St. Louis Children’s Hospital is committed to support the lifelong learning and personal and professional development of nurses beginning at the time of hire and continuing throughout their career. An emphasis is placed on orientation, continuing education, training and competency, formal education, professional certification, and career advancement. 

St. Louis Children's Hospital offers nursing staff many opportunities for professional development including:

BJC Registered Nurse (RN) Career Ladder 

The BJC RN Career Ladder promotes the lifelong pursuit of expertise in the clinical environment and provides an opportunity for professional growth and advancement. The program, available for employees of BJC HealthCare only, has the following objectives:

  • Provides an opportunity for the development of a career path to recognize and promote leadership, collaboration, and academic/community service.
  • Encourages exemplary practice, development of new knowledge, and innovation.
  • Recognizes and rewards hospital and ambulatory care front-line nurses who engage in clinical inquiry, education, quality, research projects, and evidence-based projects to improve empirical outcomes.

The BJC RN Career Ladder is a promotional opportunity for clinical nurses in Staff RN, Specialty Staff RN, Team Lead/Charge RN roles to pursue professional, clinical, and career development. Graduate nurses (GN or NCLEX pending) are eligible for the Career Ladder upon passing the NCLEX and RN State of Missouri licensure verification.

  • RNs enter the program upon hire at BJC Healthcare in the Clinical Nurse I or II position. 
  • Clinical Nurse II level requires the professional nurse has one year of RN licensure/experience, orientation is complete, and they are able to work clinically independent as validated by leader evaluation.
  • Advancement to Clinical Nurse III and IV requires an application process and meets specific eligibility criteria via a rubric for promotion to each level. 

Certification Support

Nurses at St. Louis Children's Hospital are encouraged to pursue professional certification in their practice specialty. All nurses, when performance and attendance criteria are met, regardless of length of service or full time equivalent (FTE) status, are eligible to receive funding for both initial certification exams and the costs associated with re-certification. Additionally, nurses have access to Nurses Builders, a special electronic platform offered free of charge to BJC employees, that provides on-line review courses for nearly 30 certification exams, and access to a variety of continuing education credits needed for exam application and recertification.

Certified nurses are celebrated annually in the Spring, during Certified Nurses Week. Each certified nurse is invited to a special breakfast with our Chief Nursing Officer and their immediate leaders, to recognize their contributions to the organization.

Conference and Mission Support

St. Louis Children’s Hospital supports nurses to attend local, regional or national conferences. Through an application-based process, nurses may be approved for up to $1200 a year to cover the cost of travel and registration for conferences. To support our commitment to disseminate knowledge gained from participation in a research or quality improvement project, additional money may be allocated if the nurse is presenting an oral presentation or poster. 

Realizing the importance of the hospital’s mission to community and global health, nurses are also given funds to support expenses associated with healthcare mission trips. Many of our nurses improve the lives of children around the world who are impoverished and unable to receive adequate medical and nursing care.

Tuition Assistance

To provide support for life-long learning and a commitment to higher education, St. Louis Children's Hospital, as a part of BJC HealthCare, provides tuition assistance reimbursement with an annual maximum amount awarded for course work or degrees in the health care industry. Both full and part-time nurses are eligible for this benefit.

The BJC Institute for Learning and Development (BILD additionally partners with various preferred local nursing colleges and universities in a special program referred to as the BILD) Academic Partnership Cohort. When a nurse attends one of the partner schools, BILD pays the full amount of tuition and required course fees on behalf of the employee.

Many classes are offered online making it easier for team members to attend. Tuition reimbursement, tuition discounts and nursing scholarships provide team members with financial assistance and rewards to continue their development.