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Keywords

advanced practice registered nurse, clinical ladder, professional development program, professional portfolio

 

Authors

  1. Hespenheide, Molly MSN, RN, PMHCNS-BC
  2. Cottingham, Talisha MSN, RN, APHN
  3. Mueller, Gail MSN, RN-BC, ACNS-BC

Abstract

A concrete way of recognizing and rewarding clinical leadership, excellence in practice, and personal and professional development of the advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) is lacking in the literature and healthcare institutions in the United States. This article presents the process of developing and evaluating a professional development program designed to address this gap. The program uses APRN Professional Performance Standards, Relationship-Based Care, and the Magnet Forces as a guide and theoretical base. A key tenet of the program is the creation of a professional portfolio. Narrative reflections are included that illustrate the convergence of theories. A crosswalk supports this structure, guides portfolio development, and operationalizes the convergence of theories as they specifically relate to professional development in advanced practice. Implementation of the program has proven to be challenging and rewarding. Feedback from APRNs involved in the program supports program participation as a meaningful method to recognize excellence in advanced practice and a clear means to foster ongoing professional growth and development.