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Research Publications

Perspectives of unlicensed assistive personnel on career development.

Akaragian S, Crooks H, Pieters HC.

BACKGROUND: An equivalency program, Method 3, is a viable but underused option for unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) who pursue licensure. This study describes the perceptions of UAP on opportunities for career development. METHODS: Eighteen UAP participated in three focus groups. Thematic analysis was conducted with verbatim transcription. RESULTS: Three major themes represented the lively discussions that occurred: core driving forces, processes of career development, and anticipated and desirable outcomes. Various subthemes described these major themes. CONCLUSION: Method 3 provides a realistic approach to help UAP persevere with career development. Collaboration with management and peers, encouragement, and effective communication contributed to the success of participants, despite obstacles and challenges. Camaraderie and flexible scheduling were critical elements in participants' pursuit of first licensure. Taking small steps was described as an effective approach for UAP to persevere with career development. Support for informal career development is essential. Nursing leaders should consider an equivalency approach to accommodate individual preferences and learning needs for career development. J Contin Educ Nurs 2013;44(9):415-423.

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