Advanced Professional Nurse’s Development Goals


A professional development plan is an important planning tool that plays a central role in the setting and achieving of specified career goals. As an Advanced Professional Nurse (APN), a development plan is a contract with oneself detailing personal career direction together with goals and objectives that should be achieved along the way. It clarifies career goals, outlines personal interests, values, and skills and explores weaknesses and strengths, thus putting the future in focus. This paper is a professional development plan for an APN in the state of Florida. It highlights the scope of nurse practice in Florida including educational, licensure, and regulatory requirement together with the environment of practice within the state. The paper is also used to develop a personal statement using Benner’s Novice to Expert Ladder to discuss personal strengths, weaknesses, goals, and objectives. Under the network and marketing strategies, local and national professional organizations that advertise employment opportunities for APNs in the region. Additionally, marketing and networking strategies in the local, state, and national levels are identified. The last section is a conclusion that summarizes the key points of the professional development plan. A CV is also attached.

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APN Scope of Practice

Different states in the US have distinctive requirements and standards for APN cutting across various areas including education, certification, accreditation, and licensure. In the state of Florida, becoming an APN demands the interested party to meet several requirements. The Florida Board of Nursing (FBN) is the only body mandated with licensing APN in the state. The three areas of specialization that could be licensed in the state include nurse practitioner (NP), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), and certified nurse midwife (CNM) (Florida Board of Nursing, 2019). For a nurse to be considered for an APN accreditation, he or she must have a current Florida Registered Nurse (RN) license. However, both the RN and APN licenses could be applied concurrently. In terms of education, one must complete a master’s or post-master program to qualify for APN licensure. However, if an individual graduated before October 1, 1998, he or she is not required to meet the degree requirement for credentialing (Florida Board of Nursing, 2019).

Qualified graduate programs can only be accredited by two agencies in the state of Florida. They include the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (Florida Board of Nursing, 2019). Therefore, contrary to popular assumptions, the FBN does not regulate or oversee advanced nursing programs. Any aspiring APN is required to complete courses in advanced pharmacotherapeutics or pharmacology as part of post bachelor’s degree education. The chosen major must be in nursing or a general area of specialization. A provisional license could be issued in case the person seeking APN accreditation has not met all licensure requirements if one graduated from Advanced Nursing Practice within the last 12 months. However, this provisional license is only valid for 12 months within which one is expected to complete all the requirements for national certification. Additionally, an application and licensure fee of $110.00 is applicable even though it varies depending on the selected Livescan service provider (Florida Board of Nursing, 2019).

Collaborative Practice in Florida

In Florida, an APN is licensed to diagnose, treat, and carry out specific functions above an RN and a physician or other medical professional including doctors and dentists. The degree and nature supervision from physicians should be in a written agreement signed by both parties in a document known as a collaborative agreement (Kaplan, 2016). In the agreement, the supervising physician must commit to being available for consultation by phone. In addition, patients should be informed whether the physician will be present or not. However, before an APN can legally practice in Florida, the collaborative practice agreement must be approved by the FBN.

Prescriptive Authority in Florida

Florida became the latest state in the US to allow APNs to prescribe controlled drugs when the law was passed in 2016 (Kaplan, 2016). However, APNs are restricted to the drugs that they can subscribe to patients. APNs seeking to prescribe drugs in Florida must apply for DEA License but one has to undergo a controlled substance training course before making the application.

Personal Assessment

A personal assessment is important when creating a professional development plan as it allows for the narrowing of possibilities to establish one’s strengths, weaknesses, objectives, and goals. In addition, this assessment points to the right direction of career progress by focusing on areas that one is talented in for best fit. This section will be completed using Benner’s Novice to Expert Model of self-assessment. According to Benner (2001), my starting point in my field is that of a novice. As such, I have a basic understanding of my roles, but I lack previous experience on the same. As an RN, I have interacted with APNs in the course of our duties.

The areas of my career that I want to focus on and further develop include my skills as a nurse, attending to pediatric patients, developing meaningful relationships with my co-workers and patients, and prescribing drugs. Given that I have no skills as an APN, I am looking forward to learn the scope of practice at this level of my new role. I want to better my skills to attend with pediatric patients in different set-ups. I am excited about the possibility of leading a panel of patients and giving them the best care and assistance that I can afford in my capacity. However, one of the things that scare me is the idea of making mistakes with my patients. I understand that errors could be costly, even fatal, and the possibility of being involved in the same is frightening. Nevertheless, even in the midst of fear, I hope to attain lifelong skills that will continually make me a better person and caregiver.

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The work ahead of me is overwhelming and thus I will cope with excessive stress by remaining positive, talking about with my colleagues, and meditation (Khanade & Sasangohar, 2017). My goal in the first month is to fully understand my role in the new position. The APN position comes with more responsibilities and I want to grasp the basics within the first month. In the second month, I want to understand the concept of the patient panel and my day-to-day duties as an APN. In the third mind, I will have completed my controlled substance training course and applied for my DEA license to start subscribing drugs to my patients. Within the first year, I will have moved from Benner’s novice level to level two of the advanced beginner through experience.

Networking and Marketing Strategies

Networking for APNs is important as it helps in building new relationships and establishing connections that could lead to new career openings and opportunities. One of the ways of networking and marketing is through joining both local and national professional bodies. I can join the Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Florida Nurse Practitioner Network, and the Central Florida Advanced Nursing Practice Council among other professional bodies including support organizations like Nurse Practitioner Support Services. While joining professional organizations is a great way of networking, the Internet has revolutionized the way APNs can market their skills.

One useful strategy of marketing one’s skills in this digital era is the creation of personalized accounts over the Internet using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Creating a professional profile in places, such as LinkedIn, allows one to remain connected to peers while increasing feasibility to potential employers. Information carried in such accounts could be easily updated at any time to capture any new skills that have been gained. New Job openings could also be found through online postings including,, and among many other platforms. The starting point would be establishing areas of competence and interest and use the available channels to market skills and search for new job opportunities.


A professional development plan is a useful career planning tool that could be used to map the direction that a nurse could follow to achieve his or her goals and objectives. It highlights the scope of practice in the state where one intends to practice nursing as an APN, personal statement detailing strengths and weaknesses, and a section on marketing and networking. In Florida, the FNB licenses APNs whereby the interested party should be a registered nurse in the state and have a master’s degree or post-master certificate. The state of Florida allows collaborative practice and prescriptive authority for APNs. I am starting as a novice according to Benner’s Model of self-assessment, but I intend to progress to the second level by the end of the first year. Joining professional organizations and creating online professional accounts on different platforms, such as LinkedIn will be used for marketing and networking.


Benner, P. (2001). From novice to expert: Excellence and power in clinical nursing practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Health.

Florida Board of Nursing. (2019). Advanced registered nurse practitioner. Web.

Kaplan, L. (2016). Advocacy in Practice. Florida NPs advocate for controlled substance prescriptive authority. Nurse Practitioner, 41(5), 14-16.

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Khanade, K., & Sasangohar, F. (2017). Stress, fatigue, and workload in intensive care nursing: A scoping literature review. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 61(1), 686-690.

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