Academic and Professional Success Plan Template

Academic and Professional Success Plan Template

This document is to be used for NURS 6003 Transition to Graduate Study for Nursing to complete Assessments 1-6. Just as importantly the document serves to organize your thoughts about planning for your academic and professional success.

For specific instructions see the weekly assessment details in the course, or ask your instructor for further guidance.

Week 1 | Part 1: My Academic and Professional Network

I have identified and secured the participation of the following academic (at least two) and professional (at least two) individuals and/or teams to form the basis of my network. This network will help me to clarify my vision for success and will help guide me now and in the future. Academic and Professional Success Plan Template.


Directions: Complete the information below for each member of your network. For more than four entries repeat the items below with details of your additional network member(s) in the ‘ADDITIONAL NETWORK MEMBERS’ section.





Academic or Professional:

Why I selected this individual and/or team and how they will support my success in the MSN program and as a practicing nurse:






Academic or Professional:

Why I selected this individual and/or team and how they will support my success in the MSN program and as a practicing nurse:






Academic or Professional:

Why I selected this individual and/or team and how they will support my success in the MSN program and as a practicing nurse: Academic and Professional Success Plan Template.






Academic or Professional:

Why I selected this individual and/or team and how they will support my success in the MSN program and as a practicing nurse:



Week 2 | Part 2: Academic Resources and Strategies

I have identified the following academic resources and/or strategies that can be applied to success in the nursing practice in general or my specialty in particular.

Academic Resource/Strategy 1

Walden University Library Services is a good academic resource. The university has a good library that would help with searching for and acquiring publications to include books, thesis reports, dissertations and journal articles. These are important sources of information that would increase a student’s knowledge levels. Also, the library has classroom guides. The library resources who include its staff will help in locating materials relevant to class reading and research activities. Academic and Professional Success Plan Template. The library staff will be especially helpful in providing guidance on how to use the available resources such as computers and databases. During the MSN education program, the information provided by the library services will be useful for completing the classroom assignments, reading up on the course material, and conducting research (Walden University, 2020a).

Academic Resource/Strategy 2

The university’s Academic Skill Center will be helpful in understanding how to appropriately write at this level of education. The center helps students who find university-level writing to be a steep learning curve and challenge. The center has resources that help with training on how to present writings in the right format as well as pointing out how to identify grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. In addition, the resources at the center help with critiquing the strength and flow of arguments presented in writings to ensure that they are at the right level (Walden University, 2020b).

Academic Resource/Strategy 3

The university’s Center for Research Quality will be helpful in providing guidance on how to successfully conduct a research and appropriately present the findings. The center helps students to source for research funding, get publication services for the research findings, get the appropriate rubrics and guidelines for research reports, and facilitates access to the institutional review board to address the ethical concerns associated with conducting research activi ties with human subjects (Walden University, 2020c). Academic and Professional Success Plan Template.

Professional Resource/Strategy 1

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is an important resource for professional nurses. The association helps its members to access educational resources and conferences that would be helpful in increasing their awareness of the current trends in practice, increase the professional knowledge levels, and increase the available networks so that nurses have more opportunities (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2021).

Professional Resource/Strategy 2

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is an important resource for professional nurses. The association is focusing in addressing safety, policy, health, practice, ethics and credentialing concerns affecting nurse practitioners in the professional practice environment. Being a member of ANA would offer a nurse access to savings for professional nurses’ webinars, publications, conferences and liability insurance. This is opportunities for nurses to improve their knowledge levels and networks (American Nurses Association, 2020).

Professional Resource/Strategy 3

The National League for Nursing (NLN). It was founded in 1893 and is the oldest professional nurse organization in the country. It would be helpful in offering networking opportunities to nurses. In addition, it offers the members opportunities for professional development and continuous education (National League for Nursing, 2020).


An additional resource for use in the professional and academic environments is YouTube. It offers instructional video services that are useful for better understanding nursing concepts. Although the contents of YouTube videos are unverified, they contain useful material with the presenters offering important explanations with demonstrations on nursing concepts. Academic and Professional Success Plan Template.


American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2021). About AANP.

American Nurses Association (2020). Membership Benefits.

National League for Nursing (2020). About: Overview.

Walden University (2020a). University Library.

Walden University (2020b). Academic Skills Center.

Walden University (2020c). Center for Research Quality. Academic and Professional Success Plan Template.

Week 3 | Part 3: Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity and Professional Ethics

I have analyzed the relationship between academic integrity and writing, as well as the relationship between professional practices and scholarly ethics. I have also identified strategies I intend to pursue to maintain integrity and ethics of my academic work while a student of the MSN program, as well as my professional work as a nurse throughout my career. The results of these efforts are shared below.

Part 1: Writing Sample: The Connection Between Academic and Professional Integrity

  • Explanation for the relationship between academic integrity and writing

One of the more significant challenges for students is academic writing. In fact, this is a significant challenge for most students as good scholarship demands that students build on what others have done while creating something original from previous work done. Typically, writing requires that what has already been argued, said or done be incorporated into the writing in an original way. By acknowledging where the words, work or ideas of others have been used, the student would maintain academic integrity while upholding the writing standards and professional discipline (Hunt, 2015). As such, academic integrity is important in writing as it ensures conformity with the writing standards and expectations for the discipline.

  • Explanation for the relationship between professional practices and scholarly ethics

Although scholarly ethics focuses mainly on observing the standards of writing to present original work that indicates familiarity with the subject, explores approaches to presenting information and offers new perspectives on arguments, its reach is broad to encompass professional practice. At its core, scholarly ethics is a contemporaneously evolving and compelling casebook of academic integrity with a focus on preventing plagiarism while observing the established practice standards. With the practice of observing established standards as required by scholarly ethics, students who get into professional practice are able to transfer the same mindset into the belief system characterizing professional practice with a focus on observing the established standards (Hunt, 2015). Academic and Professional Success Plan Template. Besides that, the two (professional practices and scholarly ethics) have a shared competency standards and values that individuals promise to uphold both at school and at work, and what the other stakeholders can and should expect from them. This declaration is the promise to acquire, maintain and advance a value system that is grounded on the conviction that both education and practice serve the interests of both the student, clients and other stakeholders. Furthermore, the declaration indicates a commitment to maintain the knowledge and skills necessary for competent learning and practice. As a result, there is a relationship between professional practice and scholarly ethics (Bretag, 2017).

  • Explain how Grammarly, Safe Assign, and paraphrasing contributes to academic integrity

Academic integrity is concerned with ensuring the originality of scholarly work, and acknowledging sources of ideas and information. Grammarly, SafeAssign and paraphrasing all contribute to academic integrity. Firstly, Grammarly contributes by presenting a tool that checks for grammar errors and plagiarism. In addition, the tool improves the flow of ideas and vocabulary used. Besides that, it makes the writing clear and engaging by improving the text. In using Grammarly, an individual should expect to produce significantly fewer writing errors related to punctuation, spelling, grammar, vocabulary use, and plagiarism. Secondly, SafeAssign is a tool targeted at addressing plagiarism in academic work by detecting, deterring and preventing plagiarism. Finally, paraphrasing would be useful in addressing the detected cases of plagiarism. Overall, the three tools are useful for improving academic integrity as they help with identifying and addressing plagiarism. 

PART 2: Strategies for Maintaining Integrity of Work

  • Identifying and describing strategies you intend to pursue to maintain integrity and ethics of your 1) academic work while a student of the MSN program, and 2) professional work as a nurse throughout your career.

There are three main strategies that would be useful for maintaining integrity of academic and professional work. The first strategy is the use of library resources to identifying the correct sources of information thus facilitating citation and referencing efforts.Academic and Professional Success Plan Template.  The second strategy is the use of academic tools such as the academic writing center, Grammarly, SafeAssign and Turnitin to detect possible cases of plagiarism that would then be addressed through paraphrasing. The third strategy is the use of peer reviews. This involves getting peers to go over the work and present evaluations to help in improving the work. These evaluations can identify aspects that were done right and those that were done wrong thereby requiring revision. The evaluations would also be useful in further improving the work.


Bretag, T. A. (2017). Handbook of Academic Integrity. Springer.

Hunt, D. D. (2015). The Nurse Professional: Leveraging Your Education for Transition Into Practice. Springer Publishing Company, LLC.

Week 4 | Part 4: Research Analysis

I have identified one topic of interest for further study. I have researched and identified one peer-reviewed research article focused on this topic and have analyzed this article.  The results of these efforts are shared below.

Step 1: Research Analysis

Complete the table below

Topic of Interest: Implications of nurse staffing on patient safety
Research Article: Include full citation in APA format, as well as link or search details (such as DOI) Wang, L., Lu, H., Dong, X., Huang, X., Li, B., Wan, Q., & Shang, S. (2020). The effect of nurse staffing on patient‐safety outcomes: A cross‐sectional survey. Journal of Nursing Management, 28(7), 1758-1766.
Professional Practice Use:

One or more professional practice uses of the theories/concepts presented in the article

The study explores the effect of nursing staffing, in terms of nurse numbers and staff structures, on patient safety outcomes. It postulated that nurse staffing has an obvious and significant impact on patient safety, but the correlation has typically been ignored. The results of the study reported that although the numbers and structures of nurses have an impact on patient safety outcomes, of greater concern is the levels of skills, knowledge and experience of nurses. The results of the study are useful in highlighting the need for nurse staffing to be considered in improving patient safety, with the recommendation for nurse staffing to be balanced for the best outcomes. Academic and Professional Success Plan Template.
Research Analysis Matrix

Add more rows if necessary

Strengths of the Research Limitations of the Research Relevancy to Topic of Interest Notes
Focused on approving/disapproving an assumption made.   The assumption is that nurse staffing has implications for patient safety outcomes, and the study approves this assumption. It helps to direct the research so that it is focused.
Captures information at a specific point in time.   Helps to ensure that the results can be attributed to a specific point in time. Offers a clearer analysis of the research interest so that later analysis can perceive possible changes brought about by time.
Contains many variables at the time when the data snapshot was taken.   The many variables are important for exploring the research topic. Helps to ensure that any changes reported can be attributed to specific variables.
The outcomes and findings have been analyzed to help create new theories and ideas for in-depth research.   This is useful for exploring any new information discovered that may not necessarily tie back to the initial assumption. Helps to explain any new information discovered.


Fails to determine cause and effect relationships. The identified causal relationship could be reversed. The associations are difficult to interpret.


Timing of the data snapshot is not necessarily representative. Important data timings are likely to have been overlooked. Collecting data at different timings offers more representative data.


Possibility of findings being skewed as the researchers are nurses who may have been biased. Susceptible to biases such as social acceptability bias, researcher bias, recall bias, and responder bias. Although the strategies for eliminating the biases are discussed, readers cannot help but question the presence of biases in the research.


The sampling tool (cross-sectional survey) may not have collected the required data on the variables. The tool collects information as planned, but ignores emerging themes that may have been useful. New information is ignored as the study focuses on exploring its initial intentions.
  Ignores incidence. It is unable to measure incidences, such as patient safety incidences. Ignores incidences that have implications for the study.

Step 2: Summary of Analysis

  • Describe your approach to identifying and analyzing peer-reviewed research

A database search was considered an appropriate approach for identifying and analyzing peer-reviewed research. The database search is considered appropriate since it has settings for determining the search parameters, such as publication date and type of publications. These are important for refining the search and ensuring that only peer-reviewed search is identified and used (Schmidt & Brown, 2019).

  • Identify at least two strategies that you would use that you found to be effective in finding peer-reviewed research

Two strategies were found effective for finding peer-reviewed research. The first strategy is consulting library databases. This is effective as there is an option for refining the search to only show scholarly articles. The second strategy is conducting a generalized online search using a combined search tab. This allows for the search to be conducted in multiple databases at the same time (Emory Libraries, 2020).

  • Identify at least one resource you intend to use in the future to find peer-reviewed research

A useful resource for finding peer-reviewed research is the CINAHL database. The database provides indexing on nursing and health care publications. This implies that the search results would be on nursing topics. It contains 7.4 million records, 5,500 indexed journals, and 1,300 cited journal references (EBSCO Information Service, 2021). Academic and Professional Success Plan Template.


EBSCO Information Services (2021). Abstracting & Indexing Database: CINAHL Database.

Emory Libraries (2020, July 20). Q. What are peer-reviewed articles and how do I find them?

Schmidt, N., & Brown, J. (2019). Evidence-Based Practice for Nurses: Appraisal and Application of Research (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.

Wang, L., Lu, H., Dong, X., Huang, X., Li, B., Wan, Q., & Shang, S. (2020). The effect of nurse staffing on patient‐safety outcomes: A cross‐sectional survey. Journal of Nursing Management, 28(7), 1758-1766.

Week 5 | Part 5: Professional Development

I have developed a curriculum vitae to capture my academic and professional accomplishments to date.

The results of my efforts are below. 

Directions: Complete Step a curriculum vitae (CV) in the space provided. 

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Use the space below to write your CV based on your current education and professional background. Alternatively, you may write this in a separate document and copy/paste the results below.

NOTE: If needed there are a variety of online resources available with tips and samples of graduate nurse CVs.

Week 6 | Part 6: Finalizing the Plan


I have considered various options for my nursing specialty, including a close look at my selected (or currently preferred) specialty and second-preferred specialty.  I have also developed a justification of my selected (or preferred) specialty. Lastly, I have examined one professional organization related to my selected or preferred specialty and considered how I can become a member of this organization.


The results of my efforts are below. 

Step 1: Comparison of Nursing Specialties

The selected nurse specialty is family nurse practitioner (FNP)while the alternative nurse specialty is psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). The FNP specialty requires an RN license and Master’s in Nursing level of education. Still, the care area of concern is different from PMHNP as a FNP makes connections with patients and guides them through the challenging and good times. Academic and Professional Success Plan Template. An FNP collaboratively work with physicians to ensure that patients are faced with a familiar face at every encounter. The responsibilities of a FNP include consultation, assessment and prescription. FNPs have a high level of autonomy, can operate a personal practice and even prescribe controlled substances (Zaccagnini & White, 2017).

The alternative nurse specialty is PMHNP. The necessary education for a PMHNP is RN license, at least a Master’s in Nursing specializing in psychiatric nursing, and board certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. A PMHNP has the responsibility of treating patients with a range of mental health and psychiatric disorders, as well as behavioral issues. The nature of ailments that PMHNP address significantly differ from those that other nurse specialties provide. Overall, PMHNP focus on providing medical treatment that includes mental comfort and psychiatry. Working as a PMHNP is ideal since it presents daily challenges as care is provided in different settings to include group, family and individual settings. Each patient/client is unique and providing care requires innovativeness and creativity, thus making it an interesting specialty (Zaccagnini & White, 2017).

Step 2: Justification of Nursing Specialty

FNP is considered the ideal nursing specialty since it works with both adults and children in the context of a clinical or family practice setting. The focus is on maintaining wellness and health over the long terms while paying attention to preventive care. Most states allow FNPs to practice independently in underserved communities and populations while fulfilling the roles traditionally left to physicians (Zaccagnini & White, 2017). The prospect of working with different patient groups in an independent practice is very interesting, especially for an individual like myself who is concerned about the existing medical staff shortages and health care inequalities. I intend to personally take a proactive step in addressing these concerns by seeking independent practice as a FNP in an underserved community.

Step 3: Professional Organizations

American Academic of Nurse Practitioners is a professional organization for FNPs. It has more than 117,000 members. It works towards empowering nurse practitioners to advance the quality of health care and nurses practice through leadership, research, advocacy, education and practice. Being a member in the organization is important for a FNP as it facilitates professional advancement through opportunities for continuing education. In addition, it offers networking opportunities through its community of nurse practitioners. Besides that, the organization disseminates current knowledge on the profession thus ensuring that members are well informed about current evidence and information affecting professional practice. Membership in the organization is exclusive to nurse practitioners at the different levels of education with membership fees collected (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2021). Academic and Professional Success Plan Template.References

American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2021). About the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP).

Zaccagnini, M., & White, K. (Eds.) (2017). The Doctor of Nursing Practice Essentials: A New Model for Advanced Practice Nursing (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC. Academic and Professional Success Plan Template.