Dissemination of Best Practices

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Advancing nursing practice and specifically nursing professional development (NPD) best practices is dependent on the dissemination of evidence. We continue to learn and grow as we share and communicate with others. As I connect with NPD practitioners across the country, I am continually impressed with the focus on quality, research, and continuous improvement in our specialty. A question I often ask is “What are you most proud of in your practice?” A plethora of innovative practices are shared in response to that question. However, there is often a comment from busy NPD practitioners stating that what they are doing is not anything special or innovative. Yet, I assure them that their NPD colleagues would be interested in reading about their project and its success and/or their lessons learned.
As stated in the NPD mentor role in our scope and standards (Harper & Maloney, 2016), the NPD practitioner supports lifelong learning. Committed to lifelong learning, as NPD practitioners we role model the sharing of best practices—within our organizations and externally to our colleagues. The dissemination of information takes many forms—presentations in our organizations, facilitated discussion at an ANPD affiliate meeting, poster or podium presentations at regional and national conferences, and, of course, through peer-reviewed journals.
Barriers to disseminating information are numerous—competing priorities, lack of self-confidence, not valuing one’s own work and contribution to our specialty, and lack of support or a mentor. These are all barriers that I suggest can be successfully addressed. If you have not yet had the opportunity to present or publish outside your organization, start small and partner with an experienced colleague. If you are an expert at presenting and publishing, find an opportunity to mentor one of your colleagues. Perhaps put a date on your calendar that you will initiate sharing your best practices or mentoring someone in sharing theirs. Use the resources that are available to you. The Journal for Nurses in Professional Development has an excellent “Information for Authors” document on our website, www.jnpdonline.com. This document also includes tips on writing a shorter manuscript for our “From the Frontlines to the Back Page” feature.
Dr. Susan Bindon and I have facilitated a writing workshop at the ANPD annual conference for the past few years. At the end of the workshop, we ask participants to share their insights from the session. This past year, one of the participants stated, “I learned I have an author in me.” How powerful! We look forward to hearing about your best practices—you will enhance our specialty.
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