NURS 6003 week 10 Discussion: Examining Nursing Specialties

NURS 6003 week 10 Discussion: Examining Nursing Specialties

You have probably seen one or more of the many inspirational posters about decisions. A visual such as a forked road or a street sign is typically pictured, along with a quote designed to inspire. Decisions are often not so easily inspired. Perhaps you discovered this when choosing a specialty within the MSN program. This decision is a critical part of your plan for success, and you no doubt want to get it right. This is yet another area where your network can help, as well as other sources of information that can help you make an informed choice. To Prepare: Reflect on your decision to pursue a specialty within the MSN program, including your professional and academic goals as they relate to your program/specialization. By Day 3 of Week 10 Post an explanation of your choice of a nursing specialty within the program. Describe any difficulties you had (or are having) in making your choice, and the factors that drove/are driving your decision. Identify at least one professional organization affiliated with your chosen specialty and provide details on becoming a member. By Day 6 of Week 10 Respond to at least two of your colleagues’ posts by sharing your thoughts on their specialty, supporting their choice or offering suggestions if they have yet to choose. NURS 6003 week 10 Discussion: Examining Nursing Specialties.

Examining and Choosing a Nursing Specialty: The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Having realized the dream of pursuing the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) postgraduate degree was one of the most fulfilling realities ever. It marked the start of a career in a nursing specialty in which the author would find a way to help the community that they come from. For the author, this achievement heralded the beginning of fully giving back to the community that invested so heavily in them. Choosing a nursing specialty after being accepted for the MSN course was however not one of the easiest tasks. This is because according to the Consensus Model, there are four distinct and recognized advanced practice registered nurse or APRN roles which are the certified nurse practitioner (NP), the certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), the certified nurse midwife (CNM), and the clinical nurse specialist or CNS (Registered Nursing, 2019). This paper is about the choice of the nursing specialty made by the author and the difficulties encountered in making the choice.

The Choice of Nursing Specialty

Within the MSN program, the nursing specialty chosen by the author was that of a certified nurse practitioner (CNP). To be specific, it was to be a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner or PMHNP. This was not an easy choice to make as the author had to wrestle with the other urge to choose a different nurse practitioner sub-specialty. The choice of PMHNP for the author was motivated by the fact that they had observed since their childhood that mental health services were not readily available for members of their community. To be specific, there were no clinicians at the grassroots community level who were specifically trained to offer primary health care geared towards mental health. Many physicians did not want to work at the community level and only preferred concentrating their services in the big cities. As such, when the opportunity arose the author grasped it and set out to be one of the primary health care providers envisaged by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 to be catering for the extra Americans brought within coverage (Kominski et al., 2017).


Difficulties in Making Choice and the Factors Driving the Choice

There were several difficulties in making the above choice of PMHNP, as already stated. To begin with, all the APRN roles seemed good. Practically all of them could be applied to effectively give back to the community. NURS 6003 week 10 Discussion: Examining Nursing Specialties. The author was therefore spoilt for choice. Secondly, it was not easy to distinguish between the matter of APRN roles and that of population focus. As a matter of fact, the matter of population focus is one that is only now beginning to get well understood by the author. As for the factors driving the author’s choice of PMHNP, the first and foremost was their childhood experiences and experiences growing up as an adolescent in their community. There were frequent cases of suicides among adolescents and young adults and the author understood from listening to community members that the victims needed mental health services that were not readily available to manage their depression at the community level. This was the main driving factor for the choice of the PMHNP specialty.

A Professional Organization Affiliated with the Chosen Specialty

The professional nursing organization affiliated with this PMHNP specialty chosen by the author is the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA). It is an association that currently has more than 13,500 members who are either qualified professionals or postgraduate students. The membership of this organization is through subscription whose payment can be made on a monthly or yearly basis (APNA, 2020). The other organization that is affiliated with this specialty but which is broader is the American Association of Nurse Practitioners or AANP, in which the member can get the honor of becoming a Fellow of the association by invitation (Rossiter et al., 2017).



American Psychiatric Nurses Association [APNA] (2020). American psychiatric nurses association.

Kominski, G.F., Nonzee, N.J. & Sorensen, A. (2017). The Affordable Care Act’s impacts on access to insurance and health care for low-income populations. Annual Review of Public Health, 38.

Registered Nursing (2019). Advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

Rossiter, A.G., Sabol, V.K. & Hicks, R.W. (2017). So you want to be a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners: Navigating the Fellowship process to ensure your success. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 29, 501-505. .  NURS 6003 week 10 Discussion: Examining Nursing Specialties .