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Journal for Nurses in Staff Development - JNSD: July/August 2009 - Volume 25 - Issue 4 - pp 1-20
doi: 10.1097/01.NND.0000320699.47006.a3
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I hope you will enjoy reading about the history of the National Nursing Staff Development Organization (NNSDO) as described in this document. It was exciting beyond measure to be able to found a national nursing specialty organization and to watch it grow and prosper with the assistance of a dedicated group of volunteers, beginning with the initial Steering Committee, then the Boards of Directors under the leadership of the Presidents of the organization. The contributions of the staff who worked diligently to achieve the mission of the organization cannot be understated - from membership to affiliates; from committees to programs; from finances to conventions; and from publications to governance - behind the scenes these folks were the hands, heads, and hearts of NNSDO.

Also discussed in this history of NNSDO is the Journal for Nurses in Staff Development (JNSD), a publication of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and the official publication of NNSDO. The Journal was founded 5 short years prior to the organization, and its growth and prosperity are interrelated with NNSDO's. Preparing this history was a humbling experience. I am in awe of the contributions of many people who made NNSDO the success it is today. I am grateful for the opportunity to have launched both a journal and a specialty nursing organization - the highlight of my nursing career.

Belinda E. Puetz, PhD, RN

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Journal for Nurses in Staff Development

Founder and Administrator 1989-2006

National Nursing Staff Development Organization

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The individuals who comprised the Steering Committee of the National Nursing Staff Development Organization were asked to recall their impressions of the start-up of the Organization, their contributions, and how these activities influenced them. The comments below are from the Steering Committee members:

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Karen J. Kelly Thomas

Chair, Steering Committee

First Elected President

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I recall the excitement and enthusiasm of the exploratory lunch meeting composed of about 8 committed individuals and how we laid out plans with the capable support and guidance of Belinda Puetz. We were serious and committed to form an organization that would specifically address the needs of the service-based nurse educators. I recall volunteering and considering it a privilege to be on the newly established Steering Committee formed as a result of that auspicious meeting. To work with other giants in the field and create an organization to improve staff development practice was a privilege and a joy. Even though most of us had never done something like this before, we were young, enthusiastic, and had a vision of the possibilities. I learned much about associations and their potential to change practice and advance a specialty.

This experience as a member of the Steering Committee and subsequent service as NNSDO's first President helped make me a better staff development specialist. Each member brought something to create a coherent organization focused on advancing staff development as a practice and service discipline. Encouraged to take action by the fine mentorship available and advice of wise individuals, I recall many high points. I remember participating in many conference calls. It seemed so easy to reach consensus and define the mission and purpose. I recall volunteering to draft bylaws. I typed in the draft language at work so I could use the word processor (remember those?) from the Robert's Rules template available then. I remember robust discussions about 'only nurses or all healthcare educators as members' and our desire to be inclusive yet retain our nurse identity as well. And I remember retaining our 'can do' attitude throughout the discussions and continuously returning to the themes of meeting the needs as defined by the membership.

I remember a quiet moment of great pride while reading Belinda's editorial in the Jan/Feb 1990 issue of the Journal of Nursing Staff Development (JNSD) in which she recognized the accelerated interest in staff development and our 'coming of age' despite the negative feelings harbored by some. Th e ad calling for membership appeared in this and subsequent issues of JNSD; this was another defining moment.

I remember the chartering ceremony and the huge charter so many of us had the privilege of signing on April 17, 1991; it was an exciting event well planned and inspiring. I still have the framed copy of the charter on my wall and note the 225 signatures of so many friends and colleagues.

We had declared ourselves a specialty and set ourselves along a path we believed would serve our discipline for years to come. I recall feeling that the next generations of staff development specialists were present then, too. Many are now blooming as we all hoped they and we would in myriad ways that would make the difference in the clinical practice for patients in so many healthcare settings.

I served as the first President. This service brought me so much more than anticipated. The recognition was affirming and the business opportunities so appreciated since I had just started my own consulting business. I learned about the responsibilities and business aspects of 'running' a start up organization. I recall leading strategic direction and idea formation sessions at annual business meetings and establishing many good committees and work groups. I learned how many members were willing to lead development of good ideas into preferred realities through committees and work groups. Of course, there were always the budget plans and reality checks so necessary with any organization of volunteers. I remember engaging in a terrific strategic planning session in October of 1993 in Pensacola under the capable facilitation of Marybeth Fidler. The outcomes resulting from those few days together continued us on course and set a new excitement about our potential.

I remember leading a certification preparation course with an amazing 160 or so participants to help prepare for the inaugural nursing continuing education and staff development certification generalist exam to be offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Many of us helped write questions to ask one another as practice. What an experience that was!

Our body of knowledge was emerging. We were creating a community of learning and inquiry; it was a dream come true for so many of us. We were among the earliest groups to promote evidence-based practice consistently as the best way to improve quality. We worked with the American Nurses Association to study the notion of staff development as a field of advanced practice. A distinct highlight was receiving the first Belinda E. Puetz Award for Excellence in Staff Development.

Being a member of the Steering Committee and President provided me with tools I never dreamed then would help qualify me for the work as staff in a professional society, another practice discipline in which I can use my nursing, staff development, administration, and leadership skills. During the past six years, I have served as Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. It's a dream role in so many ways. I work with awesome volunteer leaders. They are the best of the best. They not only pay dues but also participate in a greater work that will make a difference in nursing and patient care. I would be remiss if I did not recognize my skill acquisition with the help of many fine mentors.

Karen J. Kelly Thomas,PhD, RN, CAE, FAAN

Chief Executive Officer

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)

Cherry Hill, NJ

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Kathleen J. Fischer

First Elected Vice President

President 1999-2000

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When I was asked to be on the Steering Committee, it was one of the highlights of my professional career. I had met a woman, Belinda Puetz, who had a vision… A vision on how to empower nurse educators to realize their contributions to quality patient care and nursing success. Belinda had the dream to create for nurse educators a specialty of practice similar to other nursing disciplines. Belinda brought together the leaders in the field and I was delighted to be a member. It was empowering, it validated the important work we do, and it was fun.

Belinda called together a small group of nursing education leaders from across the country. Our meetings had synergy, were empowering, and energizing. We envisioned what could be… an organization for the specialty of nursing education. We wanted to recognize, acknowledge, and reward excellence in the practice of education. We wanted standards for the profession and thus, to be recognized as a profession. We wanted an organization to create opportunities for nurse educators to learn and network and share their expertise. We talked about creating partnerships with other organizations including the American Nurses Association to build national recognition of the staff development profession. Under Belinda's leadership we helped build the dream.

I do not recall what I specifically contributed to the launch and initial years, but I do recall what we did as a team. We helped create an organization and a process for electing the leadership. We created a process whereby local groups that met the needs of educators within specific areas could affiliate with the national organization. We organized the first NNSDO convention. We set up a means of having peers acknowledge and reward excellence in practice. We helped write the first Standards for Nursing Staff Development (American Nurses Association, 1990), the first certification exam for nurse educators, and also the first review course. We wrote position papers on contemporary issues.

What I enjoyed most about the start up of NNSDO was listening and responding to members. NNSDO was inclusive, not exclusive. Ideas were welcome and invited. When members wanted a specialty group for members in the military, it was created. When members wanted more focus on research and mentoring, a research group and a mentoring process were initiated. Members selected the convention themes and participated as speakers or poster presenters. Members established the direction of the organization.

I also helped to write the first NNSDO certification review course. It was an opportunity to solidify and acknowledge the expertise specific to the profession.

I had the opportunity to serve NNSDO as Vice President and lead the national convention planning process. I also helped improve the process over time by bringing in more vendors, speakers, and poster presenters. Later I became the President and helped move the organization forward. I do recall that we started the Web site during my tenure - an exciting time to use technology to enhance communication and networking with members. I recall that this was a very stressful time for NNSDO to get the site up and running. Technical problems had to be overcome but the organization has come a long way in its use of technology.

I also received the Belinda E. Puetz Award for Excellence in Staff Development. This is a nationally recognized award that is greatly treasured.

NNSDO provided me opportunities that I would not have had if NNSDO had not existed. It gave me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. I also had the opportunity to help the profession grow, share my knowledge and expertise with others, and give back to my peers.

What I learned as a member of the Steering Committee is the power of putting together passionate people with diverse thinking who have a common belief that something can be made better by having a vision… And a leader who can help make the vision come true.

Another lesson was working with a group of leaders who volunteer their own time, talent, and energy to create a successful organization. The synergy, passion, and work this group did together helped to build a strong organization that continues to gain strength over time.

The greatest lesson I learned that I have carried back to my organization, my personal life, and my volunteerism is that anything can happen if you have the vision and the passionate people who work together toward achieving that vision.

I have now retired and am working as a consultant for the University of Michigan Health System. I also volunteer for our community township Parks and Recreation Committee and the skills I learned in leading a volunteer organization have been invaluable.

Kathleen J. Fischer, MA, RN,C, CNA


University of Michigan Health System

Ann Arbor, MI

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Sandra A. Holmes

First Elected Treasurer

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I first met Belinda Puetz in the early 80s when I attended a workshop she was conducting in Philadelphia. Later, our paths crossed again at one of the American Nurses Association (ANA) Council on Continuing Education conferences. Shortly after that, Belinda invited me to be on the Editorial Board of a brand new journal she would edit…the Journal of Nursing Staff Development (JNSD).

We all attended the ANA Council annual conferences and were disgruntled that the leadership of that organization was not meeting the needs of those of us working in the specialty of staff development in hospitals. The American Society for Healthcare Education and Training (ASHET) seemed to focus on non-healthcare educators - those in industry. No matter what we tried to do, our voices just were not being heard!

At an ANA Council conference in Minneapolis, Belinda invited a group of us to meet over lunch, during which she discussed the possibility of launching our own organization. Of the eight individuals invited, 5 agreed to serve on a Steering Committee to explore the feasibility of an organization solely devoted to nursing staff development. Dorothy del Bueno was invited to be a consultant to the organization, and the group in Minneapolis selected the name, National Nursing Staff Development Organization.

The next year was one of determining the feasibility of the organization. Once it seemed that an organization was not only feasible but needed and wanted by staff development educators, the Steering Committee decided to partner with Alice Stein at Medical College of Pennsylvania to offer annual conferences until the NNSDO membership was large enough and we had enough funds to venture forth on our own.

I was totally awed and flattered to be on the Steering Committee, one of NNSDO's "founding mothers," especially now, 20 years later as we reflect that we really and truly accomplished something monumental. What a vibrant group…Jan Ward, Karen Kelly, Judy Warmuth, Kathy Fischer, and Belinda Puetz…energetic, dynamic, and unstoppable.

Because I was on active duty in the Navy Nurse Corps at the time I was on the Steering Committee, I like to think that I brought a different perspective to the issues we discussed. I served as the first Treasurer of NNSDO and was reelected for a second term. Together with the staff, I was responsible for ensuring the fiscal soundness of the organization.

I remember the hours spent preparing the Certification Preparation Course and teaching it several times. My series of articles entitled "Getting Started" from the Journal was published in a monograph by NNSDO as part of its publishing program.

One of my goals as a member of the Steering Committee and the subsequent elected Board was to have the annual membership meeting be a place for members of the military who worked in staff development to meet and share and problem solve. I am delighted that today we have a military affiliate and that the Board's composition often includes someone from a branch of the Armed Forces.

Amid all the hard work, we did have fun. I remember the 5th anniversary of NNSDO when we held our first independent, solely sponsored convention and had a 5-year old's birthday party to celebrate. The Board and staff dressed in costume. I was Little Bo Peep at this birthday party and I still haven't found my sheep - much to the consternation of some members who wondered if I also had difficulty keeping up with NNSDO funds!

I think that the main thing I learned was an increased awareness of political savvy and an appreciation of the importance of alliances and of timing. We dared to be different and it worked. Most organizations have banquets…not us, we have a "Taste Of " and we have a closing brunch which is brilliant. Our closing speakers 9 times out of ten are humorous and uplifting, sending us back to work pumped up and ready to tackle whatever is ahead. The Star Search auditions for concurrent session presenters was another stroke of genius… what a super way to get new folks involved. Creativity has been one of NNSDO's hallmark traits.

Now, I'm retired and living in California, where I spend time in volunteer activities, where I rely on the skills and lessons I learned as NNSDO was launched, nurtured, and securely established.

Sandra A. Holmes


Escondido, CA

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Janice A. Ward

First Elected Secretary

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I became a member of the Steering Committee because Belinda Puetz and I had been talking about what wasn't happening with the American Nurses Association Council on Continuing Education - there seemed to be no place in the Council for staff development educators. Belinda, who had other contacts with persons engaged in staff development, pulled a group together in 1988 to explore the option of an organization of and for staff development educators. Those who agreed to participate in exploring a new staff development organization comprised the Steering Committee.

At the first official meeting in early 1989 was when I first met other members of the Steering Committee. I still can recall Sandy Holmes coming into the room in her Navy uniform!

At this meeting the group decided to pool our respective mailing lists and mail a survey to staff development colleagues in our respective states regarding their interest in forming an organization. Belinda volunteered to do the mailing and coordinate future communication with the Steering Committee. The survey was sent out spring/summer 1989 and the results revealed that staff development educators would support an organization.

The Steering Committee agreed to meet again at the staff development conference in late fall of 1989 in Philadelphia. This was the beginning of an association with Alice Stein at the Medical College of Pennsylvania (MCP) and the beginning of NNSDO's joining with MCP in order to have annual meetings of the association. In the fall of 1989 the Steering Committee agreed to move forward; materials were developed to solicit members; and contributions were received to assist in the development of the organization.

I do recall during the first few years long conference calls (2-3 hours) once a month to develop the bylaws; establish operating "rules/principles"; plan strategy for the expanding the organization; and make decisions regarding the structure of the organization. I also remember receiving packages of materials (this was long before email!) from Patricia Adkison (now Barlow). The Steering Committee also began development of the review course for the certification examination.

The charter for NNSDO was signed in Philadelphia in 1991. In the fall of 1993 a face-to-face strategic planning session was held in Pensacola.

I participated in NNSDO from 1988-1994 as a member of the Steering Committee and then as the elected Secretary. My contributions were the network of staff development colleagues in Indiana, my time to participate in conference calls and prep work for the calls, and my opinion regarding decisions.

I learned how to work with colleagues, at a distance, on a project. I learned that you can disagree as you are working on a project, but in the end all persons involved must support the decision of the group.

In my present position, every day I use skills that I learned working with the Steering Committee: respecting other's opinions, presenting dissenting/"devil's advocate" viewpoints, marketing programs, networking and how it positively influences outcomes, and to do the "daring thing"!

Janice A. Ward,MSN, RN

Director, Office of Lifelong Learning

Indiana University School of Nursing

Indianapolis, IN

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Judith Warmuth

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Oh, it can't be twenty years!

My work in staff development, the colleagues I met while in that role, my experience with the Continuing Education Approval Process (CEAP) and the American Nurses Association accreditation process through its subsidiary, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), placed me 'in the right place' when staff development professionals recognized the need to organize around the specialty. What a privilege to be part of the beginning of something so exciting.

Belinda Puetz was the keystone of this project. Her commitment, energy, and knowledge guided the rest of the Steering Committee through the easy and tough times.

The Steering Committee was a cross section of the specialty, from all over the country and various types of facilities, but we had a very common understanding of staff development, a very common goal for the specialty and, as a whole, we were more than the sum of our parts.

Great friendships, strong colleagues, hard work… like nursing, it was knowledge work.

Belinda had a vision for the association, brought us together, and then enabled the group's skills and abilities.

We counted membership applications as they began to arrive and cheered at the milestones.

Signing the Charter at the conference in Philadelphia in 1991 was a once in a lifetime event.

My professional career was altered by the chance to participate. I learned that national figures are just people like me. I learned that I could stand with the experts. I had the chance to write questions for the first certification examination for staff development educators (with my whole staff) and I realized that we were the content experts. What I learned through my involvement in the Steering Committee created a self-assurance that has allowed me to tackle so many other professional goals and objectives.

Today, I am the Vice President for Workforce at the Wisconsin Hospital Association. I lobby our state policy makers on workforce issues. I publish a workforce report on an annual basis. In this job, I have the opportunity to speak for and about nursing to many audiences.

Judy Warmuth,PhD, RN

Vice President, Workforce

Wisconsin Hospital Association

Madison, WI

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NNSDO In The Beginning, 20 years ago

The idea for a national specialty organization exclusively for staff development educators originated in 1985 when Belinda Puetz founded the Journal of Nursing Staff Development, then a quarterly publication of the J.B. Lippincott Co. The success of the journal led Belinda to convene a group of nursing staff development educators in October 1988 in Minneapolis to discuss the possibility of starting a specialty nursing organization for themselves and their colleagues in this specialty area of practice. While it seemed a good idea, the group was not certain of the response of nursing staff development educators and others to the concept. So they decided to conduct a feasibility study to assess the level of interest in the potential organization.

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The feasibility study was conducted throughout the remainder of 1988 and early 1989. The results of the survey were positive and encouraged the group to meet again to discuss further steps.

On the basis of the results of the feasibility study, the group agreed to launch the new organization. The Steering Committee was formed and was comprised of members Kathleen J. Fischer, Ann Arbor, MI; Sandra A. Holmes, San Diego, CA; Karen J. Kelly, Washington, DC; Janice A. Ward, Indianapolis, IN; and Judith Warmuth, Madison, WI. Belinda E. Puetz, Pensacola, FL, agreed to serve as the staff for the group.

At the first official meeting of the Steering Committee, on February 3, 1989, NNSDO was named. The Steering Committee set an initial goal of 200 members by the end of the first year of the organization's existence. At the end of the first year, the Steering Committee celebrated membership of 1,005. Obviously, the organization was feasible and needed!

As membership grew, the Steering Committee expanded the programs and services offered to members. The Steering Committee explored an annual convention and decided to partner with the Medical College of Pennsylvania and for 3 years the two groups offered staff development education in various locations. Each conference included business meetings; at the first organizational meeting, NNSDO was chartered in a moving and memorable ceremony.

NNSDO began exploring certification for staff development educators and, in collaboration with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the first certification examination was held on October 3, 1992, with a record number in ANCC history sitting for the exam.

NNSDO published its first book, Quality Indicators in Staff Development, in 1992, and published the first edition of the Core Curriculum for Nursing Staff Development in 1995. NNSDO currently offers nearly twenty publications on issues and topics of concern to staff development educators.

NNSDO held its first independent, solely sponsored convention in Chicago in 1994. Its annual convention currently has average attendance of 700 nursing staff development educators.

NNSDO's first affiliate-the Central Ohio Nursing Staff Development Organization-was chartered on November 8, 1991. Currently, NNSDO has over 40 affiliates.

Membership in the organization has been at the 3,000 mark since the early years of the organization's existence.

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Timeline of Accomplishments

NNSDO's success over the past 20 years is refl ected in this list of accomplishments, none of which would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of both volunteers and staff.

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SPRING - First issue of newsletter printed, a quarterly publication

SUMMER - NNSDO establishes Task Force on Local/National Affiliation and Task Force on Exploration of Certification

American Nurses Association publishes Standards for Nursing Staff Development

FALL - NNSDO begins Speakers Directory Project; initiates Graduate Education Project to provide members with information about graduate programs with education components

WINTER - NNSDO reports on formation of the National Board for Nursing Specialty Certification

NNSDO ends its first year with 1,005 members (5 Founding, 4 Executive, 35 Contributing, and 960 Charter)

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Newsletter named TrendLines, now published bimonthly

First column in newsletter on computers, PgUp

Long-term Care Special Interest Group formed

First organizational meeting in Philadelphia - Charter Ceremony

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) intends to offer certification for nursing staff development educators in fall 1992; Cynthia Nowicki is NNSDO's representative on the ANCC Test Development Committee

Resource Catalogue project launched

3 conferences planned with Medical College of Pennsylvania for 1992 - in Orlando, Philadelphia, and San Francisco

Bylaws approved

Speakers Directory printed

JCAHO column inaugurated in TrendLines

Professional Development Committee established

NNSDO ends year with 1,511 members

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First individuals elected to NNSDO positions take office: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and eight Board members

Resource Catalogue published

First certification preparation course sponsored by NNSDO offered in April in Philadelphia prior to the Nursing Staff Development '92 conference, in New York City in July, and San Francisco in August. Karen Kelly presenter. Other courses sponsored by hospitals, colleges and universities, and local groups in 13 cities in the US

First local groups, Central Ohio, Staten Island, NY, and Montgomery, AL, chartered as NNSDO Affiliates

Membership, Bylaws, and Informatics Committees formed

Faculty for certification preparation course expanded to five

NNSDO publishing program initiated with production of Quality Indicators for Nursing Staff Development by Susan Jeska, Kathleen Fischer, and Marilyn McClellan

Adrianne Avillion named Editor of Core Curriculum for Nursing Staff Development

Single staff development conference planned for 1993 with Medical College of Pennsylvania in Washington, DC, in April

NNSDO launches Delphi study of research priorities in nursing staff development

A record number (1,384) sat for the first certification exam in continuing education and staff development offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in October. Of those, 1,162 passed, a pass rate of 84%

NNSDO announces independent, solely sponsored convention in Chicago in 1994

Train-the-Trainer Workshop for certification preparation course faculty planned in 1993

Home study certification course available

NNSDO Workshops on "Motivating Adult Learners," "The Basics of Staff Development," and other topics offered to affiliates as sponsors

Committee for Recognition of staff development educators established and announces the first in a series of awards for Promoting Excellence in the Climate for Education

NNSDO ends year with more than 2,300 members

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"Star Search" established to provide an opportunity for members to audition for a concurrent session spot at the 1994 convention

The Call for Candidates and subsequent election results in a smaller Board, with President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and 2 Members-at-Large

A second Recognition award for Promoting Excellence in Consultation announced

Brainstorming, a column in TrendLines devoted to sharing ideas in staff development, launched

Results of a survey reveal that 94% of those who participate in a NNSDO certification preparation course successfully pass the certification exam

The third Recognition award announced for Excellence in Program Planning

Alice Stein of the Medical College of Pennsylvania recognized for collaborating with NNSDO on its conferences for 3 successful years

Seattle, WA, announced as convention site in 1995

Strategic planning session held in Pensacola, FL, with Marybeth Fidler, Tecker Consultants, Trenton, NJ, as facilitator

The fourth Recognition award for Excellence in Evaluation announced.

Call for convention theme suggestions from members issued

NNSDO ends the year with 2,839 members

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Belinda E. Puetz Award for Excellence in Staff Development announced

NNSDO joins the Nursing Organizations Liaison Forum

Task Forces on Accreditation of Nursing Staff Development and Advanced Practice in Nursing Staff Development formed

First independent, solely sponsored convention in Chicago, IL

The Journal of Nursing Staff Development Editorial Board meets for the first time at the NNSDO convention

The American Nurses Association publishes Standards for Nursing Professional Development: Continuing Education and Staff Development

The American Nurses Association announces a new Council structure; members of NNSDO eligible for membership in the Council for Professional Nursing Education and Development

NNSDO reports on the establishment of the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS); NNSDO member Debra Welk elected Vice President of ABNS

Military Special Interest Group of NNSDO formed

NNSDO establishes a Mentor Program pairing new staff development educators with experienced ones

NNSDO ends its 5th year with 2,937 members

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Executive Board sets priorities: Affiliates, Programs, Convention

NNSDO initiates project with Council for Professional Nursing Education and Development to identify elements of advanced level of continuing education and staff development practice

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NNSDO launches first membership recruitment drive

The Write Stuff and Humor in the Workplace columns initiated in TrendLines

NNSDO announces its first dues increase since 1989 - from $35 to $50; $5 will be allocated to an emergency reserve fund

A new fashion column for educators appears in TrendLines, written by Linda Camin, Professional Appearance Consultant at the Personal You Convention Track

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NNSDO initiates "hot topic" survey In TrendLines in response to members' request for information on salaries, continuing education program costs, and other issues

NNSDO issue position statement, The Value of Education in Healthcare Settings

NNSDO establishes a resource and networking program (NNSDO-RN) for members

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National Staff Development Week announced August 3-7

NNSDO establishes NNSDO Forum on the Web site

JNSD changes its name to Journal for Nurses in Staff Development

NNSDO publishes the Research Committee's Outcomes Research in Staff Development: Reviews and Recommendations 1985-1995

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NNSDO introduces Electronic Dues Payment

NNSDO launches a Silent Auction to establish a Scholarship Fund for convention attendance

Research Grant program established with $1,000 funding maximum

Call for Presentations process announced for 2000 Convention

NNSDO issues Report of the Task Force on Advanced Practice in Nursing Continuing Education and Staff Development

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NNSDO partners with the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing to provide geriatric nursing content to NNSDO members through TrendLines

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NNSDO invited to participate in the "Call to the Nursing Profession" National Summit in Washington, DC

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NNSDO joins The Nursing Organizations Alliance

Nursing's Agenda for the Future endorsed by NNSDO

NNSDO receives the 2002 Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing/ANA (NOLF) Award for Exceptional Effort in Bringing Geriatric Nursing Best Practices to Specialty Nurses

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Geriatric Special Interest Group established

NNSDO adopts JNSD as a member benefit as well as its official publication

NNSDO adopts a new, updated logo

NNSDO receives a Nurse Competence in Aging grant from the American Nurses Association

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NNSDO celebrates its 15th anniversary at a convention in San Diego; Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger send greetings

NNSDO National Office survives Hurricane Ivan

NNSDO participates in Nurse Competence in Aging meeting in New York City

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NNSDO collaborates with Indiana University School of Nursing in developing an online course, Getting Started as a Staff Educator

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TrendLines undergoes extensive redesign

NNSDO certification preparation course offered on CD ROM

NNSDO Web site redesigned, including Members Only Section, E-Commerce, dedicated Affiliates page, and employment listings

JNSD initiates use of Editorial Manager, an online submission and review system

NNSDO establishes a Research Mentoring Program

NNSDO establishes Legislative Liaison position

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NNSDO offers the ANCC certification examination for the first time at its convention in Atlanta, GA

NNSDO participates in The National Nursing Genetics and Genomics Initiative

NNSDO revamps its Web site

NNSDO participates in the Simulation Education Summit in Chicago, IL

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NNSDO celebrates Certified Nurses Day on March 19 with 1,647 nurses certified in Nursing Professional Development

NNSDO collaborates with MC Strategies/Elsevier on an online preceptor course

NNSDO develops a Strategic Action Plan for 2008-2010

NNSDO presents online continuing education courses

NNSDO launches online forums for members on topics such as orientation, competency

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NNSDO celebrates its 20th anniversary during the term of President Barbara Brunt

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NNSDO Publications


Quality Indicators for Nursing Staff Development BY SUSAN JESKA, KATHLEEN FISCHER, AND MARILYN MCCLELLAN

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Getting Started in Nursing Staff Development EDITED BY SANDRA A. HOLMES

Guidelines for an Orientation Program for Novice Nursing Professional Development Educators BY THE MICHIGAN NURSES ASSOCIATION COUNCIL ON CONTINUING EDUCATION AND STAFF DEVELOPMENT

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Core Curriculum for Nursing Staff Development EDITED BY ADRIANNE AVILLION

Designing Competency Assessment Programs: A Handbook for Nursing and Health-related Professions BY JOANN GRIF ALSPACH

Blueprint for Competence: The University of Minnesota Model BY SUSAN JESKA, LORRAINE ANDERSON, AND MARILYN BACH

Test-Taking Skills Techniques Audiotape BY MARIAN SIDES

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Framework for Assessing Age-Related Competency, Part I: Distinguishing Attributes of Various Age Groups BY JOANN GRIF ALSPACH

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Framework for Assessing Age-Related Competency, Part II: Staff Competencies and Program Design Strategies BY JOANN GRIF ALSPACH

Nursing Orientation: Doing it Right and Doing it Well BY FRANCINE KINGSTON

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101 Tips for Better Conferences BY JULIA W. AUCOIN

The Redesign of Nursing Staff Development BY ADRIANNE AVILLION

Strategies for Staff Development Educators and Managers in Consolidated Departments BY LINDA FRANCK

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Core Curriculum for Nursing Staff Development (2nd ed.) EDITED BY ADRIANNE AVILLION

Getting Started in Staff Development (2nd ed.) EDITED BY BETTE CASE DI LEONARDI

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Adding Pizzazz: How to Develop a Presentation Skills Workshop for Healthcare Practitioners BY KATHRYN B. MCINNES

Writing a Staff Development Plan: Business Strategies for the 21st Century BY ADRIANNE AVILLION

How to Implement a Pain Management Program BY ANNE MARIE KELLY

Introduction to Web Site Design and Development for Clinicians BY SARA BRECKENRIDGE SPROAT AND ELEANOR HUNT

Strategies for Making the Transition from a Nursing to a Hospital-Wide Education Department BY ELAINE BARBER PARKER, MARILYN E. ASSELIN, AND RAYMOND THURBER

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Corporate Compliance Training Manual BY ELIZABETH A. GAZZA

How to Facilitate a Housewide Preceptor Program BY MARSHA RODGERS AND LENNIE DAVIS

Star Day: One Hospital's Solution to Educational Challenges BY CAROL A. WALKER

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Staff Competency Assessments -We've Still Got Issues Here!! BY JOANN GRIF ALSPACH

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Core Curriculum for Nursing Staff Development (3rd ed.) EDITED BY SANDRA BRUCE

Getting Started in Clinical and Nursing Staff Development (3rd ed.) BY BETTE CASE DI LEONARDI

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Past Presidents over the 20 Years

The Past Presidents of NNSDO were its leaders, stewards of its financial resources, molders and shapers of its future, cheerleaders, and its face to the world. Each President differed in her focus and approach to the issues and situations that occurred during her term of office. All had in common, however, the driving force of enhancing members' professional lives.

In retrospect, when these Past Presidents were asked: Given that the purpose of a professional society is to enhance the professional life of its members, what legacy did your presidency afford to NNSDO members? They offered these comments…

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Karen Kelly Thomas

1990 - 1994

Executive Director

National Association of

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Cherry Hill, NJ

I hope my presidency afforded staff development specialists and educators the opportunity to do what they love and love what they do through the collegial community created in NNSDO. The work of the organization continues to be awesome!

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Francie Wolgin

1995 - 1998

Senior Program Officer

Interact for Change

Cincinnati, OH

I wanted the NNSDO members to feel valued, important, or recognized for the work they do - to promote using business sense and a spirit of nurturing future leaders and to promote more diversity in the organization.

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Kathy Fischer

1999 - 2000


University of Michigan Health System

Ann Arbor, MI

I hope the legacy that I brought to nursing educators was the pride, power, and the difference they make in nursing and in patient care. The intent was to empower nurse educators to make changes in their organizations and the power of change through education.

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Donna Wright

2001 - 2005

Staff Development Specialist/Consultant

Creative Health Care Management

Minneapolis, MN

My legacy was creating a professional organization where every voice can be heard. We also strived to make sure that we focused on recruiting new and upcoming leaders to committees and project groups. We also took an aggressive approach to purposely plan NNSDO revenue streams to not just be the convention.

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Kari Schmidt

2006 - 2007


Training and Organizational Development

Aurora Healthcare

Milwaukee, WI

I was privileged during my term to facilitate developing and revising resources that would help members enhance their practice and integrate current research into their practice. The energy and enthusiasm surrounding the development and utilization of these resources were incredible as well. It reminds me what an honor it is to be part of this dynamic organization!

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The Conventions

At the NNSDO conventions, staff development educators learned, networked, and enjoyed both educational and social events. These highlights describe only a few of convention participants' memorable experiences.

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Chicago JULY 7-10

THEME: Innovate, Educate, Celebrate

OPENING SESSION: Fran Solomon and Ritch Davidson

KEYNOTE SESSION: Margretta Styles


In addition to fabulous speakers, the first independent, solely sponsored convention featured an Improv, a Personal You track, with consultation on hair, nails, and appearance, a Fun Run/Walk for Research, a birthday party for the organization, a "Taste of Chicago," a Business Meeting, Star Search, the first Helen Tobin Writer's award, a Closing Brunch - and a standing ovation for the Planning Committee.

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Seattle JULY 6-9

THEME: Sail into the Future of Staff Development: Charting Your Course




NNSDO staff in Navy blouses welcomed convention participants to the opening reception and distributed sailor hats emblazoned with NNSDO; the speakers energized and empowered us; the business meeting informed us, and in between we were entertained and fed, fed, fed! The Military Special Interest Group held its second conference the day following the NNSDO convention with 4 times as many registered as the previous year. The "Taste of Seattle" featured a caricaturist, magician, mime, and Pike Place Market décor.

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Boston JULY 18-21

THEME: Change, Challenges, Choices: The Evolving Role of Staff Development


KEYNOTE SESSION: Karen Kelly Thomas


This convention featured the traditional events, but High Tea was a new feature. Poster sessions were expanded as were the exhibitor numbers. The Executive Board worked on an implementation plan for the NNSDO Strategic Plan; the Business Meeting, Fun Run/Walk, and Military SIG conference all reflected increased participation.

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Denver JULY 10-13

THEME: Restructure, Redesign, Renew: Staff Development's Response to Organizational Change




At the Taste of Denver, participants and staff wore Western wear and professional dancers taught line dancing. Staff also learned why the "slightly fl awed" bandanas purchased for participants were so inexpensive! There was no white printing, so the National Office donated these "table napkins" to a local charity. Educational sessions focused on the staff development educator as change agent.

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Indianapolis JULY 9-12

THEME: Staff Development's Role in Leadership, Education, and High Performance



CLOSING SESSION: Melodie Chenevert

This convention, in the "Crossroads of America," featured leaders and staff in travel gear representing the various ways in which one could arrive in Indianapolis.

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Washington, D.C. JULY 15-18

THEME: Staff Development and Patient Education for the New Millennium: Tradition, Technology, and Beyond




Fran Solomon and her colleague Ritch Davidson were such a hit in 1994 that a return engagement was mandatory. Our own Donna Wright told staff development stories to which everyone could relate, especially the "Moment of Excellence." Vista Publishing received a Certificate of Appreciation for 5 years' participation as an exhibitor. NNSDO initiated a Silent Auction to benefit the Scholarship Fund. The Capitol Steps provided hilarious entertainment and President Bill Clinton sent greetings on the 10th anniversary of NNSDO. Participants signed an anniversary cake, complete with the NNSDO logo…and it tasted good too!

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Orlando JULY 13-16

THEME: Promoting and Advancing Evidence-Based Practice in Staff Development: Opportunities, Partnerships, and Outcomes




This convention in the heart of Disney World provided opportunities to both learn and play. The convention featured a breakfast session sponsored by a Pharma Company, and the Taste of Orlando as well as the traditional Closing Brunch.

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Las Vegas JULY 15-18

THEME: Providing Fast, Focused, Flexible Staff Development and Patient Education




NNSDO members met amid the glitz and glitter of Las Vegas. Among the features were the first collaborative workshop with the National League for Nursing, a scavenger hunt to benefit the Research Fund (instead of the Fun Run/Walk), and several concurrent sessions that were repeated in the afternoon and evening to allow participants to choose their preferred time of attendance, leaving free time for other pursuits. The "Personal You Track" and the "Taste of…" were not offered, and participant evaluations indicated these events were not missed, so they were not continued.

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Indianapolis JULY 25-28

THEME: Concise, Creative, and Cost- Effective: Patient Education and Staff Development for the 21st Century


KEYNOTE SESSION: Karlene Kerfoot

CLOSING SESSION: Melodie Chenevert

NNSDO returned to Indianapolis; the convention was hosted by the brand-new Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, which was also the site for the inaugural meeting of The Nursing Organizations Alliance. The General Session was sponsored, a first! Melodie Chenevert was a repeat closing session speaker - brought back by popular demand.

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Washington, D.C. JULY 17-20

THEME: Staff Development: Gateway to Excellence


KEYNOTE SESSION: Karen Kelly Thomas


NNSDO returned to our nation's capital and the Crystal Gateway Marriott, a favorite convention site for leaders, members, and staff. This convention featured workshops and concurrent sessions on technology topics and financial aspects both personal and professional. Former President Karen Kelly Thomas was keynote speaker and challenged participants to visualize the future of staff development in 2050. The National Capital Region Military Band performed at the Poster Presentation Reception.

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San Diego JULY 29-AUG. 1

THEME: Creative Waves: Staff Development Innovation and Impact




The first presentation on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® occurred as a pre-convention workshop, reflecting the increasing role of staff development educators in this venture. Concurrent sessions were arrayed in focused "tracks" such as Technology, Leadership, Recruitment/Retention, and others. This convention featured closing speaker Venner Farley in her last presentation prior to retirement, for an unprecedented third time at a NNSDO convention. NNSDO celebrated its 15th anniversary.

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New Orleans JULY 21-24

THEME: Lighting the Fire Within: Igniting Passion for Learning and Advancement

OPENING SESSION: Elizabeth Norman


CLOSING SESSION: Melodie Chenevert

This convention featured a pre-convention workshop and a general session funded by the Nurse Competence in Aging initiative. Melodie Chenevert became the second presenter in NNSDO history to be featured three times as a closing session speaker. The Military Special Interest group expanded its post-convention workshop to 2 full days. The Air Force Affiliate held a business meeting; NNSDO affiliates held a networking meeting.

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Orlando JULY 27-30

THEME: Magic Moments: Unlocking Staff Development Secrets

OPENING SESSION: Dixie Schneider



This convention featured a cyber café and the organization's awards presented at the Keynote Session rather than at the Business Meeting. Poster sessions were staff ed during a reception. Participants enjoyed two free evenings. Lifestyle Exhibits were introduced

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Atlanta JULY 26-29

THEME: We Have a Dream: Envisioning the Future of Staff Development




This convention featured a special session on genetics and genomics, reflecting the increasing role of staff development educators. The American Nurses Credentialing Center's Nursing Professional Development Certification examination was offered for the first time at the conclusion of the convention. NNSDO launched a community service project, collecting donations for a charitable organization in the Atlanta area.

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Minneapolis JULY 10-13

THEME: Land of 10,000 Lakes and 10,000 Ideas: Staff Development at its Best




The Planning Committee continued its tradition of welcoming participants at the Opening Session by wearing theme-inspired dress (fishing gear) and encouraging participants to take advantage of the convention activities, both educational and social, to "fish" for great ideas, friendships, and products. An Accreditation Symposium sponsored by the American Nurses Credentialing Center preceded the convention.

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