Academic Success and Professional Development Plan

Comparing my two nursing specialties

The nursing specialty that I have chosen in my MSN program is a nurse practitioner (NP). My second preference in my MSN program would be nurse-midwife.  The two nursing specialties program have a lot to offer and have something that interests my nursing career, and my passion. A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse (APN) with prescription writing privileges who can work in many specialties as a physician. Nurse practitioners might decide to focus on specific demographics, disease, or department in a hospital (Traczynski & Udalova, 2018). A nurse practitioner’s role is to diagnose and treat acute infections as well as to conduct and order diagnostic tests.

Nurse practitioner

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who, apart from being an ordinary nurse, has an extensive training and education in areas like pediatric. Pediatrics can offer regular healthcare services to children (Traczynski & Udalova, 2018). In addition, a nurse practitioner gets extra expertise and knowledge based on more complex decision-making skills and special clinical competencies for more specialty or expanded operations. It is recommended that anyone who wants to become a nurse practitioner must have a minimum of a master’s degree as his or her education level. Thus, a nurse practitioner is one of the nursing specialties that is highly valued.

Nurse mid-wife

On the other hand, nurse mid-wife is among the advanced practice nurses who guide patients through pregnancy and delivery. Nurse midwife major in the medical needs of women and aid during the delivery of babies (Chang et al. 2012). These nurses offer skilled help to expectant mothers throughout the childbirth process from pregnancy to postpartum care. Unlike nurse practitioners, nurse midwife is also trained to offer counseling and family planning services, enlighten the patients on the uses and limitations of birth control drugs. In addition, they assist in prescribing contraceptives to patients as required.

How I ended up choosing nurse practitioner for my MSN program

Nurse practitioner plays an important in offering healthcare to patients. I choose a nurse practitioner’s program after several considerations. I analyzed the situation, process, vision, and mission, as well as my previous education, to map my journey and to reach my decision to pursue a specialty in nursing. In regards to the situation, I checked the status quo when choosing to become a nurse practitioner. According to reports, some healthcare providers stigmatized people with mental illness. So I wanted to pursue a program that would enable attend to the needs of most people, especially mentally ill patients. After extensive research, I learned that a nurse practitioner program would equip me with relevant skills to help attend to a wide range of populations, including mentally ill patients.

My vision in the professional field played an important role in making a decision regarding the nursing specialty to select for the MSN program. To begin with, my long-term professional and academic goals have been to be a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. The notion of being a nurse practitioner came from a long-time experience I had as a mental health assistant while working with people who are disabled and those who have a mental problem both in the residential setting and in acute facility care. The experience connected me to my childhood vision of becoming a mental health nurse practitioner. Therefore, among other nursing specialties, being a nurse practitioner links with my long-term professional goals.

Moreover, my educational background played a role in making my MSN career choice of becoming a nurse practitioner. I sought for more information from my mentors and academic advisors to reach my decision. I realized that it is important to match my future career objectives with my previous professional experiences. Previously, I had done a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences that offers a background in nursing. However, my experience as a mental health assistant helped a lot in shaping my decision to become a nurse practitioner to assist the patients, especially mentally challenged ones. 

Professional organization

Professional organizations play an important role during learning. Among other professional organizations, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) is more relevant to me. APNA is the largest professional association in the whole world. It is devoted to training in psychological-health, psychiatric illness care, and mental health prevention. In addition, the organization plays a significant role in an individual’s professional development because it offers journal articles and other materials in nursing. The learning materials offered by APNA helps students in the medical field to acquire relevant information.

APNA has provided specific criteria for people who would like to join and become members. There are various benefits attached to members of the association, which non-members are unable to access. For example, non-members cannot access learning journals from the website. To join and become a member, you only need to visit the website and register. During registration, one will fill in personal information. Besides, an applicant is also required to pay a subscription fee of $25 for student members every year. Prior to subscription, the applicant must provide proof of full-time student.


American Psychiatric Nurses Association. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Chang, A. M., Gardner, G. E., Duffield, C., & Ramis, M. A. (2012). Advanced practice nursing role development: factor analysis of a modified role delineation tool. Journal of advanced nursing, 68(6), 1369-1379.

Traczynski, J., & Udalova, V. (2018). Nurse practitioner independence, health care utilization, and health outcomes. Journal of health economics, 58, 90-109.

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