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Advanced Practice Nurse: Professional Development Plan Research Paper


Introduction to the APN Professional Development Plan

Advanced practice nurse (APN) is a position characterized by one’s independence, leadership skills, and professionalism. Nurse practitioners in Florida are certified to perform a variety of activities, including patients’ assessment, treatment, and drug prescription. To apply for a job in the field of AP nursing, one has to evaluate the regulations and guidelines of the state, in which the APN is planning to work. Furthermore, one should assess his or her qualities and skills to establish the level of experience and readiness for the job.

Finally, it is vital for students and recently graduated nurses to learn various networking strategies and marketing techniques which can help find a suitable job and impress the employer before, during, and after the interview. This paper analyzes the scope of practice for the APN in the state of Florida, provides a personal assessment of the author based on the Benner’s Self-Assessment Tool, includes an example of a possible Curriculum Vitae (CV), and discusses some networking and marketing techniques for successful employment.

APN Scope of Practice

Florida’s regulations allow APNs to perform a broad range of activities. Sastre‐Fullana, Pedro‐Gómez, Bennasar‐Veny, Serrano‐Gallardo, and Morales‐Asencio (2014) note that the level of autonomy of APNs has greatly increased over the years. However, some practices remain unavailable or limited for nurses in Florida. According to the Florida Board of Nursing (2018), nurses can receive an APN certificate if they already have a registered nurse (RN) license recognized in the state of Florida. Moreover, all persons must have a master’s degree in a specialty area relevant to their practice. If a nurse is adequately qualified and fulfills all requirements, he or she can become an APN.

The scope of practice for APNs is outlined in the Nurse Practice Act of the state. According to it, APN’s main activities may include drug prescription of any kind (Florida Board of Nursing, 2018). Moreover, APNs can administer and dispense drugs and controlled substances, if they possess necessary training related to the area of expertise. APNs can also choose and start specific therapies for patients and order medication.

Medical diagnosis with further treatment is also an activity that is available to an APN. However, it is vital to remember that all procedures of an APN should be recorded in a special supervisory protocol, which should be available to the department upon request.

APNs also have different specialties which further expand their scope of practice. For example, certified registered nurse anesthetists may perform anesthetic services and order various diagnostic procedures and preanesthetic medication, participate in preanesthesia care, and treat them during postanesthesia recovery (Florida Board of Nursing, 2018). Certified nurse midwives also fall into the category of APNs.

They have a different set of available activities, which are also covered by the Nurse Practice Act. The healthcare facility at which these specialists work should have an established protocol for procedures that midwives can perform. For instance, some minor surgical procedures and management of obstetrical patients are possible for these nurses. Furthermore, a psychiatric nurse can prescribe psychotropic substances for treating patients with mental disorders. All in all, the actions of an APN should all be outlined in a protocol with a managing physician, who supervises the practice of nurses.

Personal Assessment

The significance of personal evaluation in the process of entering the job market cannot be overstated. It is clear that nursing students need to have a set of professional skills to succeed in their search for a suitable position. However, one’s training is not the only part that should be accounted for before applying for opened positions. Nurses should understand their level of preparedness and expertise in various areas of this profession. For example, the Benner’s Model views self-assessment as a range of experiences in different situations that can happen in the workplace (Lima, Newall, Kinney, Jordan, & Hamilton, 2014). One’s competence is also related to confidence, preparedness, and understating of self.

Self-assessment can include different categories of preparedness and one’s thoughts about the future. According to Lima et al. (2014), the competence of graduate nurses is hard to measure due to the lack of work experience. While most students usually work while receiving their education, their current experiences differ from their future occupation. Barnes (2015) points out that such a transition between roles complicates the process of self-assessment and often yields misleading results.

First of all, it is necessary to ask oneself, which career elements seem the most valuable and appealing to the nurse (DeNisco & Barker, 2015). For instance, I would like to focus on progressive adult care as I already possess significant knowledge about telemetry care, emergency departments, and acute care. I feel comfortable and confident in my experiences in this area of work. Therefore, it seems significant to me to progress by learning more about these spheres of care. Second, one should assess his or her expectations of the new position. I look forward to having more autonomy over my actions and being able to participate in patient care more actively.

The occupation of an APN can open new possibilities for long-term commitments and goals. However, I am also nervous about assuming a role with more responsibilities. Currently, one of my weaknesses is the inability to manage my time. While my experience with acutely ill patients gives me an advantage in the situation of emergency, my new position may pose challenges that could be hard to overcome. Thus, my main weakness should be addressed for me to succeed at the job.

Furthermore, one should discuss some ways to deal with stress. For example, I cope with excessive stress by trying to look at the complicated situation from a different angle. By distancing myself from the initiators of stress and perceiving the problem from a different point of view, it becomes easier for me to search for the source of the negativity. Finding the stressor can greatly reduce its impact. Taking some time to relax is also essential in dealing with stress. Finally, communicating your feelings to other people and finding support in them are also viable techniques for coping with stressful situations.

By analyzing past experiences and existing skills, one can establish the level of competence for the current or future position. My work has given me the opportunity to test my abilities and improve my understanding of the profession. While the role of an APN will be new for me, my knowledge of the practice setting and extensive experience in a particular sphere of patient care make me a proficient nurse. I would place myself on the third stage of the Banner’s Model, as I still have many opportunities for growth.

Networking and Marketing Strategies

Job searching may become difficult for nurses who are not used to their new level of training. It is hard to realize one’s preparedness for new tasks. Moreover, one may feel as though he or she does not possess enough information about the details of finding a good job. While the role of nursing is said to become more significant in the future, ANPs can still struggle to find a position that will allow them to implement the full scope of acquired knowledge. Employment opportunities may seem scarce for individuals who do not know how to research their local job market.

It is crucial to remember that many vacancies are not published online or in print sources (DeNisco & Barker, 2015). Therefore, people get access to these open positions through referrals and connections. In this case, networking can significantly improve one’s chances of finding a suitable job opening. Nurses should engage with their local community of peers and other medical workers to acquire insight about other organizations.

Professional memberships can also contribute to one’s networking, as they provide one with more information about the state of the job market. Nurses need to stay in touch with their professional contacts to maintain the relationships. Engaging in conversations and inviting people to casual and formal meetings can open vacancies that are not published elsewhere. For instance, one can start a discussion about a new study and encourage other persons to participate. Communication can happen both online and in real life.

National and local organizations encourage networking and provide their members with better opportunities for employment. For example, the AANP Job Center (2018) is an initiative of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, which allows employers and future employees to communicate through their website. The description of vacancies on this website reveals some marketing techniques. For example, many hospitals highlight their location, describing the local landscape. Many employers discuss the high standard of living for the residents and offer various non-financial benefits to the future employees. It is possible that these strategies are meant to entice nurses to choose their job not only for the position but also for the community and location.

Conclusion

To create a viable APN professional development plan, one should acquire information about different areas of his or her future career. First of all, knowing the scope of practice is crucial as it provides one with an outlook of the future responsibilities. APNs in Florida work according to the Nurse Practice Act, which explains their duties and responsibilities. Florida has a restricted practice for nurse practitioners. One’s assessment is also essential in developing a plan for the future. In my opinion, my knowledge and range of occupations make me a competent nurse. My Curriculum Vitae showcases my skills. However, my experiences are not enough to find a successful job. It requires communication and collaboration with others. Organizations often promote networking to connect students, employees, and employers.

References

AANP Job Center. (2018). Recent jobs. Web.

Barnes, H. (2015). Exploring the factors that influence nurse practitioner role transition. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 11(2), 178-183.

DeNisco, S., & Barker, A. M. (Eds.). (2015). Advanced practice nursing: Essential knowledge for the profession (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Florida Board of Nursing. (2018). Advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP). Web.

Lima, S., Newall, F., Kinney, S., Jordan, H. L., & Hamilton, B. (2014). How competent are they? Graduate nurses self-assessment of competence at the start of their careers. Collegian, 21(4), 353-358.

Sastre‐Fullana, P., Pedro‐Gómez, D., Bennasar‐Veny, M., Serrano‐Gallardo, P., & Morales‐Asencio, J. M. (2014). Competency frameworks for advanced practice nursing: A literature review. International Nursing Review, 61(4), 534-542.

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