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Professional Development and Education

Clinical Advancement Ladder

The Clinical Advancement Ladder encourages individual professional development to advance nursing as a whole. It “supports a lifelong learning culture that includes professional collaboration and the promotion of role development, and academic achievement (ANCC, 2013).”

The Clinical Advancement Ladder is a how-to-guide for clinical nurses to equally develop their professional competence. It helps nurses carry out the mission, vision, and goals of Bozeman Health.

-The Commission on Magnet Recognition, (2013). 2014 Magnet Application Manual. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Continuing Education:

Bozeman Health is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Montana Nurses Association, an accredited approver of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Having this designation facilitates our ability to provide local access to quality continuing education opportunities.


Our direct-care nurses are above the national average for holding professional certifications, according to national database comparisons. Professional Certification is heavily emphasized at this organization. Certification differential pay, preparation-course offerings and organizational recognition are a few ways we support and encourage high professional certification rates.

Nurse Residency Program:

Guided by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Report on the Future of Nursing, we’ve built a program to help support nurses’ transition-to-practice. To help with a safe and successful transition to independent practice, new graduate nurses complete a year-long Nurse Residency Program in addition to their extensive unit-specific orientation.

Meeting for two hours a month, the nurse residents are given the opportunity as a core group to talk, share case scenarios and develop critical thinking skills. Resident nurses also act as mentors for each other when they float to a different floor. The year-long program is designed to assist newly graduated nurses in acquiring the knowledge and skills to deliver safe, quality care that meets defined standards of practice.

Here's what our nurses have to say

“It is so helpful to have a group of people who can relate to you, share in your struggles, and understand the challenges the first year as a nurse can bring. It creates a feeling of support, security, and relief. It is also very helpful to have compassionate, non-judgmental mentors who you can ask all of your questions that you may have. “ - Kelley T

“Collaboration between departments is vital to safe patient care and building early relationships with other new nurses throughout our organization has helped foster this. Having a new nurse residency program is an excellent avenue to develop our new nurses and help them feel connected with our organization so they can enjoy a lasting career with Bozeman Health.” - Michelle K

"The nursing residency program proved to be very beneficial in helping me navigate the ropes of being a new nurse here at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital. I learned effective communication techniques and obtained tips on time management that have served me well in my nursing career. I would highly recommend this program for all new graduate nurses! " - Angela McCormack, RN, BSN

Family Birth Center

"As a new nurse you see veteran nurses so effortlessly and effectively providing care. Being able to see that we were on the right track and address bumps in the road was quite beneficial in getting through what could have been a much more difficult first year in the profession." - Kees

Contact the Nurse Residency program
Heather Tasker, MSN, RNC-OB
Nurse Educator