NPD Rock Star Affiliate
ANPD of Middle TN
By Chris Wilson, MSN, RN, NPD-BC
Sr. Director, Nursing Education & Professional Development
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
ANPD of Middle TN Affiliate President
President: Chris Wilson, MSN, RN, NPD-BC
President-Elect: Brenda Kulhanek, PhD, MSN, RN-BC, NPD-BC, NE-BC
Treasurer: Tessa Horst, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, CDCES, CPN
Secretary: Susan Smith, MSN, FNP, NPD-BC
When we talked about re-launching an ANPD affiliate in our region, what we experienced is probably not what any of us had in mind. In Spring 2019, inspired by attendance at the ANPD Annual Convention, a group of nursing professional development (NPD) practitioners from the Nashville, Tennessee area rallied around the idea of re-launching an ANPD affiliate. The founding group, representing several larger healthcare systems in the area, scheduled regular calls to jump-start the process. In those early months, a charter was developed, a name and brand were determined, a website and social media for the group were launched, and we were ready to recruit members!
Several months later, in September 2019, at an in-person event that attracted about 35 participants, ANPD of Middle Tennessee was officially launched! New acquaintances and connections were made, and ideas were shared about the future of the group and how we would meet member needs. With excitement, we made plans for a December get-together where we would share expertise, continue networking, and take steps to establish formal leadership of the group by electing officers.
Things were humming along into the new year when the global COVID-19 pandemic rocked all of our worlds. Along with nurses from every other specialty, nurses who practice professional development were called on to support the needs of the workforce in ways never seen before. Most of us would agree that we were all as busy as we have ever been, especially in our professional lives! Energies were channeled into survival mode and our brand new affiliate simmered in the background.
Experiencing the pandemic in the formative first year of our affiliate has made a definite impact. We deferred plans to gather in person and instead have embraced virtual meetings. We planned meeting topics to provide education and alternated with open discussion and networking on specific topics such as adjusting our practices and coping in response to the pandemic. As we look to the future, we continue to focus on expanding our network to include others in the region. Instead of virtual meetings causing a restriction on our activities, in some ways, it has expanded possibilities. We have been able to grow our affiliate to over 50 members, a start we are proud of.
We are all probably eagerly awaiting a time when we can be physically present with each other again—and when it does happen, it will make it all the sweeter. In the meantime, we will carry on, continue to stay connected, and be grateful for our partnership with each other.