1. Maloney, Patsy EdD, MSN, MA, RN-BC, NEA-BC

Article Content

In a previous ANPD Update column, Maloney (2016) discussed the ANPD's (Association for Nursing Professional Development's) strategic plan, which is designed to move the association "toward a new future limited only by the imagination and energy of its members" (p. 107). This past year, 99 members volunteered to participate in committees and task forces. Even more members are needed to step up and become engaged and to develop as association leaders.



Members' engagement has contributed significantly to the success of the ANPD Provider Unit. In 2014, we offered 12 webinars with 896 participants. In 2015, we offered 13 webinars with 4,330 participants. The average participation rate for webinars has increased from 75 per webinar to 333. This is a 483% increase. Looking at the past 3 years (2013-2015), sponsorship and participation have grown significantly (see Table 1).

Table 1 - Click to enlarge in new windowTABLE 1 ANPD Provider Unit Continuing Education Activities 2013-2015

The total number of continuing education offerings has also increased, from 24 in 2013 to 91 in 2015, with participation increasing almost 300% from 2,037 to 5,992. This growth did not just happen. ANPD committees were critical. The Education Committee was charged with an educational needs assessment and planning the activities to meet these needs. These activities include webinars and modules available at the ANPD Professional Development Center. Committee members actually developed some of the modules, such as the Preceptor Program Administration: NPD considerations. Other members wrote a two-part article, "Measuring Return on Investment (ROI) for Professional Development Activities," presented a webinar on this topic, and created a "known costs table" to assist with computing ROI. The "known costs table" can be viewed at


The Convention Content Planning Committee planned educational content for the convention and reviewed abstracts, ensuring outstanding and relevant content for everyone who attended the convention in Las Vegas. The Products and Services Committee considered the needs of the ANPD membership and developed products to meet these needs. This committee created an online Committee Orientation Handbook, which can be found on the Committees Page on the ANPD website (


They updated the Clinical Education Matrix, which can be found on the website under Educator Resources ( and also produced a Learning Needs Assessment Guide, which is available in the ANPD online store.



All ANPD members can contribute to the success of their association by participating on committees and task forces. ANPD committees available to the general membership are as follows: the Education Committee, the Convention Content Planning Committee, the Products and Services Committee, the Recognition Committee, and the Nominating Committee. Currently, all these committees, with the exception of the Nominating Committee, are appointed from a pool of volunteer applicants. The Nominating Committee has traditionally been an elected committee. In addition to these standing committees, task forces are appointed for a specific project with a finite life span. Basic descriptions of the committees can be found on the Committee page of the ANPD website ( Also Table 2 below compares the committees.

Table 2 - Click to enlarge in new windowTABLE 2 ANPD Committee Responsibilities

The Board of Directors appoints committee members for a 2-year term. Expectations for members include participating in at least monthly conference calls, contributing to projects as needed, and promoting the committee's activities to other ANPD members. There is usually a call for volunteers in August for the Education, Products and Services, and Recognition Committees. The call for the Content Planning Committee is in late January for applications to be received by mid-February. The call for nominations for the Nominating Committee is usually in January. Please be alert to these calls for committee volunteers and remember that there will also be periodic calls for task force volunteers. The ANPD Board anticipates needing task forces to identify nursing professional development (NPD) competencies and to revise the ANPD White Paper on Distance Education. These are just two of the many task forces that will be needed as the strategic plan is operationalized. Service as a member and as a leader of task forces and committees also contributes to the development of our future ANPD leaders. Leadership development starts at the committee and task force level and is a priority for ANPD.



ANPD's strategic plan has four foci, each with a corresponding goal. Leadership is one of the foci. Two of the measurable objectives under leadership are as follows: (a) to implement leadership development programs for NPD practitioners and (b) to develop a succession plan for continued board and committee leader growth and development. The Board of Directors has assigned responsibility for these objectives, and provision of leadership development programs for NPD practitioners is well underway. The succession plan has not yet been developed. But succession of leadership will require engaged members ready to step up to lead ANPD. Members who are interested in leading ANPD into the future might want to consider the following guidelines:


1. Maintain your membership in ANPD and join an affiliate (if one is available in your area).


2. Learn as much as possible about your specialty, NPD, to include seeking and earning an advanced degree, or if you have an advanced degree, participate in NPD continuing education. Demonstrate your knowledge and competency by becoming certified in the NPD specialty.


3. Stay connected to ANPD. Read the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development (JNPD) and the ANPD newsletter Trendlines. Check out NPD social media that include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Dialogue Blog at and contribute comments.


4. Attend the annual convention, fully participate in the activities, share your successes, and learn with new NPD colleagues.


5. Seek an ANPD mentor (someone you admire in an ANPD leadership role).


6. Volunteer for task forces and committees, both for ANPD and your affiliate. Once on the committee and/or task force, volunteer for projects. Volunteer to lead subcommittees.


7. Share expertise through publications (chapters in ANPD publications, articles, blog, book review on a topic of interest for Trendlines, etc.) and presentations at convention (concurrent sessions and/or posters).


8. Support your colleagues and the association staff with acknowledgements, appreciation, and congratulations as appropriate.


9. Honor your commitments. That means participating and being prepared for conference calls and doing what you promise.


10. Add value to all you do. Don't only assume responsibility for completing tasks, but be accountable for the outcome, for leaving behind a valuable product or service.



Once you have sustained your engagement, demonstrated your expertise, and developed your leadership at the committee level, you are ready for a leadership role in the organization. Discuss this with your mentor, and if ready to devote the time, energy, and expertise, seek a leadership role.


The development of association leadership starts and ends with membership engagement. It is only with an engaged membership that ANPD can truly transform and achieve its vision to become "the thought leader and resource for nursing professional development."




Maloney P. (2016). ANPD strategic plan: Organizational transformation. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 32(2), 112-114. doi: 10.1097/NND.0000000000000243 [Context Link]