The Power of Partnership: Educator Collaboration with Procedural Area Nurses Improving Professional Development

Tuesday, 10 November 2015: 9:10 AM

Department of Nursing education & Professioanl Development, North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, NY, Manhasset, NY, USA

The nurse educator role as facilitator is to support the staff in pursuing educational opportunities, by providing guidance and collaborative relationships.  It also applies to promoting professional growth and leadership opportunities. For the past few years there were inconsistent nurse educator coverage in the procedural areas within the hospital. Many of the house-wide educational initiatives and governing body requirements were not communicated to the staff in real time affecting compliance with educational requirements.  This was due to, but not limited to,  inconsistent Educator coverage in the procedural areas, inconsistent  or delayed dissemination of available information pertaining to education and  professional growth opportunities,  limited  staff participation in hospital –wide educational initiatives (lack of structure and process), and need for revised staff competencies and orientation pathways.

The purpose of the nursing professional development (NPD) initiative was to develop a collaborative partnership between the NPD specialist and procedural areas’ nurses to improve RN professional growth and leadership skills. The units included Endoscopy/bronchoscopy, Invasive cardiology- Electro Physiology (EP) and Cardiac catheterization lab, Non-invasive cardiology-Stress and Echo cardiograph labs, and Interventional radiology. The focus areas were:  RN specialty certification, Clinical ladder participation, Leadership development opportunities such as preceptor training, and development and participation in educational opportunities such as conferences, journal clubs and continuing education programs.


In fall of 2013, an NPD specialist liaison between the nursing education department and the procedural areas was established. Scheduled meetings with managers were conducted to explore, assess and identify priority focus areas for improvement in educational and professional growth opportunities. Other opportunities such as staff meetings and collaborative care council meetings were utilized to meet with the staff and establish rapport. This process led to identifying the key players (innovators) in each of the units for bringing the suggested changes.

The process included reviewing and updating the current staff competency lists in Cath lab, EP lab, stress and Echo lab, interventional radiology and endoscopy areas according to the current Human Resources updates;  assessing, evaluating  and formulating new ongoing competencies for all areas; selecting staff regarding orientation and precepting ; updating orientation pathways with staff assistance; staff participation and involvement in  updating post cardiac catheterization policy; regular educator  rounds in the procedural areas to improve visibility, presence, and support; and timely dissemination of information on educational and professional growth opportunities available within the health system.


The educator Liaison improved collaboration and communication between the staff, managers and the educational department .The staff engagement in professional development activities exceeded expectations. There was a heightened interest in academic progression among the staff such as RN-BSN opportunities and graduate studies.



Clinical ladder

Conference Attendance

Cath Lab

15% → 60%

0% → 35%


EP Lab

10% →100%

0% → 92%



25% → 75%

0% → 38%



8% → 8%

0% → 23%



14% →14%

4% → 20%


Collaboration with the managers and the staff innovators resulted in revising staff competencies and orientation pathways for new hires in all areas. Staff led performance improvement projects were initiated in the Endoscopy unit, Cardiac cath lab, and Interventional radiology. Four RNs in the cardiac cath lab took initiative in developing journal club in collaboration with the NPD specialist and nurse practitioners and extended the invitation to EP, stress/Echo lab RNs. The journal club is meeting once every month. Regular in-servicesare done in the labs by partnering with vendors and physicians.  

Staff attendance in the specialty specific conferences increased in the Cardiac cath lab and endoscopy unit. Staff took initiative in the process of needs assessment for future educational activities and topics for conferences. Six RNs enrolled themselves in leadership classes including preceptor and mentor development.


Overall, the educator Liaison with the procedural areas was a huge undertaking with exemplary results. One major irony in this collaboration was that the NPD specialist worked as the liaison specialized in pediatric and neonatal nursing and has minimal experience in adult care.  The results proved that with appropriate support, collaboration and a nurturing environment can encourage staff in self development, professional growth, and leadership activities.