AGACNPs Peer Reviewed Article Discussion
Professional development plan is an important tool that allows advanced practice nurses to develop the competencies they need for their practice. According to Cross et al., (2018, professional development plan details the knowledge as well as skills that nurse must obtain for their growth in their professions. Advanced practice nurses utilize professional development plan to ensure that they have the relevant knowledge and skills that they will need in serving their populations. It provides them an understanding of the goals as well as objectives that must be met for their advancement. APNs develop leaning goals and objectives that must be achieved within a given period. They also align them with the competencies that they must develop in their training and practice. As a result, they constantly evaluate them to determine their level of growth in their profession. Therefore, this research paper explores the scope of nursing practice in my state, my personal assessment, and networking as well as marketing strategies that are essential for APNs.
APN Scope of Practice
States play the critical role of regulating the scope of practice for APNs. However, there exist significant differences in the scope of practice across states. There is also a difference across states in aspects such as licensing, accreditation, education, and certification. As a result, APNs are required to abide by the legal provisions and regulations by the states that they work with in the US. Generally, nursing practice in different states is either reduced, full, or restricted practice. States where full practice is used are characterized by APNs having the prescribing authority and can work without the need for the involvement of the physicians. Reduced practice is characterized by the state demanding that APNs work under the supervision of a physician. Reduced practice is characterized by APNs being allowed to practice in an area of focus in health care (Yoder-Wise, 2019). Therefore, there is a need for APNs to practice delegation, team management, and supervision in states where there is restricted practice.
There is reduced practice in the roles of APNs in New Jersey. APNs are required to work actively with the physicians in aspects of care that include prescription of medication. The state requires that the prescription of controlled substances be considered the responsibility of the physicians. However, certified APNs are allowed to prescribe medications as well as medical devices as long as there is a joint agreement between them and the collaborating physicians. The joint agreement is reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it reflects changes in reference materials, skills, and practice in healthcare. The APNs are also allowed to prescribe Schedule II to V in their practice in New Jersey. This provision is applicable when APNs have completed a course related to prescription of controlled substances.
APNs are required to be licensed as registered nurses for them to work in New Jersey. They also required having a master’s degree in an area of specialization for them to work as APNs. The advanced degree can be either doctorate or masters in an area of specialization in nursing practice. The APNs should have been taught core curriculum in areas that include physiology, pathophysiology, disease prevention, and health promotion among other. The state also demands that all students enrolled in the APN program must complete theoretical and clinical learning experiences to enhance their competencies in direct patient care. The national certification of specialty scope of practice is done by the state.
The BON regulates the practice of APNs in New Jersey. However, their prescribing role is regulated by the joint agreement with the collaborating physician. APNs must ensure that their prescription authority aligns with the provisions of the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. The board of nursing also undertakes the responsibility of verifying licenses for the APNs. The state of New Jersey also recognizes the autonomous role of the APNs. The roles of the APNs are varied. They include diagnosis and treatment, ordering for tests, prescribing medications, performing procedures within their scope, pronounces deaths, and act as primary care providers among others. The APNs are also required to engage in activities that contribute to their continued professional development (Yoder-Wise, 2019). In this case, they are required to have at least 30 hours of continuous education requirements in their areas of specialization after every two years.
Advanced practice nurses are expected to perform a self-assessment to determine their abilities in undertaking their professional roles. The personal assessment allows them to identify strengths, weaknesses, goals, as well as objectives that must be achieved for their professional competency. It also enables them to understand the need for reflective practice, as it enables them to understand the ways in which the care that they offer can be improved further (Billings & Halstead, 2019). One of my strengths as an APN is efficient listening and communication skills. Nurse practitioners should demonstrate effective listening and communication skills when interacting with their patients. They should be able to interpret the verbal and nonverbal cues of communication that might have a meaning to the patient’s health. My effectiveness in communication and listening has enabled me to explore the ways in which holistic care can be provided in my practice. My other strength is honesty. I believe in the virtue of being truthful to my patients. Honesty enables the nurse practitioners to establish effective relationships with those they serve (Marshall & Myles, 2019). Therefore, I always inform my clients about my abilities and refer those that I feel that I cannot handle them to meet their needs. The last strength that I possess is being goal-oriented. I like developing goals for any activity that I undertake. Developing them enables me to come up with measurable strategies that can enable me to achieve the goals (Hunt, 2015). Through it, I have appreciated the importance of planning and setting goals of activities prior to undertaking them. It allows for easy evaluation and identification of areas of improvement that needs to be improved for my personal and professional efficiency.
Despite the above strengths, I have one weakness that is likely to affect my performance as an advanced practice nurse. I fear handling complex tasks that I do not have experience in undertaking them. Often, nurse practitioners are perceived to have significant knowledge and experience in diverse areas of healthcare. As a result, they are considered the leaders of change projects in their organizations. This perception acts as a source of fear to me since I think I do not have the knowledge and skills needed in handling almost all of the organizational activities. Therefore, I need to explore ways in which I will address this area of concern in my professional life.
Nurse practitioners should have goals and objectives that guide their career growth and development. The goals should be specific, measurable, realistic, achievable, and time bound. The objectives should align with the goals as well as one’s vision. One of my career goals is to work as a family nurse practitioner in our hospital once I complete the graduate program. I hope to give back to the community by exploring ways in which health issues affecting them can be addressed. My other goal is to engage in activities that will contribute to evidence-based practice in the hospitals I will be working with in the future. The use of evidence-based practice in nursing is now recognized as the gold approach to meeting the health needs of the diverse populations (Masters, 2019). However, its use remains low in some hospitals due to the low level of awareness and understanding among healthcare providers. Therefore, I intend to lead the adoption of evidence-based practice in the hospitals that I will work with in the future. Through it, I hope to promote the provision of safe, efficient, quality, and cost-effective care to the diverse populations that I will serve. One of my objectives is to work towards ensuring that I optimize the clinical experiences in the graduate school to build on my knowledge, skills, and experience. My other objective is to become the role model to other nurses in the institutions that I work with.
Networking and Marketing Strategies
Advanced practice nurses need to network with other nurse practitioners as a way of raising the image of their profession. They also network with other nurse practitioners as a way of sharing knowledge on the manner in which their practice can be improved. Nurse practitioners in New Jersey can use various organizations to obtain employment information. These organizations include New Jersey State Nurses Association and websites such as Indeed.com, Simplyhired.com, Jooble.org, and careerbuilder.com. These organizations act as linkages between the registered nurses and their employees. They also act as recruiting agencies where they filter applications and submit names of the most suitable candidates for the advertised jobs. Therefore, registered nurses should explore these sites for any job openings that might suit their interests.
There exist networking and marketing strategies that nurse practitioners can utilize at the state, local, and national levels. One of them is through their engagement in activities of their organizations. Professional organizations such as American Nurses Association provide nurse practitioners with opportunities to engage in discussions related to issues affecting them. Nurse practitioners can influence policies related to healthcare through these platforms, hence, promoting their networking (Billings & Halstead, 2019). Professional organizations at the local, national, and state levels also often organize for conferences for nurses and nurse practitioners. The conferences aim at exploring ways of improving nursing practice. Consequently, nurse practitioners can utilize them for their networking and marketing purposes.
In summary, professional development plan is an important tool that nurse practitioners can use to determine their career growth progress and ways of achieving the set goals and objectives. The practice of nurse practitioners is highly influenced by regulations adopted in different states. The state can adopt policies that allow full, restricted, or reduced practice by APNs. It is important for APNs to determine their strengths, weaknesses, goals, and objectives. The determination increases the relevance of quality improvement initiatives that would enhance professionalism in APNs practice. Therefore, nurse practitioners should explore the available opportunities in their states by utilizing the networking and marketing strategies within their reach.
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Marshall, J. E., & Myles, M. F. (2019). Myles professional studies for midwifery education and practice: Concepts and challenges. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
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