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Professional development plan

After performing their self-assessment and receiving peer feedback, nurse practitioners create a professional development plan.

After performing their self-assessment and receiving peer feedback, nurse practitioners create a professional development plan.

Select a minimum of three professional development activities from six categories of options. The options are outlined below.

We have recently revised the requirements so that you can choose any combination of the six options to satisfy your professional development needs. At least one activity must relate to the scope of nurse practitioner practice, ​e.g., diagnosing and managing disease, prescribing medications.

Your professional development plan should contain comprehensive details of your activities including the relevance and impact for your practice. For example record the title, duration and evidence of participation in continuing education or journal titles and your critique.

 Professional development activities

Option 1: Attend continuing education forums

Examples may include conferences, workshops, clinical updates or rounds that target clinical treatment, including pharmaco-therapeutics or other aspects relevant to your nurse practitioner practice (e.g., ethics).

  • It is most beneficial if the continuing education is at the nurse practitioner level or greater (e.g., for physicians).
  • Record the events attended including titles, duration, and evidence of your participation.
Option 2: Critically review relevant literature

This may include reading and critiquing professional journals at the nurse practitioner level or participating in a journal club that targets clinical treatment, including prescribing.

  • Note the journals reviewed (e.g. journal title, your critique, journal club meeting dates and membership). Consider how it might impact your practice.
Option 3: Take an academic credit course

Take or audit academic credit course(s) or enrol in an accredited or academic program at the level of a nurse practitioner/advanced practice nursing. The focus should be applicable to your context of practice or the scope of nurse practitioner practice.

  • Keep a record of course completion including the course number, credits, and transcript(s).
Option 4: Teach

Teach an educational seminar, presentation or lecture. Teaching might include providing a lecture or tutoring health professionals, presenting at a professional conference, thesis committee work or preceptoring at the nurse practitioner level. Teaching that is part of role function is not suitable for this option.

  • Record details of your presentation/teaching, including your teaching material and the date and setting of your presentation.
  • If you choose the preceptoring option, it is recommended that you provide direct supervision to a nurse practitioner student for a minimum of 25 hours. You may also choose to preceptor medical students, as long as you are also preceptoring nurse practitioner students. Record the dates and duration of the preceptoring.
Option 5: Write for publication

Write for publication. For example, write an article in a journal or a chapter in a text that facilitates the integration of evidence-based knowledge into practice.

  • It is recommended that your authored or co-authored text is submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal or text.
  • The subject area should be related to your nurse practitioner practice.
  • Keep a record which includes a copy of the article or chapter, the publication’s front cover, the publisher’s information, and the table of contents.
Option 6: Research

Conduct research. For example, undertake relevant clinical research activities or participate in a clinical research collaborative project that contributes to the understanding and development of evidence-based nursing knowledge. This might include completing a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation relevant to your stream of nurse practitioner practice. Recommendations for this option:

  • The research should be relevant to your stream of nurse practitioner practice.
  • It is most beneficial if you are the principal or co-investigator and participate in the preparation of the materials for the review board or granting agency.
  • Keep a record of your research proposal and progress over time.
  • The same research activity may contribute to your professional development plan for up to three years. Evidence should reflect that the project is progressing.
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