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Advanced Practicing Nurse Development Plan

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Personal Development
Wordcount: 1932 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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All nurses that are studying to be Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANP) should work on a Personal Development plan (PDP).  This allows the nursing student to dig deep and discover new aspects of themselves.  This can be accomplished by utilizing Benners Self-Assessment tool and Benners Novice to Expert Scale.  Once, the APN has identified strengths and weakness they can begin to have an idea where they may want to practice and begin their practicums during their college courses.  The APN should also consider goals and objectives when thinking about their future in nursing.  Once these things have been determined then the APN will be more confident when networking and marketing themselves within their community.  The purpose of this assignment is to assist the APN with completing a self-evaluation to determine personal strengths, weakness, goals and objectives for future career planning. 

APN Scope of Practice

Each state has different policies and regulations when it comes to the APN and depending on where you live some states give more autonomy to the APN.  However, in the state of Indiana this is not always the fact.  Current legislation undecided in Congress would assist nurse practitioners the power to practice autonomously, irrespective of distinct state laws, in the Veterans Affairs (VA) system. If signed, this law would assist in decreasing wait times for veterans seeking care (Cadmus, Johansen, Zimmer, & Knowlton, 2017).  In the state of Indiana, the APN must get an RN and APN state license along with a BSN and MSN degree in order to legally practice. A partnership contract is established between the APN and the supervising physician in which cooperation and coordination will be present when caring for their patients.  An APN may prescribe prescription drugs and Schedule II-V controlled substances if outlined in the written partnership contract and after certain obligations are met. APNs are not explicitly recognized in state policy as primary care providers (State Scope of Practice Policy, 2018).

Personal Assessment

A self-assessment tool when utilized properly is beneficial to everyone.  It can help determine the individual’s strengths, weaknesses, goals, and objectives. For APNs the self-assessment tool also helps them explore their interests, determine their desires, and discover which areas of practice would fit them best. APNs must have a real understanding of themselves before caring for others and this includes life situations outside of work as well as future goals and objectives.  Once the APN has a plan for future aspirations and has a great understanding of their strengths then they will have a better understanding of who they are.  The strengths this writer has identified are communication, listening, will power, and persistence. These strengths, especially communication and listening, are important when working in the healthcare system.  Effective communication and listening skills are fundamental to ensuring an accurate assessment, diagnoses, and treatment plan for the patient. Aside from diagnosing and treating the patient, patients want to feel as if their concerns have really been heard. How a patient perceives the provider will influence the message they receive and ultimately their care. If the patient feels the provider does not listen, cuts them off, or is too quick in their diagnosis, it is likely the patient will not fully comply with the treatment options, lifestyle changes, and/or follow-up appointments ordered by the provider.

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Just as everyone has their strengths, everyone also has weaknesses. The good thing about weakness is that it can be turned into a strength. Once weaknesses are identified the APN they can work on improving in these areas until they are no longer weaknesses. The weaknesses this writer struggles with are the fear of being an advanced beginner and confidence. According to Benner’s Novice to Expert Model, the advanced beginner is one who has some clinical knowledge, but they still require support and assistance, such as a mentor or preceptor who can help set priorities and give constructive feedback (Davis & Maisano, 2016). Fortunately, time builds knowledge and confidence and the new APN should keep in mind that over time they will navigate through all of Benner’s stages. Being confident in decision making is essential with providing care to the patient. Patients like to see that the person caring for them is confident in the decisions that they are making about the patients diagnoses and recommendations.  The APN should also feel confident when working with other practicing nurses and physicians lack of confidence may be viewed as a negative personal trait and a lack of experience.  This also ties together with advanced beginner.  The APN must be confident in with the experience they do have and utilize resources to grow into their position. 

Having career goals is important for the APNs professional development. Most often, people have long-term goals and short-term goals. APNs should always be evaluating their goals and revising them as necessary to make sure they continue to be relevant as they move forward in their life and their career. This writers’ short-term goal is to work in an acute care setting possibly with the Gastroenterology team once APN school is complete.  A long-term goal is to become a knowledgeable and confident APN that can help other new graduates find their way. Being a mentor to new APNs would be a way of giving back to the profession as well as helping patients.

Objectives are important because they assist with meeting the APNs goals. There are objectives that the APN should have when searching for their career.  The objectives of the APN may be to obtain clinical sites where they have an interest in employment.  The APN may have to job shadow or try to complete their practicums for school in these areas.  With so many APNs going out into the workforce, the APN must think of ways to stand out.  It is very difficult to apply to jobs and rely on resumes alone. When an APN student can do their clinical hours in places they can envision working in one day, they can show the potential employer exactly why they should be hired.

Networking and Marketing Strategies

The APN in Indiana usually have the opportunity to work in different institutions like hospitals, clinics and organizations that offer various health interventions together.  However, they usually involve themselves in different activities while in the nursing schools including teaching various divisions. The marketing roles by the APN is always a daily activity that involves the provision of the highest quality care to the community. Contrary to other businesses which always involve the profit-oriented marketing. However, the advertisement must be done by using promotions which concentrate much on community health improvements.

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Because the internet assists a lot with regards to job posting, the web can be used by the employers to get the full information about the use of advanced tools in the process of recruiting the APN. Although there are several local and national positions that advertise employment for the APN which seems to be very competitive with several candidates, there is one strategy which can work best. The strategy is to create accounts and hold the professional online profiles with the help of video resumes to help differentiate themselves from other candidates. Even though suggestions of marketing and networking may eliminate an online job search.

Social media such as Instagram and Facebook can assist in networking and can also connect APNs together with professional contacts.   Social media also helps keep the APNs name in the mind of the employer. Utilizing social media as a networking tool is the best way to assist with a lasting connection and is the future method for branding one’s self. YouTube, Instagram, Google, etc. can connect many people universally and can contribute to getting the information out there when applying for a position.  On the other hand, being connected of these types of accounts can also affect the searching of employment negatively in the case where they are not professional. Because several employers check social media accounts, the posting of jobs online can be found at various internet sites which expands the search for a new career.  The internet is not the only way that the APN may search for a career.  The local newspaper together with local ads and word of mouth are also good ways to begin a job search.  The first step would be to recognize the areas in which the APN qualifies to work in and the opportunities that are available.  The places the APN is permitted to practice are hospitals and clinics. The APN together with the physician will need to work hand in hand for the principle of medication prescription, patient safety, and increased patient outcomes.  


In conclusion, having a personal development plan will assist the APN with promoting themselves when the time comes to apply for a position. Completing a personal development plan while in college drives the student to start thinking about and preparing for their future because it forces them learn about rules, regulations, and state requirements for licensure. The personal development plan also pushes students think about and determine their strengths and weaknesses, goals and objectives for the future as well as develop a plan of action on how to market and network to reach their goals. If the APN is learning and growing, the personal development plan will always be a work in progress. As the APN advances through Benner’s stages, they can turn their identified weaknesses into strengths. There are many national and local nursing organizations the APN can utilize for a variety of resources, including employment opportunities. The personal development tool is beneficial for the future APN and will assist in their transition from APN student to a practicing ANP.



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