Tower Bridge SacramentoBridges to Excellence is an educational activity with a transdisciplinary approach to learning for healthcare providers at UC Davis Health. This educational activity is open to all healthcare providers at UC Davis Health who wish to use their professional leave (PL) time to learn about a discipline, unit, care area, or process different from their current work environment while earning continuing education credit.

This activity is self-paced and self-directed. Participants of this activity identify a unit, care area, discipline, or process and contact the manager of that area for permission to shadow a healthcare personnel. Once approval is determined from the visiting unit, the participant gains approval from their current unit manager for use of PL time and establishes a date, time, and number of hours to participate in this activity. Before the shadow clinical experience, the participant completes all aspects of the Pre-Visit Form. The Participant then attends the clinical shadow experience. After the clinical shadow experience, the participant will complete the Post-Visit Form and Evaluation.


Each observation visits of 6, 8, or 12 hours includes one hour for planning and one hour to complete the evaluation and exemplar. Contact hours are based on one for every three hours spent in observation, as well as one hour for planning the experience and completing pre-visit form and one hour for reflecting and completing all aspects of the post-visit form (exemplar and evaluation).

Shadow Clinical Experience Time

Total Time

Total C.E. Credit

Option 1

10 hours

12 hours

5.3 C.E. hours

Option 2

6 hours

8 hours

4 C.E. hours

Option 3

4 hours

6 hours

3.3 C.E. hours


Before Clinical Shadow Experience
To participate in the Bridges to Excellence learning experience, a healthcare provider must meet the following:

  • Have worked on a unit for a minimum of six months and completed the probationary period.
  • Be self-directed learners.
  • Gain approval of manager from the unit, care area, or disciple where clinical shadow experience will take place.
  • Gain approval of current manager to use professional leave and/or time off to complete the learning experience.
  • Contact the preceptor/personnel designated by the manager to discuss the goals and objectives you wish to accomplish while in clinical shadow experience.
  • If desired, the nurse can shadow up to three – twelve-hour shifts or 40 hours in one or several locations per year.

Clinical Shadow Experience

  • Report to the unit wearing professional attire, team up with your preceptor at the arranged time, and experience your Bridge to Excellence!
  • The participant spends the required 4, 6, or 10 hours shadowing the preceptor
  • The participant is not to take a patient assignment or do skills that they are not competent in completing. This is a shadowing experience only.

After Clinical Shadow Experience

  • Complete the Post-Visit Form directly from your e-mail from “no-reply-qualtrics” after clinical observational experience.
  • See handout on "Writing an Exemplar" (PDF)
    • An exemplar is a story of a real patient told to illustrate a healthcare personnel’s (HP) practice. The exemplar is written in the first person and describes in detail a clinical situation that includes the HP’s thoughts, feelings, intentions, actions, critical thinking, and decision-making process.
    • The exemplar is an opportunity to explore the richness of an individual RN’s practice and experience. It shows how the HP uses his or her knowledge, experience, skills, and personal resources in the care of an individual patient and/or family.
  • Remember to include your plan to complete the Bridges to Excellence activity in your annual professional development plan. The exemplar should also be kept in your professional portfolio.
  • Complete the 6 Months Post-Visit Form

To get started and complete your Bridges to Excellence experience follow these 3 simple steps

  • Step 1: Register through UC Learning Center for the # of desired hours and complete the Pre-Visit Form directly from UC Learning after registering (under “user notes” or in the e-mail confirmation from UC Learning).
  • Step 2: Complete the clinical observational experience in the selected unit with assigned preceptor.
  • Step 3: Complete the post-visit form directly from your e-mail from “no-reply-qualtrics” after clinical observational experience.


Answers to FAQ

  • Professional Leave is granted by home unit/department.
  • Professional Leave time is not required for all shadow experiences. Shadow experiences may be completed on the personal time of the participant at the discretion of the corresponding unit managers. Please contact the corresponding unit managers prior to completing the shadow experience.
  • While it is not limited to a specific number of hours, it is encouraged to not spend more than 36 hours in any single observational activity.
  • The Bridges Experience is not for orientation or skills checkoff.
  • Contact hours are awarded after CPPN has received all the required documents. This process may take up to 30 days post experience.
  • Every unique date of observation requires the completion of both the "Intent-to-visit” and “post-visit” forms to earn continuing education credit.


Monica Aguilar, M.S.N., R.N., N.P.D.-B.C.
Professional Development Specialist