Clinical Ladder

Clinical ladders offer professional staff several options for career advancement. 

STAR stands for Steps to Advancement and Recognition and is the clinical ladder used at CoxHealth to recognize and reward nurses who pursue ongoing professional development within their field to advance their clinical practice. 

Requirements for Advancement 

All clinical bedside RNs enter CoxHealth at Level I. RNs will be paid a base salary based on competitive pay rate for their job classification. If applicant holds a BSN, RN will receive an additional $1/hour for the BSN. 

Level II: RN must achieve national certification in area of clinical specialty. RN will receive an additional $1/hour for their certification. 

Levels III, IV, and V: RN must achieve Level II and the following requirements must be met: 

  1. The nurse will have no written disciplinary action in the previous 12 months for either maintenance or advancement on the STAR Ladder. 
  2. The nurse may be full-time, part-time, or PRN, provided that worked hours for the previous 12 months equals 1,040 or greater and 18 months post licensure. 
  3. If the RN fails to maintain the highest level previously achieved, the RN will be placed at Level I or II based on certification status or may submit application to applicable level (i.e. RN who does not demonstrate any STAR criteria will return to Level I or II or a previous Level V nurse could demonstrate criteria for Level III). 

The nurse can advance any number of levels at a time, but may only advance to Level III, IV, or V once per calendar year. 

When a staff nurse transfers from one clinical specialty to another, he/she will maintain his/her clinical ladder level until such time as it is due for renewal.