1. Hull, Edna MSN, RN,C

Article Content

A major challenge of today's staff development specialist is the need for work-related initiatives that improve department and organizational functioning. To accomplish this goal requires the use of leadership and management models that guide decision making. One of the more popular models used by organizations to assist in this process is project management. With elements similar to quality improvement, the staff development specialist will find this management approach valuable in meeting the many demands that define today's healthcare organizations.


With quality improvement as a primary goal in staff development and continuing education, project management provides a constant analysis for assessing and monitoring the activities conducted by the department. Through the use of formative and summative assessment tools, specialists can implement corrective actions for improving staff training and instruction as well as for carrying out total program evaluation.


Another strength of project management is that it is consistent with the current movement seen in organizations today. What's different in project management pertains to the evolving role of the staff development specialist from a predominantly leadership role to a position designated as an interdisciplinary team member. The implication here is that for years, nurses in staff development led many system-wide projects in the healthcare setting. Whereas these were honored appointments, they often included labor-intensive work carried out through the efforts of a single individual-the nurse. In contrast, project management focuses less on leadership or "position power" and instead emphasizes a shared responsibility for designing and completing projects. Thus, staff development specialists will find project management a welcome relief in reducing stress and group-related conflicts.