At Baylor Health Care System, many nurses do more to develop professionally than simply attend continuing education meetings and classes.
"I've seen a lot of people sleep through all those," says Dora Bradley, PhD, RN-BC, vice president of nursing professional development for Baylor Health Care System.
That's why Baylor Health Care System has in place ASPIRE, a voluntary professional-development program that awards cash bonuses to bedside nurses who complete it. ASPIRE stands for Achieving Synergy in Practice through Impact, Relationships and Evidence, and according to Bradley, the program is unique for its focus on patient outcomes.
"It's not, 'how many classes did I attend,'" she says. Instead, the program is "very outcomes focused. It's not just a checklist."
Nurses who participate in the program conduct projects around their whole practice in order to apply evidence-based practice and show how doing so improves patient care, says Bradley.
Among the very recent projects is one from a clinical transplant research nurse at Baylor Research Institute, which developed a low-health literacy education module that used pictures to help patients with cirrhosis of the liver better understand their condition.