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NURS 6003 Week 11 Assignment: Professional Development Plan

NURS 6003 Week 11 Assignment: Academic Success and Professional Development Plan

Part 6: Finalizing the Plan

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 hard hats 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. NURS 6003 Week 11

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. NURS 6003 Week 11
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 in the Academic Success and Professional Development Plan template. NURS 6003 Week 11


Success, Outlook, and Professional Development of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner or PMHNP

            The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and falls under the role of nurse practitioner or NP, according to the APRN Consensus Model (Registered, 2019). This model specifies four APRN roles of which the RN role under which the PMHNP falls is just but one. The other three roles are certified nurse-midwife (CNM), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and clinical nurse specialist or CNS (Registered, 2019). The PMHNP is therefore concerned specifically with issues of mental health in the community, including their assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. As an APRN nurse practitioner specialty, the PMHNP’s population focus is solely psychiatric-mental health (Registered, 2019).

            Of course, the other APRN specialties are also just as important in ensuring the health of entire communities. For instance, a comparison can be made between the PMHNP specialty and the APRN specializing in the population focus or Adult-Gerontology. This latter specialty concerns itself with the health problems of adolescents, young adults, mature adults, and those that are in their old age. The APRN assesses, investigates, diagnoses treats, and follows up with these adolescents and adults holistically. As for the PMHNP, they provide holistic mental health care to the entire population across the lifespan. The PMHNP is highly trained and prepared to do all this. This is because at Walden University specifically, the Master of Science in Nursing or MSN graduate program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or CCNE (Walden University, 2019). This is a national accreditation agency recognized by the Ministry of Education.

Justification for Choosing Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specialty

            Just like the other specialties in the APRN family, advanced nursing practice as a PMHNP involves education at the highest postgraduate level. Above all, there is an extensive requirement of clinical competency achievement before any certification can be awarded. Being a PMHNP is one of the most fulfilling career prospects in healthcare in the United States. This is especially true in the states that have embraced legislation allowing for autonomous full practice authority or FPA for nurse practitioners. The reasons for choosing the MSN specialty of PMHNP are therefore manifold. The enactment of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 added significantly to the number of those people who are insured for mental health care (Phoenix et al., 2016). However, because there was no commensurate rise or increase in the numbers of mental health care providers, the position if a PMHNP has become attractive and lucrative. PMHNPs are now more than required to fill in the provider gap and offer holistic primary mental health care, especially at the grassroots or community level. Because of this state of affairs, it has been estimated that the demand for PMHNPs will have grown by 20% by the year 2020 (Walden University, 2019).

            The demand for the PMHNP at the primary health care (PHC) level is what makes it even more attractive. This is because, at that level, the clinician is quite independent and autonomous in the treatment decisions they make. This allows the PMHNP to practice to the fullest level of their education and training. The PMHNP in doing this is responsible for psychiatric diagnoses, mental and physical health assessments, coming up with treatment plans, prescribing psychoactive and other medications, performing counseling and/ or psychotherapy, engaging in interprofessional collaborative teamwork with other health professionals, giving patient education and health promotion, mental health advocacy on policy and legislation, and community sensitization among other roles (Nurse Practitioner Schools, 2019). After education, training, certification, and licensure; opportunities for practice for the PMHNP are many. Among other settings in which the PMHNP can practice are mental health clinics, correctional facilities, private practice, domestic violence shelters, community mental health centers, schools, substance abuse facilities, and inpatient or outpatient psychiatric clinics (Walden University, 2019).

            The extensive preparation the PMHNP training offers is another factor that attracts me to the specialty. The nurse practitioner in psychiatric-mental health is thoroughly trained in mental health disorders, child psychological and mental health, adolescent psychological and mental health, adult psychological and mental health, mental health statistics, mental health research and evidence-based interventions, mental health promotion, advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology, the social determinants of health, and the concept of social justice and inequity in the access to mental health care (Nurse Practitioner Schools, 2019). Moreover, certification of the PMHNP is rigorous and is done by the reputable American Nurses Credentialing Centre (ANCC). For this to happen, though, the prospective PMHNP must be in possession of a graduate degree, a valid registered nurse license, and at least 500 clinical hours that are supervised. Conveniently, this certification is renewable after 5 years. This gives the PMHNP the peace of mind to practice without worrying about the expiry of certification in the span of just a year (Nurse Practitioner Schools, 2019).

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) as the Appropriate Professional Body for the PMHNP

            The APNA was founded in 1986 with the aim of bringing together registered psychiatric-mental health nurses who could then share experiences and exchange expertise. Ut currently has a membership of over 13,500 members across the United States. As a professional organisation the APNA is quite inclusive as it accepts membership from those psychiatric-mental health nurses with associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees, MSN, and up to the terminal and apex Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP (APNA, 2019). Becoming a member of the APNA requires one to first write an email to the organization after which they are sent registration forms to fill in and pay the annual or monthly membership fee (APNA, 2019).

            As a professional organization fir mental health nurses, the APNA has at its disposal various professional resources that benefit its members. These include but are not limited to continuous professional education (CE) opportunities, position papers on various issues if interest to the members such as mental health advocacy, scholarships, and opportunities for networking with other mental health professionals among others (Nurse Practitioner Schools, 2019). The association also has a monthly newsletter in which it regularly reports issues and topics that concern mental health such as policy, regulation, and legislation. This is the APNA News: The Psychiatric Nursing Voice. Additionally, the association also boasts of its own journal in which are published relevant peer-reviewed papers written by members and other scholars and experts. This is the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (JAPNA). Lastly, the APNA annually organizes the APNA Conference which brings together its entire membership. During this event, important practice and research issues are shared and discussed (APNA, 2019).


American Psychiatric Nurses Association [APNA] (2019). Membership, community, education, and resources. Retrieved 27 October will 2019 from

Nurse Practitioner Schools (2019). What is a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). Retrieved 26 October 2019 from

Phoenix, B.J., Hurd, M., & Chapman, S.A. (2016). Experience of psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners in public mental health. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 40(3), 212–224. Doi: DOI: 10.1097/NAQ.0000000000000171

Registered (2019, July 24 9). Advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Retrieved 26 October 2019 from

Walden University (2019). Master of science in nursing (MSN) – Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner. Retrieved 27 October 2019 from