Discussion: Examining Nursing Specialties NURS 6003

NURS 6003 Discussion: Examining Nursing Specialties

Discussion: Examining Nursing Specialties


You have probably seen one or more of the many inspirational posters about decisions. A visual such as a forked road or a street sign is typically pictured, along with a quote designed to inspire.

Decisions are often not so easily inspired. Perhaps you discovered this when choosing a specialty within the MSN program. This decision is a critical part of your plan for success, and you no doubt want to get it

Discussion Examining Nursing Specialties NURS 6003
Discussion Examining Nursing Specialties NURS 6003

right. This is yet another area where your network can help, as well as other sources of information that can help you make an informed choice.

Examining Nursing specialties. 

Passion for caring influences my selection for MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) specialty as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program, determining this choice has been a reflective process for me, consisting of research, deep thought, and deliberations, I had two options of either Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) or Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGNP). My nursing experience in long term care as an Alzheimer’s / Dementia Unit Manager, of dealing with dementia patients also influence my focus in acquiring more information to deliver mental health services, a psychiatric nurse and mental health practitioner can access, examine, diagnose, and treat patients with mental illness (Walden University 2021).  

The difficulty I encountered before making this choice is not wanting to let go of my geriatric patients as the elderly represent an important vulnerable group that are exposed to chronic health conditions associated with progressed age and they also rely totally on healthcare services for survival (Szabo et al., 2020), having in mind that my geriatric patients are also included in the group of patients that are diagnosed with mental health issues, therefore my functioning as PMHNP will still allow me to be able to tender for this group of patients. 

As a member of the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioner (NCCDP) I am   a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) which is one of the criteria to be met to practice in my field, I also wish to join the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) which represents psychiatric nurses and psychiatric nurse practitioners, the APNA is the largest professional membership organization committed to the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders., on their website there is a link to become a member, it will be easy for me to be a member even as a student, the website listed annual membership fee to be paid at joining and annually subsequently. I strongly believe that I will join this organization as a student and when I am done with this program, this will help to build my professional network strength. Being a member of a nursing organization also helps in achieving my nursing education goals. “As with anything else, if you put effort into it, you will receive more out of it.” Quinn-Szcesuil, (2016). 


Quinn-Szcesuil, J. (2016). Why you should join a nursing association. Retrieved from https://dailynurse.com/join-nursing-association/ 

Szabo, S., Nove, A., Matthews, Z., Bajracharya, A., Dhillon, I., & Singh, D. et al. (2020). Health workforce demography: a framework to improve understanding of the health workforce and support achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Human Resources for Health, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12960-020-0445-6  

Walden University. (2021). Choosing the MSN specialization that’s right for you. Walden University. https://www.waldenu.edu/online-masters-programs/master-of-science-innursing/resource/choosing-the-msn-specialization-thats-right-for-you 


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Discussion: Examining Nursing Specialties NURS 6003

Discussion: Examining Nursing Specialties NURS 6003 SAMPLE 1

Many factors influence a nurse’s decision when they are selecting a specialty in the nursing field. In Olubukola’s case, the main problem was deciding between either Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) or Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGNP). Long-term care in one department is likely to hinder the through of exploring another specialty of interest. It becomes problematic, just as in Olubukola’s case, where the challenge involved the lack of will to part with his geriatric patients as they progressed and relied on healthcare services to survive (Szabo et al., 2020). As a Dementia Unit Manager, it is possible to deal with dementia patients and acquire more information to deliver mental healthcare to the group of interest. Additionally, being a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association plays a part in adding more knowledge to a nurse Quinn-(Szcesuil, J. 2016). I agree with Olubukola that joining the association is easy even as a student, as the organization is easily accessible online. 


Quinn-Szcesuil, J. (2016). Why you should join a nursing association. Retrieved from https://dailynurse.com/join-nursing-association/.

Szabo, S., Nove, A., Matthews, Z., Bajracharya, A., Dhillon, I., & Singh, D. et al. (2020). Health workforce demography: a framework to improve understanding of the health workforce and support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Human Resources for Health, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12960-020-0445-6.

Hello Olubukola,

Reading your post, I see a passionate and dedicated psychiatric nurse practitioner. Soon, you will be a qualified practitioner and you will have an opportunity to change people’s lives through mental education and helping patients cope with psychiatric conditions. At least every person feels sad, stressed and anxious and many people are not aware that they are suffering from mental disorders. Since you are also passionate about teaching, I believe you will educate communities and create awareness of mental health. The American Psychiatric Nurse Association provides support to the registered members (APNA, 2017); they provide continuous education, publications, certifications, and networking opportunities which promote professional growth and I believe with their support, you will be a competent psychiatric nurse practitioner. I am glad that you listened to the calling and followed your career desires.


APNA 30th annual conference, October 19-22, 2016, Hartford, Connecticut. (2017). Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association23(4), 289-318. https://doi.org/10.1177/1078390317715029

Specialization is the process of concentrating and becoming an expert in a subject or skill. In the medical field, it provides professionals an opportunity to sift through the thousands of different aspects of the field and focus on one. This allows them to be unique compared to others and lets them pursue something they are passionate about. The freedom of specialization is immense and one of the amazing parts about specializing in Nursing. There are so many different options, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. That is why this process usually occurs later in a nurse’s career. After they have had time to see what intrigues them in the workplace and gain experience. Almost anything can affect your decision from your past jobs to your interactions with the patients to family members. It creates a one-of-a-kind back story for every nurse.

In my case, the nursing specialty I would love to choose is Acute Care. An Acute Care Nurse Practitioner is one who advanced practices the nursing role to care for critically ill patients with the intent of improving continuity of care and patient outcomes. This role is especially valuable as they are very helpful to ease the load off physicians. In fact, one eye-catching fact that intrigues me about them was the history of this position. This position was initially created to decrease the increasing workload of physicians and address the lack of acute care in hospitals. This high priority position seems to be very fitting for me as I love to take control and lead in times of confusion. I believe I can use my experience and calm and collected mindset to aid the situations. The reasons as to why I decided this nursing specialty was because of my experience as an Acute Surgical RN.

        I started my first job as an Emergency room RN. As a nurse in acute care, I was responsible for time-sensitive illnesses and injury, rapid intervention to prevent death or disability, and restoring optimal health to patients. Acute care nurses must be able to react quickly and efficiently during high stress situations. Emotions are very high during these cares, but a nurse must be professional while practicing empathy for patients and their families.” (“acute care nurse practitioner role in Canada: Longwoods.com,” n.d.) I always wanted to be part of

critical communication and coordination link between all aspects of patient care of the acute and critically ill patients. The acute care, as a speciality, in NP program attracts me due to my past experience and a very rewarding position as you see patients improve but it can be a humbling experience every day which prompts further learning and improvement of skills. I believe that seeing what an Acute setting is like would prepare me promptly for such a specialization; supportive leadership of health care managers; and stable and predictable funding.

         The difficulties that I had making this choice of specialization is that there are so many different options to choose from. It is very difficult and stressful to pinpoint the exact field you would like to dive into. Looking at each category of the MSN program, I saw that everyone had their own advantages. Knowing that this decision will determine what you will have to do daily is something that requires lots of thought and care. I wanted to do something where I could use my experience from the past and learn more in the process.

         The sole factor that drove me towards my position was the patients at my hospital. Seeing them get more satisfaction from NPs compared to their designated Physicians. These patients had fewer unnecessary readmissions and emergency visits. In fact, Nurse practitioners are proven to decrease patient hospitalizations, ER visits and lengths of stay at various facilities, keeping health care costs down for patients, institutions, and taxpayers, and reducing time and income lost from work. (“Online acute care nurse practitioner MSN program | Walden University,” n.d.) Seeing all these amazing this done by previous Nurse Practitioners inspires and drives me to make my decision. This satisfaction I receive treating the patients, alongside my passion, is my driving force.

       Finally, the last factor that is driving me to choose this specialty is my experience and expertise in the topic care (Forbes & Jessup, 2004). This journey requires rigorous graduate level academic preparation, acquisition of new knowledge and skills, and major changes in function and scope of practice. Graduate nursing education can be a time of great inspiration and excitement, yet it is also a time of upheaval and challenge for students while they struggle to meet academic demands and begin to make the transition from RN to FNP The American Association of Nurse Practitioners or AANP is one of the largest professional organizations in the USA. Within this association, there is the Acute Care Specialty Practice Group (SPG) which provides the opportunity to interact with colleagues in the same field. The AANP membership is customized to be a unified way to network and advocate their issues. AANP. “Whether you are just beginning your NP education or retiring from the profession, you can support the NP role while receiving member benefits that, in turn, support you personally and professionally”. (“AANP | The American Association of Nurse Practitioners,” 2019) The process to gain the membership is very seamless and easy. Simply, go onto their website at aanp.org and find the membership section. Then go to the NP type and follow the procedure to get the membership. There is a $150 fee; however, once you are in the organization you are given the rights to voting in Association elections. They do not look at you at a simple member, but as a unique part of their large society. It is a very helpful setting for old and new Nps.


AANP | The American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2021, Nov 14). American Association of Nurse Practitioners. https://www.aanp.org/? gclid=CjwKCAjwmf_4BRABEiwAGhDfSbB3XIfgFLRdk2qeSs_ThVUVYJOPmmXHk YIke2q8QJcRXBrQoCuATBoCwfsQAvD_BwE

     The acute care nurse practitioner role in Canada:: Longwoods.com. (n.d.). Longwoods Publishing :: Longwoods.com. https://www.longwoods.com/content/22272/nursing- leadership/the-acute-care-nurse-practitioner-role-in-canada Online acute care nurse practitioner MSN program

Walden University. (n.d.). Walden University: Accredited Online University Online Degree Programs. https://www.waldenu.edu/online-masters-programs/msn-nurse-practitioner-