Nurses International

Clinical Alliance

Clinical Competency Framework

The Clinical Competency Framework (CCF) is a clinical pathway for professional nurse orientation, development, and competency validation that serves as an international model for nurse professional development. The CCF includes standards that deliver both preceptor and clinical competency development, as well as leadership and educator development tools. The CCF develops care providers within a nurturing, collaborative, safe, & productive clinical environment.

The model supports effective orientation, internships, &/or residency programs for newly hired nurses. The competency tools and process fit for new graduate nurse residency programs or on-boarding proficient nurses. The framework provides tools for competency-based development and data collection for each new direct care provider. Research shows that the CCF brings return on investment through decreased turnover, improved safety, lowered costs, and higher satisfaction of staff, preceptors, and managers.

The CCF delivers:

  1. evidence-based preceptor development/ support systems
  2. a universal set of nurse competency tools
  3. standardized clinical coaching plans that guide the preceptor/ orientee
  4. a shared ownership model for program implementation, improvement and dissemination
  5. resources customized for varied specialties, capability levels, and practice settings that include the full continuum of care

The model  establishes evidence-based resources for developing new nurses. When the Alliance shares these resources, individual agencies focus more on helping new nurses gain clinical competency and less on creating programs, resources, and tools. Program outcomes show reduced patient errors/ near misses and orientation costs, plus improved nurse retention, satisfaction, and workplace culture. To read the full article on the Clinical Alliance Innovation, click here. 

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  • Barba, M., Valdez-Delgado, K., VanFosson, C., Caldwell, N., Boyer, S., Robbins, J., & Mann-Salinas, E. (2019). An Evidence-Based Approach to Precepting New Nurses. American Journal of Nursing, Special Feature – 119(3), 46-51.
  • Boyer, S. (2017). Clinical Transition Framework: Efficient Solutions for Transitional Support Systems. Nurse Leader, Doi: 10.1016/j.mnl.2017.o3.013. 
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  • Boyer, S., Mann-Salinas, E., Valdez-Delgado, K., & VanFosson, C. (2019). Using the Delphi Technique to Determine Core Components of a Nurse Competency Program. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, JNPD-19-017R2. DOI: 10.1097/NND.0000000000000569. Accessed at: on 8/8/2019.
  • Boyer, S., Valdes-Delgado, K., Huss, J., Barker, A., & Mann-Salinas, E. (2017). Impact of a Nurse Residency Program on Transition to Specialty Practice – Editor’s Pick. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 33 (5), 220–227. doi. 10.1097/NND.0000000000000384.
  • Hawkins, P., & Exstrom, S. (2014, 7 29). Adaptation of a Transition to Practice Program for New Graduates in Acute and Long-term Care Facilities in Urban and Rural Nebraska: A Pilot Study. Retrieved from National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN):
  • Lenburg, C. (2009). The COPA Model: A Comprehensive Framework Designed To Promote. Nursing Education Perspectives, 30, 312 – 317.
  • Lenburg, C. (2010). Competency Outcomes and Performance Assessment for Contemporary Nursing Education. In L. Caputi, Teaching Nursing: The art and Science, Volume 2, (2nd ed.) (pp. 175-215). Glen Ellyn, IL: College of DuPage Press.
  • Lenburg, C., Abdur-Rahman, V., Spencer, T., Boyer, S., & Klein, C. (2011). Implementing the COPA Model in Nursing Education and Practice Settings: Promoting Competence, Quality Care, and Patient Safety. Nursing Education Perspectives, 32 (5), 290-296.
  • Mann-Salinas, E., Hayes, E., Robbins, J., Sabido, J., Feider, L., Allen, D., & Yoder, L. (2014). A Systematic Review of the Literature to Support an Evidence-based Precepting Program. Burns, 40(3), 374-387. DOI:
  • Omer, T. A., Suliman, W. A., & Moola, S. (2016). Roles and Responsibilities of Nurse Preceptors: Perception of Preceptors and Preceptees. Nurse Education in Practice, 16(1), 54-59.
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When the Clinical Alliance shares these resources, individual agencies focus more on helping new nurses gain clinical competency and less on creating programs, resources, and tools.