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The specialty of nursing professional development.

Nursing professional development (NPD) is a specialty practice area, similar to emergency, critical care, med-surg, oncology, OB, and other clinical areas. Nursing professional development practitioners are those who focus on professional role development of nurses and other healthcare personnel. There is a Scope and Standards of Practice document that guides practice (updated in 2016) and a certification process to recognize those who have achieved a high level of competence in the field. The Association for Nursing Professional Development is the specialty organization for NPD practitioners.

There are two subsets of NPD practitioners--NPD generalists and NPD specialists. Generalists are baccalaureate-prepared nurses with or without NPD certification or graduate-prepared nurses without NPD certification. Specialists are those who hold graduate degrees in nursing or a related field and are certified in NPD. If the graduate degree is in a related field, the undergraduate degree must be in nursing. There are competencies expected of practitioners at each level.

NPD practitioners are critical to the safety and well-being of patients and the professional development of nurses. They use adult learning and educational design foundations to assess professional practice gaps, collect evidence to identify educational needs that will close practice gaps, and develop educational activities to achieve desired outcomes. They carry out multiple functions in education departments

or on clinical units, such as arranging meeting space, selecting speakers for activities, developing learning plans and course materials, securing teaching aids, facilitating educational activities, evaluating learner achievement, and measuring outcomes.

In September of 2016, MNA was pleased to host a 2-day workshop to prepare NPD practitioners to sit for the certification examination. Seventeen participants from four states participated in the activity, learning about gap analysis, learning styles, budgeting, educational design, change, motivation, marketing, competence, and many other things. Participants were actively engaged in creating plans for their own professional development as well as learning how to support the professional development of others. The workshop was provided by the Association for Nursing Professional Development. We were honored to have Dr. Mary Harper and Dr. Patsy Maloney as presenters for the session. They are the authors of the 2016 edition of the Nursing Professional Development Scope and Standards of Practice and are exemplary national leaders in the field of nursing professional development.

Coincidentally, the week the certification prep course was offered was also "Nursing Professional Development week" around the country. Have you ever stopped to think about NPD practitioners as a value-added resource you have in your organization? Are you aware of the time, attention, and credibility they bring to the table to support you in your practice? Are you comfortable in sharing with them your practice concerns and ideas for educational activities that would help you improve your patient care?

NPD practitioners are a valuable resource for you. Please take a moment to recognize the work they do to support your practice and work with them to develop educational activities that will improve practice and patient care in your organization.

Pam A. Dickerson, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN

Director, Continuing Education
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Title Annotation:Continuing Education
Author:Dickerson, Pam A.
Publication:The Pulse
Date:Nov 1, 2016
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