From the desk of Adrianne Avillion, DEd, RN

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, February 5, 2010

Editor's note: Welcome to our new feature written by staff development expert Adrianne Avillion. Each week, Adrianne will write about an important issue in the area of staff development or answer reader questions. If you have a question for Adrianne, e-mail her at

Q: I am a one-person staff development department. I barely have time to conduct orientation and mandatory classes, let alone plan continuing education. What resources are available for people like me?

A: Join a professional organization such as the National Nursing Staff Development Organization (NNSDO). If your finances allow, join one of its local affiliates. Your organization may be willing to assume part or all of the cost if you explain that membership will help you do your job.

Another option is to network with colleagues within your geographic area, such as by planning a monthly lunch. Not only will you be able to share good ideas, questions, and concerns, but you may be able to find ways to combine resources and present programs together. Collaborating on distance learning programs will help you and members of other organizations.

Make sure you take advantage of online resources. There are many companies that specialize in continuing education for nurses. Try a simple search-such as typing in "continuing education for nurses"-and you will be amazed at the number of hits. Be careful, though, and always ask for references before signing a contract with any company. Some are good, others not so good.

Finally, don't limit yourself to nursing organizations. There are other organizations that specialize in continuing education on a broader scope, such as the American Society for Training and Development, which is an excellent resource with many good tips for persons in the continuing education field.

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