assignment: academic success and professional development plan part 4: finalizing the plan nurs 6003



Selected peer-reviewed article:

Gainotti, G. (2021). The relations between cognitive and motivational components of anosognosia for left-sided hemiplegia and the right hemisphere dominance for emotions: A historical survey. Consciousness and Cognition94, 103180.

Working as a family nurse practitioner has developed my interest in emergency care and this has necessitated my interest to enroll in advanced studies at Walden University to specialize in the same. Specifically, my concern is directed to patients with difficulty to move due to paralysis or half-paralysis and I look forward to addressing their concern in the emergency room (Gainotti, 2021). In order to access information relevant to this area of choice, I select to use an electronic database found at Walden University’s library. While doing my online research, I had difficulty in choosing the right online database in the library due to multiple options. However, since the university’s online library provides different options, I had to review the best database that gives good articles based on time limits and one that meets the criteria for best peer-reviewed materials (Justesen et al., 2021). Based on this premise, I chose CINAHL Plus with full text as the best database for online searches at the university’s library.

online nursing essays

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Despite being free, finding this database was a bit challenging especially due to multiple online options that are available in the online university library which then meant that I had to limit the search process to modes and expanders in order to get the reference above (Rao & Moon, 2021). On a positive flip-side, I find the database easy to navigate as I was able to narrow down my searches to specific words and parameters. Therefore, the CINAHL database can be used by colleagues at the university and I recommend it as the primary tool where they can look for information pertaining to area of study. Other than providing an easy-to-use platform, the database has an option for advance searches and can also be used by colleagues to cite references (Justesen et al., 2021). Moreover, the database can be used by colleagues to search for a wide range of topics in health sciences and nursing.


Gainotti, G. (2021). The relations between cognitive and motivational components of anosognosia for left-sided hemiplegia and the right hemisphere dominance for emotions: A historical survey. Consciousness and Cognition94, 103180.

Justesen, T., Freyberg, J., & Schultz, A. N. (2021). Database selection and data gathering methods in systematic reviews of qualitative research regarding diabetes mellitus-an explorative study. BMC Medical Research Methodology21(1), 1-12.

Rao, S., & Moon, K. (2021). Literature Search for Systematic Reviews. In Principles and Practice of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (pp. 11-31). Springer, Cham.

Nursing is one of the most intriguing professions in the health industry but students enrolling in the career are usually baffled by what they might expect when pursuing the course. Often, nursing students lack adequate information about the profession in their early instances of learning but as they progress in studies, they acquire additional information and guidance regarding the career (Roodbol & Peters, 2020). In order for nurses to successfully complete their program, they need academic and professional support. These provide avenue for professional interaction and networking to enhance knowledge sharing in the course of studies (Mesquita et al., 2017). As I transition to graduate students, I have also realized the benefits of academic and professional support as a way to optimize interactions for my future career as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). In this regard, this paper will help me organize my thoughts by enumerating academic and professional networks who will not only lay a foundation for my studies but also enhance my nursing care practice within a health setting.


Name: Judi Kuric, RN, DNP, FNP

Title: Program Director

Organization: Walden University

Academic or Professional: Academic

Why I selected this individual and/or team and how they will support my success in the MSN program and as a practicing nurse:

Notes: Dr. Kuric prides on an experience of more than 35 years in nursing as well as an advanced practitioner for over 25 years. She has also been teaching specialties in psychiatric-mental health nursing at Walden University. Dr. Kuric has been part of my academic journey while I pursued an associate degree in nursing (ADN) earlier back. Her instructional strategies are outstanding and therefore she is quite an inspiration in building my future career. She once counseled me about the ADN program especially when I struggled in attaining the recommended scores in the sub-module units and her amazing guidance motivated me not to quit the course. Other than her academic and counseling prowess, Dr. Kuric is well-versed with the academic structure of Walden University. I therefore look upon her for further advice on how nursing environment operates within the university and I will consult her more about existing nursing programs that I can participate in to build my future career in the course of studies (Ling & Casida, 2020). With her specialty in psychiatric-mental health nursing, I anticipate to garner more insights about the profession and build confidence by reading her published articles within the university library.



Why I selected this individual and/or team and how they will support my success in the MSN program and as a practicing nurse:

Notes: Achieving success in nursing requires team spirit among learners as they use the platform to discuss and share concepts in the course (Ryan, 2017). I purpose to team up with colleagues in the nursing school to optimize my understanding based on the knowledge shared by other students as they learn from me as well. We will work in group discussions in handling individual and group assignments as provided by course tutors. Besides, MSN colleagues will be vital in discussing issues and overcoming challenges arising in the course of my study (Comunale, Lerch & Reynolds, 2021). Notwithstanding, fellow course-mates will provide a support system of professional networking for future prospects and to enable us secure gainful employment upon completing MSN program. I therefore look forward to build a strong relationship with MSN colleagues in the Walden University.


Name: Tegist Ayalew, RN, MSN, PMHNP.

Title: Staff Nurse

Organization: Hennepin Mental Health Clinic, Minneapolis

Academic or Professional: Professional

Why I selected this individual and/or team and how they will support my success in the MSN program and as a practicing nurse:

Notes: While enrolling for an MSN program, students need immense information about the profession in terms of workplace responsibilities and opportunities for future growth. The most people students can liaise with are those already in the profession practicing the role one is studying (Mesquita et al., 2017). In this regard, I find Dr. Ayalew very instrumental in matters research and information regarding my MSN program. Her broad experience in psychiatric-mental health nursing will be crucial to help me learn about matters happening in practice as well as the emerging issues in the specialty that one can build more knowledge on (Ling & Casida, 2020). Besides, I purpose to build professional network with her for future job prospects as a PMHNP upon graduating.


Name: Pratt Winterbottle, MSN, PMHNP.

Title: Nursing Association (ANA) member

Organization: American Nursing Association (ANA)

Academic or Professional: Professional

Why I selected this individual and/or team and how they will support my success in the MSN program and as a practicing nurse:

Notes: Nursing is one of the health career readily regulated by professional bodies to ensure compliance with operational standards of care of practice. I have a conviction that joining these professional organizations, especially the American Nursing Association, will allow me to provide best care to patients in a diverse setting (Comunale, Lerch & Reynolds, 2021). However, these professional associations have rigid terms that potential members must adhere to before enrolling with the organizations. As a student pursuing MSN program, I need information about the professional and academic demands of ANA as I view it as one of the umbrella body upon which all nurses in America register with (Roodbol & Peters, 2020). I find Dr. Winterbottle the best person to consult as she is already registered and also work in the organization. I look forward to consult her on matters of registration and compliance in order to enhance my practice in the health industry.


Professional networking provides social linkages in which a nurse can use to improve academic knowledge and build a foundation for future career development. Building this network commences when one enrolls in a nursing program and also during professional practice as both avenues lay a foundation for social interactions. As I pursue MSN program in Walden University, I purpose to build both academic and professional networks by collaborating with members discussed above as well as improving interactions with other professionals in my area of study. I believe that their guidance will help me address challenges in my career as well as seek required support system that can optimize my future practice as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner


Comunale, M. J., Lerch, W., & Reynolds, B. (2021). Integrating Advanced Practice Providers into value based care strategies: One organization’s journey to achieve success through interprofessional collaboration. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice22, 100384.

Ling, C. G., & Casida, J. (2020). Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Networking: The Case for a Cup of Coffee. AACN advanced critical care31(1), 75-79.

Mesquita, A. C., Zamarioli, C. M., Fulquini, F. L., Carvalho, E. C. D., & Angerami, E. L. S. (2017). Social networks in nursing work processes: an integrative literature review. Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP51

Roodbol, P. F., & Peters, J. W. (2020). Creating Strong Clinical Networks 17. Advanced Practice Nursing Leadership: A Global Perspective, 223. Cham: Springer.

Ryan, G. (2017). Online social networks and the pre-registration student nurse: a focus on professional accountability.

Module 2 | Part 2: Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity and Professional Ethics

I have analyzed the relationship between academic integrity and writing, as well as the relationship between professional practices and scholarly ethics. I have also identified strategies I intend to pursue to maintain integrity and ethics of my academic work while a student of the MSN program, as well as my professional work as a nurse throughout my career. The results of these efforts are shared below.

Directions: In the space below craft your analysis/writing sample, including Part 1 (The Connection Between Academic and Professional Integrity) and Part 2 (Strategies for Maintaining Integrity of Work).

Part 1: Writing Sample: The Connection Between Academic and Professional Integrity

In the space below write a 2- 3-paragraph analysis that includes the following:

  • Explanation for the relationship between academic integrity and writing
  • Explanation for the relationship between professional practices and scholarly ethics
  • Cite at least 2 resources that support your arguments, being sure to use proper APA formatting.
  • Use Grammarly and SafeAssign to improve the product.
  • Explain how Grammarly, Safe Assign, and paraphrasing contributes to academic integrity

Academic Integrity and Professional Ethics

Nurse-scholars have an obligation to serve their patients and community well. From providing bedside services to leadership in health facilities, nurse have the mandate to demonstrate integrity as a way to earn the trust of those served (Kadam, 2018). Integrity and ethics are virtues that can be inherent or learned and nurses acquire it during their studies in nursing schools. However, the aspect of academic and professional integrity remains important but may seem unclear to a nurse student. As such, the present article delves into a description of ethics as well as academic and profession integrity and how they can be put into practice among nurses.

Academic integrity involves fundamental values such as fairness, honesty, responsibility, and trust in writing. In essence, it involves moral and honest practices in any academic setting involving writing (Sefcik, Striepe & Yorke, 2019). Academic integrity and writing cannot be separated as they lay a foundation for professional ethics in literary work. Students, particularly those in tertiary institutions such as universities and writers have the mandate to acknowledge the ideas of others and appreciate the respective authors by quoting their names (Abbott & Nininger, 2021). In other words, academic writing relies on building information that other scholars have published. Academic integrity will therefore compel a student or a writer to provide credit to other authors by demonstrating honesty with information retrieved by published sources (Cronan et al., 2018). Academic works that lack integrity are considered plagiarized and these constitute an academic crime in the literary world.

Professional practices refer to a set of conducts and behavior that define a given profession with which people within the specialty must comply with (West, 2020). Scholarly ethics on the other hand relates to integrity and accuracy that are significant when developing a written publication for sale or general use. The relationship between professional practices and scholarly ethics is inseparable (Kadam, 2018). Often, professionalism is defined by ideals developed through evidence-based scholarly articles that can be used as a guide in decision-making. Scholarly ethics requires utmost integrity so that the published work does not confuse professionals during decision-making and practice (Sefcik, Striepe & Yorke, 2019). Besides, professional practices are confounded by multiple challenges which then requires scholars who can identify real problems and come up with solutions to address emerging issues in areas of expertise and this can only occur when scholarly materials are not corrupted.

Students and other writings are required to demonstrating honesty and integrity in the academic or literary work. The use of Grammarly, SafeAssign, and paraphrasing allows academic writers to proofread work to rectify anomalies in written work before submission (Cronan et al., 2018). Paraphrasing and SafeAssign serve a critical role in addressing plagiarism in academic writing. Paraphrasing ensures that information of another author is written in a different language instead of being copy and pasted from the original text. SafeAssign on the other hand is a software to detect plagiarized texts in a written material (Kadam, 2018). Apart from guiding in text formatting and grammar, grammarly also has a plagiarism checker embedded in its software that can quickly scan borrowed texts in written work. It is, therefore, necessary for one to use proper citation and paraphrase documents to ensure academic integrity in written work.


Academic integrity is significant in both academic and professional writing. It involves measures and accountabilities to ensure quality paper that adheres to academic standards. As illustrated, the backbone of academic as well as professional writing depends on developing plagiarism-free documents which also acknowledges contributions from other authors. Embracing academic integrity is not only vital in enhancing good association with written work but also molds discipline for professional practice.

PART 2: Strategies for Maintaining Integrity of Work

Expand on your thoughts from Part 1 by:

  • Identifying and describing strategies you intend to pursue to maintain integrity and ethics of your 1) academic work while a student of the MSN program, and 2) professional work as a nurse throughout your career. Include a review of resources and approaches you propose to use as a student and a professional.

Strategies for Maintaining Integrity as a Nurse Student and in Professional Practice

Maintaining academic and professional integrity are vital measures of ethics to students together with professionals. While learners are required to use different tools to detect grammatical errors and plagiarism, professionals should strive to maintain their integrity in place of work (Abbott & Nininger, 2021). As such, the present article delves into a description of tools that a student can use to ensure academic integrity of written work. Besides, an illustration will be made on practices that can be employed to promote integrity as a nursing staff.

Issues of misconduct not only affect students but also professionals in different cadres of specialty. As an MSN student, I intend to identify contextual factors that can place me in a precarious state of academic dishonesty in order to maintain integrity during learning (Abbott & Nininger, 2021). I will work to avoid any practice of academic dishonesty by evading all forms of false representation of academic data and cheating. Besides, I intend to establish a locus of control in learning by extracting factual and real studies as a way to elevate my level of originality in the learning process (Sefcik, Striepe & Yorke, 2019). However, when assigned tasks that involve academic writing, I will do my research extensively, paraphrase the work and acknowledge works written by authors through quoting their names in my texts. Notwithstanding, I will use SafeAssign and Grammarly to ensure that my written work does not have any similarities with the published work of other authors.

In my role as a professional nurse, I anticipate to develop a moral principle in my career by maintaining integrity and work ethics during practice. I will remain true to my call as a nurse by delivering services and going beyond the call of duty to provide the best care to patients (West, 2020). I will adhere to the rules and regulations of nursing practice to ensure that my profession provides a meaningful purpose to members of the society I serve. Based on this premise, I will be responsive to my actions towards patients to ensure that I do not violate their rights during care (Abbott & Nininger, 2021). Moreover, I intend to liaise with multidisciplinary teams in the facility I serve so that I gain further insights on nursing practice and to guide me in decision-making as I provide care services to patients with varied health needs.


Academic and professional integrity serve vital roles in nursing practice. Through academic integrity, students learn and develop the principle of honesty so that they develop necessary competency for future practice. Integrity acquired through learning builds confidence in nurses in adhering to the professional codes of practice as they provide service to patients. As such, integrity as a virtue should be instilled onto nurses during elementary learning so that they embrace it in their future practice to improve quality of life of patients.


Cronan, T. P., Mullins, J. K., & Douglas, D. E. (2018). Further understanding factors that explain freshman business students’ academic integrity intention and behavior: Plagiarism and sharing homework. Journal of Business Ethics147(1), 197-220.

Kadam, D. (2018). Academic integrity and plagiarism: The new regulations in India. Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery51(02), 109-110. DOI: 10.4103/ijps.IJPS_208_18

Sefcik, L., Striepe, M., & Yorke, J. (2019). Mapping the landscape of academic integrity education programs: what approaches are effective?. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education

West, E. (2020). Ethics and integrity in nursing research. Handbook of research ethics and scientific integrity, 1051-1069. Springer, Cham.

Abbott, M. R., & Nininger, J. (2021). Academic integrity in nursing education: Policy review. Journal of Professional Nursing37(2), 268-271.

Furthering my education has always been a goal of mine even before I finished nursing school. The only setback I had when applying for a graduate program was my GPA during my undergraduate nursing program. That led me to be afraid of rejection or further failure in a master’s program. After several attempts of trying to apply to bigger named schools I began to research about Walden as I was recommended their program. When I heard my GPA wouldn’t be an issue, I was relieved but still felt uneasy about being successful. My main goal is to maintain A’s and B’s throughout my course work. Going into the program I wanted to specialize in Mental Health as a nurse practitioner. I found myself being able to handle mental health patients with ease on my med-surg unit. I thought this would be very interesting to get more in depth of the medicine and how to navigate with working with this population of patients. I, myself, have found mental health to be very important and although mental health doesn’t always appear in the form of bipolar, schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder, it is important that we are aware of the little signs before they become bigger problems.

While mental health has always been an issue and topic of discussion, it seems that COVID has increased the triggers of anxiety and depression amongst those who have survived COVID and those who are simply staying home in isolation. According to the Mayo Clinic Staff, in the article, COVID-19 and your mental health, “ Surveys show a major increase in the number of U.S. adults who report symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression during the pandemic, compared with surveys before the pandemic. Some people have increased their use of alcohol or drugs, thinking that can help them cope with their fears about the pandemic. In reality, using these substances can worsen anxiety and depression” (2020).

I also face the struggle of pursuing a career where my number one love is. When I saw Walden offered a pediatric nurse practitioner program, I instantly hopped on the opportunity to enroll. I love children. I found pediatrics to be enjoyable and much more rewarding. I figured maybe I can incorporate my love for both pediatrics and mental health and find a path. I feel for starters that joining the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) would be a good fit for my journey. Regardless of age, race, sex, mental health is a key component to providing patient care.


Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, October 15). Covid-19: How to manage your mental health during the crisis. Mayo Clinic.

Having worked in various psychiatric inpatient settings throughout my registered nursing career, I have chosen to pursue my Masters of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Psychiatric Mental Health. This decision was based on my experience as an LPN and RN combined. I have always been intrigued as to what goes on in a person’s mind when they are in a mental health crisis. With the current pandemic, more people stayed at home to prevent spreading the virus which had an impact on people’s mental health.  Panchal et al. (2021) stated that 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic. This was an even more reason for me to pursue this specialty to help other people going through tough times with this pandemic.I did not have any difficulty in selecting this specialty. I have always enjoyed talking with patients, getting to know them and establishing a good rapport with them.

Nursing is an ever evolving profession. As nurses we need to be updated on current trends that impact our practice (Nock, 2017). That is why it is important to affiliate yourself with a professional organization. I intend to join the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. Joining the APNA will grow my professional network and help enhance my resume. Walden University’s mission is to transform scholar-practitioners so that they can affect positive social change (Walden, 2019). I believe that joining the APNA will contribute to this mission by staying up to date on current evidence-based practice which will benefit the patient population.


Nock, B. (2017, August 30). 3 Reasons to Join a Professional Nursing Organization. Gebauer.Com. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from

Panchal, N., Kamal, R., Cox, C., & Garfield, R. (2021, July 20). The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use. KFF. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from

Social Change. (2019). Walden University. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from

Read Articles: NURS 6003 Part 6 Finalizing the Plan

Academic and Professional Success Plan Template

 Module 6 | Part 4: Finalizing the Plan

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) pursuing advanced education, especially Master of Science in Nursing (MS) need to specialize in certain areas of care provision based on their options and desires. Deciding the choice of specialty is essential for APRNs so that they can focus on a certain area of healthcare delivery and improve overall patient outcomes (Delaney et al., 2019). Consequently, I have considered different specialties before making the decision to be a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). The purpose of this paper is to discuss and compare my primary and second preferred specialties and identify the role of each specialty based on the preparation. The paper also discusses the justification for the selected or preferred specialty and examines a professional organization related to the specialty and way of joining the organization.

 Step 1: Comparison of Nursing Specialties

My preferred specialty is being a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). PMHNP nurses offer a full range of primary mental health care, including the psychosocial assessment, evaluation, diagnosis and developing treatment and care plans for patients with mental health needs and psychiatric disorders (Foster et al., 2020). Through the use of their knowledge and skills of psychotherapy modalities and psychopharmacology and in collaboration with physicians and other professional, PMHNP nurses place their patients on regimen of therapy and prescription medications to enhance their mental health. Psychiatric nurse practitioners also offer support and education to families and communities besides the evaluation of their patients’ progress throughout their lifespan (Jones et al., 2022). They also participate in policy development and health care reforms as they relate to mental health and treatment of mental health patients to improve access, reduce cost burden and enhance overall quality of care delivery (Delaney et al., 2019). The PMHNP specialty offers different opportunities and options for one to work in various settings that include inpatient and emergency department, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation facilities and even in telehealth or tele-psychiatry.

The second preferred option is working as family nurse practitioner. Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) work with families to offer both preventing and secondary care through implementation of health care plans. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), FNPs maintain patient records, perform physical examination and order or conduct diagnostic tests as well as prescribe medications. They can also work in a variety of health care practice areas that include community health settings, private practice, health care systems and even in institutions like universities (AANP, 2019). FNPs can also attain additional certifications in different areas like diabetes and obesity management to meet the specific needs of their different patients across the care and age continuum. These certifications also help them to enhance their career prospects.

Similar to the PMHNP, a family nurse practitioner works with patients of all age groups in different care settings. The FNP can work independently in their own practice or be part of a team. Further, like the PMHNP, the FNP also requires similar qualifications of at least a master’s degree in advanced nursing education. However, the two specialties are fundamentally different in terms of roles and responsibilities and even the practice settings. For instance, the FNP’s primary focus is meeting the physical needs of patients, families and health populations (Kleinpell et al., 2019). Conversely, the PMHNP focuses on meeting the mental health needs of patients and even families. The two specialties are critical because they all implore providers to have further areas of focus that can include geriatrics, pediatrics, and even adolescent health.

Step 2: Justification of Nursing Specialty

The choice of nursing specialty depends on one’s desires as a healthcare providers based on needs within the community. The decision to select PMHNP specialty emanates from various reasons that include bridging the gap in mental health access to available resources. My qualification and practice as a PMHNP will assist address the rift between psychiatric services need and availability and access. Secondly, the misconceptions on mental health continue to rise and this affects accessibility by patients and the quality of care that one gets. Individuals and families have failed to seek mental health services because of increased levels of stigmatization and limited resources within the community settings (Foster et al., 2020). Individuals are fast to ignore and even deny the existence of signs and symptoms of mental health problems because they fear stigma from society and family, especially victimization. Therefore, as a PMHNP, I will leverage my professional background and skills to alter these misconceptions and stigma and enhance access to these services by individuals in different settings. I will ensure that I integrate mental health as part of holistic care provision to improve overall patient outcomes, especially at this time when issues like the opioid epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic continue to have devastating effects on mental health among individuals. I will practice where I am most required and meet patient needs by leveraging technologies like telehealth and telemedicine to improve access to resources and lower the overall cost burden associated with mental health provision for low-income individuals and communities

Step 3: Professional Organizations

Professional associations are an essential component for nurse as they offer them the chance to influence nursing practice, nursing education, health policy, and patient care provision through the implementation of innovative care models and evidence-based practice (EBP) interventions. These associations also generate energy, flow of idea and proactive work required to attain patient quality care delivery. The professional association related to my selected or preferred specialty is the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) (2023). This professional nursing association offers members a chance to connect with fellow psychiatric-mental health nurses, have access to resources like evidence-based resources and programs as well as participate in exclusive opportunities in advancing care and treatment of individuals with health and substance use disorders and needs. The organization also provides opportunities for members to enhance their PMH nursing knowledge through over 230 online continuing education sessions, and programs. For instance, members get four free education sessions every month to improve their skills in care provision. One can become a member as a practice nurse (APRN) specializing in mental health area or as a student. The individual meets the criteria and makes online application and pays the requisite fees.


Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) identify specialties to offer specialized care to selected patient populations with the aim of improving quality of care and expanding access as well as reducing the overall cost burden. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) play a critical role in care delivery as they provide mental health care to individuals in need of these services to attain holistic care. As specialized providers, the psychiatric mental health nurses require certain qualifications and should join professional nursing organizations to improve their skills and knowledge in care provision.


American Association of Family Nurse Practitioners (AANP) (2019). Are You

Considering a Career as a Family Nurse Practitioner?

American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) (2023). Welcome to Your Psychiatric-

            Mental Health Nursing Community.

Delaney, K. R., & Vanderhoef, D. (2019). The psychiatric mental health advanced

practice registered nurse workforce: Charting the future. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 25(1), 11-18. DOI: 10.1177/1078390318806571.

Foster, K., Roche, M., Giandinoto, J. A., & Furness, T. (2020). Workplace stressors,

psychological well‐being, resilience, and caring behaviours of mental health nurses: A descriptive correlational study. International journal of mental health nursing, 29(1), 56-68. DOI: 10.1111/inm.12610.

Jones, J. S., Jones, J. S., & Beauvais, A. M. (2022). Psychiatric mental health nursing:

            An interpersonal approach. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Kleinpell, R. M., Grabenkort, W. R., Kapu, A. N., Constantine, R., & Sicoutris, C. (2019).

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants in acute and critical care: A concise review of the literature and data 2008–2018. Critical care medicine, 47(10), 1442. DOI: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000003925.

Nurses taking an MSN program with a nurse practitioner focus become certified nurse practitioners (NPs). NPs are advanced practice nurses who work directly with patients but have greater roles and responsibilities than registered nurses (RN). The purpose of this assignment will be to compare my nursing specialty of choice with my second preference, discuss why I selected the specialty, and explore a professional organization related to my preferred specialty.

Step 1: Comparison of Nursing Specialties

My selected nursing specialty is Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), and the second-preferred specialization is Family nurse practitioners (FNP). PMHNP graduates are equipped with knowledge and skills to address the mental health needs of individuals across the lifespan (Gabrielsson et al., 2020). The PMHNP coursework encompasses psychiatric assessment and symptom management, psychopharmacology, and therapy modalities. PMHNPs provide a full range of primary mental health care services, such as biopsychosocial assessment and diagnosis of patients with mental illness, psychiatric disorders, and co-occurring disorders (Gabrielsson et al., 2020). Treatment approaches used by PMHNPs include both medication, counseling, and psychotherapeutic interventions. Besides, PMHNPs practice in various settings, including emergency, inpatient, private psychiatrist practices, clinics, and community-based mental health services (Gabrielsson et al., 2020). They also provide mental health services in domestic violence shelters, correctional facilities, residential substance abuse facilities, and schools.

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty prepares NP students in clinical care, research, and policy. FNPs provide primary care to persons of all ages, from pediatric to adults (Poghosyan et al., 2017). Graduates are trained to provide high-quality community-based primary care to a wide range of patients with complex health care needs. Primary care is the core of FNP practice. FNPs assess, diagnose disorders, and develop treatment plans for individuals (Poghosyan et al., 2017). FNPs also educate patients and their families about disease prevention and wellness care and make referrals to specialists. They are trained to advocate for and empower patients and their families. In a majority of states, FNPs have independent practice privilege, which gives them prescriptive authority and allows them to treat patients independently in hospitals, clinics, or private practices where they take the role of a primary healthcare provider (Poghosyan et al., 2017).  FNP graduates work with diverse populations in various clinical settings, including clinics, hospitals, doctor’s offices, private practice, and health insurance organizations. Unlike PMHNP, FNP graduates can undertake sub-specialties in their training in Cardiology, Emergency Medicine, Endocrinology, Geriatric care, and Oncology.



Step 2: Justification of Nursing Specialty

PMHNP is my preferred specialty because mental health has been my area of interest since I was an RN. My job experience working in various mental health hospitals and providing mental health care to individuals across the lifespan created an interest in mental health. I selected the PMHNP specialty to be equipped with a broad range of knowledge and skills that will increase my capacity in providing mental health services to clients in my organization (Chapman et al., 2019). Taking the PMHNP specialty will increase my autonomy in my workplace, which is a great motivational factor. The PMHNP program will equip me with knowledge and skills to perform a myriad of clinical roles, such ad conducting psychosocial and physical assessments and developing differential diagnoses of mental health conditions (Chapman et al., 2019). Besides, I will have the capacity to manage the care of patients, including treating symptoms and behavioral change through medication, psychotherapy, and education. I will also promote mental health in my community since I will be well-versed with the cultural differences in providing mental health care. Furthermore, the PMHNP program will equip me with skills to utilize data to evaluate patient outcomes and work with families, other healthcare providers, and communities.

The PMHNP role is steadily growing in the field of mental health. PMHNPs in my state have full authority, which allows them to assess and diagnose mental health illnesses and develop treatment plans independent of physician supervision. I chose PMHNP because I will not be limited to patient care since I can engage in administrative, educational, and research activities. Besides, there is an increased demand for mental health services, and the demand is expected to grow further in the coming years (Chapman et al., 2019). The demand is attributed to the growing number of insured Americans and the requirements of the Affordable Care Act on the provision of mental health care. The growing demand for mental health care and the decreasing stigma surrounding mental health disorders has resulted in a major void in psychiatric care (Chapman et al., 2019). As a result, PMHNPs are in high demand take the mental health jobs. Besides, mental health jobs are projected to be in high demand in the future years. Therefore, I chose the PMHNP since it has a high job prospect and it is financially rewarding.

Step 3: Professional Organizations

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) is a professional nursing organization for PMHNPs. APNA is devoted to the practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing, promotion of health and wellness through identification of mental health issues, prevention of mental health disorders, and the care and treatment of individuals with mental health disorders (APNA, 2021). It advocates psychiatric-mental health nursing and mental health care by developing positions on key issues and disseminating current knowledge and developments in PMH nursing (APNA, 2021). APNA collaborates with stakeholders to foster advances in recovery-focused assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of individuals with mental health disorders.

APNA membership is inclusive of all Psychiatric mental health nurses, including those with an associate degree (ADN), baccalaureate (BSN), advanced practice (APRN), nurse scientists, and academicians. In addition, it has memberships for nursing students in full-time study, retired nurses, and PMH nurses on full-time active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces DOD (APNA, 2021). APNA also provides affiliate membership to other mental health professionals and nurses interested in supporting PMH nurses.


My preferred MSN specialty is PMHNP, which focuses on addressing the mental health needs of individuals across the lifespan. PMHNP graduates are trained in psychiatric assessment and symptom management, psychopharmacology, and therapy modalities. PMHNP differs from FNP, which focuses on providing primary care to individuals across the lifespan. FNP deals with acute and chronic medical conditions, while PMHNP focuses on mental health disorders. I selected the PMHNP specialty because of my interest in mental health, increased demand for mental health care, and the high job prospects. APNA is a professional organization related to psychiatry mental health specialty. It focuses on promoting health and wellness, preventing mental health disorders, and caring for and treating persons with mental health disorders.




APNA. (2021, August 17). About association for psychiatric nursing and mental health.

Chapman, S. A., Toretsky, C., & Phoenix, B. J. (2019). Enhancing psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner practice: impact of state scope of practice regulations. Journal of Nursing Regulation10(1), 35-43.

Gabrielsson, S., Tuvesson, H., Wiklund Gustin, L., & Jormfeldt, H. (2020). Positioning psychiatric and mental health nursing as a transformative force in health care. Issues in mental health nursing41(11), 976-984.

Poghosyan, L., Liu, J., & Norful, A. A. (2017). Nurse practitioners as primary care providers with their own patient panels and organizational structures: A cross-sectional study. International journal of nursing studies74, 1–7.

Over the years, I have wandered if perusing graduate education was good for me. I started my nursing profession in long term care and then moved to an acute care hospital where I have been actively working in the MedSurg floor of the hospital. My decision to continue with graduate education was done with collaboration from some coworkers who had recently graduated from their MS program as Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP). I exploited the different master program with them, and they gave me more insight of the different options. After considerable discussions and doing my own personal research and independent findings of what to study for graduate school, I decided to pursue the FNP program. Key factors that made me chose this option was my experience in long term care, my clinical experience in acute care as a MedSurg nurse and my desire to transition from acute care to primary care at some point in my professional career. In making this decision, I had very little difficulty in getting the information that was necessary for me as I have some of my coworkers in the hospital who provided me with as much information as possible that really helped me made the decision. In addition, some of my formal colleagues own their own private practice and have been working with me to answer any questions that I have. Others have also promised to assist me every step in the program to help with any information that will enable me to succeed with my choice. Another factor that was very important was my family situation. Being Married with kids (3 years old and 6 years old), I will like to have the opportunity to work during the day and spend my evenings and night with my family. My present work schedule is a rotating position that make me work on days, night, and weekends. Working mainly weekdays gives me more time to spend with my family.

The professional organization that I would like to join is the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). This is the largest Nurse Practitioners (NP) organization that support all NP specialties (Primary Care Collaborative, 2022). It offers its members the opportunity to network with a wide variety of other NPs, discounts on continue educational courses, provide grants and scholarships, opportunities to participate in workshops and conferences, free journal subscriptions, up to date with research publications and more. Membership is open to license NPs within the United States. I intend to become a member of this organization as I believe it benefits will help me advance my career goals and meet the needs of the community I serve.

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