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Given the growth of different specialties, nurses can now focus on an area of interest or patient demographic by meeting specific educational certification requirements and accumulating work experience. Mental health is chosen nursing specialty for this MSN degree. After completing the necessary training and certification requirements, I plan to become a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). A psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse who cares for their client’s mental health and well-being. They examine and manage mental illnesses and diseases and execute methods to attain overall physical and psychological well-being and balance for their patients (Faubion, 2023).
It was an obvious option for me to specialize in PMHNP. I have always been interested in mental health and strongly desire to help people. As a PMHNP, I can offer comprehensive care to individuals, families, and communities and deliver evidence-based treatments to my patients, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and medication management. I want to provide a supportive and understanding environment for my patients, and an integrated approach to care is the best way. I am also intrigued by the complex nature of mental health and the many manifestations of mental disorders in different people.
Nursing organizations enable nurses to stay current on best practices, read what industry leaders say, and see what other hospitals nationwide are doing to innovate and progress patient care (Gainers, 2019). Joining one of the top psychiatric nurse practitioner organizations provides access to evidence-based research, a significant benefit. This is frequently in the form of research publications, and having organizations or groups offer access to this will improve the quality of care for patients. Furthermore, most of the top PMHNP organizations provide networking opportunities with other APRNS and healthcare practitioners operating in a psychiatric mental health setting. This promotes professional development and career advancement by opening doors to new jobs and learning opportunities (Wiesen, 2023).
One of the most prominent PMHNP groups I will join is the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA). To begin, it is for all psychiatric mental health nurses and is unique in that it is open to all psychiatric mental health nurses. The organization attempts to give its members evidence-based research to provide high-quality nursing care to their patients. You can join APNA by filling out an online form or by downloading and completing the APNA membership application form and mailing it in with your payment. The student membership charge is $25 with certain conditions, whereas the regular membership fee is $135 (Become an APNA member – about APNA membership, 2023).
Become an APNA member – about Apna membership. APNA. (2023, February 10).
https://www.apna.org/membership/Links to an external site.
Faubion, D. (2023). What is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?
https://www.nursingprocess.org/what-is-a-psychiatric-mental-health-nurse-practitioner.htmlLinks to an external site.
Gainers, K. (2019, October 11). You Should Join a Nursing Organization. Here’s Why. Nurse.org.
https://nurse.org/articles/benefits-of-nursing-organizations/Links to an external site.
Wiesen, K. (2023). 8 Professional Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Organizations.
https://www.nursingprocess.org/psychiatric-nurse-practitioner-organizations.htmlLinks to an external site.
Choice of specialty, difficulties encountered and factors that drove my decision.
My choice of nursing specialty is Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). It was a tough choice to make reason being my mind was shuffling between Adult- Gerontology Acute care NP and FNP. This was particularly a difficult decision to arrive at because I have a passion for acute care nursing. I was not very knowledgeable about the scope of practice for both NP specialties especially that of an AGACNP. After going through a handful of videos on AGCNP as per what they do, where they work, career fulfilment and the job market, I finally, settled with FNP for the following reasons.
Broad scope of practice: FNPs have the ability to provide comprehensive healthcare to individuals of all ages, from infants to the elderly. They can diagnose and treat a wide range of acute and chronic illnesses, order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications, and provide preventive care.
FNPs often have the opportunity to work independently or in collaboration with physicians, allowing them to have a greater level of autonomy in their practice. This can be appealing to individuals who enjoy taking on leadership roles and making independent decisions in patient care.
In addition, there is a growing demand for primary care providers, and FNPs are well-positioned to fill this need. With the shortage of primary care physicians in many areas, FNPs have excellent job prospects and opportunities for advancement.
Furthermore, the flexibility and work-life balance: FNPs often have the flexibility to work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and even in patients’ homes. This flexibility allows for a better work-life balance, personal fulfilment by providing holistic, patient centered care to in individuals and their families.
Overall, becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner can offer a fulfilling and rewarding career path for individuals who are passionate about providing high-quality healthcare to individuals and families.
Becoming a member of AANP.
One professional organization affiliated with Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) is the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). To become a member of the AANP, you can follow these steps: Visit the AANP website and click on “Join AANP” found on the homepage. Proceed to select your membership type: AANP offers different membership types, it is important to choose the type that best suits your needs. Next, complete the application: you will need to provide some personal information, contact details, and professional background. You may also need to provide your nursing license number and other relevant credentials. Proceed to pay the membership fee, which is annually and may change over time and then submit your application. Once your membership is approved, you will gain access to a range of member benefits, including educational resources, networking opportunities, professional development tools, advocacy support, and access to the AANP community.
American Association of Nurse Practitioners (n.d.) State Practice Environment. Retrieved August 1, 2023 from
https://www.aanp.org/advocacy/state/state-practice-environmentLinks to an external site.
Hudspeth, R. S., & Klein, T. A. (2019). Understanding nurse practitioner scope of practice: Regulatory, practice, and employment perspectives now and for the future.
Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners,