Nationally certified as a nursing professional development (NPD) practitioner, Jillian Russell, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, explains the multiple aspects of this role and its importance to excellent patient care. In addition to her position at Southwest General Health Center, she also hold a leadership position with the in the Association for Nursing Professional Development.
I may be young, but I am not to be underestimated. In the 11 years I have been a nurse, I have proudly worn various hats—that of bedside clinician, research nurse, manager, and educator. It was not until 2012 that I discovered my passion and purpose in nursing in the role of the nursing professional development (NPD) practitioner.
This journey of discovery was fueled by my desire to build a diverse skillset. Little did I know at the time that I was building a skillset fit for the NPD specialty—“a specialized nursing practice that facilitates the professional role development and growth of nurses and other healthcare personnel along the continuum from novice to expert” (Harper & Maloney, 2016, p. 63). NPD practitioners are essential to the success of orientation and onboarding, competency management, education, role development, research/evidence-based practice/quality improvement, and role development. Roles that NPD practitioners fulfill include that of learning facilitator, change agent, mentor, leader, champion for scientific inquiry, advocate for the NPD specialty, and partner for practice transitions.
Professional goals have always driven me--creating a thirst for more and seeking ways to make a difference. When I found my home in this specialty, I immediately got involved with the professional organization, the Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD). The resources available through ANPD informed not only my practice, but also that of the teams of which I have been a part. Opportunities to diversify and align practice were plentiful—continuing to build and expand a skillset. When my husband’s job relocated our family from Nashville, TN, to the Greater Cleveland area in 2017, I found myself at a standstill. However, the network I established through ANPD afforded me opportunities to establish my professional presence and identity in a new state.
My name is Jillian Russell, MSN, RN, NPD-BC. I am an NPD Program Manager for ANPD and an NPD Specialist at Southwest General Health Center. I stand before you today, proud, wearing this unwavering hat—although you may still need to pinch me! I am humbled to serve this specialty both at international and local levels, inspiring NPD practitioners across the world, and making a difference in the practice of interprofessional team members and patient care right here in northeast Ohio.