Assignment: Academic Success and Professional Development Plan Part 1: Developing an Academic and Professional Network





Academic and Professional Success Plan Template


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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.


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.





Name:  Chris D.



Title: Psychologist



Organization: Chris D. specializes in clinical psychology and has his own practice.



Academic or Professional: 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:




I chose Chris because he is someone who has been in my life for the last 15 years, and has been an instrumental part of my mental well being.  I’ve suffered with depression for as long as I can remember, and Chris has been the person who I’ve shared every trial and tribulation with, and has seen me through some very dark times. The relationship is and remains professional and he has always been supportive of me and my goals. Despite my inability to see my potential at various points in my life, he always has.  “The ultimate goal is to challenge and eventually change negative ways of thinking, to enable positive events to have more of an impact on the patients’ life” (Harvard Health Publishing, 2008).  I began my journey with Chris before I became a nurse, and he has always encouraged me to pursue relationships, or occupations that would coincide with my high emotional IQ.  He is one of the reasons I chose to pursue a profession directed towards mental health.  The relationship between a counselor and a patient can be very conducive to not only improving the patient’s mental health, but towards the decisions and choices the patient makes outside of their sessions.







Name:  Keith P.



Title:  Psychiatric nurse practitioner



Organization:  Center for Family Guidance



Academic or Professional:   Academic



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




I met Keith on day one of orientation at work 6 years ago.  From that day forward he became a good friend and a fundamental part of my decision to pursue my education and become a psychiatric NP.  He worked full time at an inpatient psychiatric facility while pursuing his dream of becoming a practitioner in mental health.  Keith encouraged me very early on to pursue my education and get my MSN.  “Graduate students are encouraged to seek out a mentor” (Cunningham, 1999).  He is always encouraging and reminding me that I have too much potential and have a way of connecting with people that would be better suited in a mental health position than in bedside nursing.  Keith has been a mentor to me and is an invaluable resource as I take this journey at Walden and beyond.






Name:  Maria G.



Title: Salon owner



Organization: New Appearances



Academic or Professional:  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:




I’ve known Maria since I was 19 years old when I began work at her salon as a receptionist.  I was in community college at the time with no real focus or goals when it came to my education or future.  I worked at that salon for over 20 years.  During that time I got my surgical technology degree, my cosmetology license, my nursing degree, and my BSN.   At one point during those early years I became discouraged and told Maria I just wanted to work as an esthetician and not pursue any of the degrees I had attained.  She proceeded to tell me I was too smart for that and I needed to keep striving for more.  She said I reminded her of her daughter, always reaching for more and always too hard on herself.  As much as she wanted me to remain a part of her business, she wanted me to succeed more. “Strong ‘within-group’ ties with co-workers (characterized by frequent social interactions) provide opportunities to facilitate innovative thinking” (Houston, 2020).  For that selflessness and support she showed me, I will be forever grateful.





Name:  Brad C.



Title: Enrollment specialist



Organization: Walden University



Academic or Professional:  Academic



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




When I applied for Walden it was somewhat on a whim.  I knew I wanted to pursue and enhance my education but complacency was holding me back.  It’s easy to become too comfortable in the role you’re in sometimes, even when it may make you unhappy or unsatisfied.  There’s a comfort in familiarity and for me that is bedside nursing at a fast paced inner city hospital.   Brad received my application which I had only half finished online, and started the process of contacting me frequently.  I know following up with applicants is his job, but he went above and beyond to help me over the hump and beyond my apprehension about starting a master’s program.  He listened as I explained my anxiety regarding furthering my education after being out of school for six years.  He respectfully explained the psychiatric nurse practitioner program and all it entailed, but did it in a way that sparked a nervous excitement in me to take the next step forward.  I’m not certain if all enrollment specialists are this dedicated to a new applicants success, but Brad went above and beyond and made me feel comfortable and confident enough to start the program and begin this journey.






Houston, E. B. (2020, October 13). The Importance of Positive Relationships in the Workplace. PositivePsychology.Com.


Cunningham, S. (1999).  The Nature of Workplace Mentoring Relationships among Faculty Members in Christian Higher Education. The Journal of Higher Education, 70(4), 441-463.


Harvard Health Publishing. (2008, May). Positive Psychology in Practice. Harvard Health.











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.


Directions: In the space below Identify and describe at least three academic resources or strategies that can be applied to the MSN program, and at least three professional resources that can be applied to success in the nursing practice in general or your specialty in particular. For each, explain how you intend to use these resources, and how they might benefit you academically and professionally.



Little did I know when I became a nurse how diverse the profession would be. There are so many different areas of nursing to specialize in, everything from anesthesia to esthetics.  I first started in the medical field by getting my surgical technology degree over 20 years ago.  I remember watching the circulating nurses in the OR and thinking I would never be smart enough to become an RN since school had never been my forte. Now here I am so many years later in grad school!  The decision to go back to school at this point in my life was not without hesitation.  “Preparing to reenter college may be an overwhelming prospect for some registered nurses seeking an advanced degree” (Thomas et al, 2016).

Academic Resource/Strategy 1

My first strategy for success is consistent communication with my professors.  Grad school can be quite a shock to a student after undergrad.  Everything from navigating a portal, to understanding the intricacies when writing a master’s level paper can be daunting.  Having the ability to email or call my professors whenever I feel overwhelmed or stuck on an assignment will help me continue my studies when I may feel like giving up.  Most professors want to be seen as mentors and to see their students succeed.  “Indeed, a successful student does not reach his or her goals alone” (Repak, n.d.).





Academic Resource/Strategy 2

The second strategy to achieve success in the MSN program is to utilize the universities resources, such as the writing center.  Writing papers throughout my college years has always been anxiety inducing.  My papers always received good grades, but I have still never felt proficient in writing.   Having the resource of writing center tutors at Walden will facilitate success by teaching me the skills I need to write papers with more confidence.  As stated by Walden Universities writing center, “Rather than editing or “fixing” your paper, our goal is to help you develop your writing skills” (Academic Guides: Paper Reviews: Introduction, 2019).





Academic Resource/Strategy 3

The third strategy I will use to enhance my success in the MSN program is to make a concerted effort to get involved with my colleagues in terms of discussion boards, forums, or potentially outside of the class.  Interacting with your peers throughout the MSN program can eliminate feelings of isolation.  “A sense of being a part of a supportive community is a crucial secondary benefit when developing friendships during graduate school” (Moir, 2019).  Exchanging information, or simply having a peer to ask for help navigating the portal can give a student the motivation to keep going if they were feeling overwhelmed with inadequacy.  Most people have family or some degree of a support system outside of school; some like myself, do not.  Not having a solid support system can mean the difference between success and failure.  The upside of an online MSN program are the resources available to connect with your colleagues and never feel alone.  Everyone needs support, and Walden’s student portal makes it easy to connect with classmates for that support whenever it’s needed.





Professional Resource/Strategy 1

A professional resource I plan on utilizing moving forward through the MSN program and after graduation is the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.  “To facilitate professional advancement, APNA provides quality psychiatric-mental health nursing continuing education, a wealth of resources for established, emerging, and prospective PMH nurses, and a community of dynamic collaboration” (About APNA-American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2019).  The benefits of becoming a member of this nursing organization are endless. There are member blogs, discussion forums, resource sharing, and even free continuing education.  “APNA membership totals more than 13,500 psychiatric mental health nurses from all over the world” (About APNA-American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 2019).  The diversity of nurses within this organization is amazing, ranging from associate degree registered nurses to nurse scientists.  By joining this organization, forming connections, and networking with other members I can stay up to date in current practices along with having other professionals available for insight or advice.






Professional Resource/Strategy 2

A second professional resource that will be beneficial to me as a Psychiatric nurse practitioner degree is attending annual conferences.   The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) provides opportunities to meet like-minded people who are interested in networking or just enhancing their education.  “The NP community reflects the diversity of the U.S.-representing a multitude of backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders and life experiences” (The Path to Becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP), 2020).  Meeting new people in this profession is imperative to opening doors to potential jobs, networking, or by simply by gaining different perspectives about the profession.





Professional Resource/Strategy 3

A third professional resource that will help contribute to my specialty and practice as a psychiatric nurse practitioner are nursing research databases.  Medscape is a user friendly free database that is constantly updated with new medical articles, videos, and drug referencing. There is also accessibility to free continuing education.  “Medscape Reference is the most authoritative and accessible point-of-care medical reference available to physicians and other health care professionals on the Internet and via mobile devices” (About Medscape Reference, n.d.).  There are multiple websites similar to Medscape, but not all are free or have as much access to such a diverse range of specialties, specifically mental health education.

In summary, there are many different resources available to students at every level of their educational journey to guide them to success.  Some are tailored specifically towards advance practice nursing, which are the ones a mental health practitioner student, such as myself should focus on.  Throughout the MSN program I look forward to learning new ways to ensure my success through the resources I’ve focused on, along with the experiences I’ll share with my fellow colleagues and faculty.























Thomas, C., McIntosh, C. E., & Mensik, J. S. (2016). Strategies for Pursuing a Master’s Degree.


Repak, N. (n.d.). Prof/Grad Relationships – Grad Resources. Retrieved December 11, 2020, from


Academic Guides: Paper Reviews: Introduction. (2019). Waldenu.Edu.


About APNA – American Psychiatric Nurses Association. (2019).


The Path to Becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP). (2020, November 10). American Association of Nurse Practitioners.


Moir, M. (2019, April 30). The importance of friendship during grad school. University Affairs.


About Medscape Reference. (n.d.). Retrieved December 12, 2020, from











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.


Directions: In the space below craft your analysis/writing sample, including Part 1 (The Connection Between Academic and Professional Integrity) and Part 2 (Strategies for Maintaining Integrity of Work).



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


Academic Success and Professional Development Plan Part 3: Promoting Academic Integrity and Professional Ethics

Section 1: Connection between Academic Integrity and Writing

Writing in a higher education sense refers to all the academic assignments and reports that a student of higher education is expected to write. These will usually include short class assignments, but also long research papers and dissertations. This kind of academic work requires that the student reads extensively from other people’s previous work. The relationship with academic integrity comes in because of the danger of students copying ideas from these sources they read from and passing them off as theirs. This is academic dishonesty or plagiarism and it is what academic integrity is expected to remedy (Waghid & Davids, 2019; Morris, 2018). The correlation between academic integrity and writing is therefore in the fact that the student of higher learning is expected to present their original work in all assignments. If they are to use ideas from another source, they are expected to properly attribute those ideas to their rightful owners. This is done by quotation or paraphrasing and in-text citation.

Students of higher learning soon graduate and become professionals in their fields. In this case, the MSN student will become a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner or PMHNP. If the student had been having academic integrity issues, they will most likely transfer that dishonesty to their professional practice (Shepherd, 2017).  SafeAssign and Grammarly are electronic tools that help with enforcing academic integrity. Paraphrasing on the other hand is an art that allows students to borrow the ideas of others and put them in their own words as they cite the sources. Grammarly will help to check for plagiarism and SafeAssign will compare a submitted student paper with previous submitted papers to see if there is significant similarity (Walden University, 2020). As stated, paraphrasing will assist in attributing ideas to their rightful owners without having to use their exact words. These three strategies contribute to academic integrity in a great way.





PART 2: Strategies for Maintaining Integrity of Work


Section 2: Strategies for Maintaining Integrity of Work

The strategy I intend to pursue to maintain the integrity and ethics of my academic work as an MSN student is to use any resources available to check my work for plagiarism before submission. This way I will be sure that I have done plagiarism-free work. I will always be presenting work that is within the acceptable levels of similarity for a postgraduate MSN student. I will also have a clean record of academic integrity courtesy of these tools. The tools will allow me to rewrite the papers before I submit them in the event that I discover that the similarity index displayed by these tools is unacceptably high. I will therefore be using these plagiarism tools as a control for the quality of my papers.

The strategy I intend to use to maintain integrity and ethics of my professional work as an APRN (PMHNP) will be to abide by the state nursing practice Act, the provisions in the prescriptive authority, and the nursing code of ethics and standards of practice. This way, for instance, I will not prescribe (refill) scheduled medications to clients if I doubt that they actually need them. If this kind of honesty was abided by in all healthcare professionals, it may help mitigate the opioid crisis in this country.









Morris, E.J. (2018). Academic integrity matters: Five considerations for addressing contract cheating. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 14(15).

Shepherd, J. (2017). The relationship between academic integrity and professional practice. The Practicing Midwife, 20(5):13-16.

Waghid,Y. & Davids, N. (2019). On the polemic of academic integrity in higher education. South African Journal of Higher Education, 33(1), 1-5. Doi:

Walden University (2020). Academic integrity: SafeAssign and Turnitin.’s%20primary%20tool,interpret%20a%20SafeAssign%20Originality%20Report















Academic Success and Professional Development Plan Part 4: Research Analysis

Step 1: Research Analysis

Topic of Interest: APRN Prescriptive Authority
Research Article: Include full citation in APA format, as well as link or search details (such as DOI) Mangano, E., Gonzalez, Y., & Kverno, K.S. (2020). Challenges faced by new psychiatric–mental health nurse practitioner prescribers. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 58(10), 7-11.
Professional Practice Use:

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

Two of the professional practice uses of the concepts in this article are:

i.            To assist the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) practicing in a full practice authority (FPA) state with full practice autonomy to develop psychopharmacologic competencies as they begin to practice independently.

ii.            To enable the PMHNP practicing autonomously in a FPA to identify their weaknesses in prescribing psychopharmacologic agents and taking up continuous professional development opportunities to improve.

Research Analysis Matrix

Add more rows if necessary

Strengths of the Research Limitations of the Research Relevancy to Topic of Interest Notes
The study was qualitative; which is very appropriate to assess the views of a segment of the population of interest. The sample size for this qualitative study was quite small (n = 58). For qualitative studies to have internal validity and external generalizability (reliability), the sample size must be big. The relevance to the topic of interest is that as a PMHNP with full practice authority in a FPA state, one has to make all the prescriptive decisions by oneself. This is because there is no collaborative agreement allowing a practicing physician to supervise the PMHNP (Phoenix & Chapman, 2020). The article is very relevant to PMHNP practice and serves to enrich evidence-based practice.
Several parameters were looked at instead of just focusing on one. They included views on adherence, decision making for treatment, and evaluation of treatment success. The students were about to enter practice as PMHNPs and therefore could not have presented views that were representative of all practicing PMHNPs. Only the PMHNP who has actively practiced can accurately state the exact prescription challenges facing them in autonomous practice. Looking at different parameters related to the prescription challenges enables the viewing of a holistic picture of the problem.




















Step 2: Summary of Analysis

Doing a guided search in electronic research databases is exactly what I did to identify the article by Mangano et al. (2020) which has been the subject of the analysis above. I got the article after searching in the Medline database. The other reputable research databases that can be searched include CINAHL, Embase, ProQuest, and Cochrane.

Filtering searches by study type and using synonyms of key search terms is a helpful approach to finding peer-reviewed articles. For instance, in the former scenario one may filter the search results to only produce studies that are randomized controlled trials or RCTs. In the latter scenario, having a search term like ‘therapy’ may necessitate using a similar term like ‘intervention’. Another method that can be used to find peer-reviewed articles is the bibliography section of the articles. This provides a number of related studies and articles that can shed more light and provide a clear background to the subject of the original article read.





Mangano, E., Gonzalez, Y., & Kverno, K.S. (2020). Challenges faced by new psychiatric–mental health nurse practitioner prescribers. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 58(10), 7-11.

Phoenix, B.J., & Chapman, S.A. (2020). Effect of state regulatory environments on advanced psychiatric nursing practice. Archives of psychiatric Nursing, 34(5), 370-376.










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.


Week 5 | Part 5: Professional Development

Curriculum Vitae (CV)


Phone: xxx-xxx-1234




I seek to contribute to the advancement of nursing through caring for patients and developing nursing solutions. I appreciate that nursing is an evolving science that has experienced significant changes in the process of improving service efficiency and effectiveness. This has been possible because nurses took the effort to improve themselves, identifying problems and develop solutions. Similarly, I am seeking to improve myself even as I improve nursing science and practice. My contributions in caring for patients and developing nursing solutions will help in establishing the legitimacy of nursing as an important tool for improving public health and addressing existing concerns.



  • Applying critical thinking skills in exploring, understanding and resolving problems in the nursing practice environment.
  • Applying innovative thought processes to develop personalized solutions that make the best use of the available resources.
  • Effectively communicating with other medical personnel within interdisciplinary teams and accounting for the professional nursing functions to accomplish the desired health care outcomes.
  • Being accountable for the care decisions made and taking responsibility for care delivery for the designated time frame.
  • Providing excellent care in a timely manner.
  • Maintaining complete records of care delivery efforts.
  • Interpreting and performing complex medical procedures that address the specific needs of patients.
  • Providing competent and high quality care that responds to the unique needs of each patient.
  • Assessing patients to include developing, evaluating and modifying their care plans with a focus on achieving targeted objectives.
  • Coordinating interdisciplinary team approaches in the delivery of holistic care that is not limited to assessing patients and administering medication.



2015-Present – Staff Clinical Nurse, Temple University Hospital

  • Registered nurse with experience in Med-Surg and Trauma.
  • Relevant experiences include:
    • Educating patients and families regarding diagnosis and disease processes, including discharge planning.
    • Performing physical assessments, administering medications, inserting IV’s, and drawing blood samples.
    • Monitoring and treating post-op patients, reading and monitoring telemetry for patient rhythm and heart rate changes.
    • Providing general nursing care and assessment, monitoring lab values, tracheotomy and wound care.
    • Charge nurse responsibilities.

2012-2015 – Registered Nurse, Wesley Enhanced Living

  • Relevant experience includes:
    • Assessing patients, monitoring lab values, medication administration.
    • End of life care for 18-20 patients in skilled nursing unit.

1992- Present – xxxxx

  • Relevant experience includes:
  • Providing a variety of services, procedures, products, and consultations to help improve and maintain the appearance and health of the client’s skin.
  • Supervising and managing overall performance of the staff.
  • Achieving organizational goals and objectives.
  • Employee selection, identifying problems, creating choices and providing alternative courses of action.



  • 2020 – Attended the Einstein Trauma Symposium.
  • Ongoing – Volunteer work at an animal shelter.


  • Expected June, xxxx – Walden University, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.
  • May, 20xx – xxxx University, Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
  • 20xx – xxx College, Associate Degree in Nursing, graduated with Honors.
  • 20xx– Venus Beauty Academy, Cosmetology Degree.
  • 2xxx – xxxcal Technology Degree.



  • xxxUniversity Hospital Trauma Nurse Course Certification 20xx.
  • IV Venipuncture Certification.
  • xxxx Registered Nurse License, issued 20xx
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification.
  • xxxx Cosmetology License, issued 2003.
  • ANCC Medical Surgical Nursing, February xx


References, publications, trainings, and certifications.






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.


Directions: Complete Step 1 by writing 2-3 paragraphs in the space below comparing the nursing specialty you have selected – or the one you prefer if your choice is still under consideration –  to your second preference. Identify each specialty and describe the focus and the role that graduates are prepared for. Identify any other differentiators you feel are significant, especially those that helped or may help you reach a decision.


Complete Step 2 by writing a paragraph identifying and justifying your reasons for choosing your MSN specialization. Be sure to incorporate any feedback you received from colleagues in this week’s Discussion Forum.


Complete Step 3 by examining and identifying one professional organization related to your selected or preferred specialty. Explain how you can become a member of this organization.



Week 6 | Part 6: Finalizing the Plan

Step 1: Comparison of Nursing Specialties

The preferred nursing specialty in which I have majored is Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) while the alternative (second) nursing specialty is Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). I have a preference for the PMHNP specialty because I have always been interested in mental health and feel a strong affinity with those afflicted by it.  PMHNP is focused on helping the patients cope with psychiatric ailments and disorders, which include depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and mood disorders. The PMHNP intervenes by providing psychosocial and physical assessments, evaluations of treatment effectiveness, emergency psychiatric care, therapy, and prescribing medication. “The mentioned interventions can only be provided by PMHNP, such that their absence implies that patients go without care” (Zaccagnini & White, 2017). Another interesting aspect of PMHNP is that it leverages informatics. Similar to other nursing specialties, PMHNP is increasingly integrating the use of information technology and information to improve mental health. “As a nurse with interests in informatics and caring for others, I believe that I have an opportunity to use my informatics interests in mental health by facilitating networking, education, collaboration and communication at the interface of mental health and informatics in order to better understand and improve mental health and health care delivery” (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018).

The alternative nursing specialty is FNP. Similar to PMHNP, FNP can either work autonomously or work collaboratively with other health care professionals to delivery family focused care. “FNP has broad nature as the patient population includes the whole family. It is a compelling specialty since its broad patient base allows it to offer a wide range of health care services that revolve around the whole family, from direct care to disease prevention and health promotion across the lifespan” (Zaccagnini & White, 2017).  An FNP also has opportunities to incorporate informatics in developing a better understanding of the patient population to improve care outcomes. However, unlike PMHNP, an FNP focuses on patients who have physical health complaints and are less likely to be seeking help for cognitive difficulties. However, mental health practitioners frequently work in tandem with an FNP when a patient presents with both physical and cognitive deficits requiring the collaboration of the two specialties to ensure the best possible outcome. “The psychiatric family nurse practitioner’s consultation skills and organizational perspective also contribute to the evolution of those parts of the care delivery system and external forces that need to accommodate change” (Cunningham, 1999).  Although I still feel a small gravitation towards choosing a FNP specialty, I believe specializing in the mental health aspect of this profession is where I will be the most impactful in a patient’s life.

Step 2: Justification of Nursing Specialty

There are multiple reasons I’ve chosen a PMHNP specialization. My own personal struggles with depression and anxiety have consistently pushed me towards those who suffer from the same afflictions. As a mental health practitioner, having personal experience with these issues will help me better facilitate a treatment plan and an empathetic approach with my patients. “As someone who takes the tablets but who would much rather not have to do so, I’ve learned a great deal about the need to negotiate treatment, to answer questions truthfully, and above all to listen to my patients’ worries and concerns” (Gask, 2016).  PMHNP offers different career paths as there are a range of population groups that offer different career opportunities, ranging from geriatrics to patients suffering from substance abuse disorders.  Although, my personal goal is to work with patients of all ages who suffer with anxiety and depression.  As evident in my discussion post, most people will agree that suffering from these issues myself will be beneficial in terms of connecting with my patients and hopefully facilitating a better relationship and outcome since I understand it from a personal perspective. Becoming an advanced practice nurse will also increase my financial security and independence. “This will allow me to pay my student loans, meet my financial needs, and plan for a comfortable future even after retirement” (Helming, Shields & Avino, 2020). Finally, there is an opportunity to explore my interests in nursing informatics. “As a PMHNP, I will have the opportunity to apply informatics in facilitating networking, education, collaboration and communication in order to better understand and improve mental health and health care delivery” (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018).

Step 3: Professional Organizations

Being a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is important for a PMHNP. That is because this organization is a national community for nurse practitioners that helps to guide nurses through the different career stages. In addition, it offers useful career resources. AANP presents job opportunities available to PMHNP through its Job Center, an online resource that uses filters to facilitate the job search process by job type, experience level, and state. “The Job Center helps PMHNP polish their resumes, negotiate salaries, and prepare for interviews” (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2019). Additionally, it informs PMHNP about important health issues, finds the right practice setting, and offers tips on becoming certified while also including internships and employment opportunities. Also, the organization offers continuing education activities through its Continuing Education Center, access to Psych and Mental Health Specialty Practice Group (SPG) as a community of PMHNP, and conferences. “Membership in AANP is open to all nurse practitioners who are required to pay a membership fee for the specified membership type, such as student, post-master’s student, career starter, retired NP, NP and Associate” (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2019).


American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2019). Are You Considering a Career as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?

Cunningham, P. D. (1999). The Psychiatric Family Nurse Practitioner: A Collaborator in Family Practice. Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry1(1), 15–17.


Gask, L. (2016, January 16). I’m a Psychiatrist-and I Live With Depression. Psychiatric Times.


Helming, M., Shields, D., & Avino, K. (2020). Dossey & Keegan’s Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice (8th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC.

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2018). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Schober, M. (2016). Introduction to Advanced Nursing Practice: An International Focus. Springer International Publishing.

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.