From the desk of Adrianne Avillion, DEd, RN

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, July 2, 2010

Editor's note: This feature is written by nursing staff development expert Adrianne Avillion. Each week, Adrianne writes about an important issue in the area of staff development or answers reader questions. If you have a question for Adrianne, e-mail her at

Q: I work full time in staff development at a large metropolitan health system. I also work independently as a part-time consultant in management/leadership education. I've developed some really good tools as part of my staff development role and think they would be good to use when working with my clients as part of my consulting business. One of my friends told me that since I developed them myself, it is all right for me to use them. Is it?

I think you need to be very careful. Most organizations make it clear that resources developed as part of your job belong to the organization, not to you. If you developed these tools as a paid employee of your organization, I recommend that you do not use these identical tools in your role of consultant. Legally and ethically, it would be best if you adapted and revised these tools (on your own time, not on your employer's time) and made them original to your part-time business. You may want to consider protecting them with a copyright as well (see for more information). And when in doubt, seek professional legal advice.

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