Last Updated on September 25, 2023
Happy Nursing Professional Development Week from your friends at CareerStaff! As your ultimate source for nursing jobs and everything else needed to build a better career, we’re proud to celebrate this important week with all the amazing nursing professionals in our network, and across the country.
This year, we’re marking NPD Week with a collection of crucial career resources you can return to throughout the year. It’s all part of our goal to give nurses the help, info and tools they need to meet their full potential. Read on for a rundown of Nursing Professional Development Week, plus goals and key resources to help you benefit from its spirit of career development.
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What Is Nursing Professional Development Week?
So, what is Nursing Professional Development Week, and why does it matter? Created to honor nursing professional development (NPD) as a specialty, NPD Week has grown to celebrate career development in general. Held every third week of September, this year’s NPD Week takes place from September 10th through 16th, 2023.
For the University of Washington Tacoma’s Patsy Maloney, EdD, MSN, RN-BC, NEA-BC, CEN, the mission of NPD Week is best summed up in a quote attributed to Florence Nightingale.
Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses. We must be learning all of our lives.
“This quote reminds all nurses that their education and professional development are not over when they finish their nursing programs,” she told Daily Nurse. “It is a lifelong pursuit. To keep learning, growing, and developing, nurses need the NPD practitioner, who builds on their previous education and works to keep them up to date with the latest evidence for practice in their clinical setting.”
What Is Professional Development in Nursing?
So, what is professional development in nursing, and why is it important? For starters, developing these skills can make a great addition to your nursing resume! Training and skill development are lifelong necessities, useful for increasing pay and job opportunities. Many states even require active ongoing education in the form continuing education (CE) courses to maintain your nurse license.
What are Nursing Professional Development Goals?
Nursing professional development helps all nurses develop important skills and advance their job prospects. Even for those working in nursing as a secondary job, taking a smarter approach to professional development can help boost earnings. Therefore, setting goals is a great place to start before embarking on your nursing professional development journey.
With that in mind, here are a few common goals that nurses follow to get the most from their professional development efforts.
NPD Goal: Earn Certifications
Nurses can quickly develop important skills and knowledge within their original specialty with CE. For instance, those who work in the ICU and want to stay at the top of their game may pursue certifications like Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN), Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN), Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC), among many others.
Certifications are usually offered by official associations like the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), and the American Heart Association (AHA). Academies and certification boards like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) also offer CE certifications. This list is a good place to start!
NPD Goal: Develop ‘Soft Skills’
Nursing professional development is also about developing other “soft skills” like leadership, problem solving, teamwork and communication. Participating in CE classes can help nurses cover many of these skills, directly and indirectly. They will also come as a result of experience.
But it also takes focus to truly develop these types of skills — also called “power skills” because of the value they offer. Talk to your recruiter or career counselor about how you can develop them, either with education or actual clinical experience. Consider mentorship programs to learn directly from a leader.
NPD Goal: Expand Your Personal Interests
Technically, professional development can include listening to a podcast or reading a book. If you don’t engage with nursing content online or on social media, you may be missing out on useful info. Whether watching YouTube videos or trading stories on Facebook or Reddit, developing a personal interest in nursing could help you boost your skills and knowledge and even rekindle a passion for the job.
Getting to know other nurses online- can also help you sound out different specialties or settings and better understand your best path forward. And you can usually do both — many online communities also offer classes and webinars with CE credits.
NPD Goal: Expand Your Networking Skills
It isn’t all about taking classes and watching videos! Professional development also includes building relationships. That could mean entering a mentorship program will you work, or trading professional stories with others on your floor. Nurses who regularly attend conferences make connections across the country that can later help them move up the career ladder. NursingWorld has a great list.
Nursing Professional Development Goals: How to Get Started?
Check with the manager where you work to see what formal programs are available for professional development. Many employers will pay for classes to support your efforts towards learning and skill development. They’ll likely offer other resources, too, such as free access to medical journal publications, access to certain technology, mentorship programs, or time off to attend events.
Nursing Professional Development Resources
Nursing Professional Development Week is also the perfect time to get acquainted with some important resources for career development. Some of the most essential resources include:
- Current online CE courses offered by the American Nursing Association (ANA).
- A list of CE requirements for every state, from NursingCenter.
- Nurse.org’s Complete List of Common Nursing Certifications, including links to the associations that offer them.
- The Online Learning Center from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) offers CE-eligible webinars and other online content.
- CareerStaff’s overview of in-demand nursing specialties and settings and important nursing job info.
- NursingWorld has a very thorough list of 2023 nursing conferences.
- Mentoring programs are available through many organizations. If you’re looking for a fresh place to start, you can check out the ANA’s Mentoring Program here.
- The ANA Enterprise offers nurses a ton of resources for skill development, mental health support, mentorship program access, and more.
- While focused more on NPDs as a specialty, the APND website offers helpful information as well as webinars and other content about professional development.
- The Clinician Life Blog offers frequent updates on professional development, license requirements, and other important information, while also providing exclusive career tips and job opportunities.
- The NPD Week Celebration Kit helps you reach out to an NPD nurse where you work with a handy e-card. It also offers some fun tools for getting the word out, as well as neat merch like tee-shirts, baseball hats, drinkware, tote bags and more.
We also encourage you to celebrate Nursing Professional Development Week by giving a shoutout to the NPDs on your team, and any others who work to ensure career development opportunities throughout the year!
Nursing Professional Growth and Opportunities with CareerStaff
Happy Nursing Professional Development Week! At CareerStaff, we’re proud to offer nurses everything they need to achieve the career of their dreams. Not only are thousands of nursing jobs available nationwide, but we also assist in selecting the best job options for your career, access to CE resources, and a 24/7 Clinical Services team.
If you’re looking for a new job or guidance with nursing professional development goals, CareerStaff is here to help. Learn more about nursing jobs with CareerStaff or Quick Apply below to connect with a career recruiter today!