Faculty Professional Development In Nursing Education

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Professional Development In Nursing Education

Faculty Professional Development In Nursing Education

Whats Is Professional Development,Engagement of Nursing Faculty In Professional Development,Who Is Responsible for Professional Development,Need of Professional Development In Nursing Education.

Whats Is Professional Development

    Professional development is the process of active participation by nurses in learning activities that assist to develop continuing competence, enhance professional practice, and support achievement of career goals (American Nurses Association (ANA), 2011b, para 3). Development implies a dynamic process that occurs over time. Professional development is the continuing commitment to lifelong learning (Magill Cuerden, 2007)

Engagement of Nursing Faculty In Professional Development

    Nurse Practice Acts and the Code of Ethics for Nurses stress the obligation to engage in professional development. Commitment to lifelong learning is a cornerstone of safe nursing practice. In addition, most philosophies of nursing identify professional development as an essential component of nursing practice and education. The ANA Code of Ethics for nurses' states that nurses participate in the advancement of the profession through contributions to professional development in practice, education, administration, and knowledge development (ANA, 2001).

    Professional development can be as specific as skills training or as broad as enhanced personal development (Cooper, 2009). It begins with basic nursing education and continues in the form of formal degrees, certifications, workshops, journal clubs, continuing education, in-services, and webinars. Nurses choose to develop knowledge through offerings related to specialty areas, or choose to expand upon leadership capabilities through education or mentorship devoted to the development of leadership skills.

    Professional development is a requirement for maintaining licensing in many states. In some instances, state boards of nursing mandate continuing development related to specific subject matter, and recertification in many specialties requires knowledge acquisition and proof of continuing education.To instill the value of lifelong learning in students, it is essential that lifelong learning that leads to professional development is introduced early in the nursing curriculum and maintained as a curricular thread throughout. 

    Initially, baccalaureate students are introduced to professional development through courses and professional organizations; for example, the National Student Nurses Association. Courses in the under graduate programs where professional development might be included are foundation and leadership courses Graduate programs include courses in professional development and professional role application. 

    Administrators in schools of nursing foster professional development for faculty by offering opportunities that support participation in professional nursing organizations, attendance at conferences and continuing education events, and by encouraging the attainment of certifications and advanced degrees.

Who Is Responsible for Professional Development

    One question posed in the literature is deter mining whose responsibility it is to monitor professional development. Is it the responsibility of employers, professional organizations, state boards of nursing, or the individual nurse? The ANA (2011a) position statement for professional role competence states that it is not only the responsibility of the nurse to maintain professional competence, but it is also the responsibility of the nursing profession to shape and guide processes for assuring competence. 

    Furthermore, the employer holds accountability to provide an environment that is conducive to competent practice, and regulatory agencies define minimal standards for regulation of practice to protect the public (ANA, 2011).Considering that technological changes and the rate of knowledge acquisition are rapidly increasing in the 21st century, instilling the value of lifelong learning and professional development into students early in education programs is critical. Licensure examinations assure only minimum entry level competence for professional nurses. 

    Examination contents come from a retrospective model, and the newly licensed nurse has a likelihood of being dated (Huston, 2014). Educators in nursing are responsible for ensuring that students are made aware that knowledge acquisition and identifying one's own learning and development needs are continuous expectations of the nursing profession, and that education does not end at graduation.

    A culture that values and supports professional development may increase job satisfaction and foster job retention (Cooper, 2009). A national survey of nurses found that a large percentage of nurses who planned to leave nursing positions in the next 3 years responded that they would consider staying if more opportunities for professional development were offered by employers (Ulrich, Buerhaus, Donelan, Norman, & Dittus , 2005). Furthermore, retention is enhanced when professionals are provided with opportunities to expand their knowledge base and skills through preceptorships for students and residencies for graduates (Kearney Nunnery, 2012). 

    Emphasis in creating a culture in which nurses feel encouraged to grow professionally should be fostered in all health care settings.Further study is warranted on improving methods of implementing professional development. Cooper (2009) proposes a milestone pathway tool for nurses designed to enhance professional development that is unique to the individual nurse and the specific nursing unit. The tool provides a unit specific concept map, a milestone path-way template, and a professional development plan. The goal in creating this tool is to avoid a “one size fits all” approach to professional development, and to ultimately affect nurse retention and satisfaction.

Need of Professional Development In Nursing Education

    Nurses in all career paths need to be empowered to develop professionally. In nursing education, professional development is a concept that needs to be introduced early and continued as a curricular thread throughout the student's academic career. Professional development should be a shared responsibility fostered and promoted by regulatory agencies, organizations, employers, schools of nursing, and the individual nurse. There is a need for further research about the content and quality of nursing professional development, and the creation of better methods to determine how to measure learning and its translation into practice.

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