1. Bindon, Susan L. DNP, RN, NPD-BC, CNE, CNE-cl
  2. St. Cyr, Sheila MS, RN, NPD-BC

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As the end of the year approaches, we can expect to see various annual summaries, lists of accomplishments and challenges, and projections for the new year ahead. It makes sense for organizations to pause and take stock of their efforts and the outcomes thereof and to set the course for what comes next. In that spirit, we, ANPD President Susan Bindon, DNP, RN, NPD-BC, CNE, CNE-cl, and President-Elect Sheila St. Cyr, MS, RN, NPD-BC, would like to thank JNPD Editor-in-Chief Kathleen Burke, PhD, RN-BC, CENP, FAAN, for the opportunity to do just that for the Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD).

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Cliches and buzzwords aside, what a year it has been! It is natural to grieve any experiences or opportunities we missed this past year given the uncertainty of our workplace, home, and family situations. Instead, we would like to illuminate what we as a specialty have gained and learned during this time. Nursing professional development (NPD) practitioners are innovators and change agents; we are used to setting and meeting goals and delivering outcomes. Even so, the past year and a half has stretched us in ways none of us could have imagined, and we responded in kind.


We started 2021 with high hopes of putting COVID-related challenges and fears behind us. We cheered the arrival of safe, effective, available vaccines and an ambitious plan to implement them across the country. We listened with pride to the examples shared by NPD practitioners supporting their colleagues on the front lines of health care. They helped set up and manage testing and vaccine sites and developed new processes to ensure staff and patient safety. They translated and communicated enormous amounts of quickly changing information to keep colleagues informed of best practices. They asked questions and raised issues of equity to advocate for themselves and others. They stretched dwindling resources and shared their successes and lessons learned with peers facing similar challenges. In a word, they led. The value of NPD practice and NPD practitioners has never been more evident, and we are looking forward to seeing this reality reflected in an NPD value study coming soon from the ANPD research team.


Building on our solid foundation and guided by our 2021-2023 strategic plan, the ANPD Board and staff strategized for a return to in-person events, carried out research, continued to build partnerships, developed timely and relevant products that members could leverage to advance their practice, and worked to sustain growth and inclusivity at every level of ANPD. Most of all, we came together. We listened. We challenged and supported each other. We communicated. We found new ways to work, lead, and learn, and we flourished. We could not be prouder of our ANPD members, leaders, staff, volunteers, and committees. What a resilient, creative, and strong Association we have.


We would like to highlight a few other key accomplishments here also. We anticipated being together for our 2021 annual ANPD convention in Chicago last August, but as health and safety data came in, the Board decided to proceed with a virtual format. The result of this decision was an incredible and successful virtual convention, welcoming over 2,000 attendees and some world-class speakers and presenters! The NPD team and hardworking committees produced materials and delivered podcasts, webinars, townhalls, two academies (evidence-based practice and leadership), and other offerings for members. Certification preparation courses were presented at a record-setting pace. ANPD not only maintained membership but continues to grow, nearing 6,300 members and welcoming many new NPD Associates, those critical nonnurse support staff who are vital to our team's success, to the fold. We heard from members on important topics of diversity and inclusion during a series of focus groups and a membership survey. We envisioned and crafted a, as ANPD past president Kari Schmidt, MS, RN, NPD-BC, ACC labels it, "thoughtfully nimble" strategic plan to guide us through 2023. We look forward to integrating our brand-new fourth edition of our NPD Scope and Standards into our practice, supporting a new portfolio-based advanced NPD certification credential, growing our preceptor certificate of mastery program, interacting with colleagues through social media and other cutting-edge ANPD offerings, and seeing even more new evidence from our ANPD-driven research and inquiry efforts.


We also continued to collaborate with other organizations to elevate the professional development of nurses. For example, ANPD partnered with Sigma for a second year to offer the NPD Cafe series aimed our at own continued professional development. As NPD practitioners, we spend a great deal of time helping to grow and develop others. We recognize that it is just as important to fill our own cups, too. ANPD, in collaboration with Elsevier, developed Mosby's Preceptor 3.0 course. The course, a blended learning experience of online lessons, provides new and even experienced preceptors a strong knowledge base for effectively executing the preceptor role. As we look to the future, ANPD will seek out other partnerships in which we can develop and share information as well as conduct and disseminate research.


With our gaze to the horizon of 2022, we look forward to our annual ANPD convention in San Antonio, Texas-Aspire to Trailblaze! We cannot wait to gather together, share our stories, develop new relationships, and engage in our professional development. It will be the perfect place to celebrate ANPD's strength and presence in the healthcare arena with NPD practitioners who are trailblazers and innovators. Be sure to check out the "Getting Involved with ANPD" session that is always presented during our annual convention. There are many opportunities for our members to get involved. To name a few, they can participate as subject matter experts, authors, or reviewers; volunteer on committees or task forces; or even run for election to the Board of Directors. Your contributions will strengthen our voice and broaden our influence. We encourage you to take that next step in becoming more involved with ANPD. Next year, there will also be enhancements made to ANPD's website, which will include a new ANPD hub. The hub will be there to meet all of your information and resource needs quickly and easily-stay tuned for updates as this work unfolds.


ANPD and its members have established a true presence through the disruptions of the last 18 months and fortified their identity as vital colleagues and teammates. We have shown our value, and we have seen more nurses and associates who want to be a part of our "trailblazing" story. If you have not yet become a member, please consider doing so. Your ideas, energy, and questions are welcomed and needed as we continue to grow and advocate for NPD practice. Our sincere thanks to each of you for what you offered your facilities and our organization this last year! We cannot wait to see what we can accomplish together in 2022 and beyond!