Professional Development

Nicklaus Children's Hospital recognizes the importance of continuing education and professional development for our nurses. Nicklaus Children's Hospital is committed to the development and advancement of staff talent and also sets goals for attainment of certification.

The Nursing Philosophy at Nicklaus Children's Hospital states “Professional growth is encouraged and integrated into all aspects of nursing practice including participation in professional organizations, encouraging education, certification, research utilization and evidence-based practice.”


The Nursing Department fosters professional development by providing opportunities to nurses across the organization to lead and participate in conferences, by attending certification review courses, and utilizing financial assistance for certification exams. Additionally, the Staff and Community Education Department offers a vast selection of classes towards professional development.


The Staff and Community Education Department’s mission is to bring life-long learning, sharing, and development to staff and the community; to further individual performance and organizational development. This department’s goal aligns with Nicklaus Children's Hospital's mission, vision, values, and operating system.


The Staff and Community Education Department is responsible for continuing the talent development process supporting Nicklaus Children's Hospital's operating statement: “a network of comprehensive care centers with talented people dedicated to exceeding the expectations…” The Staff and Community Education Department is also responsible for the implementation of continuing nursing education programs. Training magazine's annual listing of the top 125 training organizations in the country recognized Nicklaus Children's Hospital in their "Training Top 125" list for organizations that excel at employee learning and development. 


The Aim for Professional and Educational Excellence (APEX) is the nursing professional ladder that provides staff nurses across all settings with a professional development and monetary incentive to go above and beyond in their practice, education, and professionalism. Nurses are given points in a variety of categories to promote nursing professionalism including: education, professionalism, clinical skills, experience, certification, special projects and councils. These points are accumulated during the nurse’s annual evaluation as one of the components on performance appraisal and merit increases. Nurses have an entire year to participate in several opportunities to accumulate APEX points and strive for advancing to a higher level.


Nurses across all settings are encouraged to join a professional organization. The nursing professional clinical ladder for staff nurses, APEX (Aim for Professional and Education Excellence), is a structure that entices nurses by recognizing and rewarding them for their active involvement within professional organizations.