1. St. Cyr, Sheila MS, RN, NPD-BC

Article Content

It has been six months since I was installed as the President of the Board of the Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD). I was honored to serve alongside Dr. Susan Bindon during the last year of her Presidency before she handed over the reins to me at this year's convention, Aspire to Trailblaze. During these six months I have found myself walking down memory lane-the lane of my professional time being involved with ANPD. Of course, my nursing professional development (NPD) career started when the organization was known as the National Nursing Staff Development Organization or NNSDO and I attended my first convention.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

The year was 2005, and the convention that year was held in New Orleans on July 21-24. The theme for that year's convention was Lighting the Fire Within: Igniting Passion for Learning and Advancement. What a fitting theme it was as a fire was certainly lit within me. A passion was sparked for the organization, its purpose, and the people. Speaking of people, the President in 2005 was Donna Wright, and I had the honor of attending Pre-Conference Workshop 13 that year that she presented. I sat in awe at her workshop, Competency Assessment for the Real World. She was, and still is, a force to be reckoned with where competency management is concerned. Donna inspired me and provided me with so many takeaways to share with the others on my team once I returned to Oklahoma City. I'm sure she has done the same for many NPD practitioners over the years and will continue to inspire many more in the future. The 2005 conference changed me and changed my professional goals. I had found my purpose and my people.


Fast-forward to this year's convention, Aspire to Trailblaze, held in San Antonio. Seventeen years have passed since attending my first convention, and I was still inspired and in awe of this organization and all it stands for. There was one point at the convention when all the first-time attendees were asked to stand. Seeing the large number of participants standing at that time really impressed, amazed, and thrilled me. I sat there wondering if these first-time attendees would experience the same professional life-changing moment that I had many years ago. At this year's convention, there were many moments that highlighted the strength and accomplishments of ANPD. One highlight was the release of the much-anticipated fourth edition of the Nursing Professional Development Scope & Standards of Practice (Harper & Maloney, 2022). For those first-time attendees, I hope you found the sessions that discussed the new scope and standards to be impactful and useful in propelling you forward in your NPD career. The scope and standards provide the framework, standards, and competencies for both new and experienced NPD practitioners to be successful.


Another highlight was the release of the findings of the 2021 Organizational Value of Nursing Professional Development Practice Study. The 2021 study is a replication of a 2015 study. If you are new to the role of an NPD practitioner, you may wonder what impact this role has on patient care, quality metrics, or staffing. To address your wonder, be sure to check out the two articles in this edition of the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development to learn more about how invaluable the role of an NPD practitioner is to an organization. The two articles are titled Findings From the 2021 Organizational Value of Nursing Professional Development Practice Study, Part 1: Overview and Descriptive Data and Part 2: Correlations Among NPD Staffing and Organizational Outcomes. Some of the broad areas where correlations were identified between NPD staffing and organizational outcomes include, but are not limited to, nursing staff outcomes, patient satisfaction, unplanned hospital visits, and hospital-acquired infections (Harper et al., 2022a, 2022b). I want to thank Dr. Mary Harper, Dr. Patsy Maloney, Dr. Julia Aucoin, and the statistician Dr. Ryan McDonald for their work on the study. It is an important study for NPD practitioners as we advocate for our profession and demonstrate organizational worth.


In addition to organizational highlights, I also experienced some personal highlights from convention. My first highlight was the in-person aspect of convention. Although the virtual offerings of 2020 and 2021 were wonderful, nothing surpasses an in-person offering. There is just something energizing to be in a room or area full of NPD practitioners. It is hard for me to describe just how fantastic that was. I'm sure many of you experienced the same sensation. As part of our being in-person, another highlight was having my picture taken with Donna Wright. Yes, I was that girl, like many others, who was ecstatic to have my picture taken with her. In that singular moment, my NPD career had come full circle. Even though I have been actively involved with ANPD for many years, this was my first time to really meet Donna. Thanks to my friend, Dr. Susan Bindon, for making the introduction. While waiting to have my picture taken with her, I noted how genuine and giving Donna was to each person who wanted to meet her and have their picture taken with her. Donna certainly personifies what an NPD practitioner is. She is a giving person, is an inspiring nurse, and is always willing to help others in our specialty. I think those qualities are the reason that the NPD community is so engaged and strives to make positive impacts in the healthcare field.


As our NPD community grows, it is encouraging to know that our mission and vision have not wavered. If you are not familiar with ANPD's vision and mission statement, let me take this opportunity to share them with you. ANPD's vision is to be the thought and practice leader for NPD. The organization's mission is to advance quality health care by defining and promoting nursing professional development practice. The organization's focus is clear, and I want to thank the Board, ANPD staff, volunteers, and our members for their support to keep this focus at the forefront of all we do. I am honored beyond words to be the President of this organization. I look forward to a bright future for ANPD, and for all those first-time 2022 convention attendees, I see you playing a major role in that future and working to move our organization onward and upward.


A special thank you to Editor-in-Chief Dr. Kathleen Burke for asking me to write the Guest Editorial for this month's Journal for Nurses in Professional Development.




Harper M. G., Maloney P. (Eds.) (2022). Nursing professional development: Scope and standards of practice (4th ed.). Association for Nursing Professional Development. [Context Link]


Harper M. G., Maloney P., Aucoin J., McDonald R. (2022a). Findings from the 2021 organizational value of nursing professional development practice study, Part 1: Overview and descriptive data. Advance online publication. 10.1097/NND.0000000000000920. [Context Link]


Harper M. G., Maloney P., Aucoin J., McDonald R. (2022b). Findings from the 2021 organizational value of nursing professional development practice study, Part 2: Correlations among NPD staffing and organizational outcomes. Advance online publication. 10.1097/NND.0000000000000919. [Context Link]