The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing

Administrative Angles 

Relationship Between Nursing Professional Development and the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Primary Accreditation Framework

Mary G. Harper, PhD, RN-BC; Patsy Maloney, EdD, MSN, RN-BC, NEA-BC

Abstract

This article is the final one in the series addressing how nursing professional development practitioners operationalize the education design process criteria as delineated in the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Primary Accreditation Provider Application Manual to ensure high-quality continuing education activities. Specifically, this article explores the relationship between the ANCC primary accreditation framework's educational design process criteria and the Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice.

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2018;49(9):390–393.

Abstract

This article is the final one in the series addressing how nursing professional development practitioners operationalize the education design process criteria as delineated in the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Primary Accreditation Provider Application Manual to ensure high-quality continuing education activities. Specifically, this article explores the relationship between the ANCC primary accreditation framework's educational design process criteria and the Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice.

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2018;49(9):390–393.

During the past several months, this column has explored the alignment of the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) educational design process criteria and the Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice (Harper & Maloney, 2016). While the ANCC educational design process criteria ensures the quality of educational activities, the Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice (Harper & Maloney, 2016) delineate the who, what, when, why, where, and how of the nursing professional development (NPD) specialty nursing practice. This article explores the symbiotic relationship between the ANCC primary accreditation framework, specifically the educational design process criterion, and the NPD scope and standards.

NPD as a Specialty Nursing Practice

In the late 1990s, the American Nurses Association (ANA) collaborated with several specialty nursing organizations to develop a standardized format for nursing specialty standards of practice and a formal process for recognizing nursing specialties (ANA, 2017). As a result, 14 criteria, which have evolved over the decades, must be met for a specialty to be recognized by the ANA. Some of these criteria include (ANA, 2017):

  • Adheres to overall purpose and licensure requirements of nursing.
  • Fulfills a need within nursing.
  • Possesses a unique knowledge base and competencies.
  • Maintains a specialty organization.
  • Defines its scope of practice.
  • Establishes standards of practice to which all nurses in the specialty must adhere.

Formerly known as nursing staff development, the specialty practice of NPD was formally recognized by the ANA in 2000 with the publication of the specialty's first scope and standards (ANA, 2000). As shown in Figure 1, NPD as a specialty is at the core of the ANCC's primary accreditation conceptual framework.

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Conceptual Framework. From Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice, (3rd ed., p. 10), by M. G. Harper and P. Maloney (Eds.), 2016, Chicago, IL: Association for Nursing Professional Development. Copyright 2016 by the Association for Nursing Professional Development. Reprinted with permission.

Figure 1.

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Conceptual Framework. From Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice, (3rd ed., p. 10), by M. G. Harper and P. Maloney (Eds.), 2016, Chicago, IL: Association for Nursing Professional Development. Copyright 2016 by the Association for Nursing Professional Development. Reprinted with permission.

The specialty organization for NPD is the ANPD. Founded in 1989 as the National Nursing Staff Development Organization, the specialty organization changed its name in 2012 to more closely align with the specialty practice (Harper & Maloney, 2016). The ANPD has over 4,500 members, and its mission is “to advance quality health care by defining and promoting NPD practice” (ANPD, n.d., para. 3). As the specialty organization for NPD, the ANPD oversees the ongoing review and update of the Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice, which, according to the ANA (2017), must be updated every 5 years to stay abreast of the changing health care environment.

NPD Practitioner Roles and Responsibilities

Roles

In 2015, Warren and Harper (2017) conducted an NPD role delineation study, which informed the 2016 update of the NPD scope and standards. Their study identified seven distinct roles of NPD practitioners:

  • Advocate for the NPD specialty.
  • Champion for scientific inquiry.
  • Change agent.
  • Leader.
  • Learning facilitator.
  • Mentor.
  • Partner for practice transitions.

Although the learning facilitator role is most commonly associated with the NPD practitioner, the other six roles are equally as important as demonstrated in the NPD practice model shown in Figure 2.

From Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice, (3rd ed., p. 10), by M. G. Harper and P. Maloney (Eds.), 2016, Chicago, IL: Association for Nursing Professional Development. Copyright 2016 by the Association for Nursing Professional Development. Reprinted with permission.

Figure 2.

From Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice, (3rd ed., p. 10), by M. G. Harper and P. Maloney (Eds.), 2016, Chicago, IL: Association for Nursing Professional Development. Copyright 2016 by the Association for Nursing Professional Development. Reprinted with permission.

In the role of learning facilitator, the NPD practitioner “uses the educational design process to bridge the knowledge, skills, and/or practice gaps identified through a needs assessment” (Harper & Maloney, 2016, p. 16). As demonstrated in previous articles in this column, standards 1 to 6 of the Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice (Harper & Maloney, 2016) align with the educational design process (EDP) criteria of ANCC and are used when developing continuing nursing education activities. Although on the surface it appears that the NPD practitioner intersects with the ANCC (2015) EDP criteria only in the role of learning facilitator, in reality, the NPD practitioner uses the EDP criteria (EDP 1 to 7) in all seven roles, as demonstrated in Table 1.

Examples of Alignment of NPD Roles and ANCC Educational Design Process Criteria

Table 1:

Examples of Alignment of NPD Roles and ANCC Educational Design Process Criteria

Responsibilities

As described in the NPD scope and standards and shown in Figure 2, the NPD practitioner uses the seven roles identified by Warren and Harper (2017) to engage in six primary areas of responsibility (Harper & Maloney, 2016):

  • Orientation and onboarding.
  • Competency management.
  • Education.
  • Role development.
  • Collaborative partnerships.
  • Research and evidence-based practice/quality improvement.

These six roles have fondly become known as “The Big 6” in NPD circles (Price, 2017). As with the NPD roles, NPD practitioners align their practice with ANCC EDP principles as they perform all their responsibilities, as shown in Table 2. The resulting outputs include learning, change, and professional role competence and growth that promote optimum care and promotion of health, ultimately resulting in protection of the public.

Examples of Alignment of NPD Responsibilities and ANCC Educational Design Process Criteria

Table 2:

Examples of Alignment of NPD Responsibilities and ANCC Educational Design Process Criteria

Summary

The ANA recognizes NPD as a distinct nursing specialty as a result of the specialty meeting multiple criteria (ANA, 2017; Harper & Maloney, 2016). The ANPD, the specialty organization for NPD, accepts responsibility for the ongoing updates of Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice (Harper & Maloney, 2016). NPD lies at the core of the ANCC accreditation framework consisting of three criteria—structural capacity, EDP and quality outcomes. This column has specifically addressed ANCC EDP criteria (EDP 1 to 7) and demonstrated their incorporation into all the roles and responsibilities of the NPD practitioner. This symbiotic relationship ensures high-quality continuing professional development to promote optimal patient care and health.

References

  • American Nurses Association. (2000). Scope and standards of practice for nursing professional development. Silver Spring, MD: Author.
  • American Nurses Association. (2017). American Nurses Association recognition of a nursing specialty, approval of a specialty nursing scope of practice statement, acknowledgement of specialty nursing practice standards of practice, and affirmation of focused practice competencies. Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/~4989de/globalassets/practiceandpolicy/scope-of-practice/3sc-booklet-final-2017-08-17.pdf
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center. (2015). ANCC primary accreditation provider application manual. Silver Spring, MD: Author.
  • Association for Nursing Professional Development. (n.d.). About ANPD. Retrieved from http://www.anpd.org/page/about
  • Harper, M.G. & Maloney, P. (Eds.). (2016). Nursing professional development: Scope and standards of practice (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: Association for Nursing Professional Development.
  • Price, M.G. (2017). Scope it out: What's in and what's out. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 33, 156–158. doi:10.1097/NND.0000000000000350 [CrossRef]
  • Warren, J.I. & Harper, M.G. (2017). Transforming roles of nursing professional development practitioners. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 33, 2–12. doi:10.1097/NND.0000000000000320 [CrossRef]

Examples of Alignment of NPD Roles and ANCC Educational Design Process Criteria

RoleANCC (2015) EDP CriteriaExamples of Use by NPD Practitioner in Role
Advocate for NPD specialtyEDP 7: Measures change in knowledge, skills, and practiceDemonstrate value of NPD to the organization through improvement in patient outcomes
Champion for scientific inquiryEDP 4: Educational activity based on current evidenceContent development
Change agentEDP 7: Measures change in knowledge, skills, and practiceDemonstration of effectiveness of change initiatives
LeaderEDP 1: Identification of professional practice gaps EDP 3: Resolution of conflict of interestEDP 1: Environmental scanning EDP 3: Taking the lead to ensure content integrity
Learning facilitatorAllDevelopment of quality continuing professional development activities
MentorEDP 2: Identification of learning needsContribution to the professional development of protégé through identification of learning needs
Partner for practice transitionsAllDevelopment of quality transition to practice programs and fellowships

Examples of Alignment of NPD Responsibilities and ANCC Educational Design Process Criteria

ResponsibilityANCC (2015) EDP CriteriaExamples of Use by NPD Practitioners to Meet Responsibility
Orientation/onboardingEDP 5: Uses strategies to promote learning and actively engage learnersUse of simulation in orientation
Competency managementEDP 4: Educational activity based on current evidence EDP 7: Measures change in knowledge, skills, and practiceDevelopment of competency assessment tools based on latest evidence; assessment of competency upon hire and on an ongoing basis
EducationAllDevelopment of quality continuing professional development activities
Role developmentEDP 2: Identification of learning needsFacilitation of staff advancement from novice to expert
Collaborative partnershipsEDP 1: Identification of professional practice gapsCollaboration with other departments such as quality improvement and risk management to identify professional practice gaps
Research/EBP/QIEDP 1: Identification of professional practice gapsIdentification of desired state of practice
Authors

Dr. Harper is Director of Nursing Professional Development, Association for Nursing Professional Development, and Dr. Maloney is President, Association for Nursing Professional Development, Chicago, Illinois, and Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing, University of Washington Tacoma, Tacoma, Washington.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Address correspondence to Mary G. Harper, PhD, RN-BC, Director of Nursing Professional Development, Association for Nursing Professional Development, 300 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60611; e-mail: mharper@anpd.org.

10.3928/00220124-20180813-02

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