Core Competency | CHCM
By Marky Medeiros

Core Competency – Facilitating the Journey to Excellence: Pathway to Excellence Program Directors®

In this article I will outline the core competencies that are needed to be successful in the Pathway Program Director position.

PPD Core Competencies

Identify Core Competencies and Examples of Core Competencies | CHCM

Core Competency Knowledge

It is absolutely necessary to have an in-depth knowledge of the Pathway to Excellence framework, how it started, what it stands for, and the why behind the elements of performance and the Pathway to Excellence requirements. It is essential for the PPD to understand and be able to articulate why this recognition is important to the organization, the department, the nurse at the bedside, and ultimately the patient and family.

Leading Teams a Strong Foundation for Core Competence

A crucial core competency for all PPDs is the ability to lead teams. Usually they are charged with some aspect of overseeing shared governance teams. They often need to lead champions and ambassador teams. In most organizations they are leading writing teams, planning teams, and steering committees. Being competent in leading teams is an important part of the PPD role.

Communication and Collaboration

The PPD must be able to communicate and collaborate with all members of the healthcare team. In understanding core competencies, they need to be able to communicate with senior executives, boards, foundations, leaders in the organization (nursing and non-nursing) as well as clinical nurses and interprofessional partners, ancillary departments, and nursing schools or students. They must be able to articulate what is needed to further the culture of excellence, how to analyze and improve outcomes, how to adapt to make changes in the organization, and what is required of every member of the healthcare team.

Program Management

Anyone who has ever led a journey to excellence knows that there must be a well-defined plan and that project management is a huge part of the plan. This person must be able to think broadly and bring it all together. Organizational skills and personal core competencies are important, as well as strategic planning, financial management, and timeline development.

Healthy Workplace

The next competency is healthy workplace. The PPD must have a solid understanding of what it takes to have a healthy workplace and be able to identifying core competencies and articulate its importance to all members of the team. They must be able to promote, enhance, and lead changes to develop and sustain a healthy work environment.

PPDs must have a thorough understanding of shared governance and be willing and able to implement or enhance the council effectiveness in their organizations. They must participate in safety and quality initiatives and be active in enhancing wellbeing activities in their organizations.

Coordinating the Pathway Journey: Applicant Registration

Core Capabilities | CHCM

Applicant Registration

There are several phases of the journey to excellence and each step of the way calls for core competencies in understanding and coordinating the journey. In the application phase the PPD must understand the eligibility requirements and what it’s going to take to make the journey successful. There may be structures and processes that need to be present in the organization/ company’s core competencies, there may be outcome data that has opportunity for improvement, there may be leadership education requirements that need to be addressed before a successful application is submitted to the ANCC.

The PPD must have consideration for conducting a self-assessment and preparing the document. Understanding the EOPs, following the prescribed writing format, and preparing the ODF is critical in the applicant registration process.

Coordinating the Pathway Journey: Preparing for the Survey

The PPD must have a thorough understanding of who is eligible for the survey and how to prepare for the survey. This is not a satisfaction or engagement survey, and it is important for the people taking the survey to understand the focus and the why behind the survey. Staff engagement in promoting and taking the survey is key, and preparation is vital for success.

Coordinating the Pathway Journey: Decision and Post Decision

The competencies around decision and post decision focus on acknowledging the work done in regard to excellence in the organization, celebrating after decision and preparing the interim reporting documents. For the PPD that includes the Interim Monitoring Report (IMR).

Ongoing Phase

Distinctive Competencies and Strategic Management | CHCM

In many organizations, once the call comes from the ANCC, the PPD may get pulled into different projects, initiatives, or even different roles in the organization. Being able to keep the organization on track, keep up with the changing requirements, adapting to changes in the organization, and keeping the core competence passion alive in the organization is critical. Ongoing attention to the process is necessary so at the next document submission time there is something to write about, you have the evidence and resources needed, and your outcomes are on track for consecutive designations.

For more information regarding CHCM’s new PPD program based on these core competencies contact Marky Medeiros @


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