Framework and RSAM

Tools, Resources & FAQ

This section of the website may be helpful to you in preparing for advancement. You will find an abundance of information on Framework processes and resources, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

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Requirements to Apply

Requirements

One of the strengths of the Professional Advancement Program is that it allows the nurse to self-initiate the process for advancement. Opportunities for advancement are open and flexible, with a few general parameters:

Framework Level A nurses: New graduates are hired into Level A. On his or her 12 month anniversary date he or she will be advanced to level C.

Framework Level C or RSAM-Competent and higher nurses: Contract Addendum D, Section A, 1). states “All employees at Framework Level C or higher or RSAM -Competent and higher, with at least 6 months of service, will have the option to apply for advancement to a higher level.”

The nurse must impart, through their application and interview, the ways in which they meet a preponderance (vast majority) of the behaviors at the level to which they are applying. Applicants may “skip” levels if they believe his or her clinical practice and leadership contributions demonstrate the higher level behaviors.

A Master's Degree is the educational requirement for Framework Level F and RSAM Mastery Plus.

Discipline

Addendum D, Section A, 6:

Discipline will not be an automatic bar to advancement or renewal, nor will the facts giving rise to the discipline be automatically discarded from consideration of advancement.
Coach

All nurses who are considering advancement in the Professional Development Framework or Role Specific Advancement Model have the opportunity to consult with our coach, Joanne Hazelton.

Joanne is a specially trained nurse who consults and works with Framework/RSAM applicants over the course of the application process. This consistent 1:1 relationship will foster the exploration of professional strengths and accomplishments, and promote fully developed exemplar writing. Joanne may assist the applicant in managing the process of developing a portfolio and preparing for the Central Committee review panel interview. Joanne is skilled in helping nurses to identify and communicate to others their unique contributions, skills, strengths, and goals.

While it is not required that you work Joanne, it is highly recommended that you take advantage of her assistance before applying.

Joanne HazeltonJoanne Hazelton, BSN, RN

Educational Nurse Coordinator Mastery Level, Professional Development and Education

Joanne brings a wealth of both clinical and educational experience with her to the coach role. For over twenty years, Joanne worked in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, gaining expertise in the care of pediatric patients with a variety of complex conditions. Joanne contributed to a variety of clinical initiatives and over the years advanced to Level D and Level E in Framework and is now a RSAM Mastery Level nurse.

Besides acting as unit preceptor of new staff, Joanne presented on various clinical topics in the PICU and in the Central Nurse and Pediatric Critical Care Orientation programs. She has been a clinical instructor of nursing students at Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan School of Nursing. Joanne was member of the Framework/RSAM Central Committee for two years. In that role, she reviewed portfolios and interviewed nurses from across the Health System. Joanne looks forward to interacting with nurses and assisting them in their professional advancement.

Contact Joanne through the coach mailbox: Nurse-ProfDevFramework@med.umich.edu 

Portfolio 101 (currently under revision)

The Application Portfolio provides a complete picture of your nursing practice. By assembling a collection of documents - each with a particular point of view - you will enable others to comprehend your level of practice. Keep in mind that no single document needs to fully describe how you meet all Professional Development Framework or Role Specific Advancement Model (RSAM) behaviors, but taken as a whole, the portfolio provides a detailed, comprehensive view of your professional practice.

PORTFOLIO 101: Getting Started with Advancement

Portfolio Preparation Workshops

Four hour workshops with 4 CE are offered periodically. An opportunity to stay for an additional 4 hours of supported classroom time for portfolio preparation is included. You may use Hospital Business time to attend if arranged with your CND. Registration is in MLearning: NURS-90487

Tip Sheet

Special Presentation on Exemplar Writing - created by Dr. Chris Pacini, Ph.D., RN

Central Committee

Overview

An important feature of the Professional Development Framework and Role Specific Advancement Model is the Central Committee.  The Central Committee provides a full review of each applicant’s portfolio in the context of the Framework domains and behaviors.  Each Central Committee member participates in a two-day orientation program to deepen their understanding of Framework and RSAM as well as Central Committee responsibilities and processes, focusing on the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective member.

The Central Committee reviews Application Portfolios and interviews candidates who seek advancement to Levels D, E, and F in Framework or to Expert, Mastery, and Mastery Plus in RSAM.  Membership is comprised of nurses who are representative of the UMHS nursing community. All Framework and RSAM nurses on the Central Committee must have themselves gone through the advancement process. Appointed by JIT, the Central Committee is co-chaired by the Director of Professional Development and Education, Dr. Sharon Smith, PhD, RN and the Educator Lead for Framework/RSAM, Mary Anne Brancheau, BSN, RN-BC. Per contract, the Central Committee members have staggered terms of two years, with half of the committee rotating off every year.  Members may be re-appointed.

The Central Committee conducts its work in accordance with group norms (see next dropdown below) created to uphold and maintain the integrity of the Professional Development Framework and Role Specific Advancement Model.

Norms

(September, 2019)

As a diverse community of nurses dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the Professional Development Framework and Role Specific Advancement Model, we agree to:

  • Treat others as they want to be treated
  • Conduct each portfolio review and candidate interview with openness, respect, and curiosity, striving to elicit the candidate’s full professional story
  • Assure confidentiality in all aspects of the Review Panel/Central Committee process
  • Carry out our work with a sense of accountability and in accordance with established processes, ever mindful of maintaining consistency, objectivity, and fairness for all candidates
  • Model professionalism in all our communication with candidates and each other, utilizing active listening at all times
  • Respect each other’s perspectives, value and utilize individual member expertise, and foster an environment where each committee member feels comfortable sharing them
  • Maintain an open mind, seek to understand, strive for consensus decision making, and support all decisions made by the Central Committee
  • Appreciate and honor the diversity in others and ourselves
  • Instill and foster the spirit of collegiality, trust, mutual respect, and cohesiveness in our work
  • Honor, respect, value, and celebrate the work of Framework/RSAM candidates at whatever stage of their professional journey, advanced or not advanced
  • Assume everyone is coming with their best self

We hold ourselves accountable to uphold these norms

*Synthesized from Central Committee Norms discussions 2006-present; Framework Steering Committee review and input October, 2011; Central Committee review and input October, 2011; Central Committee Review and Input September, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Members (Intranet/Employees only)

Internal link; accessible via UMHS Network or VPN only:

 

Central Committee Members
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Appeals - Professional Development Framework and Role Specific Advancement Model

Process Overview

Approved by JIT, January, 2013

The Appeals Process is coordinated through Professional Development and Education. The philosophy and processes that guide the Central Committee are applied to the Appeals Process, including deep respect for each applicant, confidentiality of the review, and a commitment to thoroughness. The Appeals Board utilizes consensus decision-making. Nurses who appeal receive a letter that explains the decision. Decisions are final and are not subject to the dispute process.

The Appeals Process provides nurses with the option of filing an appeal in two situations:

  1. Appeal of a Central Committee Decision
  2. Appeal of a Level Demotion
    associated with the annual evaluation and renewal process
Appeal of a Central Committee Decision

A first consideration for the nurse who is not advanced by the Central Committee is the feedback given about why he/she did not advance.

For example, if a certain area of the Application Portfolio is not fully developed, perhaps immediate attention to the portfolio and re-application to the Central Committee, including another interview, are all that would be needed to bring about future advancement.

Or, the nurse may receive feedback that the Application Portfolio and interview did not support practice at the level to which the nurse had applied with specific rationale and suggestions for development. Addressing that “gap” through day to day work and/or leadership contributions and reapplying in the future may be the most appropriate plan.

However, if the nurse disagrees with the decision made and believes his/her Application Portfolio and interview supported advancement, he/she can file an appeal.

Steps in the Appeals Procedure
for Appeal of a Central Committee Decision

 

File and Schedule the Appeal

From the point of receipt of notification of not being advanced, the applicant has 30 calendar days to file an Appeal.

  1. The appeal request must include:  Name, unit, date of request, date notified of not being advanced, current level, level applied to, phone number, and email address. The appeal request should be brief, and need not contain any further detail.
  2. Send your email directly to Judy Bliss in Professional Development and Education: judyblis@med.umich.edu
  3. You will receive an email containing: confirmation of receipt of your request, date of the next meeting, and available interview times.
  4. Every effort will be made to schedule your appeal within 30 calendar days of receipt of your request.
  5. Upon receiving your choice of an interview time, you will be provided with an email confirming the date, time, and location of your interview.

Participate in Interview

In a manner consistent with the original interview, the Appeals Board will seek to verify, clarify, and amplify the information contained in your original portfolio, as well as focus on the areas identified in the Interview Guidelines.  In addition, during the course of the 30 minute interview with the Appeals Board and at the applicant’s discretion, the opportunity to discuss one’s perspective regarding the Central Committee experience and decision will be made available.

Decision

The decision of the Appeals Board will be communicated to the applicant within 2 weeks of the Appeal via email to the applicant's med.umich.edu email. Appeals Board decisions are final and are not subject to the dispute process.

Appeal of a Level Demotion

If a Framework or RSAM nurse is demoted in the course of the defined annual evaluation and process, the nurse has the option to file an Appeal. The Appeals Board procedure also applies to the annual renewal process and is referenced in Contract Addendum D as follows:

Section B. Framework/RSAM Annual Evaluation and Renewal Process

  1. The annual evaluation and renewal process will occur simultaneously at the unit level between the employee and the nurse Clinical Nursing Director on the employee’s anniversary date and will be based upon Clinical Nursing Director, peer, and self-evaluation.
  2. All peer evaluations must be signed and made available to the employee who is being evaluated.
  3. The annual performance evaluation is aligned with the Framework/RSAM behaviors.
  4. Discipline will not be an automatic bar to advancement or renewal, nor will the facts giving rise to the discipline be automatically discarded from consideration of advancement in the Framework or RSAM.
  5. If there are issues in regard to level maintenance, the Clinical Nursing Director will notify the employee as soon as possible and institute a corrective action plan.  No employee will have their level changed without the opportunity for a corrective action plan to include Association representation and an appeals process.
  6. The Appeals board procedure will apply to the renewal process.

Instructions for annual evaluations including evaluation forms for all Framework/RSAM roles for both the nurse and his/her chosen peers are available on the JIT website:  http://www.med.umich.edu/nursing/jit/forms.htm.

It is essential that both the nurse and the Clinical Nursing Director attend to this agreed upon process for annual evaluation.

Following completion of the evaluation forms by the nurse, his/her peers, and the Clinical Nursing Director, a meeting is held. Note in 5) above, if there are issues identified in regard to level maintenance, a corrective action plan is instituted. This plan is NOT disciplinary. An Association (UMPNC) representative is present in order to ensure that the employee has the opportunity to correct any identified issues before a demotion takes place.  If, however, the plan is identified and implemented, but the Clinical Nursing Director does not see sufficient progress, a demotion may take place.  It is at that point that the nurse would have the option to appeal.

Steps in the Appeals Procedure for Appeal of a Level Demotion


File and Schedule the Appeal

From the point of receipt of notification of demotion, the nurse has 30 calendar days to file an Appeal.

  1. The appeal request must include: Name, unit, date of request, date notified of demotion, level demoted from, level demoted to, phone number, and email address.  The appeal request should be brief, and need not contain any further detail.
  2. Send your email directly to Judy Bliss in Professional Development and Education: judyblis@med.umich.edu
  3. You will receive an email containing: confirmation of receipt of your request, date of the next meeting, and available interview times.
  4. Every effort will be made to schedule your appeal within 30 calendar days of receipt of your request.
  5. Upon receiving your choice of interview times, you will be provided with an email confirming the date, time, and location of your interview.

Documents required for Appeals of Level Demotions

  1. The original application portfolio, if available (provides “baseline” for practice)
  2. Employee Evaluation form, with ratings columns filled in by both the nurse and the Clinical Nursing Director, as well as comments by both
  3. Peer feedback forms submitted at the time of evaluation
  4. Corrective Action Plan including dates and any follow up documentation

Interview

The Appeals Board will seek to verify, clarify, and amplify the information contained in the above documents. During the course of the 30 minute interview, the board will seek to determine where there is sufficient evidence that the nurse continues to meet a preponderance of behaviors at the designated Framework or RSAM level.

Decision

The decision of the Appeals Board will be communicated to the applicant within 2 weeks of the Appeal in the form of a letter sent via US Mail.  Appeals Board decisions are final and are not subject to the dispute process.

Sample Appeal Request

Appeal of a Central Committee decision for advancement from Level D or Level E:

Name: John Doe
Unit: 11B
Date of request: November X, 20XX
Date notified of not being advanced: October X, 20XX
Current Level: Level C
Level applied to: Level D
I hereby request an Appeal of the Central Committee’s decision regarding my advancement to Level D.  I can be reached by phone at 333-333-3333, or by Email at johndoe@med.umich.edu. Thank you and I look forward to arranging for the interview.

 

Appeals Board Members (Intranet/Employees only)

Internal link; accessible via UMHS Network or VPN only:

 

Appeals Board Members
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Glossary
Definitions
Abundance

The assured opportunity to advance in the Professional Development Framework or Role Specific Advancement Model based on demonstrated ability to meet identified behaviors, rather than promotion through competition for a limited number of positions. Abundance in action simultaneously rewards individual excellence while promoting teamwork. Contract paragraph 82A ensures this definition of abundance.

Annual Performance Review

Yearly evaluation between nurse and Clinical Nursing Director that includes self-assessment, peer feedback and manager assessment. These annual evaluations will be based on the Domains and Behaviors delineated in the Professional Development Framework or Role Specific Advancement Model. All peer feedback must be non-anonymous, and any nurse providing input into another nurse’s annual performance review must have completed peer feedback/review education.

Annual Renewal Process

In order to maintain one's Framework or RSAM Level, each RN will demonstrate that he/she continues to meet the practice behaviors in the Domains described in the Professional Development Framework or Role Specific Advancement Model. This will be accomplished through the annual performance review at the unit level. This review incorporates self, peer and Clinical Nursing Director assessment.

Appeals Board

This group will hear appeals when application for advancement is denied by the Central Committee or a level demotion is made at the unit level. Half of the members of the Board are appointed by the UMPNC, half by the University. Decisions will be made by consensus and are final, meaning that the decision stands and cannot be taken to the dispute process.

Appeals Process

If advancement to a new level is not granted, the applicant may appeal. Appeals in relation to Central Committee decisions are resolved by the Appeals Board. Strategies for the nurse’s future success will be articulated and shared should advancement be denied. The Appeals process also applies to a level demotion. The Appeals section of this website provides details.

Application

An online application providing evidence of an RN’s clinical expertise. The application includes elements developed by the nurse, the Clinical Nursing Director and selected peers.

Behaviors

Observable in the clinical performance of the nurse, behaviors articulate the evolving expertise on a continuum:

  • The Professional Development Framework levels begin with Level A, the Advanced Beginner new graduate and progress to the highly skilled expert clinical leader at Level F. Behaviors describe nursing practice within the five Professional Development Framework Domains. The behaviors document for Framework nurses includes all levels - A, C, D, E, and F.
  • The Role Specific Advancement Model (RSAM) levels begin with Competent level and progress to Mastery and Mastery Plus Levels. Behaviors for each separate RSAM role (Clinical Care Coordinator, Educational Nurse Coordinator, RN Case Manager, and Flight Nurse Specialist) are organized around ten different domains.
Central Committee

A group of RNs representative of the nursing community and appointed by the Joint Implementation Team, who reviews applications for advancement to Level D, E, and F in the Professional Development Framework as well as to Expert, Mastery, and Mastery Plus in the Role Specific Advancement Model. Central Committee members, through portfolio review and the interview process, determine whether the applicant has provided evidence of meeting a preponderance of behaviors that align with the level to which the applicant has applied. The Central Committee section of this website provides further details.

Clinical Nursing Director Voice

The Clinical Nursing Director voice is heard through the use of the Clinical Nursing Director Voice Tool. It is completed by the manager and provides perspective on the behaviors that most closely describe the applicant’s nursing practice within each Domain. This is a required part of the portfolio.

Coach

The coach is a nurse with special training who consults and works with a Framework or RSAM applicants over the course of the application process. The coach assists the nurse in exploration of professional strengths/accomplishments and promotes effective, full exemplar writing as well as thorough completion of other required portfolio elements. The coach may also assist the applicant in preparing for the interview. The Coach section of this website provides further details.

Consensus

Decisions made by general agreement or accord based on group discussion and alignment. This method contrasts with decisions made by majority vote. Consensus will be used in the Central Committee and Appeals Board processes.

Domains

Areas of professional nursing practice described within the Professional Development Framework. These include:

  • Clinical Skills and Knowledge
  • Therapeutic Relationships
  • Professional Relationships
  • Professional Development
  • Advancing Evidence Based Practice through Innovation and Research

Areas of professional nursing practice described within the Role Specific Advancement Model. These include:

  • Clinical Thinking and Judgment
  • Systems Thinking
  • Advocacy
  • Therapeutic Relations/Engagement
  • Collaboration/Communication, and Professional Relationships
  • Facilitator of Learning and Professional Development
  • Response (responsiveness; sensitivity) to Diversity
  • Advancing Evidence Based Practice through Innovation and Research
  • Contribution
  • Coordination
Exemplar

A detailed first person account of an RN’s clinical practice that tells a story about a specific patient, family or event. Sometimes referred to as a clinical narrative, it serves to “exemplify” an RN’s practice. The exemplars are a key element in the portfolio and show how practice aligns with the behaviors within the domains.

Interview

Each applicant meets with a 3-4 person Central Committee Review Panel for a 30-minute interview. The interview provides the RN with an opportunity to expand upon elements in his/her application and demonstrate how she/he meets behaviors required for the Level. The interview section of this website provides further details on what to expect at the interview.

Letters of Support

Letters of Support are a required element of the application. They give voice to peers who work side by side with the nurse applicant. Two letters are required.

Levels

Framework and RSAM levels describe a continuum of development based in part on the work of Patricia Benner.

"Like" Units

A concept used in determining Level retention should a nurse desire to transfer to another unit. Conceptually, “like” areas of current or past practice are determined in the following manner: Units which share at least two of the three following characteristics are considered to be “like units”--

  1. Developmental level of patients (adult, pediatric, neonate/infant)
  2. Level of care (ICU, General Care, Ambulatory Care)
  3. Specialty (Cardiac, Oncology, etc.)

Refer to Contract Addendum D for further information on transfers and the “like units” concept. Also see the Transfers Across Units section below.

Mentor

An RN with expertise in a particular area who assists a colleague to develop greater knowledge and skill in that area.

Professional Statement

A self-described account of an RN's current practice, practice setting, particular expertise and professional goals and objectives.

Resume

A factual written summary of one’s professional education, work experience and accomplishments.

Review Panel

A group of 3 or 4 Central Committee members. The Review Panel reviews application portfolios, interviews applicants, and makes recommendations to the Central Committee regarding advancement.

Role-specific Nurses

Role Specific Nurses include Educational Nurse Coordinators, Flight Nurse Specialists, Clinical Care Coordinators, and RN Case Managers. These nurses are not included in the Professional Development Framework. Instead, they participate in a parallel advancement program called the “Role Specific Advancement Model”, commonly known as “RSAM”. Each role has a separate set of behaviors based on the same ten domains of practice.

Self-assessment

A process designed for self-review of one’s own professional practice in the context of the behaviors as described in the five Framework Domains or for Role Specific Nurses, in the Role Specific Advancement Model domains. The process uses the self-reflective tool and is a required portfolio element.

Self-directed Process

A process driven by the RN applicant that empowers the individual to assume responsibility for his/her movement within the Professional Development Framework or Role Specific Advancement Model.

 

 

UMPNC Contract - Framework (Addendum D)

 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions Click questions to reveal answers.

Do DNP graduates who do not have a master's degree qualify for Level F or Mastery Plus Levels?

Yes, they qualify to apply for advancement if working in a Framework or RSAM role.

If I want to apply for advancement, do I need anyone's "OK" to do so?

No, the decision to apply for advancement is entirely up to you.

I am planning to transfer to another unit very soon. Can I still apply for advancement on my current unit?

The intent of Framework/RSAM is to honor and recognize your practice on the unit in which you are applying. Your portfolio and interview are focused on your practice in that setting. Therefore, in order for the Review Panel interview to take place and an advancement decision made by the Central Committee, you must still be working on that unit on the day that you are scheduled for your Review Panel interview.

Transfer language related to "like" and "unlike" units in Contract Addendum D would still apply. Therefore, there is no guarantee that the level granted based on your portfolio and interview would extend to your new unit.

What are the incentives for applying for advancement?

Incentives include recognition of expertise, personal satisfaction around professional goals and achievement, as well as an increase in your hourly rate.

Can I advance to Level D or E if I am not a charge nurse?

Framework represents a paradigm shift: A role, such as Charge Nurse, preceptor, or committee member, describes something you do that involves a number of specific tasks. Behaviors describe how you practice in a qualitative way.

Roles, in and of themselves, do not determine the depth of one’s nursing practice. Framework values how you practice nursing. It encompasses the depth and the scope of all of your work, and it does not require wearing the mantel of any particular role to advance. So, yes, you can advance without being a Charge Nurse.

When asking a peer for a Letter of Support for Advancement to Level D, E or F, can the peer be from any Level?

Yes, Letters of Support can be written by a nurse in any Level of Framework/RSAM or from a nurse that is not part of Framework, such as a Clinical Nurse Specialist or Nurse Practitioner. You cannot, however, utilize a letter from a nursing supervisor. Supervisors may complete the manager voice tool as designated by the Clinical Nursing Director.

What happens if I want to transfer to another unit? Will my progression through the levels start over?

It depends on whether that unit is determined to be a “like” or “unlike” area of current or past practice. Through a succinct set of criteria, “like” and “unlike” areas are determined, and thus assist the nurse to maintain a level wherever possible. See Contract ADDENDUM D, Section C: TRANSFERS ACROSS UNITS OF BARGAINING UNIT MEMBERS.

Is there an educational requirement for advancement?

There is no educational degree requirement for Framework Level A to E or RSAM ENC or FNS Competent to Mastery Levels beyond nursing licensure. A Master's Degree in any field is a requirement for Framework Level F and RSAM Mastery Plus roles. A BSN is required for hire into the position of Clinical Care Coordinator and RN Case Manager.

What happens if a nurse's application for a higher level is not granted?

The goal of Framework/RSAM is to support as well as recognize the development of a nurse’s practice from Novice to Expert. If a nurse is not advanced, suggestions will be offered to assist the nurse in achieving their goal.

If the nurse disagrees with the decision and the reasons given for not advancing, he or she may appeal the decision. The appeals process is described on the website under Tools & Resources

Will a nurse who has discipline in his/her file be automatically barred from advancement or renewal?

Addendum D, Section A, 6:

Discipline will not be an automatic bar to advancement or renewal, nor will the facts giving rise to the discipline be automatically discarded from consideration of advancement.
Will I have to reapply each year to retain my Framework or RSAM Level?

No, but each year you will be expected to demonstrate at your annual performance evaluation that you continue to meet the behaviors associated with your Framework or RSAM Level. The annual performance evaluation occurs at the unit level between you and your Clinical Nursing Director. The performance evaluation is aligned with the Framework and RSAM behaviors.

Will I be given release time to complete my application?

Application for advancement in Framework and RSAM is an individual professional choice, not a job requirement. Discuss opportunities for business time with your unit leadership.

 

Contact Us


We invite your thoughts, feedback, questions, and comments related to the Professional Development Framework and Role Specific Advancement Model! 

 

Mary Anne Brancheau, BSN, RN, NPD-BC, Program Lead
Ph: (734) 232-1091
Email: mavb@med.umich.edu

Joanne Hazelton, BSN, RN, Framework/RSAM Coach
Ph: (734) 232-1123
Email: Nurse-ProfDevFramework@med.umich.edu

Our Framework/RSAM Office Location
University of Michigan Health System
Professional Development and Education
300 N. Ingalls St.
6th Floor B Wing, Rm. 6B04
Ann Arbor, MI. 48109-5436

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Target Audience: UMHS Nursing | Author/Contact: Mary Anne Brancheau

Web Publisher/Designer/Developer: April Stingo astingo@med.umich.edu | Reviewed: 1/29/2020