format. Specific teaching activities should include:

  1. Listing of lectures given in team-taught courses (include number of lectures)
  2. Listing of courses for which you were coordinator/supervisor
  3. Listing of courses (course number and name, only) taught by you giving the total number of hours involved in course/courses.
  4. Information on teaching of Graduate Students, especially as pertains to supervision of scholarly products.
  5. Information on teaching activities related to those in residency training (medical, pharmacy, etc.)
  6. Listing of continuing education lectures/courses given
  7. Course/lecture/training evaluation materials and outcome assessments

4.   Narratives: The narratives must summarize the accomplishments for each of the 3 areas: Teaching, Scholarly Activity, and Professional Service. The narratives should not exceed 2 pages for each area of accomplishment. See below for the Guideline for Developing the Narratives.

5.   External Letters of Support: (See Section G) Faculty members must provide a list of five names of individuals who have expertise in their areas of strength. Suggested external reviewers must be outside the University of Nebraska system and cannot be a recent or current collaborator, consultant, mentor or someone with whom the faculty member has another close professional or personal relationship. The applicant must complete a “Contact Information for External Review Form for Clinical Rank Promotion.” Each of the 5 forms must be completed by the applicant and submitted to the chair of the CON P & T by the specified deadline date.

6.   Copies of Publications. Candidates for PROMOTION should submit copies of not more than five (5) of the most important publications which were printed or accepted for publication since their last promotion.

F.   Developing the Narrative Part for Clinical Promotion Application

Preparation of Narratives: The Clinical Promotion application includes a two page description of the evidence supporting your accomplishments in each of the three areas. This is where you must "Blow your own Horn" to assist others reviewing your application to understand the significance of your contributions to the college, university, and profession. The narratives focus on the last 5-7 years, not your entire career. Keep in mind as you write the narrative to state specifically the evidence and minimize the “jargon” describing courses, clinical experiences, and strategies.

The following are trigger points for you to consider when developing your narratives according to the three areas of evidence. Use Appendix A2’s listing of accomplishments as guides that represent the level of achievement. Not all accomplishments are required but the application for Clinical Assistant and Associate Rank must demonstrate a sustained record of excellence and for Professor there must be national recognition and outstanding achievements.

Teaching evidence represents the value of and contributions to student educational experiences:

  1. Identify courses taught for at least the last two years
    • Describe your responsibility for the course
    • Identify any innovative strategies to deliver the course, consider CON mandates to incorporate specific strategies—remember the application will be read by others outside of the CON and contributions must be described specifically for them to grasp the significance
    • Be concise.
    • If appropriate, include student comments regarding the revisions/new strategies.
    • Student evaluations for your teaching in the classroom and/or clinical area.
    • Include a summary of evaluations stating the range of scores on the specific rating scale; do not include the print outs.
    • May a sample of student comments from evaluations—representative but not excessive, select statements that describe the quality of teaching.
    • If there are some areas that the student evaluations identify as areas for improvement, state how you are trying to change these categories.
  2. Course coordinator role.
    • Describe responsibility in terms of class size, use of Blackboard, distance students.
    • If undergraduate course, discuss involvement with other divisions
    • Describe leadership in promoting course quality and/or faculty development.
  3. Clinical instruction
    • Describe number of students in clinical setting, type of patients, innovative strategies used in the clinical area for assisting the students to gain skills and critical thinking
    • If you must provide experiences when patient availability is limited, describe what strategies or alternative experiences are used—e.g. simulation and if available student evaluation of this experience.
    • Clinical coordinator role.
  4. Teaching Portfolio (optional)
    Faculty who have a major teaching role are encouraged to develop a more extensive Teaching Portfolio which can be used to help develop the teaching narrative. In addition, faculty may want to consider including their Teaching Portfolio as a supplement for review by the P&T Review Committee separate from the required documentation.

    Information for developing a teaching portfolio is available and detailed on the UNMC Academic Services website:

Scholarly Activity is not limited to only basic or clinical research achievements but reflects the applicant’s contributions to the profession.

  • Prepare the narrative in chronological order to illustrate how one activity leads to the next so that any reviewer will be able to sense the sustained or outstanding record.
  • Documentation of contribution to grants that support nursing science.
  • Presentations (paper or posters) may be an intermediate step of findings dissemination but published articles with you as first author are preferable.
  • If your focus of scholarly activity has changed—describe this but try to demonstrate how one area lead to the next area or what you are contributing to the next area based on expertise (e.g. computer technology for data collection may have been expanded in a second project to include intervention delivery). Make connections between different projects will support “sustained” record.
  • Scholarly activities can be connected with a professional organization in terms of development or revisions of practice guidelines or organizing symposiums/conferences.

Professional Service includes service to the CON, the University, and professional organizations. Additionally, individuals who engage in practice as part of their professional service will provide a description.
Begin with service to the CON:

  • Committees that you were elected to and if you were elected chairman.
  • Describe the contributions or purpose of the committee to the CON. As a member of the committee did you lead a task force or ad hoc committee to accomplish a specific task—describe this activity and significance to the CON.
  • Please do not list departments or divisions and GFO as a committee. Elected division representatives can include FCC and any specific responsibility on FCC.
  • Appointments to a task force or Ad Hoc committees are included and describe the outcome from the committee in relation to the CON’s mission/vision and to University as a whole.

University Medical Center/the Nebraska Medical Center Hospital/University of Nebraska
Identify the committee, contribution you made as a member or leader of the committee, and any specific outcome that was a important to any of the listed entities. It may be appropriate to connect the committee to strategic plan objective or new enterprise development

State of Nebraska

  • Identify the committee, the contribution you made as a member or leader of the committee, and any specific outcome that was important to any of the listed entities. Include the significance of the committee’s function to the citizens of Nebraska.

Professional Organization

  • Local, state, and national professional organization work is important service. The service to the organization needs to progress from local to state to national levels to demonstrate sustained or outstanding contributions to the organization.
  • Multiple memberships in professional organizations and different levels of participation can occur.
  • If you volunteer for, or are appointed to committees for an organization, describe the significance of the committee to the organization and any recognition associated with the committee’s participation.


  • Describe your practice include population served, role, and members of the team providing service (interdisciplinary).
  • Certifications and requirement to maintain certifications.
  • A leadership role with the team/clinic and accomplishments associated with this task (e.g. new service line for cessation of smoking).
  • Leadership role regarding practice regulations.
  • Consultation Activity.
  • Engaging in clinical activities that promote quality patient care and outcomes that are above and beyond the job description for faculty’s clinical practice. Examples include:
    • Monitoring outcomes of patient care
    • Promoting interdisciplinary practice and collaboration
    • Promoting use of patient care models (e.g. transitional care, palliative care)
    • Promoting quality improvement (QI) or evidence-based practice (EBP) through presentations to staff, online activities, posters, hospital newsletters.
    • Revising policies, procedures, standards of care, and staff orientation and development for the agency
    • Conducting clinical studies to demonstrate effectiveness of evidence-based practice for the agency
    • Assuming leadership roles in agency committees (e.g. safety committee, workload committee, strategic planning committee).
    • Publishing in clinical practice journals.

Continuing Education

  • If you provide continuing education for your specialty area or write continuing education activities for a journal, include this as teaching.

Forms to Download

Contact Information for External Reviewer Form for Clinical Rank Promotion

External Letters of Review Waiver for Faculty Promotion

UNMC Transmittal Form for Recommending Clinical Promotion