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

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, September 27, 2012

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

Collaboration as a money saving tip

Who doesn’t need to save money? How can we stretch our budget dollars? Nursing professional development (NPD) specialists who work in multi-facility healthcare systems “share” resources among the various sites. However, what about those of us who work in single-facility organizations or in organizations with only two or three sites? Consider collaborating with colleagues from other organizations “across town” and even across the country.

So many continuing education products related to distance learning can be accessed from anywhere in the country and sometimes throughout the world. Online companies that provide a variety of education programs generally offer contracts for access by participating organizations. Consider joining with colleagues to purchase a joint contract for two or more organizations. Learner information can be set up to be accessed by password thus protecting the privacy of those involved.

Thanks to e-book readers and other devices, texts and journals can be accessed electronically. Can you work with colleagues from other organizations to purchase electronic books and subscriptions?

Are you able to network with colleagues at local or regional meetings of organizations devoted to professional development? Don’t overlook resources other than healthcare. What about organizations and associations devoted to continuing education in the business and industrial world? For example, The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) is an excellent networking source. Consider collaborating “out of the box” with educators who are not associated with healthcare.

When we think about collaborating with colleges and universities most of us think first of schools of nursing. Investigate other departments that might be excellent collaborators. Consider adult education programs and continuing education departments.

The ultimate point I am trying to make is that we must expand our thinking beyond the traditional intra-organizational collaborative opportunities. The more we do this, the more likely we are to not only save money but also gain the support of a variety of colleagues in a variety of departments and settings!

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