Nurse Professional Development & Pathways
Clinical nursing expertise is fundamental to quality of care. The Clinical Expert Pathway is for team members who are passionate about patient care at the bedside and would like to continue growth applying knowledge to practice. Clinical nurses in this pathway will develop expertise in clinical leadership and scholarship with a focus on the IU Health nurse attribute clinical expertise. By doing so, their practice will employ a combination of education, experience and environmental awareness to provide high quality, human centered care to patients at the top of his/her license.
Consider development opportunities from each pathway
Based on your strengths and interests, consider development opportunities from each pathway to provide a strong foundation as an elite clinical nurse.
Obtain a specialty certification
If you are not certified in your specialty area, obtaining your specialty certification should be one of your first goals. Certification validates your knowledge, skills, and abilities in your clinical area of practice. Certification is recognition of your achievement, expertise, and clinical judgement. It is a mark of excellence and maintaining certification will require a commitment to lifelong learning and skill acquisition.
IU Health participates in the following programs which can help you achieve certification:
ANCC(American Nurses Credentialing Cerner) Success Pays program
ONCC(Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation) FreeTake
AACN(American Association of Critical-Care Nurses) Certification Value Program Certification Quick Guide
Participate in stretch assignments
Participate in stretch assignment as defined by clinical nurse and manager/leader. This is an opportunity to match your strengths and interest with growth opportunities in your department, facility, or at the system level. For example, if you are passionate about quality, work with your leader to identify a stretch assignment related to performance improvement initiatives on your unit or volunteer to serve on a facility/system council. The possibilities are endless!
Reach out to your leader to identify a stretch assignment related to your areas of interest and strengths.
Demonstrate expertise in a specialty area
Would you like to be the “go to” person in your area for a clinical issue, procedure or a piece of equipment? Talk with your leader and educator about developing expertise related to your area of interest. For example, if you are drawn to caring for patient with complex wounds, explore education opportunities to develop this area of interest. Volunteer to provide education to staff on wound care or serve on the facility skin committee.
Connect with your leader and/or educator about developing expertise related to your area of interest.
Complete foundational courses
If you have not already completed foundational courses for your specialty patient population, now is the time to explore offerings. Foundational courses are defined for each specialty area- a few course examples include, Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC), transplant core, oncology core. You can also take Lippincott eLMS modules related to your area of practice and earn continuing education credits.
Please reach out to your leader and/or educator for additional information about classes specific to your patient population. The attachment includes a list of Lippincott eLMS modules.
Become an instructor for a specialty course
Are you interesting in education and teaching? Reach out to your leader and/or educator to explore opportunities to facilitate a specialty course. You could start small with helping to validate skills and progress to facilitating a class.
Reach out to your educator to explore opportunities to facilitate a specialty course or help with education in your department.
Seek opportunities in the use of technology
Are you interested in informatics? This is a growing field that needs the voice of clinical experts. Talk with your leader and/or educator to identify how you can develop skills in this area. Ideas include involvement in Cerner improvements and involvement with new equipment or enhancements.
Connect with your leader and/or educator to identify how you can develop skills in this area.
Seek opportunities to assume the primary role in emergency situations
Would you like additional experience with critical patient situations? Reach out to your leader and/or educator to explore opportunities to gain experience with emergencies. Opportunities may include participating in simulation or shadowing a member of the facility rapid response team or medical emergency team.
Reach out to your leader and/or educator to explore opportunities to gain experience with emergency situations.
Utilize feedback to determine growth opportunities
Feedback from you leader and peers is a great way to identify strengths and future goals. Potential questions include; what went well during the shift? Were there opportunities to improve communication? What is one thing we could have done better to care for our patients?
At the end of your shift, take the lead in debriefing with your peers and patient care team to identify growth opportunities.
Share findings via staff meetings, newsletters, etc.
Share educational findings, experiences, and ideas with peers via staff meeting, newsletters, etc. A few examples for this growth opportunity include; read an article and share what you learned with your peers, present a case study when you learned a valuable lesson that will help your colleagues, provide a synopsis of a conference/education offering with your shared governance/leadership council.
Identify an area of interest and do a library search for best practices and the latest research. Reach out to your leader, educator, and/or clinical nurse specialist to find out about conferences focused on your areas of interest and patient population.