The vision, mission, and goals of Walden show how important it is to have a diverse group of graduates who will use what they’ve learned to solve important problems and make positive changes in society. (Walden University in 2021). The seventh (VII) Essential Competency for Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) also talks about how important cultural diversity and sensitivity are for DNP graduates to improve the health of the population through “Clinical Prevention and Population Health.” (AACN, 2006, p.15). Dr. Susan Stefan said that a DNP program will help nurses become “change agents” (Laureate Education, 2011). We will be able to reach out to a diverse community, address health disparities, and improve their health if we have nurses from many different cultures.


Having worked as a nurse for more than 30 years, I became very interested in helping other nurses and creating nurse leaders. I have been a guest speaker at a few colleges in the past to encourage students from minority groups and countries where English is not the first language. It was very rewarding to meet and talk with them. As a graduate student, the highlight for me was presenting at the International Nurse Conference GANES in Washington, DC with my mentor. My main professional and personal goal will be to speak at more nursing conferences about mentoring and continue to inspire more nurses, especially minority nurses. Pate (2011) talked about the simple steps that can be taken to teach and guide nurse leaders in ambulatory care, and that made me realize that I am already taking a lot of those steps. Talking about mentoring can only help the nursing field move forward and encourage more people who aren’t sure about becoming leaders to do so. This goal will be in line with one of the goals that Walden University promotes, which is for people to use their “knowledge to positively affect their profession, communities, and society.” (10, 2021, Walden University).

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The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) set forth a set of standards, the DNP Essentials, that define the foundational competencies that should be acquired and focused throughout a DNP degree program’s curriculum. Additionally, the DNP Essentials represent those competencies and areas that will inform your areas of practice as a DNP-prepared nurse. Take special note that in addition to your personal and academic motivations for pursuing a DNP degree, you will be required to demonstrate and enact these essentials in your daily practice.

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For this Assignment, review the AACN DNP Essentials document and reflect on the competencies presented. Reflect on your personal and academic goals and consider how those goals align with both Walden University’s mission and vision and with the AACN DNP Essentials.


To prepare:

  • Review The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (AACN, 2006) in this week’s Learning Resources and reflect on the competencies presented.
  • Review Walden University’s mission, vision, and university outcomes.
  • Reflect on your professional and academic goals. Consider how Walden’s mission and vision as well as the AACN’s perspective may fit with your goals. How might you incorporate a commitment to social change into your academic and professional plans?

The Assignment: (2–3 pages)

  • Explain how your academic and professional goals align with Walden’s vision, mission, social change message, and university outcomes and the AACN DNP Essentials. Be specific.
  • Explain how you plan to incorporate social change throughout your program of study and in professional practice. Be sure to include how social change may contribute to your practicum/field experience and your role in professional practice.

Incorporating Social Change Throughout the Program of Study and In Professional Practice

I will incorporate social change in the PMHNP program and future practice by engaging in research to generate knowledge and identify better strategies to improve the delivery of mental health services in the community. For instance, I can research better treatment interventions to improve health outcomes for depression which is linked with high suicidal rates. In addition, I will incorporate social change by implementing sustainable and socially acceptable health promotion interventions that will improve mental health outcomes in the community (Rodríguez-Pérez et al., 2022). This will include community interventions to educate people about mental health.


My goals are to generate knowledge and develop strategies to improve mental health care delivery, improve mental health outcomes in my community, and alleviate mental health-related stigma. Walden’s vision aligns with these goals since I will utilize the knowledge gained in the PMHNP program to create solutions for challenges encountered in mental health. Besides, I will translate scientific knowledge to help patients with mental health conditions, aligning with AACN Essential I.

Great post Jane, I share your insight in owning your own practice as to help improve the health care system in the underserved area in West Africa. Acknowledging that health advancement interventions and successful management requires community transformation, it call for focus on ascertaining some of the ideas of social change and how they could apply to health and health care. Comparable to DNP essential, Walden University’s vision, mission, and goal is focused on the intellectual-expert model, that offers educationally appropriate training services for a wide range of healthcare professionals looking to improve critical thinking capabilities, abilities to select and incorporate evidence-based strategies, and central specialty nursing expertise to change the society and improve health care system (Walden University, 2011). The DNP competencies cited by AACN uncovers the importance of using science-based concepts to assess and optimize health care quality and improve patient outcomes. DNP students are positioned to play a significant role in the changing health care system through the formulation of clinical practice recommendations, and the design of evidence-based treatments, and the evaluation of practice outcomes (AACN, 2006).


American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (2006). The essentials of doctoral education for

advanced nursing practice. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from


Walden University. (2011). School of Nursing Mission and Vision: Retrieved from


Reminder: The College of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The Sample Paper provided at the Walden Writing Center provides an example of those required elements (available at https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/templates/general#s-lg-box-20293632). All papers submitted must use this formatting.

Discussion 2: AACN Competencies and the Walden Mission, Vision, and Outcomes

The AACN developed the DNP essentials, which define the elements and competencies that the curriculum for a degree in Doctor of Nursing Practice must have. The AACN outlines eight essentials, which are considered the basic outcome competencies regarded as essential for every DNP graduate in spite of their nursing specialty or career focus (AACN, 2006). The Walden University mission is offering a diversified community of professionals with a chance to revolutionize themselves from scholar to practitioners to bring about positive social change (Walden University, 2021). Additionally, the Walden University foresees a uniquely diverse 21st-century learning community where knowledge is deemed valuable to the program that it can be employed by its learners to the solutions of vital challenges in the society, thus enhancing the overall global good.

            The Walden University’s standpoint relates to the AACN competencies, including

Essential I, Scientific Underpinnings for Practice. The AACN Essential I states that DNP-prepared nurses should have broad and deep knowledge gained from sciences and should demonstrate the translation of that scientific knowledge promptly and efficiently to assist patients in the daily needs in the practice setting (AACN, 2006). Walden’s mission relates to this competency as it offers its students the opportunity to scholarly transforms themselves to bring about positive social change (Walden University, 2021). DNP students at Walden can become scholar-practitioners and effect positive health outcomes in society through putting evidence-based research into practice. They can also establish new strategies that can improve communities’ health outcomes and promote better outcomes in specific patient populations.

            Walden’s standpoint is also support the AACN essential III on Clinical Scholarship and Analytical Methods for EBP. Essential III explains that the DNP learner should apply knowledge to find solutions to challenges in practice through the scholarship of nursing practice (AACN, 2006). The Walden standpoint relates to essential III since it aims at having learners applying knowledge to identify immediate solutions to societal challenges.

            My academic and professional goals are to improve health outcomes among individuals diagnosed with chronic illnesses. I also aim at making our communities healthier through sustainable and socially acceptable health promotion interventions. Walden’s standpoint relates to my goals as it encourages a learning community where scholars apply knowledge to solve crucial societal challenges (Walden University, 2021). My professional goals challenge me to make a difference in the community by addressing the common health challenges encountered in the community I live. Besides, promoting a healthier community through health promotion interventions will help shape a better world and advance the greater global good.

            I will incorporate social change in the academic goal of improving health outcomes among individuals diagnosed with chronic illnesses by researching and identifying evidence-based community interventions that can promote better health outcomes. For instance, I will examine interventions that have effectively reduced morbidity rates in persons with chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases (Phillips, 2019). I will also collaborate with an interdisciplinary team, which will help me implement the interventions in the community and measure their impact in achieving the overall goal (Phillips, 2019). Furthermore, I will incorporate social change to make communities healthier through sustainable and socially acceptable health promotion interventions by focusing on real-world applications that can improve the health of individuals (Phillips, 2019). I will also research theories and evidence-based strategies that engender positive social change.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2006). DNP essentials: the essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice. https://www.aacnnursing.org/DNP/DNP-Essentials

Phillips, A. (2019). Effective approaches to health promotion in nursing practice. Nursing Standard. https://doi.org/10.7748/ns.2019.e11312

Walden University. (2021). Social change. Accredited Online University | Online Degree Programs | Walden University. https://www.waldenu.edu/why-walden/social-change#mission

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