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NURS FPX 6103 Assessment 4 Creating a Professional Development Plan

Professional Development Plan

NURS FPX 6103 Assessment 4 Creating a Professional Development Plan

The practice of nursing education is intriguing because of the potential it has for having a positive impact on the training and development of nurses and in engagements in public health education initiatives. In my desire to become an accomplished nurse educator, I will need to pursue continuous improvement strategies and grow both as a nurse and as an educator. This professional development plan details the area of focus for my nursing education journey, the associated professional goal, environmental influences, scholarship, leadership development, and the development plan.

Area of Focus

My area of focus as a nurse educator is clinical nursing education (CNE). The focus area involves the provision of education and training services to nurses who are in direct contact with patients in clinical health settings, with the goal of education being to equip them with the knowledge and skills required to excel in providing high-quality services (Brennan & Olson, 2018). Successful CNE practice requires the educator to possess five critical competencies that enable the provision of relevant knowledge to the learners. From Brennan and Olson (2018)’s study findings, the competencies include intravenous (IV) therapy administration, performing urinary catheterization, cardiovascular assessment through electrocardiograms, application of proven ideologies in delivering content to adult learners, and expertise in designing and implementing a suitable curriculum for adult learners. According to Akram et al. (2018), the nurse educator bridges the gap between theory and practice. As such, while knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings for IV, catheterization, and electrocardiograms is necessary for the nurse educator, the demonstration of the practices is indispensable for nurse educators who need to prepare their nurses to develop the practical ability to perform these procedures. The competencies enable the educator to transfer necessary clinical knowledge and skills and use evidence-based teaching strategies when interacting with the students.

Professional Goals

My goals as a future clinical nurse educator are to promote the critical thinking capabilities of clinical nurses, expose nursing students and trainees to real-life patient cases and their complexity, and impart nursing students with the skills for developing suitable health management plans. The goals are based on my nurse educator philosophy which is to promote nurses’ critical thinking capabilities by using real-life case studies to inform nursing trainees of the complexities of individual patients’ cases, the evidence-based practice (EBP) approaches to care, and the principles of clinical decision-making that inform the selection of a suitable health management plan. These goals are grounded in the adult learning theory of andragogy, which posits that adult learners benefit from the immediacy of applying acquired knowledge (Veiga-Branco, 2018). By exposing nursing students to patients with diverse needs, the learners will acquire critical thinking and decision-making skills oriented toward caring for patients. 

The goals of critical thinking and the development of suitable management plans are inspired by the need for both skills in navigating nursing in the contemporary environment where interprofessional partnerships are essential. According to Purdue University Global (2022), the necessity for interprofessional partnerships has blurred the boundaries between professions, meaning that nurses who belong to such teams need to be astute in their knowledge, critical thinking, and decision-making. Similarly, the goal of exposing nursing students to a diversity of patient cases is in line with the current trend of elevated demands for the specialization of nurses in specific areas of medicine (Purdue University Global, 2022). An understanding of the diversity of patient needs would allow the nursing students to identify the particular patient needs that they are enthusiastic about solving, which would prepare them for specialization in specific areas of medicine. 

NURS FPX 6103 Assessment 4 Creating a Professional Development Plan

Influences

The environment has a lot of influence on the conduction of nurse education, with social, political, economic, and institutional forces all playing a role in shaping the design and delivery of education services. The University of North Carolina Wilmington (2021) investigated various environmental issues that have an impact on the current trends in nursing education. From the analysis of the environment, the institution reported that the critical social issues affecting nursing education include disparities in health access and quality for racial minorities and rural populations as compared to the general population, the underrepresentation of minorities in the health profession, and the influence of providers’ biases on quality of care (University of North Carolina Wilmington, 2021). Consequently, the role of nurse educators goes beyond the theoretical and practical lessons delivered in academic and nursing institutions to include combating the inequities in society through anti-bias education, cultural competency training for nurses, and public health education to raise awareness of the need for services for rural populations and racial minorities. I have a personal bias towards the provision of cultural competency training and anti-bias education for nursing students, with the assumption that these will build the students’ capacity to be public health educators.

The major political factor with an influence on nursing education is the need for health policy changes at the federal, state, and local government levels to improve the delivery of healthcare for all populations. According to Rafferty (2018), health policy is often inspired by short-term financial considerations, meaning that the impacts of the policies on the populations are not always a priority for the political class. Consequently, nurses need to be at the forefront in advocating for desirable policy changes to enhance the provision of high-quality and value-based care to patients from diverse backgrounds (Rafferty, 2018). The role of the nurse educator, then, includes the training of nursing students to design, implement, and champion changes in health policies. My assumption is that the nurse educator role is limited to the preparation of nurses for practice, with the capacity to act in changing health policies achieved through roles other than education.

NURS FPX 6103 Assessment 4 Creating a Professional Development Plan

The critical economic factor with an impact on the nursing educator role is the shortage of nurses due to poor economic plans and policies leading to a higher demand for nurses than can be met by the number of professionals. Drennan and Ross (2019) presented evidence that the economic factors that drive nurse shortages include income levels which can push individuals away from certain professions, the unemployment of nurses that makes them seek other career alternatives or the shortage of infrastructure for the training of nurses. The nurse educator, thus, plays a role in preparing nurses for providing high-quality clinical care services and working in busy environments for long hours as well as advocating for the expansion of the clinical infrastructure for the training of more nurses and more opportunities for financing nursing students (Drennan & Ross, 2019). At the institutional level, the influential factors include goodwill and financial support for nursing education, availability of opportunities for nurses who complete their studies, and the existing policies for nurse education and employment. I believe that in the right institutional environment, I will be able to successfully meet my nurse educator goals.

Analysis

My scholarship aims as a nurse educator are to continually learn about the discipline and best practices and to advance in my creativity in the design and implementation of education sessions for the nursing students. To achieve these aims, I plan to pursue further studies in the nursing discipline, acquire all the appropriate certifications and licensure for CNE, and facilitate students’ active learning through diverse teaching strategies and approaches that inspire student participation and practical work. The plan is inspired by the five competencies that clinical nurse educators in academia ought to have, as outlined by Satoh et al. (2020). The first competency is the facilitation of active learning, which involves imparting knowledge and skills to students through teaching and evaluation approaches that are student-centered, with a common example being teaching by example. The second competency is the continual engagement in academic research activities, which includes collecting and analyzing data on emerging nursing topics, evidence-based practice for various conditions and nursing diagnoses, and the development of suitable teaching strategies (Satoh et al., 2020). I will manifest this competency through further studies in nursing, personal research on emerging topics, and professional certifications. 

The third scholarly competency for the nurse educator is participation in the management of the institution within which the educator works (Satoh et al., 2020). Once I get absorbed as a nurse educator in a university or other training facility, I will make strides towards involvement in the operations of the institutions, including the management of some dockets. The fourth competency is self-directed learning, which the nurse educator should pursue in line with ethical standards and professional requirements (Satoh et al., 2020). My sign up for further studies and certification courses and research into the most effective educational strategies for students will be the avenues through which I demonstrate self-directed learning. The fifth competency is the autonomous practice of education, which incorporates using the latest knowledge and evidence that helps students apply theoretical principles to practical implementation (Satoh et al., 2020). By designing and utilizing the best instructional strategies for problem-based learning, I will display the competency and the willingness to acquire more knowledge on nursing instruction. 

NURS FPX 6103 Assessment 4 Creating a Professional Development Plan

Leadership Role

As a clinical nurse educator, I plan to become a leader in the development of a nursing education curriculum that the institution with which I will work will implement. There are three pathways that I will explore in the process of developing the leadership role, namely gaining knowledge, self-awareness, and acting. According to Miles and Scott (2019), a leader must develop the knowledge and skills required to influence other individuals and teams within the organization. I will explore this pathway as a means to realize the ambition of mobilizing the forces of fellow educators to develop suitable curricula for CNE in different educational sessions and programs. The process will also involve intense research into the elements to include in the curricula and the instructional and evaluation strategies for the courses included in the curricula. 

The second pathway is self-awareness as a leader, which involves gaining a sense of being a leader and personal accountability for leadership development (Miles & Scott, 2019). The process will include recognizing the leadership skills that I will need to grow and taking the necessary actions to improve my skills in the areas where I have deficiencies. Leadership coaching, mentorship sessions, and practice in my current settings will be valuable tools in the process of developing my self-awareness. The third pathway is acting, which will incorporate the application of knowledge and skills in leadership and the specific area of leadership focus to inspire individuals, teams, and the organization to take certain directions (Miles & Scott, 2019). With the leadership skills and competencies acquired from the second pathway and nursing education, I will be able to actively take the leadership role in developing curricula for CNE at the institution. 

NURS FPX 6103 Assessment 4 Creating a Professional Development Plan

Development Plan

My plan for professional growth entails the completion of the Master of Science degree in Nursing (MSN) with a specialization in nursing education, followed by the pursuit and completion of relevant professional certification courses. In my current practice as a clinical nurse, I am acquiring some of the clinical competencies needed for success as a nurse educator, including IV administration, catheterization, and the use of electrocardiograms. Since these are essential nurse educator competencies, there is a need for proficiency in their execution (Brennan & Olson, 2018). Apart from applying some of the procedures in my current clinical practice, I am taking extra training sessions to perfect my skills in the three areas of competency by attending workshops, organization-led training sessions, and other avenues of acquiring the skills. The MSN degree is the avenue through which I will develop the competencies in curriculum development and the practical education of students in clinical nursing. After the completion of the program – or towards the end of the program, I will take the two certifications offered by the National League of Nurses (NLN) for CNE. They include the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE®) and Certified Clinical Academic Nurse Educator (CNE®cl) programs. I intend to complete them within six months after completing the MSN program. 

NURS FPX 6103 Assessment 4 Creating a Professional Development Plan

Reflection

I have the capacity to meet the goals of promoting critical thinking among nurses, exposing the students to problem-oriented sessions, and inspiring knowledge on health management plans. Through the completion of the MSN program, I will have acquired the competencies required to achieve the goal of promoting critical thinking and designing problem-oriented sessions with students. With the income from my current practice, I believe I will be able to afford the professional certifications needed to be competitive as a nurse educator, which will catapult me to the institutions and environments where I can commence my practice as an educator and achieve the goals. Some of the gaps that I have in the achievement of the goals include my dearth of experience in teaching adults and limited knowledge in public health education. I will seek to address these gaps by practicing teaching in adult learning programs and participating in the public health initiatives that the facility with which I work currently conducts.

References

Akram, A. S., Mohamad, A., & Akram, S. (2018). The role of clinical instructor in bridging the gap between theory and practice in nursing education. International Journal of Caring Sciences, 11(2), 876-882.

Brennan, J., & Olson, E. L. (2018). Advancing the profession: The clinical nurse educator. Nursing, 48(10), 53-54.

Drennan, V. M., & Ross, F. (2019). Global nurse shortages: The facts, the impact and action for change. British Medical Bulletin, 130(1), 25-37.

Miles, J. M., & Scott, E. S. (2019). A new leadership development model for nursing education. Journal of Professional Nursing, 35(1), 5-11.

Purdue University Global. (2022, March 15). Top 10 nursing trends for 2022. Retrieved from https://www.purdueglobal.edu/blog/nursing/top-10-nursing-trends/

Rafferty, A. M. (2018). Nurses as change agents for a better future in health care: The politics of drift and dilution. Health Economics, Policy and Law, 13(3-4), 475-491.

Satoh, M., Fujimura, A., & Sato, N. (2020). Competency of academic nurse educators. SAGE Open Nursing, 6, 1-11.

University of North Carolina Wilmington. (2021, May 24). Current trends in nursing education. Retrieved from https://onlinedegree.uncw.edu/articles/nursing/current-trends-in-nursing-education.aspx

Veiga-Branco, A. (2018). The adult learning theory – andragogy. In Psycho-educational and social intervention program for parents. Roménia: Lumen.

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