Doctor of Nursing Practice: Professional Identity

PICOT: in nursing staff at VEGA Medical Center, how does the implementation of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2016) guidelines affect the accuracy of diagnosing and management of depression in the geriatric population within 10 weeks?

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Clinical scholarship refers to a variety of activities that a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) can perform to discover, integrate, and apply nursing knowledge to the benefit of the community (Tymkow, 2015; Wilkes, Mannix, & Jackson, 2013). I am an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) and nurse educator, but I have also performed the role of a clinical scholar on some occasions. A vivid example is my DNP project, which can be classified as an activity pertinent to the scholarship of application (Wilkes et al., 2013). In it, I apply the existing knowledge (guidelines on depression management) to determine the means of using it to the benefit of my community. This project has contributed to my professional development as a clinical scholar.

Indeed, the project has provided me with an opportunity for applying multiple clinical scholar skills. I have been engaged in the collection of relevant evidence, its appraisal and synthesis, and its use for the confirmation of the evidence-based nature of the guidelines. Then, I developed the appropriate methodology (a pre- and post-test mixed methods study with paired t-test for quantitative data and thematic analysis for qualitative data). All the mentioned activities are crucial for a scholar (Brown & Crabtree, 2013), and they have equipped me to perform the role of a clinical scholar better.

Currently, the project is being implemented. Soon, I will use it to practice my data collection and analysis skills. In the end, I will be able to contribute some information on the topic of the use of guidelines for depression management and related outcomes. Apart from that, in the future, I will proceed to work as an ARNP and nurse educator. Both these roles presuppose opportunities for clinical scholarship (Tymkow, 2015; Wilkes et al., 2013), and I believe that I will take them when appropriate.

DNP as Healthcare System Leaders

PICOT: in nursing staff at VEGA Medical Center, how does the implementation of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2016) guidelines affect the accuracy of diagnosing and management of depression in the geriatric population within 10 weeks?

DNP-prepared nurses are equipped to take leadership positions. In particular, they are trained to acquire the necessary skills related to strategic planning, change management, systems thinking, and many other relevant competencies (Sherrod & Goda, 2016). In my career, I have had certain opportunities for applying my leadership skills to the benefit of my colleagues and patients, and I believe that they have contributed to my professional identity formation (Cruess, Cruess, Boudreau, Snell, & Steinert, 2015), helping me to become a better leader.

As an ARNP, I cannot say that I am in a direct position of power. However, I can suggest that my community clinic has a form of shared leadership. In particular, we are provided with the opportunity to participate in decision-making, especially in the cases when the decision can impact us or requires our expertise. Also, as a nurse educator, I am expected to be a leader (Patterson & Krouse, 2015), and leadership skills (especially interpersonal ones) have helped me to manage my lessons. Finally, DNP nurses are often required to lead changes (Sherrod & Goda, 2016). As a part of my DNP project, I am launching a change at the VEGA Medical Center in Florida, and I am performing the role of its leader.

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I think that the mentioned activities have provided me with an opportunity to train relevant skills and prepared me for future leadership roles. I have no direct intent to gain an official position of power. However, I understand that professional identity formation is a continuous process; it is possible that with time, the role of a leader will become more central to me. Currently, am determined to ensure that in my future places of employment, nurses are empowered to participate in decision-making. My experience of working in an empowering environment has helped me to form my understanding of what nursing leadership should be, and I intend to reflect on and analyze my future career events to integrate professional identity formation into my professional development.

References

Brown, M. A., & Crabtree, K. (2013). The development of practice scholarship in DNP programs: A paradigm shift. Journal of Professional Nursing, 29(6), 330-337. Web.

Cruess, R., Cruess, S., Boudreau, J., Snell, L., & Steinert, Y. (2015). A schematic representation of the professional identity formation and socialization of medical students and residents. Academic Medicine, 90(6), 718-725. Web.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2016). Depression in adults: Recognition and management. Web.

Patterson, B. J., & Krouse, A. M. (2015). Competencies for leaders in nursing education. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36(2), 76-82. Web.

Sherrod, B., & Goda, T. (2016). DNP-prepared leaders guide healthcare system change. Nursing Management (Springhouse), 47(9), 13-16. Web.

Tymkow, C. (2015). Clinical scholarship and evidence-based practice. In M. Zaccagnini & K. White (Eds.), Doctor of Nursing Practice essentials (pp. 61-136). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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Wilkes, L., Mannix, J., & Jackson, D. (2013). Practicing nurses perspectives of clinical scholarship: A qualitative study. BMC Nursing, 12(1), 1-7. Web.

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