1. Park, Chan W. MD, FAAEM
  2. Holtschneider, Mary Edel MEd, MPA, BSN, RN, NPDA-BC, NREMT-P, CPTD

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In 2021, we delved deeply into conversation around microaggressive behavior in the interprofessional learning environment. We explored several topics including perceived hierarchy, power differentials, and demographic inclusivity. Our readers validated that these topics are vital to address; otherwise, the necessary relationship development needed for a thriving interprofessional learning environment is hindered.


As we begin 2022, we will shift our focus in a different manner by exploring ways to direct our attention inward. This will help us reflect on our individual leadership growth strategies, as our interprofessional learning environments cannot thrive if we as individuals are not thriving. We will study various models to guide us in this growth journey. We believe deliberate, personal practice in this area of professional growth will improve resilience, enhance team-based practice, strengthen the organizational capabilities, and promote excellent interprofessional learning environments.



Although effects of the pandemic, economic hardship, and massive societal changes surfaced in 2020 and 2021, shifts in the broader work environment were already occurring in years prior. For example, the Association for Talent Development (ATD) conducted a large research study in 2018 and 2019 and found considerable shifts in our environmental landscape affecting our work. As Nursing Professional Development practitioners, we are part of the broader field of talent development and are not immune to these external societal forces. The research study showed that, to be effective in our roles to educate and develop others, we need to possess critical business, interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills.


Grounded in this research, the ATD Capability Model identified three key domains, which are building personal capability, developing professional capability, and impacting organizational capability. In our 2022 column series, we will explore each of these domains in greater detail. Specifically, we will uncover the capabilities that correspond to each domain and show how NPD practitioners can benefit from incorporating them into the interprofessional learning environment.


Building personal capability includes skills in communication, emotional intelligence and decision making, collaboration and leadership, cultural awareness and inclusion, and lifelong learning. Although many of these skills are currently part of our NPD practice, we have an opportunity to broaden our capabilities and determine how to become "future ready," as the ATD Capability Model challenges us to do.


As the model suggests, lifelong learning "is marked by traits such as self-motivation, insatiable curiosity, and intelligent risk-taking[horizontal ellipsis]. Taking ownership for one's own professional development signals to others that they can and should do the same" (Galagan et al., 2020, pp. 22-23). Such role modeling is congruent with Standard 16 Mentorship/Advancing the Profession in the NPD Scope and Standards of Practice, where specific competencies are listed including "promoting a culture of lifelong learning" and "fostering ongoing professional growth experiences for nurses and others" (Harper & Maloney, 2016, p. 55). Indeed, when NPD practitioners focus on their lifelong learning and development, they model positive behavior for team members to also engage in introspection and reflective practice.



As NPD practitioners, we have grown accustomed to "doing" tasks, such as designing and delivering educational programs, documenting competencies for both novice and expert learners, and rolling out new products and/or initiatives. Although these operational tasks will not necessarily go away in the next decade, how we approach them must change if we are to remain effective and relevant. Galagan et al. (2020) challenge us to anticipate, rather than react to, our organizational needs and create an environment that helps individuals reach their full potential.


As we explore this model and others in the coming year, we invite you to delve into this process with us. Perhaps you have used other professional growth models that have served you well in the past. Please email us at and to further this dialogue and exploration.




Galagan P., Hirt M., Vital C. (2020). Capabilities for talent development: Shaping the future of the profession. ATD Press. [Context Link]


Harper M., Maloney P. (Eds.) (2016). Nursing professional development: Scope and standards of practice (3rd ed.). Association for Nursing Professional Development. [Context Link]