Collaboration and Lifelong Learning

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In the busyness of my schedule, I was recently struck by the abundance of opportunities for lifelong learning. As Co-Editor Susan Bindon and I read the columns for this issue of the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, we were again impressed with the expertise shared by authors. I am truly inspired and humbled by the contributions they make to our specialty. We are delighted to introduce Dr. Charlene Smith and Dr. Carol Sue Johnson as the new Co-Editors for the Leadership Column. Dr. Smith is Editor with Dr. Mary Harper of Leadership in Nursing: Professional Development: An Organizational and System Focus. As Dr. Smith states, “〈nursing professional development practitioners〉 get to help others exceed their own expectations” (Smith, 2016, p. 8). What unique opportunities we have. Dr. Johnson shares insights and a call to action in this issue’s Leadership Column, “Thriving in Chaos: Leadership in a Rapidly Changing Environment.” Watch for these two experienced leaders’ insights and experiences in future columns. Elizabeth Fritz sees the opportunities to focus on specific practice elements in “Transition to Practice in Ambulatory Care Nursing.” Kathleen Dunn-Cane, ANPD Past President, shares learnings from a Joint Commission surveyor’s perspective that can assist NPD practitioners in supporting key organizational strategic goals. What a wealth of knowledge from our colleagues!
We also tap into the expertise of other nurses and colleagues across disciplines to achieve organizational goals, enhance patient outcomes, and increase staff engagement in the workplace. Recently, I had the opportunity to work with senior leaders in an organization in addressing approaches to enhance leadership engagement and resilience. The question asked was “How do we help leaders determine their own strategies for balance and then commit to implement those strategies?” I shared a variety of different resources to be considered, including the information from the American Nurses Association’s Healthy Nurses initiative, “Balance the Chaos” (American Nurses Association, 2017), which includes signs of work–life imbalance and actions to get life back in balance. The leaders were excited to share this information and provide tools for leaders for the entire organization, both clinical and nonclinical. Collaboration. Tapping into best practices. Lifelong learning. These are themes that are essential in our specialty.
As autumn brings a new group of students for the semester and leaders focus on achieving this quarter’s goals, NPD practitioners have the opportunity to proactively collaborate with others and share our unique skills and knowledge. I encourage you to share and implement the information shared in this issue to achieve the outputs of our Nursing Professional Practice model—learning, change, professional role competence and growth, and ultimately protection of the public (Harper & Maloney, 2016, p. 10).
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