The adult nurse practitioner program prepares students to undertake advanced nursing practice in providing primary care to “at risk” and chronically-ill adult patients and their families in a wide range of care settings including specialty clinics and urgent/emergency rooms. Furthermore, adult nurse practitioners (ANPs) must collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide health management, promotion, and maintenance for adults. Therefore, those preparing for this profession must possess a wide range of personal qualities and attributes. First, ANPs must be fast learners and have the willingness to pursue extended education as necessary. Secondly, empathy and quick reasoning are important personality traits for ANPs.
Thirdly, ANPs must have the ability to lead and manage other nursing staff in a variety of nursing environments, implying that they must also have excellent communication skills. Lastly, they must have the ability to remain calm and stay focused under pressure because of the urgent nature of the cases they handle. Most importantly, ANPs must be competent in health assessment and diagnosis by employing various tools and techniques to assess and synthesize clinical/assessment data. Moreover, these professionals must demonstrate competence in health promotion, healthcare management, prevention of illnesses/complications/injuries, and therapeutic intervention by collaborating with other healthcare professionals, clients, and family members in making informed clinical decisions.
In addition to the aforementioned qualities and attributes, ANPs must understand the true definition of cultural competence, ethical sensitivity, leadership, and life-long learning, and incorporate these important aspects of nursing into their practice. Here, cultural competence refers to the nurse’s ability to adapt to a variety of cultural beliefs and practices, particularly those influencing health outcomes, while disregarding stereotypes and cultural bias in their practice. Thus, I aspire to incorporate cultural competence into my practice by first understanding my own cultural views and those of my clients before applying this cultural information to improve the quality of care and health outcomes. On the other hand, ethical sensitivity refers to the ability to interpret different situations with empathy by considering the people involved, the possible actions to be undertaken, and the reactions or outcomes that should be expected. Accordingly, I intend to incorporate ethical sensitivity into my practice by considering the perspectives of my clients, reading emotions, preventing social bias, identifying the consequences of my actions, and providing care through connecting to my clients.
Further, nursing leadership entails the ability for a leader (preferably a “group leader”) to head, empower, motivate, inspire, and influence other people in order to achieve a common goal. Therefore, considering the nature of the adult nurse practitioner profession, I intend to employ a variety of nursing leadership skills such as excellent communication and interpersonal skills and sincerity to head other healthcare professionals in efforts to provide quality care to adult patients. On the other hand, life-long learning refers to engaging in continuous professional learning over the period of a professional’s career to ensure that his/her skills remain up to date. Therefore, besides being a registered nurse (RN), I intend to remain engaged in life-long learning throughout my career in order to acquire current theory, clinical expertise, and research to inform my practice.
As a result, having considered the personal qualities, attributes, and competencies necessary for those aspiring to become adult nurse practitioners, it is important to outline the implications of graduate nursing education for my future career goals. Currently, I am a registered nurse (RN) working with mentally-disabled patients. In the near future, I aspire to become an adult nurse practitioner (ANP) working in the ICU. Besides, I would love to start my own urgent clinic to provide care to “at risk” and chronically-ill adult patients. Therefore, graduate education in an adult nurse practitioner program will enable me not only to realize my future career goals, but it will also give me the opportunity to serve my community by bringing urgent healthcare services closer to people. Most importantly, graduate education in nursing will ensure that my practice will be informed by current theory, research, and clinical expertise.