Monday, January 23, 2017

Creating Bridges and Embracing Opportunities

Kari L. Schmidt, MS, RN-BC, ACC

©2015 Photograph by Rand Schmidt, used with permission. 
"What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude towards it. Every opportunity has a difficulty and every difficulty has an opportunity." J. Sidlow Baxter

As I stop and reflect on 2016, I take pause. What an incredible year for our nursing professional development (NPD) specialty! I am truly in awe of the impact of ANPD and our members—the impact on nurses, patients and families.  We have embraced the opportunities unique to NPD. Dr. Susan Bindon challenged us in her closing address at the 2016 ANPD convention, “Building Bridges: One Question at a Time.” I reflect on continuing to meet that challenge and create bridges and embrace opportunities.

Through the leadership of Drs. Mary Harper and Patsy Maloney, our Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd edition was published in July 2016. The Scope and Standards is the result of four task forces, evaluating the evidence that impacts our practice and guides us for the future. Input from ANPD members provided valuable feedback as the Scope and Standards were finalized. Significant changes to the Scope and Standards were featured in the opening session at the ANPD 2016 Annual Convention. Those of us who attended that session were also energized by the comments and call to action as Persephone Munnings of Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau, Bahamas, and the University of The Bahamas, spoke during the comments portion of the session. Drs. Harper and Maloney shared insights and examples of practical application in the Scope and Standards of Practice column in the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, beginning with the May/June 2016 issue. If you have not yet had the opportunity to read this column, I very much encourage you to do so—these are our standards.

I have the honor of facilitating some of our ANPD Certification Preparation Courses across the country. I met so many inspiring NPD practitioners last year, who approach their practice with enthusiasm and passion. I was humbled to see how course participants shared examples of how they apply evidence-based practice, and how they brainstormed ideas to help and support other participants—new colleagues they had just met, but would now have in their networks.

As Co-Editor with Dr. Susan Bindon for the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, we see the research our NPD colleagues are conducting—literally across the globe. The 2-part series on return on investment for NPD has become core to planning for many of our NPD colleagues. This series was published in the May/June and July/August 2016 issues of the Journal. Dr. Bindon and I also have the opportunity to mentor new authors, and see their competence and confidence grow as they are actively engaged in the publishing process for the first time. Their enthusiasm energizes me.

The spirit of inquiry and collegiality at the 2016 convention, Aspire to Inspire, was amazing. In Pittsburgh, the city of bridges, I could see bridges being built in new professional relationships throughout convention. I attended the concurrent session featuring the panel of some of the authors for the ANPD text Leadership in Nursing Professional Development: An Organizational and System Focus. Again, I took pause at the wealth of expertise of the panel members. We truly were aspiring to inspire at convention.

As a charter member of ANPD, I am proud and humbled to be part of our NPD specialty and our organization. We continue to grow as a specialty—nurturing each other and advocating for our specialty. We will take that energy and expertise into 2017, and the 2017 ANPD Annual Convention as we Aspire to Transform. We will continue to create bridges and embrace opportunities.

References

Harper, M.G. & Maloney, P. (2016) Nursing professional development: Scope & standards of
     practice, 3rd Ed. 
Chicago: Association for Nursing Professional Development.

Opperman, C., Liebig, D., Bowling J., Johnson C.S. & Harper, M. (2016). Measuring return
     on investment for professional development activities: A 
review of evidence. Journal for
     Nursing Professional Development, 32
(3), 122-129.

Opperman, C., Liebig, D., Bowling J., Johnson C.S. & Harper, M. (2016). Measuring return
     on investment for professional development activities:
  Implications for practice. Journal
     for Nursing Professional Development, 32
(4), 176-184.

Smith C.M. & Harper, M.G. (2016). Leadership in nursing professional development: An
     organizational and system focus
. Chicago: Association for Nursing Professional
     Development.



Monday, January 9, 2017

Journey to Nursing Professional Development

Persephone Munnings, MSN, RN-BC, CM is Manager of the Continuing Nursing Education Department at Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau, Bahamas, as well as Adjunct Nursing Faculty at the University of The Bahamas.

As a little girl growing up on the rural island of Mayaguana in The Bahamas, I observed the nurse as she delivered quality care to the residents throughout the island. Her skill and high level of professionalism fascinated me. I dreamed of one day being a nurse just like her and upon graduating from high school, I entered the nursing program at The College of The Bahamas.

I graduated with an Associate’s Degree from a rigorous nursing program and as a graduate nurse experienced a lack of mentorship with one of my clinical assignments. This moved me to mentor all nursing students who rotated through my ward. Working with the students ignited my passion for education and I returned to college to pursue a BSN which would qualify me for a faculty position at the local school of nursing.

Three years after obtaining my BSN degree, I began searching for a new assignment, a new job, a new challenge, a new level of fulfilment, something new. This search landed me in a meeting with the Principal Nursing Officer and a temporary deployment to the Continuing Nursing Education Department. It turned out that this assignment was my best one ever. In fact, it was the start of my journey to NPD certification. Up to this point I didn’t know much about continuing nursing education; so, I took to the internet seeking to augment the principles I had learned in the teaching and learning course in the BSN program. My research led me to the National Nursing Staff Development Organization’s (NNSDO) website which was a great resource. Further search led to a book by Barbara Brunt called Competencies for Staff Educators. This book became my go-to resource for my work within the department.

The NNSDO later became the Association for Nursing Professional Development. After following ANPD for a few years and realizing that the organization catered to the needs of nurses in staff development, I became a member in July 2015. Immediately I began accessing recorded webinars and registering for the upcoming sessions. Two months later, The Princess Margaret Hospital saw its first NPD Week celebrations in September 2015. The week of activities included an opening ceremony, NPD display within the hospital, a church service, a seminar for NPD staff, and a nurturing day for nurses with outstanding participation in continuing nursing education. We even submitted our decorated board to the ANPD decorated space contest; we did not win, but we participated.

By July 2016, I was on my way to my first ANPD convention. The theme for the convention was “Aspire to Inspire.” There were so many workshops that I wanted to attend but they ran concurrently. After much deliberation, I registered for the NPD Certification Prep Course. Was I ready to sit for the certification exam? Of course not! My goal was to attend the 2-day course to gain more insight into the role of the NPD practitioner, particularly the leadership role.

The Certification Prep Course, which was facilitated by the energetic, humorous, and engaging Mr. Gregory Durkin, was much more than certification prep. Participants shared work-related experiences and best practices, and Greg shared success tips and resources for successful management of NPD. By the end of day one, a Facebook page had been created for participants to stay connected and support each other in the quest to become certified. By the closing of day two I felt ready to begin studying for the NPD certification exam; instead I returned home and completed an application to test. 

The entire convention exceeded my expectations. Speakers were inspiring; the session on the revised scope and standards of the NPD practitioner was very informative; the poster display was clearly the largest I had seen and covered a variety of themes from orientation and onboarding, to mentorship, to use of technology, to bridging generational gaps, to interprofessional education. I attended every networking session, purchased resources, and interacted with as many vendors as time allowed. One of the main highlights for me was mingling with the authors of the book Leadership in Nursing Professional Development: An Organizational and System Focus. I felt proud to be a member of ANPD.

Post-convention, I returned home inspired and with a new zest to inspire other continuing education staff members in my organization. We again celebrated NPD Week and agreed to make it an annual event. I shared my convention experience with staff members of my team and added my collection of new ANPD publications to our library of resources. I knew more than ever that I was a specialist, that not anyone could do what I did. I felt a need to validate my role and bring awareness to the value of nursing professional development to the organization.

On October 24th 2016, I passed the NPD Certification exam. I shared the good news with my fellow workshop participants. Oh, I had to tell my colleagues, Greg, and Mary, and anyone else who cared to listen. To my knowledge, I was the first person in The Bahamas to achieve NPD Certification. What an accomplishment! Of course, when I shared the news at home the popular response was: “Congratulations, what does that mean and what is NPD?” I had to educate my colleagues about my specialty. I realized that I had to prepare an elevator speech on the role of the NPD practitioner.

Today, I am proud to be a certified Nursing Professional Development Practitioner. I value my specialty because my Master’s Degree in nursing education focused more on the roles and responsibilities of the educator in an academic setting. The NPD specialty has a unique scope of practice different from that of the academic educator and requires unique competencies. Through achieving certification, a nursing professional demonstrates that he/she has achieved advanced knowledge and skills in a chosen specialty and is dedicated to improving patient outcomes. I am committed to advocating for the NPD specialty in The Bahamas, and as far as my influence reaches. I aspire to enhance my ability to articulate the value of NPD as a specialty and, as a nurse leader, use my expertise to enhance nursing practice and, ultimately, better patient outcomes.


I am grateful for the vision of the pioneers of ANPD. The current leaders inspire me; they are talented, committed, reachable and approachable. Dr. Mary Harper, Director of Nursing Professional Development, is but an instant message away. The resources and networking opportunities available through the ANPD website are limitless. The publications are specific to the needs of NPD professionals. It is my hope to one day serve on one of the ANPD committees. Who knows, one day a Certification Prep Course or even the ANPD Annual Convention could be held in the beautiful Bahamas. 


Monday, December 5, 2016

NPD Roles: Generalist vs. Specialist

Mary G. Harper, PhD, RN-BC is the Director of Nursing Professional Development for ANPD. Certified in NPD, she obtained her MSN at the University of Florida and her PhD at the University of Central Florida. Dr. Harper co-chaired the work group that revised the Scope and Standards for Nursing Professional Development in 2016. 

The publication of the new Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice (Harper & Maloney, 2016) has ushered in an opportunity for nursing professional development practitioners to clearly articulate what we do. It also challenges us to demonstrate our value to our organizations. The new document recognizes our expanded scope of practice and delineates distinct roles for our specialty informed by research (Warren & Harper, 2016). In addition, it makes mentoring/advocating for our profession and specialty a standard of practice. 

One of the more groundbreaking concepts of the new scope and standards is the introduction of “NPD practitioner” as an umbrella term to represent those who practice NPD. Practitioners may function at two levels: generalist and specialist. A generalist is an NPD practitioner with a baccalaureate degree with or without NPD certification or a graduate degree without NPD certification. A specialist is someone with a graduate degree AND certification in NPD. If the graduate degree is not in nursing, the baccalaureate must be (Harper & Maloney, 2016).

Differentiation of the generalist and specialist roles is the result of several factors. First, we recognize that many individuals who practice NPD are baccalaureate prepared. In spite of the requirement for a graduate degree as the minimal preparation for NPD in prior editions of the scope and standards, the reality is that many nurses who practice NPD do not have graduate education. Recent research indicates that nearly 40% of our colleagues have baccalaureate or associate degrees (Harper, Aucoin, & Warren, 2016). The new scope and standards now acknowledges that not all members of our specialty have graduate degrees.

In addition to nurses without graduate degrees, the requirement for certification in NPD is a baccalaureate degree. So while a nurse could become certified in the specialty, that individual did not meet the minimal requirement of the scope and standards to identify as a member of the specialty. The new scope and standards has rectified that. 

Finally, the American Nurses Association (ANA, 2010), which defines and approves specialty nursing practices, requires that a nursing specialty must be able to differentiate the responsibilities of the graduate prepared nurse in the specialty. This requirement was initiated shortly after the publication of the 2010 Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice (ANA & NNSDO, 2010), so the previous edition of the scope and standards did not identify two levels of NPD practitioners. 

The new designations of generalist and specialist have been met with overwhelmingly positive responses. Some NPD practitioners indicate that the designation provides a mechanism for career advancement within the specialty. Others applaud the ability to differentiate role functions in the practice environment. Still others state that the differentiation supports the focus on advanced education and certification.

Unfortunately, not all responses to the new differentiation of NPD practitioner levels have been positive. Some NPD practitioners indicate that the new terminology creates additional role confusion. Role confusion in NPD is not new. A plethora of titles currently exist with little consistency among organizations. Many of our diverse titles make it difficult to differentiate between academic nurse educators and NPD practitioners. While we share many similarities with our academic colleagues, our practice has unique differences, particularly in the areas of identification of practice gaps, gap analysis (needs assessment), and evaluation of educational activities. 

Others who are not thrilled with the new levels of NPD practitioners posit that their graduate or doctoral levels of education should be sufficient for recognition as an NPD specialist. While advanced education is one requirement for recognition as an NPD specialist, it alone is not sufficient. Graduate education does not typically provide specialty knowledge. Most master’s degrees in nursing education focus on the roles and responsibilities of the academic educator with little or no content on the NPD specialty and its unique scope of practice. Certification provides evidence of knowledge in the specialty.

One of the most common questions we’ve received about the NPD specialist designation in the new scope and standards is “What if I’m certified in another specialty? Can I still be recognized as an NPD specialist?” Unfortunately, no. Many, if not most of us, were selected for our NPD roles because we were excellent clinicians. Being an excellent clinician does not mean that an individual is automatically a good learning facilitator (think of the expert clinician who struggles when serving as a preceptor to help the novice nurse transition to the role of a professional nurse). NPD is its own unique specialty and requires a unique set of competencies. As a result, certification in critical care nursing, pediatric nursing, or even as an academic nurse educator does not demonstrate knowledge of the NPD specialty.

The purpose of certification is to demonstrate competence in a specialty. As a group, NPD practitioners do not excel in this area. Two national research studies have demonstrated that only 16  20% of the NPD practitioners who participated were certified in NPD. On the other hand, approximately 50% were certified in a clinical specialty. While dual certification may be indicated for some NPD practitionersespecially those who are unit basedthe lack of certification in NPD is alarming. 

In the current complex healthcare environment, NPD departments are being challenged to demonstrate their value to their organizations or face reduction in forces or even elimination. The days of simply reporting numbers of classes conducted or numbers of staff participants are gone. We must be able to demonstrate how we contribute to the organization’s goals related to patient safety and quality, staff satisfaction and retention, and financial stability. NPD practitioners who are not certified in the specialty may lack the knowledge and skill to measure educational outcomes in a meaningful way.

I challenge you to read our new scope and standards and allow it to guide your practice.  Become immersed in our specialty. If you’re not certified, become certified. If you don’t have a graduate degree, get one! Look for meaningful ways to contribute to your organization. Learn to articulate what you do so that others in the organization, and especially the C-suite, recognize your value. Get involved in your professional association on both a local and national level. If there is not an ANPD affiliate in your area, start one. Continue your own professional development. Advocate for our specialty!

References
American Nurses Association. (2010a). Recognition of a nursing specialty, approval of a specialty nursing scope of practice, and acknowledgement of specialty nursing standards of practice.  Retrieved from: http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/Tools/3-S-Booklet.pdf

American Nurses Association and National Nursing Staff Development Organization. (2010). Nursing professional development: Scope and standards of practice. Silver Spring, MD: ANA.

Harper, M.G., Aucoin, J., and Warren, J.I. (2016). Nursing professional development organizational value demonstration project. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 32(5), 242 –247.

Harper, M. G. & Maloney, P. (2016). Nursing professional development: Scope and standards of practice (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: ANPD.

Warren, J. I. & Harper, M. G. (2015, July). Nursing professional development role delineation study. Presented at the ANPD Annual Convention, Las Vegas, NV.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

ANPD Annual Business Report


Earlier this month we held our Annual Business Meeting, a live webinar that we host each year to provide our members with an overview of the past year, the current state of the association, and a strategic view of where ANPD is heading. Read on for highlights from ANPD's 2016 Annual Business Meeting.

Membership
ANPD recently exceeded 4,000 members for the first time in the history of our association! We attribute this milestone in membership to our member benefits, which include:
  • 10 free webinars from ANPD and Lippincott Solutions
  • 12 issues of TrendLines, ANPD's electronic newsletter
  • In-person and online networking opportunities
  • Subscription to six online issues of Journal for Nurses in Professional Development (JNPD)
Publications
ANPD released two new books this year. Click the titles below for more information or to purchase our newest publications:
Save the date for our 2017 Annual Convention, taking place in New Orleans, LA on July 18 - 21, 2017. Remember to tag your convention-related social media posts with our hashtag, #ANPDAspire2017, and follow ANPD on social media! (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sharon Gunn, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, CCRN-K is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Learning Innovation at Baylor Scott & White Health's Center for Clinical and Patient Learning in Dallas, TX.

Five years ago I started working in a department of learning innovation with a focus on using technology.  I was quite excited about this, as I was “stuck” in the PowerPoint rut, spending a lot of time doing face to face teaching on the unit, and trying to fit in case studies with busy clinicians’ schedules. I also, admittedly, get excited about gadgets, software programs, and thinking outside the box. I think technology is great, but it can be overwhelming, and expensive! Technology is constantly changing, making it difficult to “buy-in” to one product or approach only to realize next year you need an update! The beauty of technology is that if used appropriately, it certainly can and does facilitate learning. It also provides a means to reach a larger audience when human resources are limited. 

So where do you begin? Whether you have no budget, or unlimited funds (right!), there are plenty of resources available at your fingertips. When I was initially searching for some useful tools to use, I started with a Google search and found some great websites offering links to free stuff! Much of this is “borrowed” from K-12 educators, who are further along than we are regarding use of technology. 





Look through the lists of resources on these sites, and if something grabs your interest, explore it and try it out! What you use will depend on your role, the learners, and workplace needs. Technology that I have used is quite varied, so I will give some examples to help illustrate what you can use, and how you can use it. 

Video:
An oldie, but a goodie, if used correctly. Almost everyone has a smartphone, and the video quality in most smartphones is more than adequate to use for learning purposes. Videos can be used to show how to use new equipment, procedures, or act out a case study. You may upload to a social media site if allowed by your institution, or your website. 

Instead of going out and creating a movie, flip the classroom! Have the learners create a video to show and discuss in class. Keep it short! Ideally, no longer than 2-3 minutes. TIP: Film in landscape rather than portrait mode for optimal presentation with widescreen monitors.

Social Media and Internet Resources:
If appropriate, use what is available to you! Create private Facebook pages; use Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, or any other sites you can think of. Keep in mind that sensitive information is best kept for other venues. As an example, create a private Facebook page with fictitious characters and have the learners friend request the site. Post fictitious case studies, encouraging clinical discourse. 

If your institution allows access to Google Docs, this is a wonderful free resource that allows storing of information, collaborative presentations and documents, and other learning tools. It is great for group work, group presentations, and group concept map creation. 

Access to Facebook, etc blocked? Maybe your institution would allow access to Edmodo. It is very similar to Facebook, plus allows you to upload and store documents, post blogs, separate learners into groups, and more. 


Audience response systems:
Got zero budget? No problem! There are several simple and free resources that incorporate use of mobile devices to allow learners to interact with you in a didactic situation. Examples include Kahoot, Socrative, and Infuse Learning. Believe it or not, this was one of the most popular tools I used in didactic situations. Some (like Kahoot) offer a competitive approach, awarding points to learners for correct responses. 


Whiteboards:
This is a great collaborative tool for brainstorming or gathering input from a variety of people who may be on different schedules! Participants can add to, or edit documents in real time together, or when their schedule allows. There are many available; personally I have used both Google Docs, and Realtime Board.



Augmented Reality:
Have you heard of the Pok√©mon Go game that has been so popular lately? That game uses augmented reality. Augmented reality allows the learner to interact with the environment in new ways. I suggest you learn more about what the possibilities are online, as there is not enough space to explain it here. Basically you can augment learning using a free app. For example, you create a newsletter with the image of staff nurses on the page. A special code is embedded onto the image so that when the app is opened the user can see a “secret” video you created augmenting what is provided in the newsletter. A free resource one of our educators uses in practice is called Aurasma. 
    

Screencasting Software:
Just like it sounds, this software records your computer screen.  There are a multitude of options available out there, and depending on what you want to use it for you could spend from $0 to $$$. This is a useful piece of software if you want to show a learner how to access resources on your intranet, or how to document something in the EHR. Free versions: For Windows, Microsoft Expression Encoder and Mac, Apple QuickTime Player. Paid examples include: Snagit, Screencast-O-Matic. 


eLearning Software:
I am including a short blurb here because I am seeing more and more eLearning being developed by clinicians, for clinicians. Perhaps the two most commonly utilized software programs related to eLearning are Adobe Captivate, and Articulate Storyline. Both programs can be a bit pricey and require either a web platform or LMS to house the files. What I want to emphasize here is that eLearning should not be narrated PowerPoints! These software programs have plenty of bells and whistles to allow for interactivity, and self-directed learning. I have used eLearning to develop unfolding case studies to validate clinician competency and facilitate learning. There may be other programs out there, but these are the two I am familiar with:


Note: At this time Articulate is only available for Windows, so if you use a Mac you will need to have Windows installed to be able to download and use the program. 

Virtual Reality:
I think we will see more and more of this type of learning moving forward.  Some institutions are already exploring the possibilities.  With more complex types of technology, we will likely have to work in teams with programmers, graphic artists, and animators. Have fun considering the possibilities!



I hope you have found some of the information here useful. I did not mention simulation, as many of you are likely familiar with this approach. The sky is the limit when thinking about technology. I suggest you try things out, talk to your peers, and get feedback from your learners! Remember, just as you must credit sources you use in written papers and presentations, you must also obtain permissions and give credit for use of digital sources!  

Monday, October 24, 2016

Celebrating NPD Week 2016

ANPD celebrated NPD Week on September 18  24, 2016. Each year we devote an entire week toward celebrating our members' achievements and shining a spotlight on nursing professional development. This year during NPD Week we held a decoration contest for our members, offered a free webinar, "Wisdom, Passion, and Transformational Leadership," and sold NPD Week merchandise in our online store. Browse through the photos below, posted by your peers on social media, to see how some of your fellow NPD practitioners celebrated (and make sure to check out the winner of the decoration contest!). Next year NPD Week will take place from September 24 – 30, 2017


Adventist Health celebrated NPD Week with a workshop for staff from several of their hospitals. 


NPD Week decorations at Florida Hospital


NPD Practitioners from McGuire VA celebrate NPD Week

Cone Health celebrated with cupcakes, complete with the NPD Week logo!

Congratulations to Aultman Hospital for winning the NPD Week decoration contest!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

ANPD Annual Awards

Tina Spagnola, MSN, RN-BC, NE-BC, is the Director of Clinical Education & Research at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.

The ANPD awards are presented each year at ANPD's Annual Convention. The awards ceremony is a wonderful time to recognize the wonderful work that is done by NPD Practitioners.  These awards celebrate the Nursing Professional Development (NPD) Practitioners that have demonstrated excellence in the practice of Nursing Professional Development. There are eight awards and each award aligns with the new Scope and Standards. The updated award categories will be based on the roles of the NPD Practitioner. The roles are: Learning Facilitator, Change Agent, Mentor, Leader, Champion for Scientific Inquiry, Advocate for NPD Specialty, and Partner for Practice Transition. Belinda E. Puetz Award criteria will remain the same.

The Recognition Committee encourages you to think of your coworkers, peers, affiliates and ANPD members who portray the excellence that should be recognized. Self submissions are highly encouraged. Don't shy away from nominating yourself. There are many departments of one NPD Practitioner, each providing wonderful programs, so take the time to self-submit and recognize yourself.

NPD Week provided us with the opportunity to celebrate our profession and practice. Let’s take the opportunity to extend that into the ANPD awards and think about potential nominees, including yourself.