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analytic hierarchy process, clinical nurse specialists, Delphi method, index system, promotion plan



  1. Zhao, Han MS
  2. Li, Weihua MS
  3. Gao, Mingrong MS
  4. Shi, Lei MD


Purpose: The aim of this study was to design a quantitative evaluation of the promotion plan for clinical nurse specialists in China.


Design: The evaluation indexes were selected and established by inquiring 22 experts and using the analytic hierarchy process. The promotion plan was sent to 22 specialized nurses. The reference value was established by comparing the results from predictions made by experts and the self-evaluation of specialized nurses.


Methods: This study used the Delphi method and mixed qualitative and quantitative methods, which not only determined the entry of the promotion plan but also calculated its weight, and obtained the baseline score through a small range of empirical studies.


Results: This promotion plan included basic promotion conditions, 5 primary indicators, 15 secondary indicators, and 61 tertiary indicators and was designed by experts who had a high degree of authority in this field. The self-evaluation results of 19 specialist nurses showed a reference value of 30 points per 3 years using the promotion plan. For clinical nursing managers, it is a management tool to evaluate specialist nurses, which can provide a basis for the promotion of specialist nurses.


Conclusions: The promotion plan for clinical nurse specialists in China formed by this research is quantifiable, scientific, and instructive.