From the desk of Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, February 11, 2011

Editor's note: This feature is written by nursing staff development expert Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN. 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

Collaboration strategies in staff development: Expanding resources and saving money

Those of us who specialize in staff development must do more to reduce the costs of our products and services. The survival of our departments depends on it. The more money we save and/or generate, the better our chances are for continued survival within our organizations. 

One such way to save money and expand resources is to collaborate. The first step in any collaboration is to justify it. Here are some factors to address:
1. Consult with your manager to avoid political pitfalls when collaborating with persons and/or organizations outside of your own organization.
2. Determine what need can be best fulfilled by collaboration.
3. Determine why collaboration is necessary.
4. Spend time thinking about the anticipated outcomes of collaboration.
5. Think about possible partners in the proposed collaboration.

Once you have gathered your data, you need to identify potential partners in collaboration. There are several options in this area:

  1. Consultants: Consultants are people who help solve particular problems or enhance specific services. Collaboration with consultants is generally conducted within a fixed time period.
  2. Online education companies: These companies may be able to offer specific education programs in collaboration with staff development services.
  3. Other hospitals and healthcare organizations: By forming collaborations with colleagues at other organizations, you can optimize resources and minimize expenses.
  4. Professional associations: Many professional associations offer networking options and best practice information. Take every opportunity to involve yourself with professional association endeavors.

A good collaboration or series of collaborations can save you time and money and enhance your products and services.

Avillion, et al. (2010) Innovation in Nursing Staff Development: Teaching Strategies to Enhance Learner Outcomes. Danvers, MA: HCPro, Inc.

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