NURS 6003 Examining Nursing Specialties
NURS 6003 Examining Nursing Specialties
Healthcare is one of the rapidly changing and advancing sectors. As such the sector is driven towards the provision of quality services to its clients. The nursing profession is at the center of all the changes and implementations in healthcare institutions aimed at bettering the service quality to patients (Boehm et al, 2019: Kristensen et al, 2015). The responsibilities of nurses require them to continuously advance in terms of knowledge and skills developed (Price & Reichert, 2017). As a graduate nurse, a thorough thought process led me to enroll in an MSN program specializing in psychiatric nursing practice.
The choice to specialize in psychiatric nursing was challenging as there are several options, all aimed to better patient outcomes. My choice was motivated by an observation that I made over time as a nurse. There is a steady increase of mental health cases among both adults and children that took my attention. I am excited about helping patients with mental conditions and being a part of a team that works to eradicate or minimize mental health problems and their associated effects. Psychiatric nursing is a challenging field that requires dedication. I am ready to handle all the challenges involved. Besides, as an undergraduate, I spent most of my training sessions in the psychiatry unit because it felt more like what I wanted compared to other departments.
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In the development of my professional career, I intend to join professional bodies and that will work to enable my application of psychological knowledge to better my practice. Specifically, I will join the American Psychiatric Association (APNA) because they play a role in the advancement of mental health nursing and practice (American Nurses Association, 2016). Joining this association will help me uphold and improve values such as integrity, transparency, and inclusivity among others that will help me to provide quality care for mental health patients. It may not be an easy journey to achieve my career goal, but I will put my effort into achieving the best.
American Nurses Association. (2016). Registered nurses leading innovative changes. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in nursing. https://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-21-2016/No3-Sept-2016/Registered-Nurses-Leading-Innovative-Changes.html
Boehm, L. M., Stolldorf, D. P., & Jeffery, A. D. (2019). Implementation science training and resources for nurses and nurse scientists. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 52(1), 47-54. https://doi.org/10.1111/jnu.12510
Kristensen, N., Nymann, C., & Konradsen, H. (2015). Implementing research results in clinical practice- the experiences of healthcare professionals. BMC Health Services Research, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-016-1292-y
Price, S., & Reichert, C. (2017). The importance of continuing professional development to career satisfaction and patient care: Meeting the needs of novice to mid- to late-career nurses throughout their career span. Administrative Sciences, 7(2), 17. https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci7020017
I agree with your post that the field of healthcare continuously changes. Provision of quality care remains a priority thus acts as a drive to the many changes. The nursing profession is the central platform of all the changes and implementations in healthcare institutions to improve the quality of services for the patients (Boehm et al., 2019: Kristensen et al., 2015). According to Price & Reichert (2017), the primary responsibility of nurses requires them to continue advancing their skills and knowledge in the field. Choosing to specialize in psychiatric nursing is challenging as it involves dealing with unstable-minded people and people who cannot express themselves without the help of others. Additionally, it is a specialization that needs a dedicated and willing person. With your undergraduate degree and experience in the psychiatry unit, blending into your profession will be easier. Joining professional bodies enables a nurse to employ their skills and knowledge to better their practice. For example, the American Psychiatric Association helps nurses uphold and improve values such as integrity and transparency (American Nurses Association, 2016).
American Nurses Association. (2016). Registered nurses are leading innovative changes. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in nursing. https://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-21-2016/No3-Sept-2016/Registered-Nurses-Leading-Innovative Changes.html
PMHNP is an excellent choice, recognizing that every person has a chance to overcome, better their life, and get shots to change their course. It is also a challenge because mental health nursing is diverse, inventive, unlike all other areas of nursing, and it is about humanistic attachment. Assessments of people with a mental health condition are not rendered with devices, and our stethoscopes are dismissed, but we must communicate a lot with our patients, listening to the words people say; also, observing how they say them, and often hearkening for what a patient does not say. Furthermore, it necessitates an enormous quantity of self-reflection. Also, befitting a psychiatric nurse practitioner can be a perfect alternative for people who desire to combine a holistic, relationship-building strategy to care delivery, satisfying individuals at difficult points in their lives and guiding them toward well-being.
Consequently, for any nurse wanting to become a nurse practitioner, the most excellent prerequisite is experience. The foundation of experience helps to know the distinction and disparity between psychiatric diagnoses and understand the unique language used in assessing people with a mental health condition. A skilled psychiatric nurse practitioner is self-aware, observes their expressions or lack thereof, and understands transference and countertransference issues that can arise in every situation.
Notably, the most vital advice is to find a suitable mentor, someone who can explain the highs and lows of this field.
An individual’s key components that would be excellent for this profession are an expert, sympathetic, non-judgmental person who is unafraid to ask hard questions and has a good grasp of psychiatric disorders and medication that can be valuable. Acquire a mentor, study hard, and arrange for a wild ride complete of ups and downs.
It was a fascinating post, Solange. Good luck in your path to becoming and PMHNP.
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 https://www.gebauer.com/blog/reasons-to-join-professional-nursing-organization
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 https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/the-implications-of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and-substance-use/
Social Change. (2019). Walden University. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.waldenu.edu/why-walden/social-change#abroad
Though all nursing specialties are demanding, acute care is one of the most challenging professions in healthcare. It is a frontline care position where nurses must always be prepared for diverse tasks and situations (Wyckoff, 2019). I am glad that you understand the demands of the acute care specialty and the fact that you chose it makes you a respectable person. Besides the professional challenges such as stressful, tense, and infection-risky environments, acute care nurses undergo a long period of thorough training. Acute care nursing education is tough and requires dedication and investment of time in both the coursework and practicals. Furthermore, one has to be registered by the American Nurse Association (ANA) after completion of certification examination and long registration processes, before commencing practice. Though your profession is challenging, commitment, hard work, and focus on the main course will offer you a rewarding long-term career.
Wyckoff, E. D. (2019). LGBT cultural competence of acute care nurses. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 35(3), 125-131. https://doi.org/10.1097/nnd.0000000000000524
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
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.
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-