Assignment: Professional Development Plan

Assignment: Professional Development Plan

Assignment: Professional Development Plan

A professional development plan is necessary when one strategizes growth into the role of a PMHNP. This type of plan allows the individual to reflect on where he or she has been, and set goals for where he or she needs to arrive.
Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to facilitate the learner’s ability to self-reflect on strengths and areas for improvement, and to strategically plan to improve on areas needed.
Assignment outcome
At the conclusion of this assignment, the learner will be able to:
· Report a minimum of two strengths in growing into the role of a PMHNP
· Report a minimum of two areas of improvement related to the course objectives

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Professional Development Plan

The role of a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certification (PMHNP) requires nurse practitioners to advance their clinical skills and knowledge in psychiatric-mental health, including assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of various psychiatric conditions. Furthermore, the fast-changing healthcare environment necessitates knowledge, competencies, and skills advancement among nurse practitioners to meet patients’ health care needs. Additionally, bolstering the current practice results in maximum growth, preparing nurse practitioners for potential challenges they might encounter in their clinical practices in the future. In addition to meeting the demands of the healthcare environment, professional development enables nurses to achieve their professional goals. Thus, the professional nursing practice requires practitioners to create a professional development plan (PDP) to guide them in their career advancement journey. This covers the author’s strengths achieved while becoming a PMHNP, areas that require improvement, and a strategic plan to improve the identified areas.

Strengths Acquired in becoming a PMHNP

I have acquired considerable skills while growing into a PMHNP, such as developing advanced health assessment skills and effective communication skills.

Advanced health assessment skills

I have developed advanced health assessment skills while growing into the role of a PMHNP. I acquired advanced clinical skills and knowledge in psychiatric-mental health during an assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals presented with mental condition symptoms during my practicum experience. Additionally, during the program, I learned about psychotropic medication’s prescriptive process and non-pharmacological interventions, including individual, group, and family psychotherapy and situations where each one of them is applicable.

A PMHNP requires advanced assessment skills to evaluate, conduct physical examinations, formulate patients’ initial diagnoses, and treat and manage various mental illnesses. According to Dickens et al. (2018), the knowledge, skills, and competence of a PMHNP determine the quality of mental health care provided to mental disorders patients. Additionally, competencies and clinical skills among PMHPs reduce hospitalization and readmission among individuals diagnosed with mental conditions (Lassemo et al., 2021). Thus, advanced health assessment skills are significant in performing the role of a PMHNP.

Effective Communication Skills

Effective communication skills are another strength that I acquired while becoming a PMHNP. During the program, we were assigned group assignments and projects. Members of a particular group were expected to handle their questions and present their answers to the rest of the class. Thus, I had to attend all group meetings and listen attentively to other members as they gave their views. Additionally, I could present my points when it was my time to speak. Consequently, I developed effective communication skills.

Communication skills are significant in performing the role of a PMHNP. Communication is considered the basis of the treatment process since it allows a nurse practitioner to obtain vital subjective data from the client during interviews session, which is used during diagnosis and treatment processes. A PMHNP listens attentively while the client is speaking without interrupting. However, a PMHNP should show empathy while the client is speaking to encourage him or her to disclose more health-related information enhancing diagnosis and treatment processes. On the other hand, communication enables a PMHNP to inform the client about a particular mental illness, its symptoms, and treatment interventions. According to Papageorgiou et al. (2021), communication skills enhance the treatment of severe mental illnesses, including schizophrenia. Additionally, communication facilitates the development of the therapeutic relationship between a psychiatric nurse practitioner and a client. According to Hartley et al. (2021), a therapeutic relationship improves the therapeutic alliance between a psychiatrist and a client resulting in quality patient care and positive clinical outcomes.

Areas that Require Improvement

Despite demonstrating strengths in becoming a PMHNP, some areas, including cultural and spiritual insensitivity and ineffective critical thinking and clinical reasoning, require improvement to enhance my role performance as a PMHNP.

Cultural and Spiritual Insensitivity

A PMHNP is likely to encounter patients from other cultural and spiritual groups other than his or her. Thus, cultural and spiritual sensitivity is a crucial quality for PMHNP. During assessment and treatment processes, patients comply if their cultural beliefs and religious beliefs are considered and respected. Thus, a PMHNP should be culturally-competent to provide quality mental health care to clients from other ethnic groups. According to de Almeida Vieira and Fernandes (2016), providing effective and culturally responsive mental care to clients from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds requires cultural competence. Additionally, practitioners should address clients’ spiritual needs to enhance clinical outcomes in individuals diagnosed with a mental disorder. According to Hathaway et al. (2018), spirituality and religion contribute to the client’s health problem; hence, they should be considered part of the solution. Therefore, I should focus on improving cultural and spiritual insensitivity. Becoming culturally and spiritually sensitive to clients’ needs will enhance a therapeutic relationship, improving clinical outcomes.

I will enhance my cultural and spiritual sensitivity by understanding the cultural beliefs of other ethnic groups and the religious beliefs of other denominations. Consequently, I will enroll in a culturally-competent program to learn about the culture of other people. Additionally, I will be attending cultural activities of other people to learn more about their cultural practices. Similarly, attending religious festivals of people with different religious beliefs will enhance my understanding of their faith and spirituality. More so, I will enhance my cultural and spiritual sensitivity by reading about other people’s cultures and religious beliefs by reading materials available on the internet.

Ineffective Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning

Critical thinking and clinical reasoning are essential requirements in nursing practice. Critical thinking involves the application of higher-level thinking to define a presented clinical problem, determine the most appropriate evidence-based practice suitable for the situation, and choose the most appropriate intervention during care delivery. On the other hand, clinical reasoning entails using thinking strategies to collect and analyze client information, assess it to determine if it is relevant, and choose possible nursing interventions to enhance the client’s psychosocial and physiological outcomes. Critical thinking is integrated into identifying the most appropriate interventions for addressing the presented condition in clinical reasoning. The choice of nursing intervention, quality of patient care, and clinical outcomes are significantly influenced by critical thinking and clinical reasoning. Additionally, critical thinking and clinical reasoning reduce the high morbidity and mortality rate. Thus, I should improve my critical thinking and clinical reasoning to choose the most appropriate clinical intervention while managing and treating mental conditions to achieve positive health outcomes and patient satisfaction.

I will improve my critical thinking skills by innovating to stimulate critical thinking (Riegel et al., 2021). I will then apply the acquired critical thinking skills to analyze and synthesize available clinical interventions and select the most appropriate action, thus enhancing my clinical reasoning, which will improve health outcomes and patients’ quality of life (Ozkahraman & Yildirim, 2021).

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de Almeida Vieira, A. P. T., & Fernandes, A. B. (2016). Cultural competence in mental health nursing: validity and internal consistency of the Portuguese version of the multicultural mental health awareness scale—MMHAS. BMC psychiatry16(1), 1-8.

Dickens, G. L., Ion, R., Waters, C., Atlantis, E., & Everett, B. (2019). Mental health nurses’ attitudes, experience, and knowledge regarding routine physical healthcare: systematic, integrative review of studies involving 7,549 nurses working in mental health settings. BMC nursing, 18(1), 1-21.

Hartley, S., Raphael, J., Lovell, K., & Berry, K. (2020). Effective nurse-patient relationships in mental health care: A systematic review of interventions to improve the therapeutic alliance. International Journal of Nursing Studies102, 103490.

Hathaway, W. L., Scott, S. Y., & Garver, S. A. (2018). Assessing religious/spiritual functioning: A neglected domain in clinical practice? Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 35(1), 97–104.

Lassemo, E., Myklebust, L. H., Salazzari, D., & Kalseth, J. (2021). Psychiatric readmission rates in a multi-level mental health care system–a descriptive population cohort study. BMC Health Services Research21(1), 1-15.

Ozkahraman, S., & Yildirim, B. (2021). An overview of critical thinking in nursing and education. Am Int J of Contemp Res; 1(2), 190

Papageorgiou, A., Loke, Y. K., & Fromage, M. (2017). Communication skills training for mental health professionals working with people with severe mental illness. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (6).

Riegel, F., Martini, J. G., Bresolin, P., Mohallem, A. G. C., & Nes, A. A. G. (2021). Developing critical thinking in the teaching of Nursing: a challenge in times of Covid-19 pandemic. Escola Anna Nery25.

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