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Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days, by sharing your thoughts on their specialty


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 Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days, by sharing your thoughts on their specialty, supporting their choice or offering suggestions if they have yet to choose. 

1. Carolyn

When deciding what nursing specialty I wanted to pursue, I wanted it to be challenging, rewarding, and different from anything I have done in my nursing career.   My nursing career started in pediatrics and med-surg at my local hospital.  I then moved into geriatric nursing.  I can say I have taken care of people from birth to over 100 years old.  I always wanted to return to school for my master’s degree, but I could never find something I truly felt passionate about.  Not until my husband’s death last year did I discover a passion for mental health.  I struggled hard with his death.  I became very depressed, which brought problems functioning daily and other physical problems.  Thankfully I had a tremendous support system and sought the treatment I needed, which got me to a better place today.  Unfortunately, not everybody has the support system or access to the care they need to help them thrive.   This experience has made me realize I want to help others who struggle with anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric illnesses.  I want to utilize my nursing experience and education to become a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner to provide holistic care to my patients. 

The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) is an organization I am interested in joining right now as I go through my MSN program.  As a student, I can join for $25 with verification of full-time status in a nursing degree program.  Regular membership dues are $135.  APNA membership provides access to four free online continuing education courses with over 230 to choose from.  An annual conference is held every year where the latest best practices are presented.  There is a local Pennsylvania chapter where regional events and educational opportunities are available (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, n.d.).

References

American Psychiatric Nurses Association, n.d.  American Psychiatric Nurses Association | APNALinks to an external site..

2. Chelsea

 Since I decided to go back to school, I knew that I wanted to help people of all ages with the prevention and management of chronic conditions. As I have mentioned in previous discussions, I hope to become a knowledgeable and ethical nurse practitioner who eliminates the gaps in care for patients and improves their health. I felt that the best path for me would be the family nurse practitioner program because I would be more versatile. I plan to get certifications to advance my knowledge in certain areas as needed per the needs of my future workplace. I am thankful that I have not had any difficulty with making this choice. It was a clear decision. However, I question my ability to get a job in my area because this area is said to be “saturated” with nurse practitioners. This is why I want to be versatile. This is also why it is especially important that I create a professional portfolio and take part in networking.  

     I plan to join the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (Nurse.org, n.d.). There are many reasons why one should join a professional organization such as opportunities for professional development, career growth, networking, mentorship, service to the profession, and patient advocacy. (Echevarria, 2018). The American Association of Nurse Practitioners has different membership categories so that whether you are a nurse practitioner, a student, or just an NP supporter, you can join. To join, one must first create an account online, complete an application, and then pay your dues. (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 2023). I plan to purchase a student NP membership with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners now so that I can go ahead and start advancing my professional development. 

References 

American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2023). Membership. Retrieved on August 13th, 2023, from https://www.aanp.org/membership/why-join

Echevarria, I. M. (2018). Make connections by joining a professional nursing organization. Nursing, 48(12), 35–38.   

Nurse.org. (n.d.). List of nursing organizations. Retrieved August 13th, 2023