A professional development associate (PDA) contributes significantly to the overall functioning of an education department. In this Ausmed Quick Chat, Ausmed professional development associates, Eliza Sabaliauskas and Karlee Smith ask Caroline Baughman from the Montana Nurses Association what this position entails, providing insight into how utilising a PDA can improve the outcomes of an education department.
Caroline Baughman is a Professional Development Associate for the Montana Nurses Association—an accredited approver and provider of continuing nursing education with the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Middle Grades Education, with a concentration in math and English, from the John H. Lounsbury College of Education at Georgia College and State University. Caroline had the opportunity to be mentored by Dr. Lounsbury, one of the founders of the middle school movement in the US and advocate of an integrated curricular approach to teaching young adolescents.
As an undergraduate, she was involved in the Association of Middle-Level Education and served on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Middle School Association, igniting her passion for supporting professional organizations. She moved to Montana for a career growth opportunity, fell in love with the state and with Helena, and joined the Montana Nurses Association team. Her background in education has provided a foundation for her work in professional development and enhanced the ability of the professional development team to effectively address learner needs and facilitate achievement of the association’s goals. She is a member of the Association for Nursing Professional Development, where she has served as developer and facilitator of the Professional Development Associate program since 2017. As a PD Associate for an international specialty nursing organization in promoting the importance and formalisation of the role, Caroline has had the opportunity to engage nursing professional development teams around the United States through facilitating workshops, discussions, conference sessions, and published works. See Educator Profile