I am a recent graduate with an RN-BSN. I have started working on a general med-surg floor. My career goal is to progress into a position that includes staff development in a hospital setting, I just do not know where to begin. I have so many questions and am uncertain about where to begin my quest. I am 23 and a recent BSN graduate. I am already involved in a variety of committees and would like to be more involved and have a greater role in the hospital. It is tiring working as a night shift RN then going to meetings throughout the day. I am wondering if getting a MSN-Education would help me progress sooner. I am getting a rich background of experience now and by the time I complete my MSN, I will have 3-4 years of floor nursing experience and a MSN. Does this seem like a logical path? Should I have more experience? Should I wait to go back to school? HELP ME, PLEASE!
Aug 22, '12
That sounds like a very logical path. Most Nursing Professional Development Specialists become good staff nurses first -- developing a good reputation as a direct care giver and team member. In particular, they often become known as a good preceptor, and the kind of nurse that other people go to for advice. Many entry-level staff development jobs (e.g. unit educator jobs) are given to those nurses, sometimes ahead of applicants with MSN's but less experience and/or lesser reputations as a team member.
When you add the MSN, it should enhance your chances of getting a good job. When choosing a school, be sure to choose one that will let you focus on staff development for your practicum. Many nursing education programs focus ONLY on being a school faculty member. While there is a lot of overlapping content, the fields are not identical. So you will want to be able to at least precept in the field of staff development if that is what you want to do after graduation.
You also might want to start checking out the literature in the field. Visit the Association of Nursing Professional Develpment web page, maybe subscribe to their journal, etc. It would give you a taste for the field ahead of time.
Aug 27, '12
Correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I've seen, it appears that Staff Devel staff are strong, experienced clinicains with very solid backgrounds, esp in critical care. Even then, hospitals seem to specialize their staff accdg to speciality, ie peds, high risk ob, PAR, etc. And they have advanced certifications in their fields with professional organization membership. And the MSN certainly is desirable.
Sep 5, '12
I do not have a critical care background but do have an MSN with a focus on nursing education and am certified in Nursing Staff Development. I believe you are on the right path as you need nursing experience. Make contact with the educators in your facility and work with them. Get certified to teach anything - BLS, ACLS---. You will learn by doing. Developing curriculum, portfolios, learning objectives and test writing will come later with your education. Good luck. It is a great field. Never ever boring.
Feb 24, '13
You are on the right path, strong clinical background is a must. At my hospital an MSN is a must as well. A certification in nursing professional development is just icing on the cake.
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