Professional Development Plan Essay

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Professional Development Plan Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 6492

  • Pages: 26

Professional Development Plan

Part IA: Description of Personal and Professional Goals

From a very early age, I was encouraged to attend college by my parents, my grandparents, and a beloved uncle. They all taught me that obtaining an education, particularly a college education, was a privilege that had not always been afforded to people of color and that it should not be taken for granted. They also taught me that education was the best way to attain great success, no matter how I chose to define success. It did, however, take some time before I fully understood what they so passionately attempted to instill in me. It was not until I began working at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU), in an environment of academia, that I understood the value and importance of education, and the incredible impact that being part of a learning environment has on a young mind. I have been fortunate to be able to utilize the management skills I learned from my undergraduate studies and through various employment opportunities after obtaining a master’s degree in business administration. I have enjoyed my experiences working in the business field, as diverse as they have been, and would love to teach business administration at the university level. I would like to pursue a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree so that I may be considered an authority within the business field and possibly teach at JCSU as an adjunct professor. Eventually, both my degree and my experiences will assist me in achieving the long-term goals that both my husband and I share of operating a non-profit organization for children and a for-profit security business. Our combined goals are far-reaching and our desire to see them accomplished is passionate. I enjoy managing people, events, and projects.

I have discovered that I enjoy and am very good at designing and executing plans that make it easier for others to achieve their objective—which is ultimately the definition of management. That is why I wished to design my own concentration within Walden University’s doctoral program that will combine financial management and leadership skill courses. I also wish to simultaneously obtain my certification as a Six Sigma Black Belt. According to the American Society of Quality (2008): A Black Belt should demonstrate team leadership, understand team dynamics and assign team member roles and responsibilities. Black Belts have a thorough understanding of all aspects of the DMAIC model in accordance with Six Sigma principles. They have basic knowledge of Lean enterprise concepts, are able to identify non-value-added elements and activities and are able to use specific tools. (para. 1) The Walden University outcomes for graduates that I believe are most relevant to my professional goals as a DBA candidate are to: understand and continuously develop and change themselves, the organizations in which they work, and society at large; create new knowledge dedicated to the improvement of social conditions, and to positively impact society by putting that knowledge into practice, by modeling their learning through action, and by being civically engaged; . . . achieve professional excellence as active and influential professionals by applying their learning to specific problems and challenges in their work settings and professional practice; . . . [and] practice in their professional fields legally and ethically. . . . (Walden University, 2008c) These outcomes are directly aligned with my professional and personal goals. Because of the manner in which Walden University has chosen to cultivate professionals and the reputation it has in the e-learning environment, Walden was my first choice in education options. Part IB: Outline and S.W.O.T. Analysis

Strengths

I have several strengths that I believe will be instrumental in obtaining a Doctor of Business Administration degree. Two great strengths are the completion of my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Both degrees are in areas of business in which I have great interest, and that interest has grown with each new professional position that I have obtained. Immediately after completing my bachelor’s degree, I worked as an economic services worker (ESW) for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services. I worked heavily with financial analysis in order to determine the eligibility of applicants for state and federal programs. I enjoyed the financial analysis side of the position but could not bear witnessing the immense poverty of the clients I served in West Virginia. This position brought light to both a strength and a weakness that I possess. I truly enjoy helping others and working with finances and budgets. However, I have a weakness for enabling individuals to continue in their plight by doing for them instead of assisting them achieve independence. During the time that I worked as an ESW in the West Virginia welfare system, I was truly an enabler. I was prompted to leave the position for that reason. I found additional strengths in learning about ethics and compliance in business in my next professional position, as I worked my way up to the position of manager in a compliance call center. I benefited from great grammar skills and obtained additional editing and leadership skills.

This position also increased my interest in compliance, particularly as it pertains to corporations and their finances. These interests will no doubt have a large impact on my doctoral studies. The call center management position taught me invaluable skills in managing people of various temperaments and learning how to be creative in getting results from a diverse group of individuals. I obtained great time management and crisis management skills as well that I keep with me and that have shaped my leadership skills. It is these skills that I hope to teach to other young business leaders, in addition to valuable business skills. In my current position as a grants manager and development officer, I complete research on a frequent basis for faculty and staff who wish to write grants that are congruent with the university’s strategic plan. These research skills will most assuredly be invaluable during my doctoral studies. Additionally, the research resources at my disposal will be a great asset. Support from family and friends is essential and it has been given to me unconditionally. It is from this support that I frequently draw strength. However, my primary reasons for not allowing defeat to overtake me when it could have in the past are my two sons. They are my most precious accomplishments, and I will see them succeed in their dreams by instilling in them the promise of education that was instilled in me by my family.

Weaknesses

Statistical Analysis has always been my least favorite business course. Each time I have survived Statistical Analysis with an admirable grade, but because I have not mastered it, I still fear it a little. I know that I will need to call upon resources at the university where I work for tutoring assistance during my doctoral program in hopes of finally mastering Statistical Analysis. It is my desire to become comfortable and proficient with statistical tools because it will be important for both my academic and professional progression. To be successful in my pursuit of a doctoral degree, I must minimize my propensity to overload my plate with tasks just because I have the ability to do it, knowing full well I do not have the time. At my current place of employment, I am called upon frequently to do things like fix a simple problem with the division printer or a computer, run reports, or complete an administrative task because I can get it done quickly, even though it may be someone else’s responsibility. Although my intentions are honorable, I am enabling others not to perform and am hindering my own efforts. Quickly recovering from errors made will also be a necessity. I cannot afford to brood over failures because it does not benefit my progress in any manner. Practicing these corrections in self-awareness will be no easy task for me.

Opportunities

With a master’s degree and now a doctoral degree in my future, opportunities are abundant. I am optimistic, even in this current economy with extreme unemployment, that if I do not obtain a promotion at the university where I currently work, I may still have a future in an academic setting. It is my desire to bring quality improvements and greater excellence to Johnson C. Smith University, but the proposal that I am currently developing regarding a division of quality and excellence is a model that will work in most academic settings.

The opportunity to complete research that may be published is also a possibility because I work in academia and because of the nature of my job as a development officer. I have had one piece published in JCSU’s quarterly magazine, and it is my desire to have an article published in a scholarly journal through connections with the university. Our current university president encourages scholarly writing, and when given the opportunity to write, whether for research or for advancing my financial position, I will seize it.

If permitted to continue down my current employment path, I believe there will be opportunities for fellowships, which are sorely needed. The American Association of University Women, the National Black MBA Association, and the American Management Association, all offer unique fellowship opportunities to members who have applied themselves and show excellence in their profession.

Threats

The opportunity for fellowships is extremely important in my effort to obtain a doctoral degree because financial debt from funding my education is mounting. Ironically, the university where I work does not offer any type of tuition assistance toward a graduate degree. It is my hope that I can supplant future loans with fellowships from one of the organizations mentioned above, including any offered by Walden University.

In addition to mounting loans, the current economy is weighing heavily on my family budget. Ordinarily, I would be prompted to action by finding another way to bring income into our household. I am now required to depend upon my spouse for that additional support, something I am used to doing myself. Financial sacrifice is not the only burden I have placed on my family. With two children, one with a medical need that requires additional attention in order for him to be successful, I must again rely heavily on my spouse to do what I would be more comfortable doing myself.

I will put to work those leadership and management skills I obtained during my call center days in order to appropriately deal with what seems to be increasing political posturing by some of my colleagues. It is still a little difficult for me to believe that anyone would be threatened by my ambitions. However, I must be careful to consider that it as a possibility. The business world is very competitive, but I assumed because I did not work directly in the corporate world that I would be safe from that type of political environment. I will work to reassure my colleagues that my dedication to ethical behavior will not permit me to ruin another coworker for my own professional gain.

Part IIA: Description of Educational Background and Research Proficiencies Academic Experience

I was fortunate to enter West Virginia State University, at the time called West Virginia State College (WVSC), with a full academic scholarship that included room and board. I was also awarded the U.H. Prunty Scholarship, which enabled me to purchase books during all four years that I attended WVSC. During my undergraduate experience, I became a well-rounded student through participation in activities such as the NAACP and the WVSC Ambassadors, a faculty/staff-nominated designation where students represent the university and provide guided tours to visiting donors and potential students. I also participated in the Pre-Alumni Club and raised money through volunteer efforts with my sorority that we donated to a local women’s shelter called Sojourner’s. During 1992, my sorority sisters and I were honored with the prestigious Ethel Hedgeman Lyle Community Service Award by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for our community service work. The work we did during that time not only humbled me and inspired me to give back, but also showed me the true meaning of philanthropy and charity.

My academic performance during undergraduate school was not stellar, but my experiences combined with my upbringing instilled within me a desire to press further academically. My learning continued, although sometimes not within the traditional academic setting. I attended seminars with regularity and, in 2000, earned my licensure as a life and health insurance agent in ultimate pursuit of a financial analyst career through Primerica Financial Services. I did not complete the training to become a financial analyst. However, I did learn a great deal about financial tools and gained a better understanding of budgeting, saving, and what life insurance is truly for. I am still using most of the tools I gained during that time to perform many of my current duties as a grants manager. It took another 13 years after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration before the academic momentum returned and I was accepted at Strayer University during the fall of 2006. My graduate school experience at Strayer University fared much better but was actually far more challenging. I combined distance learning with the tremendous tasks of maintaining my family life as a married mother of two school-age children and working full-time as a development officer and private grants manager at JCSU. I excelled at Strayer, even with these challenges, and found that distance learning was the perfect academic venue to work with my hectic lifestyle. The courses that invoked keen interest were the classes involving strategic policy analysis, project management, and research analysis. It is not surprising that my interest in and enjoyment of these classes were integral to my high performance in these classes in particular. I was cautioned that distance learning required additional discipline in order to be successful in any area of study. I became partial to distance learning because of the flexibility it offered me as a working adult, as cliché and commercial as that may seem. Difficult courses, such as Quantitative Methods, seemed no more difficult through the use of the electronic blackboard system than being physically in the classroom. The use of this online tool in the distance-learning process was ingenious and fun. Our professor demonstrated classroom methods electronically in real time and we were able to ask questions of him in real time. It is a tool I hope to assist in bringing to the continuing and adult education program that is being established at JCSU.

Research Experience

Research is essential to the duties I currently perform as a development officer and private grants manager at JCSU and an important aspect of the grant-writing process. With the utilization of online tools, I seek potential donors, individuals, corporations, and foundations that will support the university’s strategic goals. I have used Internet tools to research the wealth of individuals who have a relationship with our university, rated their wealth based upon a system that we created for stewardship, and stored the information in a database that the data analyst and I maintain. I research the philanthropic interests of both corporations and foundations and compile the information in profiles that I present to our faculty and staff so that grant proposals may be written to fund the university’s objectives. I also research spending trends of sister organizations to determine whether the spending habits of our division are congruent with what the Institutional Advancement divisions of other universities are spending. This information has been vital to our division vice president and his mission to complete our division’s and the university’s strategic plan. As a requirement of the MBA degree that I obtained at Strayer University, I completed a directed research project (DRP) concerning whistleblower protection laws titled “Whistling in the Wind: A Study of the Travails of Whistleblowers and the Protection Offered to Them.” These research efforts began at the onset of my MBA program in September 2006 and were completed in May 2008. The scope of the project was to deliver an 88-page research project surrounding a problem that I chose to identify. Required within the research document was an abstract, an introduction that included the context of the problem, a statement of the problem and the sub-problems, delimitations, definitions, assumptions, significance of the study, research design and methodology, an organization of the study, and details concerning the qualifications of the researcher. Also, the DRP had to contain a review of literature, data analysis, and an explanation of the treatment of the data, as well as the conclusion of the research and my recommendations based upon what was found during the research. I relied heavily on the Strayer University online library system, which gave me access to countless university library systems across the country. I also utilized the library at Johnson C. Smith University as well as libraries in Charlotte when I needed hard-copy documents.

The basic goals of the project were met in that I completed the DRP in the structure and the length that was required and gained invaluable experience with regard to completing online surveys and interviews of some famous professionals. I received an A on the project, which was quite a stressful undertaking. I chose the subject because it involved ethics in business practices—a subject that has intrigued me since working in a call center that was dedicated to protecting employees, the organizations they worked for, and the organization’s shareholders. I began early, researching famous and infamous whistleblowers, such as Sherron Watkins of Enron. I had substantial information for the literature review. I seemed to develop a problem when it came to breaking down the main problem into sub-problems and found myself redefining the sub-problems as I furthered my research into the topic. One of the major problems I encountered during the process was attempting to devise a rational, objective survey that adequately procured the information that I was attempting to obtain without bias. I also had problems finding enough people to complete the survey for an appropriate sample. In retrospect, I would have solicited advice from professors at JCSU during the process instead of relying only on the resources at Strayer University. It is believed that the analysis of the results could have been done more professionally and efficiently if I had received the results of my survey and interview questions sooner than I obtained them. I was not satisfied with the results because I do not believe that my research significantly contributed to the information that was already available concerning whistleblowers. It is my desire to focus on contributing to the knowledge base and providing information that was not readily available prior to my research. The DRP was an important project to complete because it demonstrated the complexity of not only researching a problem, but the importance of syntax needed to present the information in a coherent, acceptable manner. During my doctoral studies, I would like to focus on how to appropriately analyze the research that is obtained in order to make a significant contribution to the research within a particular subject.

Work/Other Experience

My employment experiences, while always encompassing management, have been quite diverse. Webster’s Menswear, now defunct, was where I had my first management experience. As the “third key” manager, I performed inventory counts nightly of the merchandise that retailed for more than $100. I was responsible for running the nightly sales reports, the supervision of other sales associates, and of course, the sale of merchandise. This experience was really my first real full-time employment experience, so it was even more gratifying to be performing work that was included in my course of study. I continued working at Webster’s Menswear until approximately six months after receiving my bachelor’s degree. Because the hours I was scheduled to work were based on sales, which were not exceeding our goals, and there were no benefits, I began looking for other employment. The management experience at Webster’s did engage my creativity. I assisted customers in selecting apparel and it gave me my first experience with sales reports and the consequences of not meeting the demands of the strategic sales plan. Immediately following my work experience at Webster’s Menswear, I secured another management role with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources as an economic services worker. In this case management role, I determined the initial and continuing economic eligibility of applicants for state-funded Medicaid, food stamps, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. My experience in this arena of management was no different than one would expect from a public servant’s role. The work was difficult, tiring, and frustrating, and the caseload immense, always exuberantly more than statistics had shown one person should be handling. It took 2 years until I finally succumbed to the tremendous pressure of attempting to serve an economic population that I myself just missed being part of by about $200 per month. I left the declining economic plight of West Virginia behind in July 1997 and headed to Charlotte, North Carolina, where I found another opportunity and my current life. In July 1997, I began working for Pinkerton Services Group, Inc. as a communications specialist (CS) in a compliance hotline call center. There, I was able to enhance good interviewing and excellent writing skills as a CS.

This opportunity is also where I became interested in whistleblower protection issues, compliance, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Within six months, I had progressed to the role of management again as a quality assurance supervisor in the call center. Our call center grew quickly during the early 2000s with the beginning of the demise of Enron, MCI WorldCom, and Adelphia. Most of the corporate giants were scrambling to obtain a way for their employees to alert the company of improprieties and to comply with new, emerging laws to protect the public and company shareholders. I was promoted as the call center’s operations manager during 2001. In this management role I gained experience doing many different tasks that included, but were not limited to, payroll for approximately 50 employees, order tracking and maintenance of call center supplies, call evaluations of communications specialists, monthly evaluations of quality assurance supervisors, monthly statistical reports on the quality of Workplace Alert Reports, and daily communication with executives of vendors whom the company served.

With the expansion of the call center, the roles of key management personnel were redefined. We divided the call center’s quality management team into two groups, manager of the communications specialists and manager of the quality assurance supervisors. I was designated as the quality assurance manager over the quality assurance supervisors, the last title I held before leaving the organization in February 2004. On February 1, 2004, I joined the staff at Johnson C. Smith University, the only historically black college and university in Charlotte, North Carolina. I sought this change for two reasons. The compliance center where I formerly worked split from Pinkerton Services Group and formed a separate company, Global Compliance Services. Many things began to change and the environment was no longer stable. Additionally, I was the only manager on call 24 hours a day to address any issue that arose in the call center. After giving birth, being on call 24 hours a day was no longer conducive to maintaining a stable family life. For the first time since obtaining my degrees, I accepted a role that did not appear to involve managing individuals. In the role of office manager and executive assistant to the vice president of Institutional Advancement, I did maintain and even enhance some management skills. This assignment required me to be more team-oriented. I became the administrative right hand for a division that included Alumni Affairs, Foundation Relations and Private Grants, Corporate Relations, Public Relations, Development, and the Vice President’s Office.

This role gave me the opportunity to become adept with budget management and analysis as I was given the responsibility of managing nine budgets. I also became proficient with fundraising software, the Raiser’s Edge, which was crucial to the division’s success. As the office manager, I became at one point the data analyst and was then responsible for training a new data analyst. We shared the responsibility of database management and reporting. Three years later I was promoted to my current position as the division’s development officer and private grants manager. I retained the responsibility of the divisional budgets and learned different skill-sets, including research, grants administration, and grant writing. While quite adept at research and grants administration, I have yet to write a grant that has been funded. It is my hope that JCSU’s new president, Dr. Ronald L. Carter, will see the need for a budget analyst, as I have proposed to him, and promote me to this new assignment. Eventually, I would like to work in the capacity of professor at our university. I hope to use all of the skills that I have acquired through previous employment, which seem now to all be interrelated, in order to advance the mission of the university. Experience with issues of compliance that I gained in the call center, writing and editing, managing budgets, analyzing financial information, combined with my DBA, are all expected to advance my career as a senior-level executive at Johnson C. Smith University. It was initially my desire to use my doctoral project to advance an initiative at JCSU that involves infusing Six Sigma Quality measures in each area of our business, particularly with how we approach education. Because of our current culture and some resistance that I have received from senior-level executives when attempting to propose new ideas, I shied away from this idea. However, after completing recent assignments, reading about the intent of the doctoral project and how it is intended to interrelate to a candidate’s work environment, I would like to attempt this initiative at JCSU and use this research platform for my doctoral studies. It was David Johnson (2005) who stated that “the outcome of the research is designed to provide valuable insights to the sponsoring organisation, in addition to contributing to knowledge in the field of practice. In this form of doctorate therefore research is a tool in developing professional practice” (p. 88). I would like my doctoral project to pertain to the following question: How can Six Sigma or Lean Management Quality measures be implemented within JCSU’s education and management systems to advance the university’s strategic and quality enhancement plans?

Part IIIA: Individualized Plan of Study

The date that has been projected as my anticipated graduation date for my Doctor of Business Administration degree is October 26, 2012. Courses such as DDBA 8110 Business Operations: Systems Perspectives in Global Organizations; DDBA 8120 Information Systems: Global Management Strategies and Technology; DDBA 8130 Marketing: Strategic Innovation in Globally Diverse Markets; DDBA 8140 Finance: Fiscal Leadership; and DDBA 8150 Leadership: Building Sustainable Organizations were all waived, giving me a total of 15 credit hours toward the 60 required for my degree completion. I have chosen to design my own specialization. It is my desire to combine the finance and leadership specializations in order to create a program that will prepare me for a future that includes teaching business courses at Johnson C. Smith University as well as leading the operation of both for- and non-profit businesses. The descriptions under the specialization of finance, particularly the idea that managers can “maximize their firm’s value” speaks to specific skills that I must acquire in order for my plan of success to work (Walden University, 2008a). I want to be an agent of change within whatever organization I work for, not just for the sake of change, but change that is positive. The leadership specialization will help me to obtain this goal (Walden University, 2008b). I intend to take DDBA 8523 Seminar in Law and Compliance, DDBA 8541 Seminar in Entrepreneurial Finance, and DDBA 8522 Seminar in Sustainability. During the spring 2009 semester, I will be registered for courses DDBA 8160 Business Strategy and Innovation and DDBA 8427 Applied Research Methods—Qualitative and Quantitative (currently I am enrolled in courses that my evaluation indicated would be waived). The next course that is required is DDBA 8437 Quantitative Decision-Making in Professional Practice. I will take this course with one of the three required DBA specialization courses mentioned above.

These two courses will be completed during summer 2009. During the winter 2009 session, I will take the final two specialization courses. There will be a requirement of 20 hours of doctoral study completion courses that will be taken four credit hours at a time for five semesters. With no anticipated breaks within my course of study, I anticipate my completion date to be during spring 2011 instead of the projected October 2012 date. There are two 4-day residencies required for the DBA degree program. It is recommended that the first residency be completed within 90 days of completing DDBA 8005. I will complete my first residency March 18 to 22, 2009, in Lansdowne, Virginia (Walden residency calendar, 2008). The next residency will be completed after completion of my core courses during 2010. The focus of my doctoral project will involve incorporating Lean or Six Sigma Management into higher education. It is my hope that I will be able to implement the Lean design into the curriculum and the management practices at the university where I work after completion of the research on this subject. It is my belief that my fellow colleagues would describe me as a tenacious problem-solver, an optimistic leader who believes there is a solution to every problem. I am always open to constructive criticism and self-improvement. I seek to improve with each obstacle that I overcome. I am also willing to offer constructive criticism to others and have learned the art of how and when to do so professionally and with tact. I like to incorporate humor, where appropriate, in much of what I do because I truly believe that in order to solve most problems, one must have a sense of humor. These personal skills, or life skills, have come with maturity and much trial and error. I believe each of these skills will be essential to my ability to excel in the Doctor of Business Administration program as well as being integral to my future professional endeavors.

Part IIIB: Professional Interview

Evelyn Leathers is the director of Corporate and Foundation Relations within the Institutional Advancement division at Johnson C. Smith University. My goal in interviewing Ms. Leathers was to get an in-depth understanding of what role this division will play in the mission of the president, Dr. Ronald L. Carter, in JCSU becoming “Charlotte’s very own nationally-recognized independent urban university” (Carter, 2008, p. 2). It is my intent to understand what policies may be improved within that department and ultimately the division in order to improve to the level of quality that Dr. Carter intends for the university to fulfill the proposed vision. The role of the Institutional Advancement division is to support the university financially through philanthropic solicitation, community involvement, and improved public relations. For this reason, the division includes the departments of Development, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Grant Research, Alumni Affairs, and Public Relations. The division plays an integral role in that it provides money that is not earned through tuition. When enrollment is down, the Institutional Advancement division’s role becomes even more vital. Ms. Leathers, who has served JCSU in several different capacities through two separate terms of employment, remains loyal to the university because she is passionate about the human investment, the students (E. Leathers, personal communication, December 14, 2008). There are many historically black colleges and universities that are currently experiencing financial duress due to a number of factors. According to Ms. Leathers, the university has survived and prospered due to the quality of the Institutional Advancement division and the university’s relationship with The Duke Endowment (E. Leathers, personal communication, December 14, 2008). Johnson C. Smith University is fortunate enough to be one of four universities to be included as a beneficiary of The Duke Endowment’s mission to serve higher education by promoting academic excellence (The Duke Endowment, 2007). The Duke Endowment provides financial support to schools like JCSU in order to foster excellence in individuals so that they will be inspired to share with the community what they have gained through education (The Duke Endowment, 2007). Although JCSU has exercised fiscal responsibility, Ms. Leathers is convinced that without The Duke Endowment, the university would not be successful, particularly in today’s extreme economic climate (E. Leathers, personal communication, December 14, 2008).

The nation is currently experiencing a recession, one that is predicted to last at least until late 2010. Ms. Leathers proposes that her department, Corporate and Foundation Relations, will need to become creative, selective, and savvy in order to remain afloat and remain aligned with the university’s mission (E. Leathers, personal communication, December 14, 2008). Creativity will enable the division to utilize initiatives that corporations and foundations will support financially, such as incorporating green initiatives into capital building plans. Selectivity means that the university will not go after or accept just any grant offered by a foundation or corporation. Ms. Leathers explained that sometimes fulfilling the conditions offered by a funder can be costly to the university (E. Leathers, personal communication, December 14, 2008). Proposals must be carefully reviewed to ensure that the university is not taking on a financially burdening project. The Institutional Advancement division must also be savvy and shrewd in its business dealings in order receive the most return on the investments made by its public relations staff, its development officers, and all of its financial solicitors (E. Leathers, personal communication, December 14, 2008). In today’s economic climate, more than ever, quality in our operational functions becomes very important to the success of the university.

The department of Corporate and Foundation Relations will practice quality in its operations by going back to the basics of fundraising, traveling smarter and only within the region to conserve resources, and focusing on research efforts more heavily (E. Leathers, personal communication, December 14, 2008). These efforts will assist Dr. Carter with fulfilling the university’s goal of infusing quality where needed to become one of Charlotte’s elite, premier universities. Ms. Leathers explained that foundations and corporations do not give to people, but to causes. If the university, and the Institutional Advancement division in particular, focuses on quality programs and eliminating waste, corporations and foundations will be prompted to give to the university’s cause (E. Leathers, personal communication, December 14, 2008). One of the most critical areas within the Institutional Advancement division that could use an infusion of quality is the university’s enterprise management system.  Ms. Leathers stated that quality reporting is essential to development, grant writing, and research (E. Leathers, personal communication, December 14, 2008). All staff must be trained to use the system efficiently in order for the division to be effective and practice quality. Once all staff becomes proficient with its operation of the enterprise management system, it will translate to quality in most areas of operation (E. Leathers, personal communication, December 14, 2008). Ms. Leathers is able to draw strength from understanding that the mission of the university is to provide a quality education to our most valuable assets, the students.

Soliciting funds from foundations and corporations during a recession is not easy and sometimes not enjoyable, but necessary (E. Leathers, personal communication, December 14, 2008). Ms. Leathers stated that the outcome will be positive and anticipates it will take another five years before the university realizes benefits from quality initiatives that are just beginning under the new administration of Dr. Carter (E. Leathers, personal communication, December 14, 2008). Ms. Leathers and I discussed a quote from John B. Duke, founder of The Duke Endowment: “Education, when conducted along sane and practical, as opposed to dogmatic and theoretical, lines, is, next to religion, the greatest civilizing influence” (Duke, 1924). In addition to agreeing that the quote is profoundly accurate, we share the hope that the same sentiment will be fostered within the generation that we are educating at JCSU. Because Ms. Leathers is my immediate supervisor, her input during this interview lends insight to the direction she gives me on a daily basis. It also forced both of us to contemplate what changes are needed within our own department to work hand in hand with Dr. Carter to promote his vision for the university. There is additional work to be done in order for the two of us to engender change within our department. The questions proposed and the answers provided will assist me in further developing my doctoral study regarding quality and how one might incorporate Lean and Six Sigma into higher education.

References

American Society of Quality. (2008). Six Sigma Black Belt certification. Retrieved November 9, 2008, from http://www.asq.org/certification/six-sigma/index.html Carter, R. L. (2008, Fall). President’s letter. The Johnson C. Smith University Bulletin, 2. 88-99. doi:15.555/GGE.64.1.76-82 Duke, J. B. (1924, December 11). Indenture and deed of trust of personality establishing The Duke Endowment. Retrieved from The Duke Endowment website: http://www.dukeendowment.org/downloads/ind.pdf The Duke Endowment. (2007). Higher education. Retrieved December 14, 2008, from The Duke Endowment website: http://www.dukeendowment.org/education Johnson, D. (2005). Assessment matters: Some issues concerning the supervision and assessment of work-based doctorates. Innovations in Education & Teaching International, 42(1), 87–92. Retrieved from http://proquest.umi.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/pqdweb?did=1157097371&sid=1&Fmt=6&clientId=70192&RQT=309&VName=PQD Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010). Name of program [Video webcast]. Retrieved from http://www.courseurl.com. Walden University. (2008a). Walden University DBA finance specialization. Retrieved November 9, 2008, from Walden University website: http://www.waldenu.edu/Degree-Programs/Doctorate/18391.htm Walden University. (2008b). Walden University DBA leadership specialization. Retrieved November 9, 2008, from Walden University website: http://www.waldenu.edu/Degree-Programs/Doctorate/18427.htm Walden University. (2008c). Walden University outcomes. Retrieved November 9, 2008, from Walden University website: http://www.waldenu.edu/c/Student_Catalog/8893_9096.htm

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Professional Development Plan Essay

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Professional Development Plan Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 533

  • Pages: 2

Professional Development Plan

Professional development is the skill and knowledge that we gain to optimize our personal development. Planning is the tool to enhance our ability to achieve a particular goal in a set amount of time. College degrees and coursework, attending conferences, training sessions are all different types of learning opportunities for our professional development. First we have to have a desire for career endurance and personal growth. In this process we have goals which we want to achieve some are short term goals and some are long term. As a teacher I am dedicated to learning and have made a lifelong commitment to education and want to bring a positive social change which will enhance the beauty of educational system on the early childhood level. As a teacher we create an individualized professional development plan based on the age of students in our classroom. As a Montessori teacher I have a belief that I can plan a better curriculum for early ages by merging Montessori philosophy and traditional styles of teaching according to the state content standards.

This is my long-term goal to be a academic director on state level for early childhood. But to achieve this long-term goal I have to focus my own professional development which I can gain by updating my skills, and get to know the new material and to get the knowledge which reflects changes in educational theory. My short term goal is to gain more and more knowledge not only about education but about the environment, social changes, cultural differences which affect the educational system. I can achieve all this by doing my PH.D in educational psychology. Because it is the study of how humans learn in educational settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of schools as organizations. Educational psychology is concerned with how students learn and develop, often focusing on subgroups such as gifted children and those subject to specific disabilities.

This will also help me to enhance the healthy development of learning or mental health of children, adolescents and adults. This degree will also help in my long term goal to prepare myself as a facilitating learner, faces emotional, and behavioral difficulties in more professional manner. Furthermore, degree emphasis on theory, research and evidence-based practices subscribes to the scientist-practitioner model in the practice of psychology, which is reflected in the academic requirements. It includes the study of human development from diverse lenses such as biological, cognitive behavioral, socio-cultural, ecological, and educational perspectives. Another emphasis of this degree is an in depth knowledge of the scientific literature and its applications in the areas of psychology, especially different aspects of human development, motivation, learning processes, therapeutic approaches, and human diversity. With all this knowledge and information I will be a better writer and a researcher because my main focus of my research is early childhood and its issues.

References:
http://topics.wisegeek.com/topics.htm?education-professional-development# http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_psychology
http://coe.wayne.edu/tbf/edp/phd-school/index.php

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Professional Development Plan Essay

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Professional Development Plan Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 658

  • Pages: 3

Professional Development Plan

When forming teams in a professional work environment it is important to understand the personalities of your teammates to determine strengths and weaknesses. When a leader is able to define the strengths and weaknesses of the team members it is easier to delegate tasks, encourage brain storming sessions and be successful as a team. Team C is composed of five members all with great leadership skills and a desire to learn and complete excellent work together. The first week of class we completed a DISC assessment that identified our individual personality traits. According to “Disc Profile” (n.d.), “The initial DISC model comes from Dr. William Marston, a professor at Columbia University in the 1920s, who was curious about the behavior of normal people. He did not create an instrument from his theory, but others did” (Disc Overview).

As a potential leader of this team, I was able to examine my own leadership styles and apply that to our assignment which is to create a professional development plan to identify the characteristics of the members to lead them to success. My DISC assessment concluded that I was a Cautious personality type. I see this in my personality. I often think or overthink what I do and tasks that I complete at work and in the school environment. I rarely rush into an assignment or partially complete an assignment. I often am very detail-oriented in projects and assignments. My leadership mentality is mainly to lead by example. I rarely will task another person without knowing exactly what is involved in completing the job. This is probably due to a desire to have control over a situation and know exactly what is involved and how long it will take to complete. Plus I am a person that prefers to build trust by having examples of competent behavior to reference. Three members of my team have the “Steadiness” personality.

Betty, Shawn, and Harlan are more steady and security-oriented, meaning they prefer to know precisely what they are doing as far as job related and school related tasks are concerned. When leading them in the team I would make sure they understand the assignments of projects we work on as a team and I may be able to help them understand the projects better by fully explaining what we would hope the result would be. This might help team members to have more confidence in the projects. Brian has an interactive personality and it shows as he is able to learn about an assignment and take charge in explaining and delegating tasks for it. Brain is very confident in his assessments of situations and tasks. He has a very good way of being so excited about an assignment that it influences others in a positive manner.

If I were to lead this team, I would have to have an understanding of the strengths of Brian’s ability to motivate the team and my ability to help the others understand the project so we may be successful in completion. Betty, Harlan, and Shawn are the key players in this as they will strive to do an incredible job in maintaining a strong will to succeed and complete the tasks. As a general rule, the steady personality listens well, creates very strong relationship bonds and work very well with others (“Uniquely You”, n.d.). They are able to be objective about situations that other people might not handle well. They can handle stress well and are reliable and really care about others feelings and will often take action that will help others feel good.

References
Disc Profile. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.discprofile.com/what-is-disc/overview/ Uniquely You. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.uniquelyyou.com/disc.php

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Professional Development Plan Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 764

  • Pages: 3

Professional Development Plan

In order to develop a plan that will address the characteristics of my group and me as a leader; a thorough review of the completed DISC assessments much be completed on an individual basis and an overall plan can be derived thereafter. The individual analyses are as follows:

Individual Assessments

Jeremy Conner, Jessica Mills, and Brian Tuck are all predominately categorized as cautious in style. Their tendencies include: being tense with themselves and others when under pressure, having a natural curiosity about people, being concerned about what people think, feel, and expect, having strong attachments to their personal interests, underestimating the time required to complete tasks, being intuitive and observant about situations and people, associating their self-worth with their work, and being intrigued by concepts, ideas and processes. They are known as the assessors and tend to have strong opinions about people and groups with whom you do not identify or agree.

Robert Mills was predominately categorized as interactive in style. This style’s strengths include: enthusiasm, charm, persuasiveness, and warmth. The cautious style is gifted in people skills and communication skills with individuals as well as groups. They are great influencer’s. They are idea-people and dreamers who excel at getting others excited about their vision. They are optimist with an abundance of charisma. All of these qualities help them influence people and build alliances to accomplish their goals.

I was predominately categorized as a dominance style. My primary motivation is accomplishing bigger and better goals according to an internal timetable. I prefer to be involved in my chosen activities from start to finish, and I resist people who are obstacles to my achievements. My tendencies include: disliking being told what to do, or when and how to do something, being reluctant to change what I think or how I feel, delegating tasks only if absolutely necessary, acting competitively, especially when pushing myself to new levels or in new directions, making sure that production is completed on schedule, depending on plans for action and follow-up routines, and becoming tenacious and focused when under pressure.

Team Development Plan

Based on the analysis of the DISC assessments, I would put myself in a leadership role on the team with Robert as my supervisor, and Jeremy, Jessica, and Brian as subordinates. My style is more fit to a leadership role due to my desire to accomplish bigger and better goals. This desire allows me to look bigger picture which must be done from an upper management perspective in order to keep the company ahead of the curve in all aspects of business to avoid pitfalls. Robert’s natural charisma and persuasiveness would make him great at motivating the rest of the team. This does not mean that Jeremy, Jessica, and Bryan aren’t just as important to the team success.

All workers from top to bottom are needed for a business to be successful. I strongly believe in the phrase “you are only as good as your weakest member”. For this reason, I would make sure that they were given a chance to air their grievances and make suggestions on changes that should be made. I must make sure to allow every team member to have a say in the business processes because this is a weak point of my particular style. Flexibility on my part must be a focal point to ensure that all team members feel heard and feel like they hold value in the company.

Conclusion

All of the information in the above plan will be closely monitored and periodic meetings will take place to allow time for all employees to voice their grievances or concerns to ensure that full compliance is being achieved. It is very important that regular monitoring is performed to ensure that the company stays on track and will help ensure the long-term success of the company. Realizing each individual’s style as well as their strengths and weaknesses will allow a more personal and individualized approach to be taken in regards to team dynamics and goal attainment.

References
University of Phoenix. (2014). DISC Assessments [Multimedia]. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, LDR531 website.
DISC Test and DISC Assessment: Explained. (2013). Retrieved from https://www.discinsights.com/whatisdisc#.VBMXGGOEzSg

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Professional Development Plan Essay

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Professional Development Plan Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1092

  • Pages: 4

Professional Development Plan

Each person has a certain personality type and each person has strengths and weaknesses members will bring to the group. Understanding how to use the group member’s strength will help to overcome the potential weaknesses. By using one group members strength for one task can allow another team member to use her strengths in other areas. Developing a professional development plan can help the team work together to get the job done. In evaluating the group member’s personality types, there are three dominate personalities considered “The Producer,” and one group member who is an interactive personality known as “The Impresser.” By having three dominate personalities, the team will have to make sure that the members are not all trying to take control of the situation and leading the group in three different ways. We will also have to make sure that we can delegate tasks to other group members to make sure we are not overwhelmed and making other members think their work is not good enough. The assessment of myself was spot on from the behavioral evaluation. Even though I have worked hard not coming across so blunt to people and understanding that people have their own way of getting the job done.

I am a person who sometimes does not like to express my feeling and just want to get the job done. I am a person who likes to get large tasks accomplished in a short amount of time to have the achievement of accomplishment. I do like to finish a task from start to finish, and it bothers me if I have to jump to another task before I am finished. I am a fast-paced person and can change my pace depending on if the business picks up. Possessing a dominate personality also has its downfalls. Dominate personalities can be stubborn, impatient, and tough. Sometimes this can be an issue when I become close-minded to others ideas and impatient with other group members. Dominate personalities like to be in control and do not want to lose that control. I will have to say this is an issue that I need to work on. I do not like losing control and when I do analysis how I could have changed it instead of letting go of the situation. Another area that dominate personalities do not handle well is dealing with feelings. I have had to overcome this over the years and learn that sometimes I may not mean to come across harsh, but to some people it can come across that way.

I have learned that I have to take into consideration the person I am dealing with and make sure I take the group members feelings into consideration before speaking. Dominate personality types also have to understand that we will not always prevail on every issue that comes up. The section of the assessment that was very interesting but also very true was how dominate personalities react under stress. The assessment stated that dominate personality types are restless, critical, blunt, intrusive, uncooperative, irritable, aggressive, and pushy (Alessandra, 2013). I can see myself going through these behaviors when I am stressed and understand why it is important not to take things out on others and that the situation will get resolved even if I am not in control of it. Another area that was interesting was how to reduce conflict. The section that stated their anger is directed at the situation and the lack of desired results (Alessandra, 2013). These outbursts and behaviors may appear to be personal attacks when they are not meant to (Alessandra, 2013).

I have had this happen a few times when I am speaking with my husband, and he always thinks I am mad at him instead. I have to learn to state I am stress over the situation and not make people think I am blaming them. In evaluating the other team member’s personality type, one member is considered to be the interactive style. The interactive personality style actions are spontaneous, dislike working alone, work quickly and excitedly with others, and have good persuasive skills (Alessandra, 2013). Some weaknesses for the interactive style is that they can be disorganized, careless, exaggerates, and poor follow-through (Alessandra, 2013). The interactive personality type main focus is people and dominate personality type are goal focused. Interactive personality types like to brainstorm and interact with colleagues. Dominate personalities like to work alone to make sure the task is completed. They also like freedom from control and like to have the chance to influence or motivate others. Dominate personalities like to be in control and strive for results. The interactive personality type can express anger as a general response to a personal attack on them. Interactive personalities tend to be more emotional that dominate personality types.

Dominate and interactive personality types are direct and fast-paced people. We frequently us gestures and voices to emphasize our point, tend to be less patient and more competitive, frequently contribute to groups and can express opinions readily (Alessandra, 2013). Dominate personalities tend to be guarded and direct behaviors, whereas interactive personalities are direct and open behaviors. Even with both personality types preferring fast-paced work styles some tension may result based on that interactive personality’s emphasis is on people and dominate personality’s emphasis is on the goals. Some degree of tension is likely to result in our interactions because of the difference in priority (Alessandra, 2013).

In evaluating the team’s personality types, we will have to make sure we are taking into consideration people and goals to get tasks accomplished. Both personality types like a fast-paced environment and can become impatient. The interactive personality type will help to contribute the emotional component need and the dominate personality will help to give order and structure in a timely manner. When working in a group each member must take into consideration that not every team member functions as another one may. If each team member can use each person’s strengths forward and whatever weaknesses come up can be benefited by another team member. When working in a group make sure to be open minded and make sure that everyone is heard and not overlooked.

Work Cited
Alessandra, T. The DISC Platinum Rule Behavioral Style Assessment. (2013) Retrieved from: http://UOP.BlanchardAssessment.com.

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Professional Development Plan Essay

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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1072

  • Pages: 4

Professional Development Plan

The group members of Learning Team D 3 took a DISC assessment test to determine their personality styles, strengths and weaknesses, and areas that need enhancement. The group members are (Antonia, Brenda, Matthew, Robin, Steven). The Professional Development Plan will give a description of the strengths, and weaknesses each personality styles, individualities each styles share, and characteristics that may cause conflict, and how each styles can work together for the betterment of the organization. As well as to show how I, the manager can improve my abilities to lead from each team member. The DISC assessment generated two personality types within the group: Cautious, and Dominance. Three out of the five members of the group including my-self are labeled as Cautious.

The Cautious strengths entails independence, dependable, good listeners, ask numerous questions over critical information, and are good at follow-through, they want perfection, and tend to be tense with themselves and others when under pressure, they have a natural curiosity about people, and are concerned about what people expect, think, and feel, they have strong affections to their personal interests, undervaluing the time required to complete tasks, being intuitive and observant about situations and people, they tend to associate their self-worth with their work accomplishments, and are intrigued by concepts, ideas and processes.

They are known for being assessors and tend to have strong opinions about people and groups with whom they do not agree or identify. Their weaknesses of Cautious are they tend to work at a slow pace, unlike The Dominance personality types who are goal-oriented, fast-paced, take authority, and willing to challenge outdated thinking and ideas. Dominance weaknesses are what make them stand out from Cautious personality type. Dominance is not afraid to bend the rules; they become annoyed with delays, and prefer to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission to make certain decision on assignments. In order for each group member to work together as a team; it is important to first understand each member’s strengths and weaknesses and utilize them as a tool for the group to accomplish their goal. Evaluating the different personality types I’ve come to the conclusion that Dominance and Cautious types are similar in personality traits, they are both problem solvers, efficient, productive, independent, and have the same sense of irritations. The only differences between these two types are the pace in which they choose to work.

The Cautious style prefers to work at a slower pace whilst, the Dominance style prefers to work at faster pace. Subsequently, understanding each personality styles, the characteristics of each member, and what each group has in common. We now need to utilize each of these characteristics and use them as a tool to accomplish our goals. For example, if our group was working for a financial organization, the Cautious types would be best place in a Human Resources position or even in the Marketing department. Those positions require individuals that possess such traits as being detail oriented, independent workers, and follow-through on certain types of assignments. Dominance type would be greater in managerial positions, for they like to take charge, and are comfortable in a fast paced environment; they are willing to take on challenges head on, and don’t mind taking risks. In order for the organization to run smoothly all these positions need each other in order to become successful, and to work as a team.

Even though my personality style is Cautious I feel “a good leader is usually passionate about the organization and his or her work, exudes confidence in his or her abilities, can organizes and makes sense of complex situations, maintains high standards and inspires others to do the same, can motivate and inspire employees, and is generally looked up to as a person of vision” (Hill, 2009). This is a quote I feel strongly about and would want to base my leadership style on. I agree with the whole statement it expresses, and feel I can be inspirational with my group and motivate them to accomplish our goals. As a leader, I look forward to learning the skills that are required in order to become a better leader/manager. The DISC assessment has shown the different characteristics each personality styles possess. There are numerous traits each type shared, and a few that could cause conflicts, we must learn that we are all different individuals who have different learning styles and traits, as a result, we much learn from each other in order to grow and become better individuals, and need to help each other to be better individuals whether in work or educational environment.

It is imperative that each group member have an understanding on how to rely on each other even though there is discomfort with the various types of personalities. My capability to lead the team will be based on my willingness to learn from each team member and to understand that we should work as a team and not as an independent person on a project. All of the information provided above plan will be supervised closely, with periodic meetings organized in order to allow employees to give their views, opinion and concerns about various topics, that way it will help to ensure that full compliance is being achieved.

I believe it is imperative that regular (weekly) monitoring is performed to make sure that the organization stays on track on all assignments, and concerns are being discussed, this will help ensure the long term success of the organization, and recognizing each individual’s style, as well as their strengths, and weaknesses will permit a more personal and individualized approach taken in regards to team dynamics and goal achievement.

Reference

Alessandra, Tony, Ph.D., and Michael J. O’Connor, Ph.D. 1996. The Platinum Rule®. New York, NY: Warner Books.

DISC Test and DISC Assessment: Explained. (2013). Retrieved from https://www.discinsights.com/whatisdisc#.VBMXGGOEzSg Hill, C. (2009). NY Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/2.1353/ effective-leader-article-1.372028 Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2013). Organizational Behavior (15th ed.). : Pearson. University of Phoenix. (2014). DISC Assessments [Multimedia]. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, LDR531 website.

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 2339

  • Pages: 9

Professional Development Plan

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to review and discuss state licensure and certification requirements for the professional practice of psychology. It will address the different occupations within psychology that are regulated by state licensure and certification; the specific requirements for a master’s and doctoral level clinician; intended emphasis area, interested in this area; any anticipated potential career opportunities and ultimate goal for future degree. It will address strengths and weaknesses at this time and to enhance your areas of strength and address any areas of weakness. Furthermore it will discuss techniques widely utilized include multiple association memberships, advanced/continuing education courses, and association with and in both student and professional resource groups.

This paper will identify and discuss two professional membership organizations and explain why each would be beneficial as a psychology professional. It will also identify and discuss one potential resource to utilize as a networking element and explain the steps to realize the opportunity so presented. Lastly this paper will evaluate and discuss the benefits presented by networking among such groups and how they might support vocational goals and objectives.

Introduction

I took an undergraduate class called Positive Psychology and it empowered me more than I thought it would. One supplemental book that was used: Strength Finders 2.0 (Rath, 2007). Not only did it put me in the right mind-set but it also allowed me to make the right decision career-wise. I was trying to decide whether or not to pursue a MSW or M.A. in Psychology. After reading Rath’s book and applying it to my personal life, I finally stuck to what was in my heart; counseling. No coursework actually influenced me to pursue a Masters in Psychology degree. I was attending Morehouse College attempting to pursue Pre-Med Biology and was required to take a few psychology classes, after having a deeper understanding of what psychology was, I was hooked and changed my major. My passion for helping individuals has directly and indirectly influenced the career field I’m pursuing. It has always been a passion of mine to help youth. As I became older and matured in life over the years, I’ve been able to direct what I want to do in life in a more concrete direction.

I started from wanting to be a pediatrician, because I wanted to help kids, to now in the process of becoming a therapist, still helping kids. At 29, I’m still learning that I don’t know as much as I think I do. I’ve learned that in order to be the best at what I’m trying to do, I need to apply myself much more than I’m doing now. The various theories I’ve covered thus far has given me a greater outlook on the past and what the future can be. Everything that I’m learning can be used in some aspect and I won’t fully know the extent of what I’ve learned until I have to use it in practical application career-wise. I’m learning to be thoughtful and respectful of theories and ideas that do not appeal to me or that I don’t agree with. When it comes to interest, goals and values, it is something that I do not compromise on, especially my values. I use to work at a youth residential mental health facility. My job was to look at the client’s treatment plan and come up with something that will help them start the process of discharging in the future. Kind of like a therapist but without the therapy part and licensure aspect.

I have clients ask me things, ask for things and tell me thing that are far from my values. What I have to remember is that, “I’m not here to teach my values, I’m here to make transformations”. It’s hard sometimes because I’m dealing with clients from all walks of life and they’ve been through hell and back. What it does for me is allow me to appreciate the values that I do have that have allowed me to make it to where I am now. Goal wise, the field that I am in now is where I want to be for the rest of my life. As I stated before, I initially began with wanting to be a pediatrician but as reality set in for me I decided that I can still “help” people but just in a different facet, that being through psychology.

The things I’ve learned over the years and the experiences I’ve have, whether positive or negative are all “tools” that I’ve acquired that will allow me to help others reach and overcome the issues that they may be struggling with. That is why I love working with youth because I seem to relate to them and I can interact with them on a level that is not belittling or degrading. The overused cliché “The Children Are Our Future”, is something that I take seriously and that is why I love doing what I do and I will continue to fine tune my craft and gift that I believe was given to me for a reason.

Different Occupations

There are a plethora of occupations within psychology that are regulated by state licensure and certification but for the purpose of this paper only two will be addressed; clinical and counseling.

Clinical Psychologist

This area includes interviewing, observation and testing; all clinical psychologists need to be thoroughly trained in this area and should be able to choose the correct type of testing/method when conducting this with the client. They test such things as intellect, cognitive processes, and social functioning along with this, being able to interpret the test is also essential to clinical psychologist. As well as being able to conduct test, a major role also includes the ability to diagnosis using multiple models. Giving the client the inner strength to acclimatize themselves to change and gain a sense of power in everyday living. The ability to implement and conduct different programs both basic and applied. This is a fundamental function of clinical psychologist in both clinical and academic formats. Working with peers who work with clients, interacting with peers, contributing their services for the bettering of the program, and obtaining supervision. Clinical psychologists have a skill set which provides a much needed service to society. They use it by practicing, creating and evaluating applied and scientific skills (Vallis & Howes, 1996).

Specific requirements for a Master’s Level Program

An individual with a master’s degree cannot call themselves Psychologists because they have not obtained the degree level (Ph.D or Psy.D) to have that title. Those at the master’s level can only call themselves clinicians or therapist. This is granted only after successively completing an accredited master’s level program then passing the exam to become licensed in a particular state(s). After taking the exam they will take on the title of LCPC and after a year or two under a clinician who holds a LPC.

Many individuals stop at this level for various reasons such as not wanting to go back to school for the doctoral level degree, their job does not require a higher level of education than the LCPC/LPC, or they feel comfortable at the level of credentials and education they currently hold. There are plenty of careers for therapist/clinicians just in the master’s level such as academics, counseling centers, independent practice, human service agencies, hospitals, medical centers, and business/industries (Sternberg, 2007) position it depends on the direction an individual wants to take.

Specific requirements for a Doctoral Level Program

Obtaining a Ph.D or Psy.D is a slightly different route that requires more years of education and allows you the option to become a psychologist or psychiatrist. There are only a couple of states that allow you to prescribe medication as a psychologist. Many individuals take this route because of the higher level it allows one to begin at, others for the particular specialized area of career one decides to get in. These individuals are held to a higher level of standard and their expectations are also higher due to the lengthy amount of education and experience they bring.

In a study done at Rutgers University they found that “A greater number of Ph.D. alumni received “other honors and awards,” and Psy.D. graduates did not out-perform Ph.D”( Biondo, 2010). The study in itself, although just one study, shows that the only difference lies in the choice that an individual wants to take. There are few differences in the Ph.D and the Psy.D but the main question is what direction you want career moving toward. Most Ph.D programs focus more on research while most Psy.D programs prepare for psychology practice (Tartakovsky, 2011).

Vail Model

The Vail Model formed in 1973 in Vail, Colorado at a conference because of the ongoing levels of disagreement from the Boulder conference. The supporters at the Vail conference believed that psychology was broad enough to have another designator other than the Ph.D (Norcross & Castle, 2002). They suggested that there should be a difference between practitioners and scientist so they formed what we now know as Psy.D. Unlike the Pd.D program, the Psy.D could be housed in one of three different settings: (1) University Departments (2) University Professional Schools and (3) Freestanding Institutions (Norcross & Castle, 2002).

Boulder Model

The Boulder Model was founded in 1949 at a clinical psychology conference in Boulder, Colorado. The purpose of the conference was to provide training and was the first of its kind. Duality was given to clinical psychologist as “scientist-practitioners” (Norcross & Castle, 2002). Two other milestones were crossed; (1) the required degree established was the Ph.D and (2) they wanted the training to be within the department and not a stand-alone establishment (Norcross & Castle, 2002).

Personal Strengths and Weakness

Many of my strengths come from personal experiences and workplace experiences because many of the jobs I’ve held and many of the areas in which I’ve volunteered in were of the mental health aspect or dealt with community services and counseling. My outgoing personality and willingness to go out on a limb for my fellow man is a huge strength of mine. I’m able to empathize with other peoples’ emotions and experiences. This aspect allows me to quickly and honestly build a rapport with those who I am working with. Some of my weaknesses are the field itself. I’m a rookie and hopefully the mistakes I will make will not be costly. Another weakness of mine is stubbornness to accept new ideas which are outside of my personal beliefs.

Let me say that I love learning new things that will further enhance and expound my profession but I know that for me personally, other ideas outside of what I feel comfortable with, is an area that I struggle in. This is something that I know I would need to work on because it could hinder my ability to learn things beneficial to me.

Techniques and Growth

The American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association are just two of the many outlets that are available. These organizations hold conferences and publish material to provide resources to those in the profession. Graduate and post-graduate schools are also a good resource because of the seasoned staff, forums, mini conferences, and meetings related to those in the profession. It is also good to become involved in various organizations to assist with networking and gaining knowledge.

Summary and Conclusion

I feel blessed to have taken this course and to be apart such a growing field which changes the lives of so many people each day. I am learning much and I will always reflect on what I’ve learned in this course and future ones as well. Each day I’m continuing to take what I’ve learned and apply it to my personal everyday life. The enjoyment I’ve experienced and the trials I’ve been able to overcome are a direct result of this course and other. All I can say is that this has been an unbelievable journey and I’m continually looking forward for what comes next.

References
Biondo, K. M. (2010). Careers of professional psychologists: A comparison of the career experiences of the graduates of the clinical psy.D. and ph.D. programs at rutgers university. (Order No. 3427768, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses,134. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/816337928?accountid=39364. (816337928). Miller, A. (n.d.). Master’s Level Clinician Vs. Psychologist | Everyday Life – Global Post. Everyday Life – Global Post. Retrieved September 6, 2013, from http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/masters-level-clinician-vs-psychologist-4551.html Rath, T. (2007). StrengthsFinder 2.0. New York: Gallup Press. Norcross, J., & Castle, P. (2002). Eye on Psi Chi. PSI CHI, 7(1), 22-26. Tartakovsky, M. (2011). Choosing Between the PsyD and PhD Psychology Graduate Degrees. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 6, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/choosing-between-psyd-phd-psychology-graduate-degrees/0007876

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Professional Development Plan Essay

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Professional Development Plan Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1189

  • Pages: 5

Professional Development Plan

My professional plan is to grow as a nurse by gaining knowledge through school and my daily experiences, so in five years I can care for patients and families as a nurse practitioner. I will make short term and long term goals to help guide me down my path as I transition into the role of professional nurse; providing me with new opportunities for my future. Beliefs and values influences the decisions people make in their personal and professional life. My beliefs and values were incorporated to make my philosophy of nursing, that is to be an advocate for my patients’ and their family during their most vulnerable time, continuing my education to provide the best quality care available and taking a holistic approach by looking at the person as a whole; caring for their body, mind, and spirit (Chitty, 2007 p. 312).

I believe nursing is an evidence based practice, the care provided to patients and family have been proven through research to be the safest most effective way to implement care. My values which mold my beliefs have been acquired throughout my life from the people around me and my experiences. My values and beliefs will continue to change as I get older, have more experiences in my profession and further my education in nursing.

One of my short term goals is to finish my baccalaureate degree in nursing. In terms of advancing professionalism, research was recently published, (Morris & Faulk, 2007), in which nurses were found to have increased professionalism and growth in roles and values after attending an ADN to BSN program. That is what I am striving to achieve while going through the BSN program. I plan on taking each class one at a time, trying to do my best, and gain the knowledge needed to grow in my field. By August 2009, I should have my BSN which will provide me with new opportunities such as management and educator positions; this degree will also provide me the opportunity to further my education to a master’s level.

My second short term goal will begin this summer, that is to initiate the evidence based practice, EBP, project on my progressive care unit, PCU, at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, BGSMC. Several of my coworkers and I are currently gathering information on research that suggests that providing patients and their families with written and oral information on the side effects of their medications will improve patient satisfactory scores in a acute care setting. We meet together regularly, learning as a team how to initiate EBP into the workplace. Then possibly in the future we will publish our findings.

By fall of 2009 I plan on starting the Masters of Science in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Phoenix so I will be able to sit for the national boards certifying exam by the end of 2012. Once I complete the requirements I must submit the documentation to the Arizona State Board of Nursing. I then plan on working for an interventional cardiologist, which will give me the opportunity to work in both the hospital and office setting. Income is not the sole reason for my desire to advance in my profession but it is important to note that the U.S. Census Bureau 2000 data show that income levels rise as educational levels rise (Katz, Carter, Bishop and Kravitz, 2004). Income will enable me to continue my education and to obtain other goals in my future such as going to law school and traveling around the world.

When discussing a professional development plan people have to keep in mind a persons support system, resources available to them, their work ethics and what is needed to succeed. While one may be able to fulfill his or her goals without one or more of these things, adversities can deter many from following plans they set forth. Support and understanding from my family and friends would be a significant tool in helping me achieve my goals. It may also be useful to have mentors help to guide me along my chosen path to success. Financial assistance will also be needed to continue on with my learning process. Self-discipline, further education and experience are also required to be successful in my future role as an FNP.

Self-discipline and time management skills are crucial to have in our fast pace speed of lives’ today. It becomes increasingly important in the students’ life to use time wisely. Students may have to overcome several hurdles and barriers along the way. It is important to be able to identify these issues; it is the first step to overcoming them. Barriers may be financial, time restraints or lack of support from family and friends; having the knowledge how to overcome these barriers and having backup plans is what makes the difference between meeting your goal versus abandoning the goal.

If faced with any of these barriers I will try to have a positive outlook and attitude, I will try to look on the bright side. Michaud (2002) observed that one’s ability to bounce back from disaster and loss depends on the person’s ability to use resiliency skills to conjure up positive emotions when he or she is challenged severely. I will monitor my stress level and use relaxation techniques specific to me and my needs if necessary in order to avoid abandoning the goals that I have set.

In conclusion, putting together a professional plan is an important step to obtaining desired outcomes. According to Alexander Graham Bell (2001) “before anything else preparation is the key to success”. Values and beliefs will change over time, which will influence your original plan to formulate new goals, when this occurs a person must revaluate the resources available and challenge themselves to meet new goals. I will evaluate my plan to ensure I am staying on task meeting my goals that I have set forth so I will be successful in my future.

Reference

Bell, A. G. (2001). _Quoteland._ Retrieved March 15, 2008, from http://www.quoteland.com/topic.asp?CATEGORY_ID=447

Chitty, K. K. (2007). _Professional Nursing Concepts & Challenges (5th ed.)._ St. Louis: Elsevier Inc. Retrieved March 15, 2008, from University of Phoenix Library.

Katz, J., Carter, C., Bishop, J. & Kravitz, S. (2004). _Keys to Nursing Success (2nd ed.)._ Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Michaud E. (2000). There’s a secret to recovering from great adversity. The scientists who study it, and the people who’ve done it, share it with you. _Prevention Magazine_ (June). Retrieved March 15, 2008, from Proquest database.

Morris, A., & Faulk, D. (2007). Perspective transformation: Enhancing the development of professionalism in RN-to-BSN students. _Journal of Nursing Education,_ 46(10), 445-51. Retrieved March 15, 2008, from Ebscohost database.

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Professional Development Plan Essay

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Professional Development Plan Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1706

  • Pages: 7

Professional Development Plan

Introduction

The Professional Development Plan (PDP) is a structured process made by an individual to reflect on their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan their personal, educational and career development. PDP complies a range of procedures, such as planning, doing, recording, and reflection. (The Higher Education Academy 2012)

The objective of this PDP is to help improve existing skills or to develop new ones. In order to do so, a self-assessment, SWOT analysis, SMART and Belbin’s self-perception inventory will be completed, to acknowledge strengths and weaknesses.

Section 1: Professional Development Plan
For this PDP three distinct goals will be developed.
* Individual Goal – Time Management and Personal Organisation
* Group Working Goal – Searching databases
* Academic Goal – Listen, read and take notes

To help set the goals, three goals worksheets were completed and the SMART diagnosis was applied (See Appendix 1 and 2). SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. (Scanlon 2011)

Time Management and Personal Organisation

This goal was chosen as the individual goal because managing time and being organised was always a struggle, and therefore for several times in numerous occasions the effect was unpleasant. By being able to manage time and being more organised, opportunities will rise to have a more effective performance in personal, academic and professional life. This weakness was noted through the self-assessment comprised by a friend, a colleague and myself (See Appendix 3). This skill was not developed sooner out of pure laziness and lack of motivation. To achieve this goal I will do weekly schedules to see what was done during the week and check if certain activities were accomplished (See Appendix 4). This goal is set to be developed until 11th March 2012.

Searching Databases

This goal was chosen as the group working goal because searching databases was always a difficult task, either it was for personal, academic or work related purposes. Whenever there are group works, this task is always passed on to other members, which made my ability to improve less feasible. This weakness was noted through the Belbin Test (See Appendix 5). This skill was not developed until now because there was lack of knowledge of databases resources. To achieve this goal I will carry on a research about Miss Universe, looking for information in all resources I can find (See appendix 6). As there were no relevant books on the subject, I had to confine the search to the Internet. This goal is set to be developed until 12th March 2012.

Listen, Read and Take Notes

This goal was chosen as the academic goal because as English is not my first language, it is sometimes difficult to keep up with lectures and at the same time take notes, as well as it is difficult to read, comprehend in just one go, and take notes. By developing this skill, when preparing for exams, being in lectures, workshops and work meetings, listening, reading and taking notes, will become simple, efficient, quick and easy. This weakness was noted while in class, at home and at work, and later on identified in SWOT analysis and also through the self-assessment comprised by a friend, a colleague and myself (See Appendix 3 and 7). The SWOT analysis is a notably useful tool to identify and analyse opportunities for development and related barriers and challenges. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Being Strengths and Weaknesses internal factors and Opportunities and Threats external factors. (Scanlon 2011)

To achieve this goal I will take notes from lectures and from a few pages of one of the recommended books for this unit (See Appendix 8). This goal is set to be developed until 12th March 2012.

Section 2: Progress Review
Time Management and Personal Organisation

For this goal I did weekly sheets to see my development. I did the first weekly sheet in 19th December 2011. As I was not working at the moment my only responsibility was University, and seems like the less responsibility one has, the less he/she does. That is exactly what was happening. I was spending most of my days watching television and/or watching series online, or simply just spending days sleeping. I had my mother and a friend over for Christmas and New Year. With their presence here, I felt like doing even less, because all I wanted was to spend time with them or go out and show them Manchester. So basically all the activities I was always planning to do, I ended up not doing them. I knew I had an exam in early January, and yet I did not study until the week before the exam. I managed to pass the exam with a low pass, 44%, but I know I could have done much better if only I dedicated myself to study longer and in advance.

So after this happened I realized it was time for me to stop being lazy and change my attitude towards the use of my time. I started watching less television and less series online. I started reading a novel ‘The Lucky One’, I started getting more worried with the planning of my PDP, I joined the gym and I was more focused in finding a job. For a while it was difficult having so many activities after not having basically none. I started going to the gym more often, like twice or three times a week. I started going to Church also; I did not go in a long time. I was more focused in classroom, and I understood more of the topics in study. I was feeling more motivated, less lazy, and I was managing my time very well. I was more organized with my studies, and personal life. I kept a diary so I would know what I did and what I needed to do. So in the end, I think the development of this goal helped me a lot, it improved my attendance in University, and also my productivity at home.

Searching Databases

For this goal I did a research on Miss Universe. Their history, how it started, who invented it, what is its purpose, previous contestants, the actual Miss Universe Leila Lopes, that is Miss Angola, from my birth country. I have to admit I chose this as my research topic because of how proud I am of her. She is a beautiful woman, and gave her best and deserved to won. As I was doing the research on the subject, I realized I did not choose the best topic to do a research, because I could only find information on the Internet.

There are no relevant books on this subject, and even the news I found, were on online newspapers. But as I did not have more time to think of a new topic, and start doing a new research, because I still had my last goal to develop, I had to keep up with lectures of both units, and look for a job, I just kept this topic. I do not think I had great improvements with this goal, and it was mainly because of my topic of research choice. I could not explore others sources, and that confined me to the Internet, which has a wide range of irrelevant information. So this is one goal I will keep on developing because it is really necessary for the years ahead.

Listen, Read and Take Notes
For this goal I gathered as evidence all the notes I have from lectures I attended, and notes I made from a few pages of one of the recommended books: ‘Organizational Behaviour’ by Buchanan and Huczynski (2010). It was hard in the beginning because I did not know where to begin. I was trying to be more focus in class, by not having my phone close, and not talking with colleagues unnecessarily. As we only have 2 classes per week, it was hard to develop this skill, so I decided that notes from the lectures alone would not be enough. I started to do notes from the book referred above.

And after a while I was feeling more confident, my notes were becoming good. I would write more in the lecture notes, instead of just listening and getting home, and not knowing what were the main points of that topic. I will still keep on developing this skill because it is non-stop, I know I am still far from excellent, but it was good to give it a go, and actually see some changes even though they are little.

Goal Setting and S.M.A.R.T goals

Specific – What (goal), why (reasons), which (constraints) etc.? Clearly stated outcome you wish to achieve.
Measurable – Can progress be assessed?
A goal that you can evidence, i.e., demonstrate its achievement in way and can show progress. Attainable – Can the goal be accomplished? The goal should not be too high or low. Goals that are set too high or too low become meaningless. It should stretch you a bit, without being too extreme. Realistic – Is the goal worthwhile? Make sure goal can be achieved within the framework of your life before the submission date, not as you would hope or would like it to be. You have to be willing and able to work on the goal. Time-bound – What is your target completion date?

Make sure goal that you set for yourself can be achieved within the timeframe and before the submission deadline of 14 March 2012. You must have start and endpoints.

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Professional Development Plan Essay

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Professional Development Plan Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1299

  • Pages: 5

Professional Development Plan

Nursing as a career is about providing quality care while upholding the people involved with dignity. Nurses are thought to offer quality care to all regardless their tribe, race, gender, religion or social status in the society. Nurses are called to serve others. As a nurse I want to be the patient’s advocate and do all within my powers to see to it that I put a smile on the patient’s faces. I will offer a patient centered care and the interests of the patient will come first. (Delaney C. and Piscopo B, 2002)

A person’s health is affected by many factors including emotional needs, physical needs, spiritual needs and cultural needs. Addressing these needs will be offering quality care as they all work for the well being of the whole person. I personally value caring for others and this will be easy for me.  Nursing entails or comprises of three parties for it to proceed successfully. These are the environment, the patient and health. The patient includes the sick person, his or her family members and the community as a whole. A nurse is responsible in ensuring that quality care is offered. This is only achievable if an all inclusive approach is used.

I would incorporate the patient and his family in the decision making so that our relationship with the patient and his family is not dead. Failure to include all parties calls for negative appraisal by the patient or his relatives. The environmental factors include internal and external factors and they comprise the social, economic, political, legal and ethical perspectives.  A better understanding of people’s cultural backgrounds and spiritual aspects explains why some regard health the way they do. Patient’s satisfaction levels will be higher if their needs are well addressed. A baccalaureate prepared nurse has developed from a generalist nurse to a complex nurse who exercises leadership in disease prevention or illnesses. He or she is an instrument of change who can invent creativity in ensuring that nursing incorporates emerging health needs an addresses them amicably.

Such nurses are leaders and change agents. On completion of the degree course one can advance by taking a masters program. The nurse will be able to better handle prevention of diseases and thus works to see a healthy community.  The nurse will provide a patient advocate care where care will be through collaborative interactions between the patient and other care givers. He or she will be an advocate of change and will work tirelessly innovating new concepts or ideas that will improve the current predicaments in health care provision. Such a nurse has the capacity to make clinical judgments in all areas be they industries or hospitals. They are qualified for community health nursing. Options of where such a nurse can pursue include in home care, community based health agencies, nursing homes, government and industries.

A baccalaureate nurse provides competent care and is a good teacher who can organize transcultural nursing care for all parties in the community. He or she is able to use critical thinking in providing therapeutic care. Communication with other health care givers should be effective and he ought to be at the fore front in advocating for positive changes in the health system. He will be able to manage care for all parties and provide preventive care measures like educating the masses on the critical issues.

He will adopt an all inclusive approach in care giving in meeting the health needs. The nurse should read, well interpret and analyze nursing practices. He should be keen in the society and he should follow the professional growth and hence a member of a nursing organization that offers such supportive background. Such a nurse will offer competent care while respecting beliefs and values of patients. (Archer A, 2000)

Role transition from acquisition of the BSN will work to increased skills or attributes like unique skills, know how and nursing expertise through learning. It will equip me with appropriate skills. The BSN will help me advance in my career. My thinking capacity will be replenished through the program and critical thinking in sensitive issues will be possible. I will be able to come up with other measures that ensure that quality community health is attained. I will improve my self awareness which will be an important step in enabling me to produce culturally sensitive care. (Eckhardt et al, 2002)

My short term goals will be to improve on the quality of care I offer. Acquisition of necessary skills will equip me in achieving this cause. I also want to better understand myself so that I can better understand others. I would also like to advance my leadership skills and communication skills to better link with parties in the health care facilities. My long term professional goals are to be among the policy makers so that I can better advocate for the patients. I want to be contributing in the designing and implementation of quality community health care programs. I also want to pursue a master’s degree to enhance my skills and this will see me move to becoming a nurse manager in the community health department.

To achieve the desired professional development I will graduate from a RN to BSN or Baccalaureate nurse and achieve a master’s degree. I will also join an organization that will work to enriching my skills by providing a conducive environment. Advancing in education is crucial as it translates to acquisition of more skills and thus becoming better qualified to perform tasks at hand. Continued education enables one perpetuates his or expertise thus making people better of in their areas of specialization. Mentorship programs are very crucial for all nurses regardless their gender or area of specialization. Mentors help one to learn the tricks in the career or how to go about challenges that are bound to occur. (Eckhardt et al, 2002)

Nursing entails a lot of challenges that see many quit. Male nurses are quite vulnerable in quitting due to the discrimination that they face. Introduction of mentors and support systems will encourage them to persevere despite the challenges. Achieving the set goal will entail a lot of studying and one must be committed to multitask between the studies and the practical lessons for instance the research on the fields.

Critical thinking will only be achieved through serious concentration and losing such focus will hinder attainment of the goals. Financial constraints could also threaten attainment of the goals as one need to pay for the masters program which is expensive. Intrapersonal and cultural factors encourage pursue the program while racism poses a threat to the effective establishment of baccalaureate nursing programs.

Time frame for the steps on the development plan will entail approximately 10 years. Qualifying as a registered nurse or RN with a baccalaureate will take 4 to 5 years 3 of which will entail attaining diploma education and 2 in acquiring an associate degree. Transition from RN to BSN will take 2 to 3 years and from BSN to MSN will take 2 years.

References:
Eckhardt A, Anderson M, Campbell E Clarke E., Pavlish L. 2002: A theoretical framework for RN to BSN education. Nursing Education Perspectives.
Archer A.2000. Fundamentals of nursing. There really is a Difference: Nurses’ Experiences with Transitioning from RNs to BSNs. Springhouse.
Delaney C. and Piscopo B. 2002. Journal of Professional Nursing, Volume 23, Issue 3, Pages 167-173.

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