1. Turner, Kathleen DNP, RN

Article Content

Professional development courses in nursing education are often underused and misunderstood. From a student perspective, these courses can be seen as superfluous; from a faculty perspective, anyone can teach these courses and they do not require the same rigor as the clinical courses. However, underestimating the importance of the content covered in the professional nursing courses is a missed opportunity for nursing education and the impact this content has on a positive transition for new nurses. Contents such as introduction to professional practice, evidence-based practice, ethics, quality and safety, effective team qualities, and general leadership principles are topics often addressed in professional development courses. Strategies to make this content applicable to students is a challenge for nurse educators.


A strategy to highlight the importance of effective teams for safe, quality care and optimal patient outcomes is Good News Wednesday. For Good News Wednesday, ask students to share some good news. It can be about anything, especially things that will lend perspective to busy nursing students. This is an effective strategy to engage students in a professional development class. Students take Good News Wednesday to heart and announce pregnancies, family members being cancer free, families being safe from floods and fires, and spouses returning from their last tour of duty in Afghanistan! I was humbled and often emotionally moved hearing and experiencing the students' responses. Seeing the humanness, diversity, and value in an individual's story will bring a group together for the good of all.