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Professional Development-Onboarding Specialist-Full-time, Day

Location McHenry, Illinois Business Unit Lake Forest Hospital Job REQID 39212 Job Function Human Resources/Academy/Payroll Shift Day Job (1st) Apply Now

At Northwestern Medicine, every patient interaction makes a difference in cultivating a positive workplace. This patient-first approach is what sets us apart as a leader in the healthcare industry. As an integral part of our team, you'll have the opportunity to join our quest for better healthcare, no matter where you work within the Northwestern Medicine system. At Northwestern Medicine, we pride ourselves on providing competitive benefits: from tuition reimbursement and loan forgiveness to 401(k) matching and lifecycle benefits, we take care of our employees. Ready to join our quest for better?


The Professional Development Specialist reflects the mission, vision, and values of NM, adheres to the organization’s Code of Ethics and Corporate Compliance Program, and complies with all relevant policies, procedures, guidelines and all other regulatory and accreditation standards.

The Professional Development Specialist designs, implements and evaluates clinical/non-clinical orientation programs and continuous learning opportunities for all classifications of caregivers in assigned unit/division in partnership with unit leadership team. This role utilizes a data driven approach to conduct house wide and unit-specific required training to close performance gaps. The Professional Development Specialist maintains visibility for just in time learning facilitation in clinical areas and adheres to ANA Scope and Standards of practice for Nursing Professional Development.


  • Collects pertinent information related to potential education needs of staff utilizing a variety of appropriate assessment techniques.
  • Analyzes assessment data to determine the target audience and learner needs.
  • Identifies the purpose, objectives and expected outcome for each learning activity.
  • Collaborates with content experts and unit leadership to develop activities to facilitate learners' achievement of educational objectives.
  • Implements evidence-based educational activities that are varied, interactive, and designed to meet the needs of the adult learner.
  • Conducts a comprehensive criterion-based evaluation of each educational activity including impact of learning on patient care practice.
  • Provides educational consultation at the unit and organizational level through participation in committees, councils and administrative teams. This includes but is not limited to systematic evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of clinical practice, use of theoretical frameworks, strategies and methodologies to promote behavior change, promotion of positive learning and practice environments, facilitation skills, assessment of knowledge versus performance gaps.
  • Demonstrates optimal use of learning management system and other tools/resources used to document professional development activities including but not limited to contact hour programs, competency assessment, and orientation activities
  • Actively participates in the orientation of new unit staff in collaboration with orientee, clinical practice specialist, preceptors, and manager to assess progress and develop goals/plans.
  • Maintains daily visibility and communicates efficiently and effectively using critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Continuously seeks feedback from unit/department partners to assure customer needs are being met.
  • Partners with unit/service line Clinical Practice Specialists for competency assessment processes
  • Manages work schedule efficiently, completing tasks and assignments on time.
  • Contributes to opportunities and processes for continuous improvement.
  • Participates in efforts to reduce costs, streamline work processes, improve and grow services of the professional development arm of the department of nursing.
  • Provides accurate information and timely updates to patients and customers. Addresses questions and concerns promptly, or identifies appropriate person and resources to do so.
  • Uses effective service recovery skills to solve problems or service breakdowns when they occur.
  • Demonstrates teamwork by helping co-workers within and across departments.
  • Communicates effectively with others, respects diverse opinions and styles, and acknowledges the assistance and contributions of others.
  • Manages orientation program at each site.
  • Participates in ongoing evaluation of the orientation program.

Addendum 1: Professional Development Specialist: Schools of Nursing Coordination

  • Coordination of departmental identified student clinical rotation requests and unit/service-line approval for clinical rotation placement
  • Coordinating student and instructor orientation
  • Establish and maintain an academic partnership network activity including advisory council attendance for all affiliated schools of nursing
  • Create distribution lists for sharing with nursing leaders and staff opportunities to advance education
  • Coordinate on-site degree program cohorts as they occur
  • Data management strategies for clinical rotation coordination and clinical instructor contact list
  • Education Affiliation Agreement (EAA) management including contract and liability insurance management in collaboration with the NM legal team
  • Annual review of Nursing Student Learning Experience policy with appropriate edits completed that reflect current state process and practice
  • Track quality/safety occurrences reported regarding students that includes follow up and any change in practice/process
  • Calculate total amount of hours involved in hosting of students for the annual Community Benefits Survey
  • Assist in strategic planning of preferred academic partnerships in hosting clinical rotations
  • Create summer nurse extern program plan and timeline
  • Coordinate extern observation experiences
  • Evaluate extern program and make quality improvements as needed

Addendum 2: Professional Development Specialist: Nurse Residency

  • Provides support to the nurse residency programs
  • Assists in the creation and development plans for nurse residents
  • Create simulation experiences for nurse residents
  • Facilitate nurse residency curriculum
  • Assists in development preceptors and mentors for nurse residents
  • Serve as a mentor and support to all nurse residents
  • Support the accreditation process for nurse residency programs regionally
  • Supports outcomes of the nurse residency program
  • Leads and participates in nurse residency advisory council regionally



  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing within 5 years of hire to the role
  • Registered Nursing license issued by the State of Illinois
  • 3-5 years of experience in specific clinical area
  • BLS through American Heart Association

Equal Opportunity

Northwestern Medicine is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation or any other protected status.

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