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Advanced Practice Nurse Professional Development Plan Paper

Masters of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner

When preparing to transition from the role of Registered Nurse to the role of an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, it is recommended to complete and formulate a professional development plan. This professional development plan must include a specific set of elements. Throughout this professional development plan paper, the specific scope of practice of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse in the state of Florida will be discussed. Information regarding educational requirements, licensure, and regulatory requirements, as well as practice environment details, will be identified. Another detail of the scope of practice of the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse in the state of Florida that will be discussed will be information regarding practice limitations and prescriptive authority. Additionally, this professional development plan paper will discuss Benner’s Self-Assessment Tool and Novice to Expert ladder. This personal assessment is used in order to identify and reflect on this nurse’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as goals and objectives as this nurse, moves toward a new role as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Local and national professional organizations that advertise employment opportunities for nurse practitioners will be identified as well as networking and marketing strategies to secure a position as a nurse practitioner. Finally, a Curriculum Vitae, or resume, and a summary of the information presented throughout this professional development plan will be included.

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APN Scope of Practice

In the state of Florida, nurse practitioners are governed by the Board of Nursing. However, some rules regarding the appropriate use of nurse practitioners exists under the rules of the Board of Medicine. Further regulations are mandated by a few chapters of the Florida Administrative Code (Chaires & Guerrero, 2015). Advanced Nurse Practitioners are recognized as primary care providers in state policy (FL Scope of Practice Policy – State Profile, 2019). Nurse practitioners in the state of Florida must be supervised by physicians who must be available on site or for consultation by phone while the nurse practitioner is working. There are also restrictions in place as to the number of practices at which a particular physician may supervise nurse practitioners and how far those practices can be from the main practice site of said physician (Unruh et al., 2018). The supervising physician is established through a written protocol filed with the Department of Health. This protocol identifies the physician as well as the delegated medical acts that the nurse practitioner can perform. This protocol is required to be signed by both the physician and the nurse practitioner and must include the extent to which the nurse practitioner can treat and diagnose at the practice location. This protocol is also reviewed by the Florida State Board of Nursing (FL Scope of Practice Policy – State Profile, 2019).

In the state of Florida, nurse practitioners have mino limitations in prescription capabilities. As of 2017, nurse practitioners in the state of Florida have been allowed to prescribe controlled substances. However, this comes with regulations. The Florida State Board of Nursing must establish a committee to recommend a formulary of controlled substances that a nurse practitioner may or may not prescribe for specific uses or in limited quantities (The 2017 Florida Statutes, 2017). The formulary must restrict the prescribing of psychiatric mental health-controlled substances for patients under the age of 18 to nurse practitioners who are also psychiatric nurses. The formulary created by the committee is also required to limit the prescribing of Schedule II controlled substances to a 7-day supply. This restriction, however, does not apply to controlled substances that are psychiatric medications prescribed by psychiatric nurses (The 2017 Florida Statutes, 2017).

Educational requirements for the advanced practice nurse in the state of Florida include the following: Applicants who graduated on or after October 1, 1998, must have completed a master’s degree or post-master’s degree certification; CRNA applicants who graduated on or after October 1, 2001, must have completed a master’s degree program; Graduates that are from either a certificate or currently closed program must submit supporting documentation that proves compliance with Board of Nursing guidelines (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, 2019). After the date of July 1, 2006, applicants for licensure as an APRN must submit proof of national advanced practice certification from an approved nursing specialty board. Additionally, applicants must provide proof of malpractice insurance or proof of reasons for exemption. Finally, electronic fingerprinting must be submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in order to have them search for criminal history records in connection to the applicant. These costs must be covered by the applicant. Once the application process is complete, applications are reviewed within 30 days of being received. The application and licensure fee in the state of Florida is $110, not including fees for fingerprinting and criminal background checks to be covered by the applicant. Once all these requirements are met, an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse license can be issued to the individual. When this is completed, the nurse practitioner must file protocol at their practice location (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, 2019). The Certified Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner can practice in a variety of practice areas, providing services to a variety of populations including pediatric, neonatal, women’s health, adult, psychiatric, gerontology, and family care. They can practice in ambulatory, acute, and long-term care as either primary or specialty care providers (Devine, 2017). Overall, this section reviews practice guidelines of the APN in the state of Florida, education, licensure, and regulatory requirements, details regarding practice environment, practice limitations, and prescriptive authority.

Personal Assessment using Benner’s Self-Assessment Tool

This prospective Family Nurse Practitioner believes that it is beneficial to complete a personal assessment tool because it can help in identifying one’s strengths, weaknesses, objectives, and goals. The assessment of a nurse’s competence level in the care setting is crucial as it helps to ensure patient safety in the healthcare environment. It is important for nurses to be self-aware of their own competence and that they be conscious of whether their competence levels meet the standard required for their actual roles (Finnbakk et al., 2015). Benner’s Self-Assessment Tool and Novice to Expert ladder helps to identify competence, as well as one’s strength and weaknesses and helps to identify areas of one’s career that should be focused on and developed.

In reflecting upon this nurse’s strengths, this nurse was able to understand where she fits in her role as a nurse. The strengths of this nurse include good communication skills, compassion for others, great listening skills, and patience. Without these qualities, it would be very difficult to perform the role of a nurse. These qualities are essential when working with patients in the healthcare environment. Without strong communication and listening skills, it would be difficult to properly treat or assess a patient as these skills are vital to patient-centered care. These strengths mentioned are essential to holistic care and treating the patient as a whole person rather than just a diagnosis.

In performing a personal assessment, this nurse was also able to identify weaknesses. In identifying one’s weaknesses one can then improve upon them to turn them into strengths. As a nurse, this nurse fits into the advanced beginner category of Benner’s Model, but as an APN, this nurse will simply be a novice, and this can be viewed as a weakness. As an RN, this nurse has only been in her current field of postpartum for approximately one year. Because of this, this nurse is efficient and skillful in parts of the practice area but does require occasional supportive cues. Knowledge in the area of postpartum is still developing (Benner, 2001). This can be viewed as a weakness. Beginning as a novice as an APN can also be viewed as a weakness as a novice has no experience in the situations in which they are expected to perform (Benner, 2001). Although this nurse has clinical experience, performing the role of an APN is entirely different and requires a different set of skills. Another weakness identified is that of delegation. This will be important to this nurse’s role as an APN as an APN functions in a leadership role. Without proper delegation, patient care will be inefficient. This is a weakness this nurse must work on in order to be successful as an APN.

Career goals are important to establish for anyone in a professional role, including the APN. This nurse’s goal is to graduate as an FNP and work in Women’s Health and Postpartum care. This nurse hopes to become competent in this area and provide the best quality care and safest care possible to her patients. Objectives set by the professional aid in reaching the goals set by the individual. When preparing to pursue employment, these objectives should be set in order to obtain the job one hopes for and that should be set when that job is finally obtained. In order to meet the goal of working in Women’s Health and Postpartum, this nurse hopes to take advantage of clinical rotations and focus on rounds made within this specialty. This nurse hopes to form connections with those met throughout these clinical rotations to one day secure a job within this area. Forming connections and networking this way can one day lead to employment with the physicians in these clinical areas.

Networking and Marketing Strategies

In order to transition from a student to a nurse practitioner working in healthcare as a primary care provider, this graduating Family Nurse Practitioner student will need to secure her first nurse practitioner position. In order to do so, networking and marketing strategies must be implemented. One can join local and national professional organizations that advertise potential job opportunities for prospective nurse practitioners. Local organizations in the state of Florida are the Florida Nurse Practitioner Network (FNPN) and the Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners (FLANP). The FLANP is a group of nurse practitioners and healthcare advocates that work toward improving access to healthcare. They also provide information of bills being presented to legislature, information regarding job opportunities as a nurse practitioner, events in the local area, as well as ways to network with other nurse practitioners in the area (FLANP, 2017). The FNPN has a mission statement that states their goal is to promote networking between members throughout the state. They hope to provide professional and educational development for nurse practitioners, and they serve as a resource for the APN (FNPN, 2019). There are also national organizations available as resources for the future APN. One of these organizations is the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). This organization supports the APN in all areas of practice and all throughout one’s career in order to allow for providing high quality care to the patients being served. This organization offers free continuing education hours, ANP journal subscriptions, and advocates for one’s practice and the greater ANP role. Most importantly, this organization offers exclusive networking opportunities and job search opportunities essential to students who are prospective ANP’s (Membership Categories & Benefits, 2017). Joining any one of these organizations, whether local or national is an excellent networking and marketing strategy to utilize. According to the Nurse Journal, there are different types of professional networks in nursing. Operational networks emphasize creating strong connections with people who can aid in completing day-to-day work. Personal networking pursues connections outside the workplace, as through the local and state organizations mentioned above, as well as social media. Social media is an excellent way to network and market one’s self. Social media options include Facebook, LinkedIn, and sites like Monster and Indeed. Finally, strategic networks aid in developing specific relationships with those who can help foster a defined career goal. Strategic networking and personal networking challenge the individual to determine who can contribute to professional goals and objectives in a positive manner (Professional Networking in Nursing, 2019). The prospective nurse practitioner should utilize all of these strategies when on their job search, but as stated throughout this journal, strategic and personal networking are most effective for those who are seeking a change in careers, as from RN to APRN (Professional Networking in Nursing, 2019). Without marketing and networking strategies set into motion, the future APRN will have difficulty in securing a job position in this career role.

Conclusion

All in all, the development of a professional development plan is crucial to the prospective Advanced Nurse Practitioner in that it identifies many areas necessary for the transition to one’s role as a nurse practitioner. It allows for self-reflection in many ways and allows for more clarity for what one is to expect in their new role. The professional development plan includes information about the scope of practice of the APN based on one’s state of practice, it includes a personal assessment used to identify one’s strengths, weaknesses, goals, and objectives, includes vital information regarding networking and marketing strategies when preparing to enter the job market, and finally, includes a curriculum vitae outlining the nurse’s education, career timeline, certifications, professional and community involvement, as well as any further accomplishments within one’s field of practice. All these concepts are important in preparing to step into the very important role of Advanced Nurse Practitioner.

References

  1. Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. (2019). Retrieved from https://floridasnursing.gov/licensing/advanced-practice-registered-nurse/
  2. Benner, P. (2001). From Novice to Expert: Excellence and power in clinical nursing practice.
  3. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Health.
  4. Chaires, G. A., & Guerrero, J. M. (2015, Summer). ARNP and PA Scope of Practice. Retrieved from http://flbog.sip.ufl.edu/risk-rx-article/arnp-and-pa-scope-of-practice/
  5. Devine, A. (2017, March 29). Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP)? [Web blog post]. Retrieved from https://nurse.org/articles/cns-vs-cnp-which-career-path-is-right-for-you/
  6. Finnbakk, E., Wangensteen, S., Skovdahl, K., & Fagerström, L. (2015). The professional nurse self-assessment scale: Psychometric testing in Norwegian long term and home care contexts. BMC Nursing,14(1), 1-13. doi:10.1186/s12912-015-0109-3
  7. Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.flanp.org/
  8. Florida Scope of Practice Policy - State Profile. (2019). Retrieved from http://scopeofpracticepolicy.org/states/fl/
  9. Membership Categories & Benefits (2017). Retrieved from https://www.aanp.org/membership
  10. The 2017 Florida Statutes. (2019, July 10). Retrieved from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=464.012&URL=0400-0499/0464/Sections/0464.012.html&StatuteYear=2017
  11. The Florida Nurse Practitioner Network: ENP Network. (2019). Retrieved from https://fnpn.enpnetwork.com/
  12. Unruh, L., Rutherford, A., Schirle, L., & Brunell, M. L. (2018). Benefits of Less Restrictive Regulation of Advance Practice Registered Nurses in Florida. Nursing Outlook, 66(6), 539-550. doi:10.1016/j.outlook.2018.09.002

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