Professional Development Plan for Nursing Graduate

The professional development plan for nursing graduates is a program that was started by the government with the aim of creating a smooth transition from the student experience to workplace experience. Despite having learnt several ethical and professional contents, the professional development plan ensures that all the graduate nurses have a smooth transition that ensures they deliver quality and standard services as they are expected to do (Gordon & Franklin, 2003). Under the nursing professional plan, the nurses are supposed to bring together personal and professional skills in order to improve the quality of the nursing practice in the country.

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One of the most important considerations before embarking on the development plan is to ensure that the graduate has all the relevant skills in terms of academic, professional and personal qualifications. Under the personal qualifications, the nursing graduates should make sure that their ethical and moral standards are compliant with the ethical guidelines as well as with the moral standards that the society expects them to uphold (Hong, Ives, & Jeanette, 2012). Without these traits, the nursing practice would be marred by many unprofessional and unethical behaviors that would compromise the quality of services offered by the nurses.

First Domain: Professional Practice

Under the professional practice, the nurses should ensure that they possess the relevant skills that are expected of them by the nursing board (Benner, Tanner, & Chesla, 2009). The professional practice should have a detailed plan and information on what to expect from the nurse upon getting employed. The major aim of developing the professional practice plan is to ensure that the nurses integrate both nursing and health care knowledge for the improvement of the entire profession (Hong, Ives, & Jeanette, 2012). In addition to incorporating both nursing and health care knowledge, the plan also ensures that all the skills are tapped to the maximum.

The other objective of incorporating the professional practice into the nursing development plan is to ensure that all the skills and attitudes towards the profession are incorporated and maximized for the sake of improving health care. Through the incorporation of professionalism and the right attitude towards work, nurses get an opportunity to provide effective nursing care that is marked by competence and dedication (Keating, 2010).

Without the right attitude, nurses would not react effectively to patient care, a situation that may jeopardize the entire nursing profession. Effective nursing care should therefore be incorporated into the nursing development plan as it would save more lives and increase accountability among the graduate nurses.

The professional development plan is important to graduate nurses because it facilitates a smooth transition from academic experiences to professional experience. In addition, the development plan helps the nurses to improve their ethical and professional behaviors (Mensik, Maust, Kathy, & Horton, 2011). The development plan is important as it helps the quality assessment team to evaluate the performance of the graduate nurses. Some of the factors associated with implementing a development plan include increased performance and productivity.

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The professional practice domain is one of the fundamental frameworks during the implementation of the development plan. This is because it makes the nurses aware of their responsibilities and duties. The development plan therefore makes the graduate nurses to be prepared to face the professional challenges upon being recruited into the nursing practice.

Privacy is one of the fundamental policies and principles that should be adhered to by each professional nurse (Cileska, 2001). In addition, confidentiality is another equally important principle that should be observed by each nursing professional. The main reason for emphasizing on the confidentiality and privacy is to preserve the nursing ethics and to protect the privacy of the patients (Dickenson-Hazard, 2004). Since most of the diseases are not meant to be exposed to the public, it should be the responsibility of each nurse to ensure that all patient information remains private and confidential this gives hope and trust to the patient (Melnyk, 2004).

By emphasizing on privacy, the development plan would ensure that the nurses conduct their activities within the law and without breaching any code of conduct. The professional ethics and codes should be clearly illustrated in the development plan to ensure that the nurses work collaboratively and cohesively and hence ensure better delivery of services.

The learning needs for the first domain are centered on the requirements and specifications under the nursing profession and practice. Professionalism does not entirely mean that the nurses should be completely knowledgeable in their work. However, it means that the graduate nurse should be frank about their experiences, even when it concerns what is obvious and in all the other areas in which they need professional assistance (Johnson, 2002). In most occasions, graduate nurses feel that it is wrong to admit not knowing certain issues. However, all graduate nurses should be honest about their level of understanding.

Training and professional experiences are totally different. This is because the students get to learn mainly theoretical work, some of which is either disputed in practice or rarely used. For this reason, the graduate nurses should ensure that they are truthful about their professional knowledge and ask for professional assistance before embarking on a full-time practice (Dickerson, 2010). This is meant to lower the mortality rates, as well as encourage professional participation into the affairs of the graduate nurses.

Within these frameworks of privacy, confidentiality and professionalism, it should be the responsibility of each graduate nurse to ensure that he/she is competent with all the ethical and professional standards to prevent an eventual breach upon joining the nursing profession (American Nurses Association, 2010). Nurses should also be friendly to patients and they should also understand their needs.

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Second Domain: Critical Thinking and Analysis

Critical thinking and creativity are some of the core values that should be upheld by each graduate practicing nursing. These traits are meant to ensure that the graduate nurses are competent and reliable to make individual decisions, especially when faced with a challenging task. Critical analysis entails the capability of graduate nurses to analyze situations and to act accordingly without compromising on the health of the patient (Sines, Saunders, & Burford, 2009). It means therefore, that the nurses should be prepared to think beyond the class contents and to venture into either personal or external tidings as their source of inspiration.

When faced with a challenging and complicated task or situation, the nurses should ensure that the patients remain calm and that they are well supported as they await other professional assistance. Quality improvement is one such initiative under the critical thinking and analysis.

Under the quality improvement development plans, all graduate nurses should ensure that they possess both professional and external information that should be helpful in providing assistance to the patients (Mensik, Maust, Kathy, & Horton, 2011). Teamwork is one such initiative as it brings together different ideas and experiences that can shape the service delivery method of the specified nurse. For example, there are situations where certain diseases arise unexpectedly. In such a situation, the nurses are expected to brainstorm the possible ways to deal with such a situation (American Nurses Association, 2010). The nurses must be prepared to take part in collective reasoning, as well as contribute ideas that are meant to progress activities in the health sector.

Research is another way through which graduate nurses can increase their resources and ensure enhanced growth in the health sector (American Nurses Association, 2000). Research does not entirely entail getting a specific thesis topic, but rather it involves getting to know new things, and trying them.

Through training and research, the nurses increase their knowledge of dealing with patient cases, especially those with complications. The nurses can also identify and point out problems in the health sector (Dickerson, 2010).

The nurses should be at liberty to point out challenges, benefits, opportunities or risks that may be found in the health sector. Among such risks include, number of facilities, faulty apparatus and other similar risks and health hazards likely to be found in the hospital or health facility (Sines, Saunders, & Burford, 2009). By pointing out such defects or opportunities, the graduate nurses make it possible to change and improve health care services that are not only beneficial to the patients, but also to all the nursing professionals practicing in the health sector.

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Participation in case review activities is another responsibility that should be incorporated into the nursing graduates’ professional development plan (American Nurses Association, 2010). Case review activities can entail sponsored training or research, and can also be conducted voluntarily by nurses in the nursing profession through review of cases, where the nurses ensure that the medications administered to all patients are correct as expected by the health care board. In addition, it ensures that the professional codes of ethics are adhered to without any breach whatsoever.

The other objective of engaging in case reviews is to ensure that the longstanding illnesses and medical complications are dealt with comprehensively and without any alteration. Graduate nurses are therefore mandated with the task of improving the nursing profession through competence and accountability (Dickerson, 2010). In addition, it ensures that the nursing profession is versed with correct information that is essential to conduct its mandates. Utilization of resources is another objective that should be incorporated into the framework of critical and creative thinking as it ensures that all resources are efficiently utilized without wastage.

In all the above mentioned elements, the nursing practice is brought out as a profession that is decisive and answerable as regards the medical services rendered to patients. Without the correct information and the right career development guide, the nursing profession would not be able to fully deliver as expected by the health sector and the society at large.


American Nurses Association. (2000). Scope and standards of practice for nursing professional development. Washington, DC: American Nurses Association.

American Nurses Association. (2010). Nursing: Scope and standards of practice. Washington, DC: Nursesbooks.

Benner, P. E., Tanner, C. A., & Chesla, A. (2009). Expertise in nursing practice: Caring, clinical judgment & ethics. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

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Mensik, J. S., Maust, M., Kathy, S, A. & Horton, K. (2011). Development of a professional nursing framework: The journey toward nursing excellence. Journal of Nursing Administration 41(6), 259-264.

Sines, D., Saunders, M., & Burford, J. F. (2009). Community health care nursing. Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell Publishing.

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