In cost-conscious times, every department must pay attention to the bottom line, which is hard to quantify with something as nebulous as professional development. It may be easy to check off a competency assessment that a nurse can operate an IV pump correctly, but harder to quantify the return on investment provided by in-depth education and development, which is so vital to retention and patient care.
But this is a key skill staff development departments must work on when every department fights for scarce dollars. So, attendees discussed maximizing return on investment of educational, training, and professional development offerings and how to measure outcomes.
Doing so will require the use of evidence to evaluate and improve practice and tie education departments to patient outcomes, as well as finding ways to improve efficiency through new technology.
Jobeth Pilcher, RN-BC, EdD, presented her research on nurses’ preferences for teaching methods and new technology in education. Pilcher cautioned that incorporating technology for its own sake is a waste of time. For example, Twitter is a great medium for keeping in touch with people, but rushing to provide education via Twitter without an obvious strategy is a waste of time. Starting a blog for the CNO can be a great way to communicate and engage with nurses, but not if the CNO has nothing to say.