Professional Development Plan: A Tool for Career Advancement - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1557 Words
Date:  2023-01-17


Regardless of a person's career, having a professional development plan (PDP) is imperative for the person to set career goals and develop a plan to achieve them within a specified time limit (Kellams & Maye, 2017). The famous adage by Winston Churchill, "failing to plan is planning to fail" also applies to career development. A professional development plan is a tool used by nurses to set and achieve specific career objectives. This paper focuses on the career development of an advanced practice nurse (ADN). The scope of practice for an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) is more extensive compared to that of a registered nurse across all the states (Davis & Maisano, 2016). A professional development plan will help identify the educational background and core skills and competencies for an APRN. Leadership skills are also crucial for an APRN. As such, this paper identifies the strategies of acquiring leadership skills necessary to an APRN. Finally, the paper concludes by summarizing the essential information about the professional development plan for an advanced practice nurse.

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Scope of Practice

Different states have their distinctive standards regarding Advanced Practice Registered Nurse practice from licensure, accreditation, education, and certification American (Association of Nurse Practitioners 2017). The varying requirements among the states result in differences in the scope of practice for nurses. For instance, while some states permit APRNs to practice and prescribe autonomously from a physician, others do not. In the state of Texas, for a registered nurse to become an APRN, it is mandatory to obtain certification. The applicant is required by law to have a valid nursing license obtained after graduating with BSN as well as passing the national certification exam. The process of registration involves submitting all the required documents along with $100 licensing fee for the APRN certificate and $150 for prescriptive authority. Both payments are non-refundable (Buppert, 2015).

The educational requirement for the registration of an APRN include a masters or post master's degree together with a valid RN license. Some of the courses that determine the scope of practice for an APRN in Texas include Advanced Physical Assessment, which contains a clinical component, APRN Role Preparation, Pharmacotherapeutics, and Pathophysiology. These courses specify an applicant's advanced practice role. Additionally, a successful preceptorship within a nurse's advanced practice nursing educational program is required to prove the ability to deliver direct advanced practice patient care in an authorized clinical setting. In the state of Texas, an individual is required to have a minimum of 500 non-duplicate hours in every advanced practice role and population focus capacity within the APN Educational program (Davis & Maisano, 2016).

The practitioner prescriptive authority in Texas is the Board of Nursing (BON). The role of BON in the state is to protect and promote the welfare of the people by ensuring that all people licensed as nurses are competent to practice. The Board is empowered by the state's Legislature with regulating the practice all types of nurses from vocational to advanced practice nurses. Other duties of the board members include consulting on proposed bills that may affect nursing practice as well as adopting amendments to the Nursing Practice Act. However, the Board or its members do not draft legislation, nor can they support or oppose proposed bills during a legislative session. To execute its responsibilities in administering the laws and regulations that govern nursing education and practice in the state, the Board meets regularly with its professionals and support staff who carry out the provisions of the law (Texas Nurse Practitioners, 2016).

BON mainly controls the nursing environment in Texas as it sets specific practice standards for the profession. While the Board's rules are meant explicitly for the members of nursing organizations to uphold, all the professionals in the field of nursing are expected to follow the standards. The BON aims at ensuring practitioners maintain quality and reliability by meeting a minimum standard so that nurses of all levels continue serving the public while at the same time improving the status of the nursing profession (Buppert, 2015).

National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) Competencies

The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) is mandated with creating the requirements that every nurse practitioner must meet once they graduate from NP school. The first set of competencies was established in 1990 with the latest updates being incorporated in 2012 (Kellams & Maye, 2017). The skills ensure that every nurse practitioner graduates with an extensive background in medical sciences. As part of the professional development plan, a nurse practitioner is required to conduct a self-assessment to identify strengths and weaknesses. From a personal assessment, I believe my core competencies to be in the scientific foundation. My core competencies include knowledge and understanding of clinical practice guidelines and evidence-based practice. Another strength is in quality competencies, whereas a nurse practitioner, I strive to improve in delivering the desired health outcomes consistent with professional knowledge and standards.

Under the nine core competencies, technology and information literacy prevents an opportunity for growth. NONPF defines information literacy as the ability to use digital technology networks, communications tools to access, integrate, evaluate, and effectively communicate information. Technology presents APRNs with an opportunity to enhance the safety and health outcomes of their patients. Another possibility is in planning, developing, and implementing public and health programs. This can be illustrated by my use of negotiations and relationship building to affect healthcare delivery, thereby minimizing patient and provider risks positively.

NONPF competencies are taught in nursing schools through their nursing education programs. Many nurse academicians who implement nursing educational programs are advanced practice nurses. While the NONPF creates the competencies, the educators are responsible for ensuring that their students gain them. Nursing faculties use Position of Statement by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing for an understanding scholarship from various dimensions (McClelland, 2014). By using peer-reviewed publications of research, case studies, and integrative review of the literature, I will engage the scholarship of integration to improve on NONPF competencies. As an APRN, I will participate in the scholarship application in a variety of ways, including advanced clinical practice, clinical problem solving, staff development, and consolation work. These interactions of academic work and application provide opportunities for developing and achieving NONPF competencies.


Although leadership is an expected attribute for all registered nurses, it is often considered to be role-dependent. Administrative nurses are considered to be formal leaders, whereas nurses in clinical roles such as APRN are informal leaders (American Association of Nurse Practitioners 2017). Nonetheless, all nurses require leadership skills in the management of patient-centered care, coaching and educating, and advocating. These skills are most needed in complex nursing systems. For instance, nurses should be able to use their clinical expertise in combination with advanced nursing knowledge to provide high-quality patient-centered care. This would require a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare system. Under coaching and education, nurse leaders should facilitate independence and autonomy of their lower level nurses. Additionally, they should be able to effectively educate patients and their families about diseases, medication, and new treatment options (Davis & Maisano, 2016).

One strategy of developing leadership skills as a nurse is focusing on excellence. In nursing, the distinction is not just a phrase but a way of life. Most prominent nursing advocacy groups in the country including the National League for Nursing (NLN) and the American Association of Clinical-Care Nurses (AACN) have clear-cut definitions of excellence in the profession (Kellams & Maye, 2017). In general, nursing excellence is defined as ensuring that nurses make optimal healthcare contributions to their patients by providing professional and competent care. Another strategy is by pursuing lifelong learning. Taking leadership classes, together with professional development classes, are great ways that could improve a nurse's leadership skills. Great leaders keep track of current trends on research and technology and their impacts on the nursing profession. While graduate-level training helps improve on competencies, acquiring specialized training improves leadership skills (McClelland, 2014).


As a certified Advanced Practitioner Nurse (APN), there are numerous opportunities for me to practice in an array of roles and settings. This professional development plan will assist in enhancing my skills, abilities, and competencies as an APN so that I have a prosperous career. As discussed above, the scope of practice helps in understanding the what, when, and where is required of an APN in the state of Texas. Additionally, the PDP identifies scientific foundation and quality competencies as my strengths while information and technology present an opportunity to improve my competencies. Finally, I have identified management of patient-centered care, coaching and educating, and advocating to be the essential leadership skills for an APRN especially when practicing in complex healthcare systems,


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Davis, A., & Maisano, P., (2016). Patricia Benner: Novice to an expert- A concept whose time has come (again). Oklahoma Nurse, 61 (3), 13-15. Retrieved from

Kellams, J. R., & Maye, J. P., (2017). The Last State to Grant Nurse Practitioners DEA Licensure: An Education Improvement Initiative on the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Journal of Addictions Nursing (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins), 28(3), 135-142. doi: 10.1097/JAN.0000000000000177

McClelland, M., (2014). A Guide to Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Roles. MEDSURG Nursing, 10-14.

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Texas Nurse Practitioners. (2016). Significant Scope of practice information. Retrieved from

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Professional Development Plan: A Tool for Career Advancement - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 17). Retrieved from

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