Professional development plans are of extreme importance for people for various reasons. On the one hand, the plan helps to have a sense of purpose in life. It helps to understand where a person is in his or her professional life and realize the steps that should be made to improve. On the other hand, professional development plans help to use the available resources efficiently to improve financial well-being. Without set goals, a person often wanders purposelessly from one workplace to another without a clear vision of the future. I started to plan my professional development several years ago, and now I can say that I have a clear understanding of where I am now and where I want to go in my professional life. The purpose of the present paper is to describe my long-term professional development plan.
Education and Professional Background
Before describing my professional development plan, I want to share some highlights of my professional and educational background to explain my priorities. I have always been an enthusiastic learner, which was first acknowledged at school when I graduated with honors. Even though I always wanted to become a nurse, I had to put away my plans for education and join the US military to provide for my family. After service, I graduated with honors from college and achieved a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. It was an outstanding achievement for me, as I was the only child in our family to graduate from college.
After graduation, I worked as a registered nurse (RN) in several healthcare facilities, where I put my knowledge into practice to provide the best quality of care. My first job was as a surgical dialysis floor RN in Saint Francis. It was the place where I realized that there was a significant gap between theory and practice. I started to think that all the information taught in college was useless; however, as I got more experienced and changed several workplaces, I began to realize that all the knowledge was valuable. After receiving ACLS, BLS, and American Heart Association certificates, I developed a strong desire to contribute to closing the gap between theory and practice, as I became a strong supporter of evidence-based practice. Today, as I work in an outpatient infusion center, I have a clear vision of my future. The nursing profession has been most rewarding for me, and I want more people to share my views and experience.
Three Steps of Professional Development
In the future, I plan to acquire the Nurse Administrator (NA) role to continue to improve the quality of care provided to patients in the US. After working as an RN for over 18 years, I have come to realize the imperfections in hospital organizations that lead to a decrease in the quality of provided services. These imperfections became evident after the world faced the problems posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in my current position as an RN in an outpatient infusion center, I have little possibility to improve the US healthcare system. Thus, the first step of my professional development plan is to complete the program at Old Dominion University to receive relevant knowledge and acquire crucial skills to become an NA.
After finishing the program, I plan to acquire the position of an NA in the Veteran Hospital in Hampton, Virginia. I believe that my extensive experience as an RN and service in the US Army can be useful for front-line care providers working with veterans. I can share my knowledge with registered nurses to improve the quality of care. I have the essential skills needed to search for the latest evidence and translate it into practice. I plan to use these skills to continue gaining a nuanced understanding of care provided to veterans to improve their quality of life in the most efficient way. In summary, the second step of my professional development plan is to utilize the knowledge received in the course of the graduate program to serve the best interest of veteran patients in Hampton by leading a team of nurses and disseminating evidence-based practices.
In the long term, I plan to continue my education to promote innovation on all levels of health care delivery. I plan to enter one of the DNP programs to improve my understanding of evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership. I plan to become a healthcare executive to maximize my influence on the US healthcare system. I believe that modern healthcare authorities have taken a step away from patients towards making business. After receiving a DNP degree, I will be able to return the focus of healthcare to patients. I will also promote preventing services and a strong provider-patient partnership to make sure that the central aim of the healthcare system is the well-being of patients and not treating conditions. Thus, the third step in my professional development plan is to support the transformation of US healthcare in the position of a healthcare executive.
Professional Development Goals
The three steps of my future career can be transformed into six professional development goals I strive to achieve:
- Finish the graduate program at Old Dominion University to be able to become an NA;
- Get the position of an NA in the Veteran Hospital in Hampton, Virginia;
- Gain a nuanced understanding of caring for veterans and disseminate this knowledge among employees of the hospital and other stakeholders;
- Receive a DNP degree to improve my understanding of the evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems leadership;
- Become a healthcare executive to have a greater impact on the healthcare system;
- Support the transition of the US healthcare system to patient-centered care using the latest evidence on all levels.
Alignment with Social Change
My professional development plan is aligned with the University’s focus on social change, as the central goal I am trying to achieve is to support the transformation of the US healthcare system. Social change is the transformation of human interaction in different areas of social contact. I want to change the fundamental view of communication between care providers and patients. Instead of treating conditions and providing episodic care, care providers need to ensure continuity of care. I want healthcare providers to be initiators of interaction as they utilize the latest evidence to ensure the well-being of the population. I can contribute to achieving this social change as a nurse administrator or a healthcare executive.
After working as an RN for 18 years, I have finally grown to advance in my career. I have a clear vision of the future and carefully planned goals that will serve as milestones in my professional development. I am strongly motivated to gain additional knowledge and translate this knowledge to practice, as I move forward to achieving the purpose of my professional life, which is transforming health care on all levels to evidence-based person-centered practice.