Board Certified in Nursing Professional Development (NPD) and also as a Progressive Care Knowledge Professional through the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Stephanie Sobeck, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, PCCN-K, explains the NPD role and why she finds it so satisfying. She has been a NPD Specialist at the Cleveland Clinic for the last seven years and is currently completing her Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Educational Leadership.
As a Nursing Professional Development (NPD) Specialist, I am responsible for the orientation and onboarding of new caregivers, competency management, continuing education, role development, and quality improvement through research and evidence-based practice. Our responsibility is to develop strategies to facilitate life-long learning and guide our learners towards the desired goals to enable change, growth, and competence to provide quality patient care for optimal patient outcomes. Transformational leadership is a valuable leadership style in NPD practice. NPD Specialists epitomize leadership through role modeling, serving as change agents, providing vision, and helping learners to grow professionally all the while developing relationships that encourage thinking and learning. As NPD Specialists, we need to respond to increasing demands to maintain and support a highly competent workforce.
NPD Specialists, as facilitators of learning, must analyze their own teaching philosophy, examine their ideological assumptions, and critique their sources of knowledge to ensure that they are providing the best possible education for the learners. I have always viewed my role of NPD Specialist as a partnership between myself and the learner. I cannot possibly know everything. Each learner brings a unique view and training from their academic career and prior experience. We all work towards providing the best patient care possible. My favorite part of my job is being exposed to the unique viewpoints of learners, which enables me to grow professionally as well.