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I occasionally see RN referred to as level 1, 2,3 etc. I don't work at a hospital that has these disignations. What do they mean. Is a level 1 less experienced than a 3?
Are there tests you take to move from 1 level to another?
In some facilities it has to do with career ladders - which are usually an internally-decided program.
Where I work, when RNs first start they are a Level I (Associate's degree) or Level II (Bachelor's degree) RN. It is only through lots of paperwork and extra effort that you can become a Level III or IV nurse - and even if you do all the paperwork, that doesn't mean the committee will approve it. BUT the reason people try to become Level III and IV nurses is that with each increase, you get $2.50 an hour more in pay. You must resubmit paperwork every year to keep your Level up.
There aren't exactly tests you can take, but sometimes getting your certification in a certain area will give you a few points towards the Levels. Usually you have to work full-time for 2 years to be eligible to take those tests though, and usually you have to set up the exams yourself, as the hospital is not the one who sponsors those tests.
You get many more points for being an active member of your unit and by advancing yourself as a nurse. Being in charge, being a preceptor, being on committees, being a resource for coworkers, etc. are all the things that help you become a higher level nurse.
This is basically to reward the nurses who go above and beyond, and don't just come to work and do their job and go home. If they want to do that, it's absolutely fine, but there are some who really put a lot of themselves into their jobs and it's about time they got some recognition (and increased pay) because of it.
When we went to Career Ladders my HN labeled ALL the RNs as RN I- with the exception of me and another girl. She made us III. Talk about hard feelings. Management over-rode her plan, but it took a long time for feelings to get unhurt.
Finally, a new grad was a I, someone with up to 6 years was started as a II for orientation then could apply for a III.
An ADN could get to a IV, but only a BSN could go for a V. It took a huge amount of extra work. We didn't have anyone who was interested so an RN IV was the majority.
LPNs had 2 levels. LPN II would be one with extra training such as changing central line dressings, hanging IV's of 500cc or more to a central, they could clear epidural pumps for I&O. SC LPNs have been IV certified for years and years.
Clinical Ladders-we have levels 1-5 with 1 being a new grad or within the first year and there are different CEU and other written requirements for each level that are reviewed by a board and you get a raise after advancement.
We have this. RN 1 is everyone. To be a RN 2, you have to have all this paperwork, prove leadership and initiative, etc etc. To be RN 3, there is much more to do, to be RN 4, top of ladder, you do have to be at least a BSN, be published, etc.