You have probably seen one or more of the many inspirational posters about decisions.

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.

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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. ( Make sure to include at least 4 paragraphs and 3 references) APA 7 format.

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.

The two discussions below require at least 3 paragraphs and 2 references.APA 7 format.

Discussion one for ELIZABETH

I had never planned on advancing my education.  I love being a nurse and love the job I am in.  I have been afforded many opportunities as a nurse, and hadn’t considered the full value of continuing my education until recently.  I have seen a tremendous shift in the way care is delivered, from reactionary to preventative, leaving a void in areas of chronic disease management.  I realize that to achieve my full potential, and to best serve the needs of my patients, it is imperative that I pursue my advanced degree with a concentration in family medicine.

I have always worked in a hospital, but more recently I have spent more time in our outpatient clinic.  I have always enjoyed the fast-paced nature of an intensive care unit, but really love more to manage patients less critically ill.  My patient population ranges in age from 18 to 78, so there are really a multitude of differing needs that arise.  Also, because of the complexity of their disease process, many defer to our clinic for primary treatment of all chronic conditions.  Because of this, I determined it would best serve these needs to receive training in all areas across the lifespan to best treat my patients.  There is also a great need for primary care providers in family medicine as there is more emphasis placed on preventative care (Nursejournal, 2020).  In order to keep myself relevant and marketable, should I choose to change jobs, having family medicine training will certainly be helpful.

There isn’t a specific professional organization for family nurse practitioners, however, American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is a very comprehensive organization that covers all specialties.  There are sub-groups within the larger organization that allow the opportunity to network in a specific area.  There are different membership levels based on what point you are in your training (AANP, n.d.).  For instance, if I wanted to apply now, I would be eligible to join as a student member, but if I wait until I finish my degree I would be able to join as an NP.

In order to assure that I am providing excellent clinical care to my patients based on evidence based practice, I have joined as a member of a disease specific nursing organization, American Association of Heart Failure Nurses.  Although there isn’t a specific requirement for nurse practitioners, this organization will help tremendously to allow for brainstorming and networking within my field of practice.  There is also opportunity for mentorship within this organization to help with my transition from RN to NP (AAHFN, n.d.).

It can be intimidating to think about the road that lies ahead to APN, but it is equally important to realize the opportunities for guidance that exist.  We are lucky to have so many resources available to help us on our journey, as well as once we finish.  Knowing there is a plan and an end in sight will keep us strong on the road to success.


AAHFN. (n.d.). About AAHFN. Retrieved October 6, 2020, from https://www.aahfn.org/page/about

AANP. (n.d.). What’s my member type?  Retrieved October 6, 2020, from https://www.aanp.org/membership/whats-my-member-type

NurseJournal. (2020, June 3). 7 Future job trends for nurse practitioners. Retrieved October 6, 2020, from https://nursejournal.org/nurse-practitioner/7-future-job-trends-for-nurse-practitioners/

Discussion two GUERLINE

Since I have become a nurse, I knew that I wanted to continue my education as an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). I was not sure of the specialty that I prefer to focus on. I have worked with many APRNs who have shared the ups and downs of their experiences. It only occurs to me that I want to become a psychiatry mental health nurse practitioner when I have family member that have been diagnosed with metal heath disease. I have felt helpless and hopeless where I cannot help my close family member in anyway. The disease of mental health had become such a myth and so difficult to grasp to a point where I realize I need to know more about this field as a nurse. I need to explore it, understand that population and help those that are suffering. 

Every nurse is a psychiatry nurse, because nurses take care of patient holistically. Center for disease control and prevention (CDC) report that “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.” (cdc.gov). About 50 %. Of American population has a diagnosis of mental health during their lifetime report CDC. Mental health is important in nursing. A personal definition of mental health is that it is a virtual world where not many can get in but where some get lost and cannot find their way out. Every time I start thinking of that situation it saddens me and makes me want to push forward to get the credential I need to reach out to those in need.

I have always been involved with organization at a local or national level, but I don’t think I have ever taken full advantage of them. American Society for Quality (ASQ) is one of a national professional organization that I have been involved with, its membership serves of quality professional education advancement which gives access to exclusive quality knowledge (asq.org). At a local level I have been involved with religious group and volunteer at committee board member. For my professional career as a Psychiatry mental health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), I have found the American Psychiatry Nurses Association (APNA) that offers very low membership cost for full time students as low as 25 dollars a year (apana.org). I am thrilled to find that information and will join them in the near future once I get all requirements (proof of full time student, name of my school, name of the director of my school, expected graduation date). APNA offers continuing education and professional growth, networking and information access and many discounts (apna.org). My goal is to work toward becoming a member of that professional organization.


Data and Publications – Mental Health – CDC. (2018, January 26). Retrieved November 03, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/data_publications/index.htm

Mental Health – Home Page – CDC. (2018, January 26). Retrieved November 03, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/

Why Join ASQ or ASQE? Value. (n.d.). Retrieved November 03, 2020, from https://asq.org/membership

Why Join? (n.d.). Retrieved November 03, 2020, from https://www.apna.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3680

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