Sample Management Paper on Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)

Introduction to the APN professional development plan

The healthcare industry is characterized by rapid changes related to care provision approaches, health policies, technological advances and their implementation in health care, and increased population diversity, which influence the changing characteristics of infectious diseases. There are numerous challenges in the healthcare sector related to issues such as healthcare profession shortages. This issue is also common within the nursing profession, which prompts the need to implement strategic approaches that support the production of more APRNs. This paper will address the role of a professional development plan in nursing practice, state-specific practice regulations, and personal characteristics related to effectiveness in performing the role of an APRN.

APN professional development plan (PDP) focuses on promoting nursing practice in healthcare organizations. It enables nurses to identify their educational requirements for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), licensure procedures, and the scope of practice in different states in the country as a way of preparing them for their future roles. Developing a PDP is essential among APRN nurses as it enables them to determine the career paths they wish to pursue, formulate strategic goals and aligning their future career plans to population health needs (Bryant-Lukosius, et al., 2017). PDPs also enable nurses to assess their strengths and weaknesses through self-analysis.

APN Scope of Practice: Florida

The scope of practice of APRNs entails the requirements they need to fulfill before getting involved in healthcare service provision and the responsibilities related to this role. The application of these guidelines in nursing practice is important as it regulates ethical conducts and promotes professionalism among nurses. The scope of nursing practice differs from one state to another. The Florida Board of Nursing is under Section 464.003 of the Florida Nurse Practice Act. This Act provides definitions and guidelines that nurses in Florida should follow. The educational requirements for APRNs in Florida entail completing a master’s or post-master nursing program. Exceptions are made for individuals who graduated and were credentialed as nurse practitioners before October 1, 1998. Registered nurses interested in becoming family nurse practitioners can undergo an online master’s program from Simmons University and attain their certification in Florida after 20 months. Licensure for advanced practice nursing must be obtained from recognized nursing boards referenced in the state administrative code such as the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and American Nurses Credentialing Center. Nurses who already hold a Florida registered nurse (RN) license are required to pay $100 while applicants who apply for the RN and APRN license for the first time are required to pay $210 (NursingLicensure.org, 2019). A partial refund is offered to nurses who withdraw from the application.

Other regulatory requirements for nurses interested in becoming APRNs include undergoing a two-hour course of medication error prevention and carrying liability insurance. Workplace environment regulations entail the need to consult with other healthcare providers such as doctors through a collaborative agreement. The collaborative agreement documents the practice privileges that APRNs are given. The agreement details the extent to which the supervising physician and the nurse practitioner will divide roles between themselves. The written protocol is signed by the nurse and the physician and contains the name, address, certificate number, DEA number, and description of the nature of practice. The collaborative practice agreement contains the drug therapies that the nurse may prescribe, initiate, change, monitor, or order for a patient. It also encompasses a provision for annual reviews by the physicians and the APRN plus specifying conditions and diagnostic or treatment procedures that require consultation by the physician (NursingLicensure.org, 2019; Florida Board of Nursing, 2016). Specific details such as the type of medical services that the APRN can provide are included in the agreement before commencement of employment.

Prescriptive authority for APRN nurses in Florida entails limiting the prescription of Schedule II controlled drugs to a one-week supply with the exception of psychiatric medications, which are only prescribed by psychiatry APRNs. Prescription of controlled substances in Schedule II is also based on the protocol between the APRN and the physician, the education, training, and experience that the nurse has in prescribing these drugs. APRNs are not allowed to prescribe drugs meant for children under 18 years unless they have specialized in psychiatric nursing. APRNs are also required to attend a 3-hour continuing education program after every two years. The program is supposed to equip them with safe and effective prescription guidelines. APRNs are required to graduate from a master’s or doctorate program before receiving these prescriptive authorities (Florida Association of Nurse Anesthetists, 2019; Florida Board of Nursing, 2016). Nurses with prescriptive authorities are also required to apply for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) number, after which they can begin prescribing drugs to patients.

Personal Assessment

Nurses interested in becoming APNs should conduct an evaluation on themselves to determine their strengths, weaknesses, goals, and objectives. An example of a screening tool that nurses can use is the Ongoing Professional Performance Evaluation (OPPE) that assesses the competency of healthcare providers and determine whether the care they provide meets the accepted standards. The Institute of Medicine reports also advocate for assessment of nurses competencies as a way of promoting patient safety and improving the use of evidence-based care approaches (Holley, 2016). Although there are numerous advanced self-assessment tools, nurses can also use Benner’s Self-Assessment Tool (Finnbakk, Wangensteen, Skovdahl, & Fagerstrom, 2015). This tool considers nurses from the novice to the expert stage. As an APN, my biggest strength lies in the wide range of knowledge related to patient care, safety, drug therapy, and use of evidence from research in making clinical decisions. As an advanced practice nurse, I work collaboratively with other healthcare providers. The knowledge I have has enabled me to gain confidence in acting as a patient advocate.

Some of the weaknesses that I have faced as an APN include the challenge of being competent in providing specialty care to patients with some chronic illnesses such as management of renal patients. For APNs, working in one department for a prolonged period equips them with the competency they need to serve those patients. On the other hand, it also increases the risk of losing their skills in other specialties. While I have managed to develop my skills in cardiac nursing and can consider myself competent in these areas, my weakness lies in the provision of care to patients with other chronic illnesses not related to heart diseases. Currently, my goal is to increase my competency in cardiac nursing by finding a master’s program that would enable me to gain more knowledge related to managing patients with cardiac diseases. Aside from that, I am also interested in advancing my education in other areas as a way of diversifying my skill set. As an advanced practice nurse, I am exposed to numerous opportunities promoted by the increasing demand for healthcare in the country. Aside from the training programs I have been involved in, I would like to utilize any other opportunity that comes my way such as mentorship programs from expert nurses, getting involved in nursing research, and increasing my expertise by working collaboratively with doctors and other healthcare providers.

My objectives are focused on utilizing nursing training programs that will enable me to move from being an advanced beginner to a competent nurse according to Benner’s tool. My objective for the nursing profession is to work collaboratively with other nurses in improving the quality of care offered to patients, promoting the reduction of healthcare services, and support preventive care.

Networking and Marketing Strategies

In Florida, due to their wide array of skills, APNs have the opportunity of working in numerous healthcare settings. Considering that state has the fastest aging population as by 2020 the population of those aged 85 years and above is expected to increase by 40% and more than 25% of the total population will be 65 years and above. Nurses are encouraged to take up leadership roles and other opportunities in nursing home settings (Shermann, 2017). Aside from nursing homes, the Florida Public Health Association also advertises opportunities for nurses, promotes professional development, and provides them with networking platforms. It liaises with universities in Florida, the Florida Medical Association, Florida Nurses Association, the Florida Institute for Health Innovation and other healthcare organizations as a way of promoting access to healthcare services (Florida Public Health Association, 2019). Nurses who apply for these positions receive equal chances to be hired.

Nationally some of the professional organizations that offer employment opportunities include the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association, National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, and Doctors of Nursing Practice. Nurses are required to register in professional organizations such as AANP to access these opportunities (Goolsby & Dubois, 2017). Professional organization membership has also promoted networking among nurses at different professional levels.

Marketing strategies used by APNs include getting involved in the quality provision of healthcare services to patients, utilization of opportunities offered by relief organization that assists people during disasters, and involvement in health campaigns. These opportunities allow APNs to market themselves. Provision of community education services also helps APNs in marketing their skills. Other marketing strategies include offering services to underserved communities at affordable prices and working with homeless and orphaned children (Goolsby & Dubois, 2017). I prefer collaborating with other organization in providing services to underserved populations as this enables an APN to work with other healthcare professionals, acquire culturally competency skills, be exposed to different situations, and increase their opportunity of securing employment with these organizations.

Curriculum Vitae

APNs are required to have knowledge, experience, and skills to promote patient safety and outcomes. Professional philosophies and nursing foundational principles enable nurses to understand their role in healthcare provision. Unlike other nurses, APNs are trained on how to develop positive nurse-patient relationships through the acquisition of skills such as cultural competency and interpersonal communication. Registering and working with professional bodies enable nurses to gain competency skills (Holley, 2016; Judge-Ellis & Wilson, 2017). For instance, through the professional development assessment tests provided by these bodies, APNs can determine the areas they need to improve their skills.

Some of my personal abilities include being a critical thinker and problem solver, having the ability to work under pressure, working with teams, and having effective communication skills. I utilize my critical thinking skills in conducting evidence-based research. This enables me to make informed clinical decisions. My APN has enabled me to gain effective communication skills. Lessons on interpersonal communication and nurse-patient relations have enabled me to develop an excellent nurse-patient relationship with the patients under my care. As an APN, cultural competency is an additional skill that I am required to have. My fluency in English and Spanish enables me to provide healthcare services to a wider range of patients.

Some of my accomplishment and the awards that I have received throughout my nursing career include being an employee of the month and a daisy award recipient, being included in the nurse honor society and receiving a memorial scholarship and a bright future scholarship for my studies. My certifications include being certified as an advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS), being BLS certified, NIH Stroke certificate and being EKG certified. I aspire to continue improving my competency in nursing through involvement in research and other nursing training programs.

Conclusion

APNs serve a critical role in healthcare provision. The process of obtaining the right employment as an APN nurse requires the utilization of both personal skills and characteristics and developing nursing practice competencies. Utilizing a professional development plan enables nurses to determine their strengths, weaknesses, and goals. It also enables nurses to assess the available opportunities and prepare effectively for employment. Although the lack of a full practice authority to regulate APN practice is a barrier among APRNs, the existence of national and state-based nursing boards enables nurses to market their skills and access available opportunities.

As an APN, it is my duty to provide patients with holistic and patient-centered services. Utilizing assessment tools such as Benner self-assessment tools enables me to seek for ways that I can continuously improve myself. I believe that the PDP is a beneficial tool that should be used by nurses despite their professional level.

 

 

 

References

Bryant-Lukosius, D., Valaitis, R., Martin-Misener, R., Donald, F., Pena, L. M., & Brousseau, L. (2017). Advanced practice nursing: A strategy for achieving universal health coverage and universal access to health. Revista Latino-Americana De Enfermagem, 25: e2826. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5288863/.

Finnbakk, E., Wangensteen, S., Skovdahl, K., & Fagerstrom, L. (2015). The professional nurse self-assessment scale: Psychometric testing in Norwegian long-term and home care contexts. BioMed Central, 14:59. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4647290/.

Florida Associaiton of Nurse Anesthetists. (2019). Prescriptive Authority Requirements. Retrieved from Florida Associaiton of Nurse Anesthetists: https://www.fana.org/prescriptive-authority-requirements

Florida Board of Nursing. (2016, April 15). Important legislative update regarding HB 423. Retrieved from Florida Board of Nursing: https://floridasnursing.gov/new-legislation-impacting-your-profession/

Florida Board of Nursing. (2016, January 12). Updated standards for protocols: Physicians and ARNPs. Retrieved from Florida Board of Nursing: https://floridasnursing.gov/standards-for-protocols-physicians-and-arnps/

Florida Public Health Association. (2019). Organizations and liaisons. Retrieved from Florida Public Health Association: http://www.fpha.org/organizations-liaisons

Goolsby, M. J., & Dubois, J. (2017). Professional organization membership: Advancing the nurse practitioner role. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 29(2017), 434-440. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317952250_Professional_organization_membership_Advancing_the_nurse_practitioner_role.

Holley, S. L. (2016). Ongoing Professional Performance Evaluation: Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Practice Competency Assessment. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 12(2), 67-74. Retrieved from https://www.npjournal.org/article/S1555-4155(15)00851-X/fulltext.

NursingLicensure.org. (2019). Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Requirements in Florida. Retrieved from NursingLicensure.org: https://www.nursinglicensure.org/np-state/florida-nurse-practitioner.html

Shermann, R. O. (2017). An exploratory descriptive study to evaluate Florida nurse leader challenges and opportunities in nursing homes settings. SAGE Open Nursing, Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/2377960817718754.