In the real world, professional development matters

When I was a little girl, I used to love playing teacher, secretary and bank lady. It was fun to have an audience of stuffed animals or friends to teach while my friends and I took turns being the teacher.

We could assign homework without having to grade papers. I could pretend to type an “official” office document without any editing or committees. I could write and cash numerous checks without any real bank accounts or balances. Those days were great, but there wasn’t any need for credible professional development — like in the real world.

Nursing is a profession that necessitates lifelong learning. If nurses aren’t investing in professional development, which includes continuing education pursuits, they may be repeating their past approaches to practice without necessarily making sure their care is aligning with current evidence, research, standards and guidelines.

The best way to be successful when pursuing professional development is to have a goal that plays on your strengths and what you enjoy most about your profession.

Deciding on a professional development course of action

Ask yourself what you want to pursue. Are you interested in entering a specialty or pursuing a leadership or administrative role? Do you want to interact with people most of the time in a more social job or do you want to pursue areas of research or publication, in which you can synthesize information and spend more solitary time reviewing literature/or analyzing research?

Find what areas you enjoy and are naturally suited for, so you can leverage your current and future skills and knowledge with your innate strengths.

We all should work to enhance our strengths, while improving on our weaknesses, to be more well-rounded people. However, if you happen to be a person who dislikes sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time but loves to constantly interact with new and different people, then why spend all of your energy trying to make yourself focus on a computer screen?

Find a job in which you can interview others, provide short-term solutions and then move on to the next interactive experience. You can stay motivated with a constantly changing environment.

If you derive satisfaction from seeing projects through from start to finish and enjoy translating complex information into more easily understandable segments, then we need you to yield your powers of concentration and focus to the world. Improve your weaknesses, but let your strengths shine!

Success doesn’t happen overnight. And as you move up the ladder of success, be sure to develop a firm foundation. The better you can master what you are doing today, the better foundation you will have for future endeavors.

If you find yourself working with telemetry, master rhythm interpretation and interventions. If you find yourself completing a professional development project, do thorough research. Teach your teammates well.

If your efforts result in good outcomes, document it. If you learned a valuable lesson, share your story so others can learn from your experiences.

Submit articles on your thoughts, research and outcomes to publications so we all can learn. Publication opportunities range from nursing or other specialty blogs to magazines and journals, depending on the level of rigor of the information.

All along the way, make sure you are supplementing your nursing practice with professional development continuing education learning activities. OnCourse Learning seeks to provide you with many options for well-crafted educational activities that are available online and work with your time schedule. And when opportunities arise, you will be prepared to accept them.

Hard work and dedication pay off! Sow seeds of integrity, wisdom and professional development now, so they can grow into healthy opportunities later.

Courses related to ‘professional development’

WEB329: Empowering Your Nursing Career (1 contact hr)

WEB308: Creating a Professional Practice Environment in any Healthcare Setting (1 contact hr)

WEB330: Increasing Your Nursing Influence through Leadership: Boards! (1 contact hr)

WEB310: Looking Toward the Future: Nursing Roles Across the Continuum (1 contact hr)

WEB354: The State of the Nursing Workforce: Millennials, Keeping It Real, and Making an Impact (1 contact hr)

CE678: Changing Specialties in Three Easy Steps (1 contact hr)

CE166-60: Networking for Career Advancement (1 contact hr)

CE556: Novice to Expert (1 contact hr)

CE622: Succession Planning in Nursing (1 contact hr)

CE432: Coaching Helps Nurses and Patients Succeed (1 contact hr)

CE758: Passion Meets Preparation: Delineating Terminal Degrees for a Fruitful Pursuit (1.2 contact hrs)

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