NURS 6003 Part 6 Finalizing the Plan

NURS 6003 Part 6 Finalizing the Plan

NURS 6003 Part 6 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.


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Step 1: Comparison of Nursing Specialties

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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.

At some point in every construction project, efforts turn from design and the focus moves to actual construction. With the vision in place and the tools secured, the blueprint can be finalized and approved. Then it is time to put on hardhats and begin work.

Throughout the course you have developed aspects of your Academic and Professional Development Plan. You have thought a great deal about your vision and goals, your academic and professional network of support, research strategies and other tools you will need, the integrity of your work, and the value of consulting the work of others. With your portfolio in place, it is now time to finalize your blueprint for success.

Much as builders remain cognizant of the building standards as they plan and begin construction, nurses must remain mindful of the formal standards of practice that govern their specialties. A good understanding of these standards can help ensure that your success plan includes any steps necessary to excel within your chosen specialty.

In this Assignment you will continue developing your Academic Success and Professional Development Plan by developing the final component–a review of your specialty standards of practice. You will also submit your final version of the document, including Parts 1–5.

To Prepare:

Review the scope and standards of practice or competencies related to your chosen specialty in the resources for this module.

Review the MSN specializations offered at Walden by viewing the module resource, Walden University. (n.d.). Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

Examine professional organizations related to the specialization you have chosen and identify at least one to focus on for this Assignment.

Reflect on the thoughts you shared in the Discussion forum regarding your choice of a specialty, any challenges you have encountered in making this choice, and any feedback you have received from colleagues in the Discussion.

The Assignment:

Complete the following items and incorporate them into the final version of your Academic Success and Professional Development Plan.

With the resources specific to the MSN specialization and the, Walden University. (n.d.). Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), shared in this module, write a paragraph or make a Nursing Specialty Comparison table, comparing at least two nursing specialties that include your selected specialization and second-preferred specialization.

Write a 2- to 3-paragraph justification statement identifying your reasons for choosing your MSN specialization. Incorporate feedback you received from colleagues in this Module’s Discussion forum.

Identify the professional organization related to your chosen specialization for this Assignment, and explain how you can become an active member of this organization.

Note: Your final version of the Academic Success and Professional Development Plan should include all components as presented the Academic Success and Professional Development Plan template.

By Day 5 of Week 11

Submit your final draft of Parts 1-6 of your Academic Success and Professional Development Plan.

Submission and Grading Information

To submit your completed Assignment for review and grading, do the following:

Please save your Assignment using the naming convention “WK11Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” as the name.

Click the Week 11 Assignment Rubric to review the Grading Criteria for the Assignment.

Click the Week 11 Assignment link. You will also be able to “View Rubric” for grading criteria from this area.

Next, from the Attach File area, click on the Browse My Computer button. Find the document you saved as “WK11Assgn+last name+first initial.(extension)” and click Open.

If applicable: From the Plagiarism Tools area, click the checkbox for I agree to submit my paper(s) to the Global Reference Database.

Click on the Submit button to complete your submission.

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.

There is a demand for nurse practitioners with advanced degrees as the U.S. population ages, patient acuities increase, and more doctors retire. After deciding to be one of the nurses to satisfy this increasing demand, I had to choose which expertise was best suited for me. I selected to enroll into Walden University’s online MSN program because it “is designed to help those in the nursing profession who wish to make a greater difference in the field of healthcare, within their own communities, in their organizations, and in the lives of patients” (Walden, n.d., para. 1). Additionally, Walden University offered five MSN specialties, two of which I had a particular interest.

Prior to my enrollment, I contemplated between the FNP and PMHNP program. Both specialties have a pivotal role in health care but two very different responsibilities and challenges. The FNP program was initially appealing due to its broader scope of practice, the ability to work in various facilities, plus I spent 10 years of nursing career as a med/surg/tele nurse. What ultimately led to my decision to select PMHNP as a future career goal was my desire to change how mental health is perceived and treated. Truant & Chan (2017) stated that “we have a moral imperative to use our leadership capacity.” In my most recent experience as a psychiatric nurse, I have gained empathy and a passion for treating those struggling with mental illness. I have identified areas that require improvement. Most of all, I find psychiatry fascinating. I can best use my passion, experience, and leadership capacity to impact change within mental health. What also helped me secure my decision was the rising need for PMHNP. I feel confident knowing there is a need for my services and that I will probably not have any issues securing employment as a PMHNP.

The history of advocacy by nurses working through professional nursing organizations to advance nursing practice and enhance the health of populations, communities, and people is quite strong (Cherry et al., 2019). The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) is an organization dedicated to psychiatric nursing. It is a place where PMHNP can find CE, resources, and a professional community. To become a member, you must be a registered nurse and are required to pay annual dues and engage in pursuits to further the purpose of the Association. Full time students may join for a discounted fee with proof of full-time study (letter from program director verifying full time status on school letter head).


Cherry, B., Caramanica, L, Everett, L. Q., Fennimore, L., & Elaine, S. (2019). Leveraging the power of board leadership in professional nursing organizations

Links to an external site.JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 49(11), 517-519.

Truant, R., & Chan, R. J. (2017). Future ready: Strengthening oncology nursing leadership in the context of professional oncology nursing organizations. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 27(1), 2-4.

Walden University. (n.d.). Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

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