Tower Bridge SacramentoBridges to Excellence is a program that provides nurses an opportunity to seek professional development in disciplines their units may not be able to provide, as well as, offering the possibility of experiencing new challenges. This program allows a nurse to utilize professional leave time while in the program.

Bridges to Excellence was an idea born from the CN III Education Committee to provide a clinical ladder for nurses at UC Davis Health.

The program allows nurses the chance to explore clinical areas they are interested in or curious about and to provide intellectual stimulation. The program can be a four, eight, or twelve-hour experience allowing a nurse to use their professional leave and obtain CE credit.


In order to participate in the Bridges to Excellence program a nurse must:

  • Have worked on a unit for a minimum of one year
  • Complete a Planned Absence Request and submit to current manager for approval
  • Approval of manager from the unit you will be visiting
  • Complete an Intent to Visit form, receive an assigned mentor
  • After completion of experience submit a course roster, exemplar and evaluation to the Center for Professional Practice of Nursing


Each observation visit of 4, 8, or 12 hours includes one hour to complete the evaluation and exemplar. C.E. credit is based on one CEU for every three hours spent in observation and one CEU for completing the exemplar, i.e., an 8 hour observation would be 7 hours with your mentor and 1 hour for writing the exemplar and evaluation for a total of 3.3 CEU's.

In order to meet the requirements for 4, 8, or 12 hours of professional leave during your Bridges to Excellence experience, you must: 

  • Have worked on your unit a minimum of one year before applying for the Bridges to Excellence program
  • Contact the nurse manager of the unit you are interested in visiting
  • Introduce yourself
  • Arrange a time to visit the unit of your choice
  • Receive an assigned mentor
  • Contact Tish Campbell in the Center for Professional Practice of Nursing to let her know you are starting the program
  • Complete and submit a Planned Absence form for your nurse manager's approval
  • Submit a copy of the approved Planned Absence or Intent to Visit form to the nurse manager of the unit you will be visiting
  • After your manager has approved your professional leave, contact your mentor designated by the nurse manger to discuss the goals and objectives you wish to experience while visiting the unit and complete the Intent to Visit Form (Word)
  • Report to the unit wearing professional attire, team up with your mentor at the arranged time, and experience your Bridge to Excellence!
  • After your visit, complete the following:
    • Course roster. Be sure you select the appropriate course roster to reflect the actual number of hours you visited (4, 8, or 12 hours). Each visit (shift) is treated as a separate event
    • Complete the online evaluation and short 1-2 page exemplar on your experiences detailing:
      • Discuss a procedure and/or equipment used in the clinical area that was a new experience for you
      • Evaluate how patient care differed from your home unit
      • Identify how primary nursing is used in this clinical setting
      • Identify at least two nursing challenges in this clinical area
      • How your personal objectives were met. Discuss one patient's care you observed and include age, diagnosis, treatments, medications and psychosocial needs. See handout on "Writing an Exemplar" (PDF)
        • An exemplar is a story of a real patient told to illustrate an RNs practice. The exemplar is written in the first person and describes in detail a particular clinical situation that includes the nurse's thoughts, feelings, intentions, actions, critical thinking and decision-making process
        • The exemplar is an opportunity to explore the richness of an individual RNs practice and experience. It shows how the RN uses his or her knowledge, experience, skills and personal resources in the care of an individual patient and/or family
      • The information you provide will be used for program improvement, research, and publishing
      • Send the exemplar and completed course roster to Tish Campbell