Reflections on the 2018 ANPD Star Search

Teresa Glandorf, MSN, RN-BC, CNOR is a Nursing Professional Development Specialist at BaylorScott and White Health, Austin/Round Rock Region, Round Rock, TX. 

Although nursing school was many years ago, I still remember those years like it was yesterday. Looking back, the road I am on today is nowhere near where I thought I would be. Out of college, I was able to find my dream job of working in the Operating Room (OR) as a circulator and a scrub nurse. I loved scrubbing in with the surgeons, and I loved being a source of comfort to patients before they had their surgical procedure. 

After gaining a few years of experience in the OR, I found myself as a preceptor for nurses starting in the OR. I remember managers and directors telling me they had received feedback that I was a great preceptor—very patient, thorough, and kind. Little did I know that the many years of precepting would lead me to a role as a Nursing Professional Development (NPD) Specialist. It was because of my role as preceptor that I was asked to apply for the “educator” position. As the educator role transitioned, I found myself in a role that I was not familiar with. I did not know what “NPD” stood for, let alone what my role entailed. With this new title many years after becoming a nurse, I realized I needed to obtain my MSN in education to help me learn my new role. Even after obtaining my MSN, there was still so much to learn. I then decided to study and sit for the NPD certification. Studying for this exam really helped me grow in NPD. I have come to realize that my dream job is helping those who take care of patients. I love my role as NPD Specialist. I love building relationships with staff, and helping them become more comfortable and confident in their role as direct care nurses.

It was during the ANPD call for abstracts that my director sent an e-mail to her staff, reminding us of the great initiatives we are doing at our hospital, and suggested that we submit an abstract for consideration for the 2018 Star Search competition. I reviewer the requirements and spent many hours making sure I had every word and detail perfected to the best of my ability. Upon hitting “submit” on my Star Search abstract, I thought of a saying I had heard many times in the past: “Hope for the best, but expect the worst.” I was completely surprised when I received the e-mail stating I was a final candidate for the 2018 ANPD Star Search competition. I immediately called my director, and remember hearing a lot of celebratory screams and congratulations on the other end of the phone. Now came the hard part… putting everything I wanted to say in a 10-minute presentation and getting on a stage and talking in front of a group of other NPD practitioners!

At the conference, I attended as many concurrent and general sessions as I could, wanting to obtain as much information to bring back to my facility. I also wanted to observe other speakers, taking note of what I wanted to emulate in my presentation. Each time I walked past the presenter preparation room, a wave of nervousness went over me. As with many things in life, preparation is the key to success. Every chance I had, I reviewed my notes to prepare for my presentation. It was also helpful to have presenter information e-mailed to me, which also helped to ensure I was adequately prepared.  

Just prior to the start of Star Search, I was able to meet and talk with the other Star Search participants. I was also thrilled to see my colleagues sitting in the audience ready to cheer me on. The order of presenters was alphabetical, thus making me third to present. During the first few minutes of my presentation, I was extremely nervous. As I progressed, I found my groove, and finished just prior to my 10-minute limit. The one thing I remember after completing my presentation was seeing my director giving me a standing ovation! Walking off the stage, I felt a sense of relief, knowing I had done my best. It was now time to explore and find a great Disney restaurant to celebrate!

The closing ceremony was where we would find out who had won Star Search. Once again, I was surrounded by my colleagues. I knew I had done my best, and would be happy with the outcome, whatever it was. It was when I saw my picture on the big screen, along with the title of my presentation, that I realized I had won Star Search. Hearing my name announced, and receiving this award at a national conference, is more than I ever could have imagined so many years ago. It is such an honor to have been selected as a participant in Star Search, and an even bigger honor to be able to present a concurrent session at the 2019 ANPD Annual Convention. I am excited to be a part of the upcoming convention in Phoenix, Arizona!

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