The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing

Administrative Angles 

Meritorious Academic Partnership (MAP) Designation Program

Mary Harper, PhD, RN-BC; Patsy Maloney, EdD, RN-BC, CEN, NEA-BC

Abstract

A common concern of leaders of nursing professional development (NPD) or education departments in practice settings is hiring nurses with a master's degree in nursing education who lack the requisite knowledge and skills to adequately fulfill the position. As we speak with NPD practitioners around the country, we typically find less than one third who report NPD content in their master's in nursing education curriculum. Like NPD department leaders, these nurses recognize that they were prepared to work in academia but not in the practice setting. The irony of this gap in graduate nursing education content is that in many cases, opportunities for master's-prepared nurses to teach in an academic setting are limited. Furthermore, many master's-prepared nurses prefer an NPD role in the practice setting. [J Contin Educ Nurs. 2019;50(7):293–296].

Abstract

A common concern of leaders of nursing professional development (NPD) or education departments in practice settings is hiring nurses with a master's degree in nursing education who lack the requisite knowledge and skills to adequately fulfill the position. As we speak with NPD practitioners around the country, we typically find less than one third who report NPD content in their master's in nursing education curriculum. Like NPD department leaders, these nurses recognize that they were prepared to work in academia but not in the practice setting. The irony of this gap in graduate nursing education content is that in many cases, opportunities for master's-prepared nurses to teach in an academic setting are limited. Furthermore, many master's-prepared nurses prefer an NPD role in the practice setting. [J Contin Educ Nurs. 2019;50(7):293–296].

Although academic nurse educators (ANEs) and nursing professional development (NPD) practitioners share a common theoretical basis for their specialty practices, each specialty is unique in many ways. For example, NPD practitioners identify practice gaps and analyze those practice gaps to identify learning needs. ANEs, on the other hand, consider accreditation standards, state board of nursing requirements, and stakeholders, usually represented by an advisory council, for the development of the curriculum. NPD practitioners' target audience consists of practicing professionals, whereas the ANE's target audience is students. Finally, the goal of NPD practice is improved patient outcomes resulting from professional role competence; the ANE's goal is student success as evidenced by success on licensure examinations, certification, and employment (Maloney, 2017).

NPD is recognized by the American Nurses Association (ANA) as a distinct specialty nursing practice and has its own scope and standards of practice, including a professional practice model shown in Figure 1 (Harper & Maloney, 2016), and is represented by a specialty nursing organization (Association for Nursing Professional Development [ANPD]). NPD practitioners operate in seven roles: learning facilitator, partner for practice transitions, champion for scientific inquiry, leader, mentor, change agent, and advocate for the profession/specialty (Warren & Harper, 2017). The NPD scope of practice comprises six responsibilities: orientation/onboarding; competency management; education; role development; collaborative partnerships; and research, evidence-based practice and quality improvement. These distinct roles and responsibilities of the NPD specialty warrant exploration in graduate nursing curricula—particularly those degrees with a focus on education, leadership, or organizational management.

Nursing professional development practice (NPD) model. From “Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice” (3rd ed., p. 10), by M. Harper & P. Maloney (Eds.), 2016, Chicago, IL: Association for Nursing Professional Development. Reprinted with permission. Note. EBP = evidence-based practice; QI = quality improvement.

Figure 1.

Nursing professional development practice (NPD) model. From “Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice” (3rd ed., p. 10), by M. Harper & P. Maloney (Eds.), 2016, Chicago, IL: Association for Nursing Professional Development. Reprinted with permission. Note. EBP = evidence-based practice; QI = quality improvement.

Program Development

In an effort to promote NPD content in graduate nursing curricula, ANPD developed the Meritorious Academic Partnership (MAP) designation program. This program recognizes both practice and academic partners for collaborating in the development and inclusion of NPD content in the graduate curriculum. The MAP designation program was developed in collaboration with a large academic medical center and its academic partner. This three-way partnership allowed for testing during each phase of MAP designation development. To be eligible for MAP designation, a graduate academic program must be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission on Education in Nursing (ANPD, n.d.).

Recognizing the complexity of accreditation, the MAP designation program was designed to be a relatively simple process that does not require extensive documentation or expense. In this free recognition program, six standards are organized into three categories: organizational alignment and commitment; curriculum/educational strategies; and program outcomes. Each standard is further subdivided into a total of seven essential elements as demonstrated in Table 1. Academic graduate nursing programs, in collaboration with their practice partner(s), complete a self-study document demonstrating alignment with each element. After submission to ANPD, the self-study is reviewed by two individuals—an academic nurse educator and an NPD practitioner, who subsequently make a designation recommendation to the ANPD Board of Directors. The ANPD Board of Directors ultimately awards the MAP designation.

Association for Nursing Professional Development Meritorious Academic Partnership (MAP) Designation Standards and EssentialsAssociation for Nursing Professional Development Meritorious Academic Partnership (MAP) Designation Standards and Essentials

Table 1:

Association for Nursing Professional Development Meritorious Academic Partnership (MAP) Designation Standards and Essentials

Designation is valid for 5 years and requires an annual report. During the designation period, benefits are available to both academic and practice partners, as well as the students enrolled in the graduate program as delineated on the ANPD website (ANPD, n.d.).

Outcomes

To date, one academic–practice partnership has achieved MAP designation (ANPD, n.d.). Several additional academic–practice partnerships are developing graduate curricula to meet the requirements of the MAP designation program. NPD practitioners report that the MAP designation program provides a tangible mechanism for advocating for the NPD specialty. Furthermore, academic partners find that the program enables them to meet the needs of their practice partners for NPD practitioners who are able to function competently in the practice environment.

References

  • Association for Nursing Professional Development. (n.d.). ANPD's Meritorious Academic Partnership (MAP) designation program. Retrieved from http://www.anpd.org/page/map-designation-program
  • Harper, M.G. & Maloney, P (Eds.). (2016). Nursing professional development: Scope and standards of practice (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: Association for Nursing Professional Development.
  • Maloney, P. (2017). Advocate for the NPD specialty. In Dickerson, P.S. (Ed.). Core curriculum for nursing professional development (5th ed., pp. 316–325). Chicago, IL: Association for Nursing Professional Development.
  • 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]

Association for Nursing Professional Development Meritorious Academic Partnership (MAP) Designation Standards and Essentials

I. Organizational Alignment and Commitment

StandardsEssentials
The Nursing Professional Development (NPD) program aligns with the mission and desired outcomes of the overall graduate nursing program, reflects the NPD Scope and Standards, and meets the needs of and includes input from practice partners.

I.1 Mission

I.1.1 Aligns with the outcomes of the overall graduate nursing program.

I.1.2 Aligns with Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd edition.

I.1.3 Meets the needs of practice partners.

I.1.4 Includes input from practice partners.

I.1.5 Is reviewed and revised periodically to ensure alignment with changes in the nursing program, standards, and partner needs.

I.2 Desired outcomes

I.2.1 Align with the outcomes of the overall graduate nursing program.

I.2.2 Align with Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd edition.

I.2.3 Meets the needs of practice partners.

I.2.4 Includes input from practice partners.

I.2.5 Is reviewed and revised periodically to ensure alignment with changes in the nursing program, standards, and partner needs.

The overall nursing program demonstrates commitment and support for the NPD program, making resources available to achieve the NPD program's desired outcomes.

I.3 Commitment and support

I.3.1 Provides adequate resources to enable the NPD program to achieve its mission and desired outcomes.

I.3.2. Ensures the NPD program lead is an RN, holds a graduate degree in nursing, qualifies as an NPD specialist (graduate preparation and certification in NPD), according to the Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd edition, and has input into processes to ensure the NPD program achieves its mission and desired outcomes. Provides evidence that structure is in place to ensure NPD lead input and review of all course content related to NPD.

I.3.3. Provides sufficient faculty to achieve the mission and desired outcomes.

I.3.3.1 Assigns faculty who are academically and experimentally prepared, preferably NPD specialists, to teach in the NPD program.

I.3.3.2 Uses preceptors as an extension of faculty during NPD practice experience, who are academically and experientially prepared, preferably NPD specialists, to facilitate practice-based learning of NPD students.

II. Curriculum/Educational Strategies

StandardsEssentials
The curriculum is designed to prepare NPD specialists as defined in the Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd edition. and includes an NPD practicum and field experience.

II.1 Curriculum

II.1.1 Reflects the roles, responsibilities, and competencies of the Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice, 3rd edition.

II.1.2. Differentiates the practice of academic nurse educators and NPD practitioners in terms of roles, responsibilities, populations served, setting, identification of practice gaps, assessment of educational needs/requirements, implementation strategies, outcomes (including learner, patient, fiscal, and program), and organizational outcomes.

II.1.3 Includes practicum/field experience in NPD specialty.

Teaching strategies are evidence based and promote active learner engagement to achieve the desired outcomes.

II.2. Teaching strategies

II.2.1 Are evidence based.

II.2.2 Facilitate learner engagement to promote achievement of desired course outcomes.

III. Program Outcomes

StandardsEssentials
The NPD program identifies and measures desired outcomes for graduates and the overall NPD program. New programs identify desired outcomes that will be measured.

III.1 Identification and measurement of outcomes

III.1.1 Reviews NPD program outcomes as part of the overall nursing program's systematic evaluation process.

III.1.2 Analyzes outcomes specific to the NPD program as determined by the academic and practice partners such as completion rates.

Ongoing program improvement is evident. New programs identify processes to be used to promote program improvement.

III.2 Program improvement

III.2.1. Analyzes gap between desired and actual outcome achievement.

III.2.2 Identifies areas for NPD program improvement based on gap analysis.

III.2.3 Considers areas for improvement and takes appropriate action to improve the NPD program.

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 Harper, PhD, RN-BC, 1832 S. Central Avenue, Flagler Beach, FL 32136; e-mail: mharper@anpd.org.

10.3928/00220124-20190612-02

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