Occupational Therapy: Living Life To Its Fullest

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CE Article: Journey of Leadership: Steps for a Meaningful Career

Jana S. Ellison, MS, OTR/L, CLT, Patricia C. Hanson, OTR/L, Jennifer L. Schmidt, OTR/L

Earn .1 AOTA CEU (1.25 NBCOT PDU/1 contact hour)

The purpose of this article is to offer insight into the journey from new practitioner to leader in the field of occupational therapy. Exploration of the journey includes a detailed review of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA’s) Centennial Vision (AOTA, 2006), AOTA’s Professional Development Tool (AOTA, 2003), mentoring concepts, novice leadership development, and tools for continued success. To support occupational therapy practitioners, the Centennial Vision highlights key concepts for developmental growth to strengthen the future of occupational therapy. The multiple tools discussed in this article focus on self-reflection; professional development; and the continued support needed when engaging in new roles, such as leadership in any practice area. Lastly, the concepts and benefits of mentoring are discussed to promote a general understanding of immediate implementation at any stage of career development.


  1. Understand AOTA’s Centennial Vision and its relevance to future leadership. 
  2. Recognize the use and importance of career mapping for growth, using the Professional Development Tool.
  3. Identify the four states in the mentoring lifecycle and their importance in successful leadership.
  4. Identify the Full Range Leadership Theory and compare and contrast transformational and transactional leadership styles.

Learning Level: Entry

Target Audience: Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants

Content Focus: Category 3: Professional Issues: Administration and Management

Reference Information:
Ellison, J., Hanson, P., Schmidt, J., (2013). Journey of Leadership: Steps for a Meaningful Career. OT Practice, 18(10), CE-1–CE-8

Additional Details:

SKU: CEA1013
Product Type: Download
Year Published: 2013

  • AOTA Continuing Education
  • Practitioner
  • Continuing Education
  • Across Practice Areas/General Practice
  • Leadership
  • Mentor
  • Mentoring
  • Emerging Leaders
  • Development Program
  • PDT