Professional growth and development for nurse leaders

Author(s):Angela Crawford, BSN, RN; Dee Eldardiri, MS, RN-BC, CMSRN; Ana Leibecke, MSN, FNP-BC; and Rosalind Sloan, MAEd, BSN, RN-BC

Keep your skills up-to-date with resources from ANA Enterprise.

AS A NURSE LEADER, you make decisions that impact many facets of the healthcare landscape. Your colleagues look to you to lead them into the future.

According to the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) 2015 Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, nurses have a responsibility to maintain competence and continue with professional growth and development. Continuous professional nurse leader development is crucial to maintain an up-to-date skill set for today’s challenging work environment. How do you achieve and maintain your competence?

To support professional nurse leader development, ANA has created a Leadership Competency Model (nursingworld.org/continuing-education/ce-subcategories/leadership) that guides new and seasoned nurse leaders on their journey. This easy-to-read guideline offers essential leadership competencies in several formats to enhance understanding and usability. As you explore this model, you’ll see that ANA offers many resources and opportunities at all stages of your career development to assist with continued professional growth.

ANA represents the voice of RNs on key issues that affect the profession and patient care and foster high standards of nursing practice. From ethical dilemmas to healthcare reform, ANA resources can help you address nursing challenges. ANA publications such as Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice and The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements are foundational documents that can position nurse leaders as influencers in the healthcare arena. Membership in ANA allows you to be part of setting policies and national nursing priorities. The key skills of debate, fact presentation, and negotiation can be expanded and refined through involvement with ANA while you learn from local and national nursing leaders.

As an ANA member, you receive free access as well as discounts for content specifically designed for nurse leadership development. From engaging online, interactive courses and webinars to live workshops and publications, educational content is available to support your leadership development across the spectrum—from novice to expert. Certification exam preparation courses provide relevant content as well as continuing nursing education.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers many ways for you to demonstrate expertise in your field. Certifications such as Nurse Executive and Nurse Executive-Advanced, in addition to many other clinical specialties, provide opportunities for growth and excellence. At our major conferences—such as the ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference® or the ANCC National Magnet Conference®—you’ll learn from national and international nursing experts and network with key healthcare leaders. The learning opportunities at these conferences provide avenues to expand your knowledge by discovering new practices in leadership, innovation, and collaboration.

If you’re interested in pursuing service on a board of directors, you should look at the American Nurses Foundation’s educational webinars on topics such as building a board-ready résumé, bringing nurse expertise to the board room, and understanding organizational finances. The webinar series (nursingworld.org/foundation/programs/nurses-on-boards/resources) is funded by the Rita & Alex Hillman Foundation.

To learn more about how the ANA Enterprise can help in your leadership growth and professional development endeavors, visit nursingworld.org.

The authors work in the products and services division of the ANA Enterprise.

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