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Career trajectory - NPD


Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

I just finished my MSN in nursing education in December and have accepted a position as a Professional Development Coordinator with a major, nationally known healthcare system at one of their smaller community hospitals. The position did not require an MSN, but they seemed enthused that I have one and my hiring salary reflects that. This is a new career course for me that pulls me back into the acute care world (which is a good thing). I have been working as a bariatric nurse educator for a surgeon's practice, doing mostly patient education. I found myself quite bored and am excited about this opportunity.

A few questions:

What should I expect from this position in terms of primary duties? They did state it is a M-F position with occasional need to come in on the weekend. What is done on the weekend? Will I be working the floor at times?

What are the biggest challenges and rewards?

What is the career trajectory? I see they have a director of education position open..is that the next step after this if I want to advance?

Any insight you have is very appreciated!

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

There is too much to say to put it in one post. I'll start and then let others add. (and then I'll probably come back later with more comments)

Every employer is different -- so your new employer might have some weird expectations that are different than what is common. Keeping that in mind ...

The weekend expectation is probably to teach courses/run programs for people working the weekend. The same goes for evenings and night. Just because YOUR job is a day job, doesn't mean that everybody's job is only week days. Sometimes, you may have to be there on a weekend or off-shift to reach the staff that only works those shifts.

Oops ... boss is calling ... I'll be back.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

Yes, please come back! I was hoping you would chime in! I have "been around" allnurses with you for years and find myself inordinately pleased to have wound up in your specialty. :) Looking forward to your input.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

Have you gotten a copy of the new Nursing Professional Development: Scope & Standards of Practice (3rd Edition) from ANPD? If you have gotten that booklet, you should. It includes the updated NPD practice model, standards, etc. One of the interesting updates in this new version is that they have how begun to formally designated 2 levels of NPD practice -- the "generalist" and the "specialist." I think the 2 levels of standards provide a clear career progression for people involved in the specialty. If you are looking at career advancement, that would be a great place to start. You might stay in the same job, but progress over time as you become proficient/expert at the more higher levels of functioning.

Moving into management positions within NPD is another option for career advancement. I was never interested in that. Another "advancement" can be moving from a limited focus area (such as 1 unit or coordinating 1 or 2 programs) to running big, expensive programs that reach a larger number of people ... or leading programs that create big, changes for your institution ... or doing research, publishing, major conference speaking, etc. Another career enhancer/advancement is to become an active leader in a professional nursing organization -- and having your employer support you in those activities can be a perk. A lot of NPD specialists choose that type of career advancement whether or not it leads to pay increases or not. Sometimes it does: sometimes it doesn't.

Personally, I decided that I was at a pay grade I could live with several years ago. So, I haven't sought a new job with a higher paycheck. I have sought instead to enrich my career with bigger, more personally fulfilling projects and earning a little more flexibility in my work schedule and project selection. (In other words, I don't do a lot of cr** work any more and get to establish most of my own priorities and work hours.) That means more to me than a fancier title, bigger office, or bigger paycheck. I make enough money here at the hospital and earn a little extra by teaching an occasional course at a local university.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Congratulations on your new job!

I'm an Education Leader with a large health care system. My facility-based educators are primarily focused on 1) ensuring compliance with ALL regulatory requirements that are relevant to staff performance/competence and 2) support for organizational initiatives. We utilize a very robust LMS to track all educational activities - educators serve as administrators of this system. They also participate in many different types of projects & committees - serving as process experts to ensure that employee education is effectively integrated. We've come a very long way from the old days of "inservice coordinator". They are more likely to be serving as performance consultants, involved in instructional design & development (working with SMEs) and developing eLearning, self-study modules & AV materials than actual stand-up instruction.

If you're new to acute care staff development, I would advise you to get up to speed on CMS, JC & OSHA regs as quickly as possible. You also need to become familiar with relevant labor laws so you don't accidentally expose your organization to liability in that area... it's surprisingly easy to do with things like "home grown tests".

I also urge you to purchase a copy of Donna Wright's Ultimate Guide to Competency Assessment in Health Care. It's an invaluable resource. Enjoy & have fun!

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

Fantastic resources...thank you! I have a month until I start, which gives me time to delve into these before I start. I very much appreciate it!