Board Liaison's Message
A Time to Redefine Who You Are...
By Sheila St. Cyr, MS, RN, NPD-BC
My fellow nursing professional development (NPD) practitioners,
We are now well into the fourth month of 2021. I do not know about you, but those first three months went by so quickly. March brought about new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2021) related to fully vaccinated individuals against COVID-19. With these new recommendations in place, I was able to see my mother for the first time—in a long time—without a mask. It actually felt a little strange not to have the mask on! I have become so accustomed to wearing a mask that I felt almost “naked” without it. As we move further into the year and the number of fully vaccinated citizens increases, there will be more recommendations and fewer restrictions. Each of us will need to redefine, once again, what we do and how we do it. But the last year has proven that NPD practitioners are up to the task!
Speaking of what we do, perhaps now is a good time to pull out the elevator speech developed by the Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD) Board last year. I wrote about the elevator speech, its development, and its purpose in my January 2020 message for TrendLines (St.Cyr, 2020). The elevator speech developed reads: NPD practitioners are nurses who develop individuals, teams, and organizations to provide optimal care for patients and communities. We achieve this by focusing on orientation/onboarding, competencies, education and quality improvement. In the last year, NPD practitioners have certainly lived up to the elevator speech as our actions not only impacted the team of healthcare personnel we work with, but also the communities we serve and live in. That commitment continues today as many NPD practitioners have collaboratively developed “playbooks” for mass vaccination clinics or are staffing vaccination pods.
As you work to redefine or refocus what you do as an NPD practitioner post-COVID, take the base of the elevator speech and add on the details of programs or education you developed in response to the pandemic and how you implemented them. For example, all of the just-in-time training developed and presented virtually demonstrates our ability as a profession to quickly respond to, adapt to, and overcome hurdles. These attributes exemplify our great worth to our organizations. I encourage you to engage in “shameless self-promotion” of your role as an NPD practitioner!
I also encourage you to shamelessly self-promote ANPD. I imagine that every member of ANPD knows someone who is not a member yet functions under one or more of the roles outlined in the NPD Scope and Standards (Harper & Maloney, 2016). With a return to somewhat of a normal pace at work, this could be the opportunity to recruit new members to our organization. As a member, you are very well aware of the opportunities that being a member provides. The last year has shown us that having access to invaluable ANPD resources made our lives as NPD practitioners a bit easier. Maybe someone else is looking for a community of like-minded individuals to collaborate with and access such resources—they just need a little encouragement to join. That is where you come in! Just in the last month, I reached out to an individual from Texas who functions in a Director of Education role but knew nothing about ANPD. Thanks to my husband for being an advocate for ANPD by identifying this nurse and getting us connected.
I would like to end my message by saying how very excited and humbled I am to have been selected President-Elect of the Association for Nursing Professional Development. If truth be known, I am also a bit anxious. The combined feeling of excitement and anxiety reminds me of all of my “firsts” in nursing. The first time to work as a registered nurse, the first time to start an IV, the first time to administer blood products, and so many more. I look forward to working alongside current President Susan Bindon, as I learn the role and collaborate with the other board members to grow our organization. Thank you for this opportunity!
All my best,
Sheila St. Cyr, MS, RN, NPD-BC
Controlled Substance Diversion Prevention Specialist
Department of Pharmacy
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). When you’ve been fully vaccinated. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html.
Harper, M. G., & Maloney, P. (Eds). (2016). Nursing professional development: Scope & standards of practice (3rd ed.). Association for Nursing Professional Development.
St. Cyr, S. (2020). NPD practitioners—Make time for shameless self-promotion. TrendLines, 31(1). https://www.anpd.org/page/trendlines