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

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, December 9, 2011

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

Sharing the burden of keeping up to date in Nursing Professional Development

The plethora of information with which Nursing Professional Development (NPD) specialists must review, identify relevant information, and process such information is very nearly overwhelming. Why not divide up the responsibility for reviewing and disseminating relevant information according to specific roles and duties? For example, unit-based educators can relay the latest clinical updates from their respective units and specialties. NPD specialists can report on their various levels of expertise (e.g., Joint Commission updates, orientation, research, ANCC accreditation, etc.).

Select a format for disseminating this information. For instance, you might allow reporting time during staff meetings. Other options include email or posting online. Whatever format you choose, make it clear as to how information is to be reported and set some time limits. Someone who is offering Joint Commission updates should relay specific information, limiting it to changes in standards or data pertaining to accreditation such as adverse occurrence reports. Don't allow open-ended ramblings. There should be a clear-cut purpose to all reporting. And if there are not relevant data to report, simply say so. That's the beauty of dividing up reporting responsibilities. Time is not wasted by many members of the NPD department reading the same articles, reports, and meeting minutes. A concise system of review and reporting can save everyone time and allow for the most important information to be shared swiftly and efficiently.

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