1. Brunt, Barbara MA, MN, RN-BC, NE-BC, FABC

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Ms. Brunt's expertise includes writing, research, Magnet(R) recognition, and leadership. Her initial preparation as an English teacher created a passion for writing and editing. She has published seven books, five chapters in books, and 48 articles on a variety of educational topics, in addition to serving as a section editor for the first four editions of the Core Curriculum for Nursing Professional Development. She has completed 19 research studies, including a series of 11 research studies on nursing professional development competencies.


1. What are the significant professional milestones in your career journey?



B. B.:


* My initial preparation as a teacher in 1970, combined with my nursing degree in 1975, created a perfect combination for the various nursing professional development (NPD) roles I have been functioning in since 1978.


* Receiving the Belinda E. Puetz award in 1997 was a career highlight for me.


* The opportunity to do a staff development consultation for the American University of Beirut in Lebanon in 1999 provided an opportunity to gain an international perspective and share my expertise with others.


* Completing my master's degree in nursing from the University of Dundee in 2005 gave me the nursing credentials I needed to establish credibility.


* Having my research on NPD competencies referenced in the 2010 Scope and Standards of Practice for NPD was a huge professional accomplishment.


* Being one of six nurses in the world to receive a Founders award from the Sigma Theta Tau recognizing me for Excellence in Fostering Professional Standards in 2015 was both very exciting and humbling.


* When I assumed the role of Magnet(R) Program Director to write my previous organization's redesignation document, I gained invaluable skills relating to Magnet(R) and nursing excellence, including data analysis.


* Over my 38-year career in nursing professional development, I have functioned in a variety of leadership positions and have been able to hone those skills through completion of a 1.5-year leadership fellowship through the Advisory Board.



However, my biggest joy comes from mentoring others and watching their professional growth and development. I have been blessed with many opportunities through my career and derive satisfaction from sharing my expertise with others.


2. How have you seen the specialty of NPD grow/evolve/change during your career?



B. B.: When I first started in NPD in 1978, it was called staff development, and no one knew what that meant. Our work focused on providing orientation, continuing education, and inservice in acute care settings. Now, we are so much more. We have a professional association, the Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD), and standards of practice and are seen as a thought leader in the field. Other organizations seek out ANPD members to collaborate on task forces and other groups to advance the specialty.


Today, NPD is much more comprehensive, not only in the scope of our responsibilities but also in the target audience. With the focus on interprofessional education and the changing work environment, we are frequently called upon to help educate members of the interdisciplinary team.


3. What do you see as significant trends or gaps in NPD practice, from your perspective as an expert in Magnet?



B. B.: Just as the American Nurses Credentialing Center is focusing on outcomes for continuing education, the Magnet(R) Recognition Program focuses on patient care outcomes. My background in NPD was invaluable when I transitioned to the role of Magnet(R) Program Director. There are many teaching aspects on this role, from providing an overview to all personnel in the organization on what Magnet(R) is to helping nurses learn how to track and analyze data. Nurses do wonderful things when providing patient care but do not always think about getting predata, doing an intervention, and then checking the effectiveness through multiple postdata points as they implement various interventions.


Magnet(R) focuses on how nurses make a difference in patients' lives and how they use evidence-based practice, research, and innovations in their care. These are all areas of strength with many NPD practitioners.


4. What thoughts can you share related to the value of NPD in healthcare organizations now and in the future?



B. B.: NPD practitioners have a wide variety of skills that can help organizations meet their strategic goals and advance the profession of nursing. Regardless of your role, there are many opportunities to assist in a variety of areas, such as Magnet(R), quality improvement, leadership, informatics, and facilitating learning.


The focus on interprofessional education provides opportunities for NPD practitioners to work with other disciplines, so individuals are not educated in silos, but learn together to be more effective as part of the interdisciplinary team.


5. What advice do you have for NPD practitioners in the context of today's healthcare and learning environments?



B. B.: We all need to accept and embrace change, which is inevitable. We can control our reaction to change and need to help staff and colleagues cope with the never ending changes in health care today.


With an increasingly diverse, multigenerational workforce, we need to provide a variety of strategies to keep learners engaged and accommodate various learning styles. The same method does not work for everyone.


Technology is a tool that can help us in our roles, but it needs to have a purpose-do not use technology only for the sake of using it.


Be a lifelong learner and expand your horizon in your areas of interest. There are many opportunities in a wide variety of areas-seize the moment and follow your passion.