Assignment: Professional Development Plan

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Assignment: Professional Development Plan

Assignment: Professional Development Plan

Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) Professional Development Plan

The role of an advanced practice nurse (APN) plays a vital part in the United States health care system. APN’s are highly trained registered nurses with advanced graduate-level education. Earning a masters degree or doctorate degree in nursing allows APN’s to apply advanced knowledge in decision-making for complex cases with a large degree of independence. There are 4 main practice roles of specialization within nursing. Whether a nurse practitioner (NP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA), or a certified nurse midwife (CNM), each play a crucial role in the future of health care. Although each role requires different training and skills, they are equally complex and require high levels of critical thinking, decision-making, and independence (Hanlon, 2015).

It is important for a NP to understand the different roles of an APN and utilize the knowledge and skills to develop a professional development plan (PDP). A PDP allows for self-analysis and leadership development by setting goals and personal objectives, and assessing the importance of being a leader. This paper will review the APN scope of practice in the state of Florida, provide a personalized assessment reflecting strengths, weaknesses, goals, and objectives, strategies for advancement of the profession, Curriculum vitae, and concluding with a summary of the essential components of the APN professional development plan.

Advance Practice Nurse Scope of Practice – State of Florida

APN practice is defined by the Nurse Practice Act and governed by the Board of Nursing. There are laws and regulations that may impact practice, for example, the location where one practice’s. NP’s are required to abide by each state’s guidelines that govern the role of advance practice nurses. The definition of the role and scope of practice guidelines for a NP vary from state to state. It is understandable that state definitions may convey confusion related to the role separation, competency, emphasis, approach, and variation of a CNP. As the number of advanced practice nurses and the tasks performed by these individuals continues to grow, the importance of duty clarity is essential. Ensuring a clear understanding of expectations is imperative for nursing to have an impact on the delivery of health care services.

The state of Florida defines the role of a CNP as “any person licensed in this state to practice professional nursing and certified in advanced or specialized nursing practice, including certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse mid-wives, and nurse practitioners” (Buppert, 2015). To become certified as a NP in Florida, one must hold a valid registered nurse license with a Bachelors Degree in Science recognized by the Board of Nursing. Once enrolled in a NP program, either online or on-campus, part-time or full-time, then 36-60 credits are required to be completed. A minimum of 500 clinical hours is required in order to take the national certification exam (McClelland, 2014). Coursework covers advance practices “including anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pediatrics, family or primary care, gerontology, and health systems management” (Buppert, 2015).

Florida is a restricted practice state. Many states still require physician supervision while other states allow NP’s to practice independently. Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have approved full scope of practice, allowing NP’s to “assess, diagnose, interpret diagnostic testing, and prescribe medication independently” (More states expanding roles of NPs and PAs, 2017). The state of Florida requires “supervision, delegation, or team-management by an outside health discipline in order to provide patient care. A NP shall preform functions within a framework of an established protocol and must enter into a supervisory protocol with at least one physician” (More states expanding roles of NPs and PAs, 2017).

NP’s have advocated for several years to move from restricted practice to full practice independence. Reasons cited were sent to the Florida Medical Association opposing the Independent Advanced Practice Registered Nurse bill, which included: “major differences in education between NP’s and physicians, concerns regarding NP’s ability to prescribe controlled substances and narcotics safely, shortage of physicians (initiative support to increase the number of physicians in each state), shortage of nurses (affecting the future nursing workforce), inability to control healthcare costs, and lack of physician oversight” (Hain & Fleck, 2014).

Personal Assessment

Dr. Patricia Benner developed the “novice to expert model,” which has had significant impact on practices within the healthcare profession. The model discusses “how an individual begins in the novice stage and, as new knowledge and skills are gained, progresses through different stages to reach the expert stage” (Davis & Maisano, 2016). Dr. Benner’s novice to expert model for nurse leaders provides a structured methodology by which healthcare professions build confident leaders who provide high quality, safe, and compassionate patient care (Davis & Maisano, 2016).

Creating self-goals and objectives is an important task to improve professional development. Goals and objectives go hand in hand. NP should establish objectives to help meet their projected goals. Personal assessment helps APN’s understand what positive attributes they have and identify qualities that need polishing. My short term goals include: graduating from Chamberlain University with a Masters of Science Degree, become board certified as a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, and begin practicing as a Family Nurse Practitioner full time. What I fear the most is not finding a job right away and when I do find a job, being too overwhelmed. Though, I look forward to gaining the experience and skills that I need to grow as a NP. My long term goals include: continuing to expand my knowledge and skills as a health care provider through continuing education experiences in order to enhance acute, chronic, and preventative care for all aged patients. I want to continue to strive to be a leader and potentially further advance by education by earning a Doctorate in Nursing Practice.

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