Advocate Health Care
a patient or visitor a physician or healthcare professional an employer
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size

medical services home
career development

Click to view Video

Be a part of it all.

Learning leads to career growth

Where will your career go with Advocate? Wherever you feel like taking it. With so much support and training for our nurses, and so many care options, Advocate simply offers more. We offer our people learning and growth opportunities such as career ladder programs, advanced career opportunities, tuition reimbursement programs, and support at every level. If you want to build your career, start by taking it to Advocate.

Here are just a few examples of what Advocate can offer you and your career:

Advocate Learning Exchange

All of our development tools in one place. That's the Advocate Learning Exchange (AleX). From here, Advocate professionals can access every tool and resource that Advocate provides for career development. These include opportunities for training, development resources, and management tools.

This Website on our intranet gives Advocate professionals the opportunity to answer all of their questions about career development in one place. As we continue to add new programs, this portal continues to grow.


At Advocate, we run The Success Through Excellence in Practice (STEPs) program to recognize and reward nurses engaged in direct patient care. This program is for nurses at all levels of development and helps build career development opportunities to advance their expertise and performance.

STEPs is based on a widely accepted model describing the development of the professional nurse published by Patricia Benner and colleagues in 1984. Benner's framework defines the development of clinical expertise in terms of how a nurse perceives, assimilates, interprets, and acts in response to clinical situations.

At Advocate, our STEPs are:

  • Nurse Clinician I - This initial phase of nursing expertise is based on Benner's "Novice" to "Advanced Beginner" levels. The nurse independently plans and implements care but may need guidance when setting priorities. In addition, the individual is starting to integrate technical skills and theoretical knowledge to meet the needs of both the patient and family. By recognizing limitations due to inexperience, the nurse is willing to seek assistance as appropriate. During this phase, the nurse begins to assume leadership responsibilities.
  • Nurse Clinician II - This second phase is based on Benner's "Competent" level. The nurse plans and sets goals, demonstrating a holistic approach to patients and families. In addition, the caregiver is able to mobilize resources to meet the unique needs of patients and families. Unit-level leadership responsibilities are assumed during this phase, and a mastery of clinical skills is demonstrated.
  • Nurse Clinician III - The third stage is based on Benner's "Proficient" level. In this phase, the nurse demonstrates clinical knowledge at the unit level and begins to apply this knowledge to a specific patient population. By positively influencing practice, the nurse serves as a role model in the clinical setting. Changes are anticipated in patient situations, and interventions are developed and tailored to suit the specific situational demands.
  • Nurse Clinician IV - This highest stage of nursing expertise is based on Benner's "Expert" level. The nurse's intuitive grasp of clinical situations reflects comprehensive knowledge and experience. This individual is recognized as a resource, leader, and problem solver. The nurse seeks out challenging patients and shares expertise with others on an ongoing basis.

At each of these proficiency levels, nurses care for patients within five domains of practice:

  • Nurse/Patient Relationship Requirements
  • Quality Improvement, Evidenced Based Practice & Research Requirements
  • Patient/Staff Education Requirements
  • Nursing Process Requirements
  • Leadership/Collaboration/Professional Development Requirements


Advocate Health Care is an Equal Opportunity Employer

quick links patient information health care professional information employer information connect with Advocate

About Advocate | Contact Us | Jobs | SiteMap | Terms of Use | Notice of privacy practices ®Advocate Health Care, Downers Grove, Illinois, USA | 1.800.3.ADVOCATE | TDD 312.528.5030