Continuing Education and Professional Development: Making the Connection

Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing (04/26/19) Vol. 50, No. 5, P. 191 Shinners, Jean

In a guest editorial, Jean Shinners, PhD, RN-BC — executive director of the Versant Center for the Advancement of Nursing — discusses milestones for advancing and aligning continuing education and professional development from her own experience. One significant milestone is interprofessional education, which Shinners writes "occurs when learners of two or more health or social care professions engage in learning with, from, and about each other to improve collaboration and the delivery of care." She also recalls education-practice partnerships yielding benefits, by increasing the ability to deliver needed faculty, as well as the number of clinical practice sites and new graduate registered nurses (RNs) from the student pool. "It also helped to increase the organization's research capacity, introduced clinical RNs to the role of adjunct faculty who can maintain clinical competence while teaching others, and provided a closer connection for communication and understanding between clinical practice and academia," Shinners notes. A transition in emphasis from individual to collective competence is valuable as well, with Shinners referring to Lorelei Lingard of Western University's concept of a "constantly evolving set of interconnected behaviors" and communications enabled within the context of providing healthcare to specific patients at a specific point in time. Shinners also praises the American Nurses Credentialing Center's outcomes-based learning model, focusing on the learner's ability to progress from knowledge to application, demonstration, integration in practice, and assessment of impact on practice. Finally, she lauds the recognition of nursing professional development as a specialty practice area.

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