In my new role as the Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD) Education Program Manager, I am excited to support the nursing professional development (NPD) community and join ANPD’s 30-year legacy of dedication to this vital nursing specialty. In commitment to understanding the needs of its community, ANPD is conducting a Learner Needs Assessment. The Learner Needs Assessment provides an opportunity to share your individual educational needs and is available to anyone in the nursing professional development community.
This assessment is crucial in identification of future topics for webinars, NPD in Motion, the NPD Forecast podcast, and other offerings. Because our current state is not what it was prior to the pandemic, or even what it was a year ago, hearing your voice now is critical to ANPD’s mission and to support your individual learning needs.
As an NPD professional, have you ever been asked what it is that you do? By definition, nursing professional development is “a nursing practice specialty that improves the professional practice and role competence of nurses and other healthcare personnel by facilitating ongoing learning, change, and role competence and growth with the intention of improving population health through indirect care” (Harper & Maloney, 2022, p.16). A binary of science and art exists in the practice of NPD, so closely interwoven that sometimes it is challenging to differentiate between them.
Within the science of NPD, meticulous methods of evidence-based education design and implementation are found. In NPD throughputs of education and onboarding, for example, we identify learning needs through rigorous processes and formulate education plans based on those needs. We maintain a critical eye, determining learning outcomes and evaluating the impact of our work. We are scientists in the lab: hypothesizing, testing, evaluating.
At the same time, artistry is evidenced in NPD work. We are incredibly creative in our incorporation of adult learning principles, making learning meaningful and actionable. We are imaginative in our methods, knowing that use of emotional intelligence and compassion is vital when working with our direct care-providing colleagues and students. In our roles as mentors and partners for practice transitions, we see what learners need and deliver in ways that speak deeply to them, shifting our approaches with effortless fluidity to meet the needs of our learners. We see them, we hear them, and we support them in their work. We want them to know well and do well, and in that way, we deliver to our over-arching focus: the healthcare consumer, the client, the patient.
It can be challenging, at times, to explain the work of nursing professional development to those not familiar with it. I am often asked after my explanation, “But you are a nurse, right?” Yes, I am a nurse. I am a nurse who takes care of nurses and other healthcare personnel, who in turn take care of people and positively impact population health.
So, tell us how ANPD can support you and the amazing work that you do. Complete the Learner Needs Assessment and share with us your own unique needs.
Harper, M., & Maloney, P. (Eds.). (2022). Nursing professional development: Scope & standards of practice (4th ed.). Association for Nursing Professional Development.