Nursing Professional Development Opportunities

Career Development Programs

​Lurie Children's nurses may select from a variety of professional development opportunities to build a career in pediatric nursing.

Nursing Professional Governance Councils Committees

Our nurses are driven to be leaders in healthcare delivery, research, education, and advocacy. Through participation in Nursing Professional Governance, nurses own and shape their practice with the decision-making power to advance the profession. This empowering culture ensures an outstanding environment for professional nursing.  

Councils Committees

Nursing Professional Governance consists of several councils and committees at the unit-based and hospital-wide level. Membership includes nurses across the organization including clinical nurses, Nursing Professional Development Practitioners, Nursing Advanced Practice Nurses, nursing leaders, and more. Involvement in Nursing Professional Governance promotes collaboration with nursing colleagues throughout the organization, builds leadership, improves patient outcomes, and provides a foundation of quality, support, safety, and resources. 

Councils and committees:  

  • Nursing Practice Council 
  • Interprofessional Education Council 
  • APP Council 
  • Nursing Research Council 
  • Nursing Leadership Council 
  • Clinical Progression and Peer Review Council 
  • Nursing Quality Council 
  • Staffing and Scheduling Council 
  • Ambulatory Council
  • Patient Family Experience Committee 
  • Reward, Recognition, and Retention Committee 
  • Preceptor Committee 
  • Nursing and Interprofessional Informatics Committee 
  • Interdisciplinary Plans of Care Committee 
  • Nursing Protocol & Procedure Committee
  • Hospital Acquired Conditions Committee

Shared Governance

Nursing Professional Governance at Lurie Children's is an organizational structure created to enhance communication, improve patient outcomes and care and increase productivity and accountability. It provides frontline nurses with a voice and decision making power regarding their profession, it provides nurses with the opportunity for professional development and empowerment and gives nurses control and accountability over their professional practice. 

At Lurie Children's, the purpose of the Nursing Professional Governance structure is to provide a coordinated decision-making process to plan, coordinate and direct the professional work of nursing. All professional nurses employed are the medical center are governed through this structure. Members of the professional governance structure are comprised of frontline nurses, professional development practitioners, Nursing Informatics practitioners,  Advanced Practice Registered Nurses and members of leadership. The key to success of this model is staff representation and participation, any nurse at Lurie Children's has the opportunity to participate and shape nursing practice. 

Nursing Professional Clinical Advancement Opportunities for Lurie Children Nurses

Lurie Children's nurses are recognized and awarded for their clinical excellence and expertise leading the frontline caring for our most vulnerable patients.

A.S.C.E.N.D Program (Achieving Success in Clinical Excellence and Nursing Development)

The A.S.C.E.N.D Program is designed as a methodology to reflect Magnet components of excellence, including transformational leadership, structural empowerment, exemplary professional practice, new knowledge/innovations and improvement. Just as we believe that each child should have the opportunity to reach his or her potential, we are dedicated to providing the professional nurse, in all clinical settings, the opportunity to invest in their potential at Lurie Children’s.

The A.S.C.E.N.D Program at Lurie Children’s also seeks to sustain the clinical practice and professional growth of staff nurses in direct patient care. As in other professions, nursing is practiced at several levels of skill and competence. The program acknowledges and recognizes registered nurses who choose to enrich their professional practice and clinical skills at Lurie Children’s. 

The A.S.C.E.N.D Program is designed as a mechanism to support the Employer Promise and assist registered nurses to achieve their professional goals.  Fulfilling this promise will ensure that Lurie Children’s will remain a great place to work and allow for professional growth while caring for our patients and families.

There are four levels incorporated into the clinical ladder

  • RN1
  • RN2
  • RN3
  • RN4

There are three promotional levels that Lurie Children's nurses can promote to with monetary compensation upon successful completion of portfolio. The A.S.C.E.N.D Program was created looking at the whole nurse and incorporates inpatient and ambulatory direct patient caregivers.

Advancement Opportunities

At Lurie Children’s, we provide nurses with constant educational support. Each one of our units has a designated nursing professional development practitioners and/or nurse specialist who answers questions, conducts research, discusses treatments, demonstrates procedures and provides support. Nurses at Lurie Children’s never have to look very far for answers. The Department of Clinical & Organizational Development provides a variety of programs, lectures, workshops, seminars and demonstrations to keep nurses up-to-date with current nursing practices and procedures. And, as a teaching and research hospital, we provide an environment where inquiry is encouraged and learning is a universal goal. Internal grant funding is available for nurses to conduct research related to nursing pediatric concerns.

College Tuition Assistance

Going back to school? We’ll help finance your education through our tuition assistance program. The program pays tuition costs up to $5,000 per year for regular employees. College credit classes or certification that is directly related to an employee’s job or hospital-related are covered. Your courses do not need to relate directly to your current position but need to be applicable to a position at the hospital. And, if you are enrolled in a degree program related to a job at the hospital, and the program requires a course that isn’t job related, we still cover the costs.

To participate, you must be employed by Lurie Children's for six months prior to the start of your class, and you need to complete a tuition reimbursement form, available through Human Resources prior to beginning the class. To learn more about tuition assistance, contact human resources.


Professional certification is granted by specialty nursing organizations to those individuals who demonstrate excellence in a clinical or professional area of practice. Certification is initially earned when a nurse completes a minimum number of clinical practice hours and successfully passes a certification examination. Achieving national certification validates and recognizes a nurse’s expertise and professionalism. It reassures families that their nurse has excelled in his or her chosen profession. Lurie Children’s nurses are encouraged to earn professional certification. This is supported through reimbursement for the cost of initial certification exam as well as recertification fees for one certification in a clinical specialty granted by a national nursing organization.

Lurie Children's Krehbiel Scholarship

The Krehbiel Scholarship provides support to full-time registered nurses at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago seeking higher education in the field of nursing, while demonstrating a commitment to the core principles of The Power of All: * Compassionate Service * Discovery and Innovation * Diversity and Inclusion * Excellence * Integrity * Respectful Collaboration * Stewardship

On an annual basis (by fiscal year), the Krehbiel Scholarship will be awarded to six registered nurses in the amount of $30,000 each to complete an advanced nursing degree in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Nurse Practitioner (NP), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program at an accredited institution distributed over the duration of the program. A call for applications is issued each Fall.

Contact Us

Career development: Opportunities to help current Lurie Children's employees meet or exceed short and long term career goals. Contact Joanne Orozco at or 312.227.0087.

Clinical advancement: Contact Melissa Dacanay, Chair, Clinical Progression and Peer Review Council, at or 312.227.1600

Clinical education: A team of nursing and respiratory therapy educators who focus on competency, mandatory education and departmental orientation. Contact Barbara Keating at or 312.227.0081.

Employee education: Opportunities to increase job specific skills, knowledge and behaviors. Contact Julia Hooper at or 312.227.0082.

Library resources: Up-to-date, authoritative collection of books, current periodicals, audiovisual materials, and electronic resources supporting patient care, education and research needs, as well as a consumer health/family web sites on the web. Contact Andrea Fawcett at or  312.227.4707.