Professional Development Plan
As graduate study in nursing begins, identifying the program of study and professional development plan aligned with personal and professional goals is crucial. The purpose of this assignment is to provide a description of my educational and professional background as well as explore professional and personal goals related to the course and the practicum.
Education and Professional Background
My name is Florence Nightingale and I want to start by giving you some insight into my personal life. I currently reside in Orange County, California, where the military has placed my family. I am an army wife, an associate degree nurse, and a mother of two boys. From a small town in Virginia, my only opportunity to obtain a higher education degree was to attend a local college that offered a two-year degree in nursing. I had an opportunity to begin my chosen profession early, having a family, and never have to worry about finding employment. I always knew I wanted to increase my knowledge and do more. Year after year it seemed impossible to go back to school in the traditional way, since raising small children and moving interfered with finishing a degree.
Nursing has been the most rewarding career. It is not a job to me but my life. My formal education began in 1989 at a branch of Kent State University. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 1993. Working and going to school full-time put a strain on my grade point average (GPA), but the experience helped me grow both professionally and personally to an independent self-motivated practitioner.
Currently, I work in an endoscopy department where I developed many standard operating procedure guidelines which are being utilized throughout the hospital. I am also planning to obtain my Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA) certification this year. Another certification workshop I plan to attend is a nurse management seminar in July. Currently, I hold certifications in basic life support (BLS), advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), pediatric advanced life support (PALS) and conscious sedation. Prior certifications held were electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation and neurology assessment.
My experiences are very diverse which has made me flexible, efficient, and have given me a broad knowledge base. The different areas of expertise include neurology, orthopedics, urology, day surgery, endoscopy, telemetry, home health, recovery, and research-based projects. In many of these fields I was chosen to take on leadership roles such as charge nurse, team leader, preceptor, computer specialist, educator, and admission/discharge specialist. I like new challenges at work. Being involved in leadership roles confirmed my desire to advance my career in leadership and administration.
My personal goal is to do my best in all that I do and make a difference in people’s lives. My professional goal is to obtain my Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with the specialty being in leadership and management. Reflecting on the University’s vision and mission statement, it is a privilege to attend this graduate level program in order to learn how to positively transform society for the greater global good.
As a professional, I want to personally make society a better place, not only for my children, but for all the children of the future. Also, this specialization gives me a way to make a difference in the community around me that would not be possible at my current degree status. My experience has proven that to be a great leader, you must first serve. As a professional, I desire to serve my community through various outreach programs that will provide members with the tools and information needed to improve overall health and wellness. I also desire to make a difference as a leader in the organization I serve. I want to transform the landscape of positively managing and leading staff. Lastly, I wish to obtain certification in my field as a nurse leader. I am looking forward to accomplishing my professional goals and making a difference.
At first, being an adult in a learning atmosphere was a challenge for me. Through this course, I have developed the skills necessary to function proficiently as an online learner. I learned how to navigate through the various platform areas and more importantly, the resources available to assist all students as they transition into an online learning environment. In addition, I have learned new strategies that are helping me improve my ability to plan and manage my time as a student while obtaining resources, using technology, and communicating effectively in the online environment. Lastly, I developed sound knowledge of academic integrity and the importance of crediting sources.
Although there are many areas this course has helped me improve upon, continued growth is still needed. Since I have not been in a student role for many years, American Psychological Association (APA) style of writing is new to me. This is where Walden’s online program can help me reach my goals without sacrificing my commitment to my family. In order to grow in my knowledge of APA, I plan to view several webinars offered by the Walden Writing Center on this topic. In addition, I will seek out feedback from the Writing Center tutors on written assignments.
I view the practicum as an exceptionally important part of the Master’s education. I began planning for the practicum in leadership on the day I was accepted into Walden’s nursing program. I contacted a nurse manager, Victoria Smith, from a local acute care institution. I know of Smith’s work and reputation as a nurse leader in our community. Smith agreed to serve as my preceptor when it is time for me to enroll in the practicum. Although this will happen in two years, Smith feels confident that she will continue to be in the current position and have the flexibility to mentor a student.
During my practicum experience, I would like to develop and implement a nurse preceptor program. In this program, I would like to develop several classes for experienced nurses that want to become preceptors for new employees and graduate nurses. I believe more needs to be done when it comes to preceptors understanding their role and how they can be successful at meeting the needs of new employees and graduates.