NURS 6003 Part 4: Finalizing the Plan

NURS 6003 Part 4: Finalizing the Plan

NURS 6003 Part 4: Finalizing the Plan

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.

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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.

NURS 6003 Part 4 Finalizing the Plan
NURS 6003 Part 4 Finalizing the Plan

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.