Nurse Professional Development & Pathways

Resources to Guide Your Professional Development

Where do I start? The journey begins with self-assessment and is an ongoing process of embracing lifelong learning to help you achieve your career goals. This page will guide you in the process and answer questions about the program.


Lippincott Advisor

Lippincott Advisor features over 10,000 individual entries covering topics nurses need every day such as Diseases, Diagnostic Tests, Drugs, and Treatments as well as high interest regulatory topics such as Core Measures and Hospital-Acquired Conditions. The Lippincott Advisor program is designed to help you provide quality care to your patients by providing immediate access to a breadth of up-to-date information to aid in your clinical decision-making.
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Lippincott Procedures

You can use Lippincott Procedures to help deliver quality patient care. Clinically-focused content and easy-to-use interface makes Lippincott Procedures the point of care reference and training tool you’ll turn to! With Lippincott Procedures, you can find accurate, up-to-date information at the point of care.
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How will this program benefit the clinical nurses in my area?


One of the ANA Standards of Practice includes demonstrating a commitment to lifelong learning through self-reflection and inquiry for learning and personal growth. This program was developed to assist clinical nurses in fulfilling this responsibility as a nursing professional. The nurse attributes were woven into the program to help clinical nurses develop and grow their career at IU Health.

What is the Individual Personal Development (IPD) Plan?


The IPD plan provides a foundation for growth through self-assessment, reflection & goal setting. The IPD is owned by the individual nurse, is a living document, and aligns strengths and passions to short and long-term goals. The IPD plan was developed by clinical nurses based on A3 thinking to simplify the process of career development.

How will clinical nurses document progress towards their goals?


Goals will be documented on the IPD plan along with progress towards goal achievement.

When will clinical nurses participate in growth opportunities?


Time to complete the growth opportunities will vary greatly. Once clinical nurses identify growth opportunities they would like to work on to achieve their goals, the nurse will discuss the opportunities with you during the Professional Development Conversation.

How often should clinical nurses access and update the IDP plan?


The clinical nurses should update their IDP plan when they complete a growth opportunity and achieve a goal. The IPD plan should be updated every 6 months at a minimum.

Is this related to performance management?


The Professional Development and Pathways program is focused on the clinical nurse and how they would like to grow their career at IU Health. Performance Management is focused on performance and contributions over the previous year. Professional development and Performance Management are separate however nurses have the option of including growth opportunities and accomplishments in performance management reviews.

How could the IPD plan be incorporated into a resume?


Growth opportunities and goal achievement will be perfect additions to a resume and highlight commitment to the nursing profession and lifelong learning!

What if a clinical nurse is not able to complete a growth opportunity or reach a goal?


This program is for the clinical nurses’ professional development and career growth. The nurse will discuss missed growth opportunities and/or unrealized goals with you so you can assist the nurse in identifying next steps.

What are the professional pathways?


The pathways are simply professional development categories used to group growth opportunities. Clinical nurses are encouraged to select opportunities across a mix of categories based on what they feel is most beneficial for their individual professional development. The pathways include; Clinical Practice, Clinical Expert, Education, Leadership and Research/EBP. Please see the Pathways tab for additional information.

Does a clinical nurse have to select a specific pathway?


No, clinical nurses are encouraged to explore different opportunities in any one or more of the Pathways.

Can a clinical nurse change pathways after choosing one?


Of course! The pathways are for the nurse and their professional development. The pathways are a way to group professional development growth opportunities. Nurses are not committed to a pathway.

When should a clinical nurse look for a mentor?


A mentoring relationship can occur at any phase of an individual’s career, whether a new graduate, an experienced clinical nurse assuming a nurse manager or clinical nurse specialist position, or an established clinical nurse taking on a leadership position as the chair of a shared leadership council. Mentors can provide insights that would otherwise have been gained only through trial and error. They ask a lot of questions—especially “Why?”—which encourages reflection on situations and potential alternatives. An effective mentor will be dependable, engaged in the nurses’ professional development, and understand the needs of the mentee.

Does a mentor need to be someone from my area?


Not necessarily, an effective mentor links different bits and pieces of their mentees’ lives, such as work and home, thoughts and feelings, successes and failures. The mentor helps the mentee see the bigger picture and the future. This type of guidance can come from someone who is outside your area and not a nurse.

What is the role of the clinical manager in this process?


Once the clinical nurse completes the IDP plan, they will schedule a Professional Development Conversation meeting with you. This conversation will help establish and match goals and strengths to growth opportunities within the system . The conversation is a structured and individualized discussion to facilitate personal development and support the progression of the individualized personal development plan. These conversations should occur during the clinical nurses’ birth month and more frequently based on questions and progress.

What is the role of the clinical educator/CNS in this process?


For units/departments with clinical educator and/or CNS support, these team members can provide additional support for questions related to professional growth opportunities and goal setting.