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the APN, but what we learned here really delved beneath the surface to expose the hidden challenges that APNs face behind the scenes. Prior to this class, I had a rudimentary career plan in place. I realize now how much more planning needed to take place to develop a plan for personal and professional growth. Advancement of our careers as APNs is not an independent variable; in that the role is completely dependent on the
development of the professional APN role. In other words, our ability to fully achieve our goals as APNs is limited by the assigned scope of practice. If the states do not come to a consensus that allows APNs to practice to the fullest extent of their training and education. At the start of the course, the outcomes focused on the historical perspective of the APN role and how it evolved from influences from other disciplines, in addition to legislative and regulatory issues. This helped me to gain a better understanding and appreciation for APNs; the adversity that they have faced, the achievements, and the extensive knowledge that they possess. Throughout the course, I have come to the realization that part of our professional plan for growth must include how we will contribute to the advancement of the profession. Professional organizations are an ideal place to start as they bring together like-minded individuals who share similar values and goals. Through professional organizations, we support one another throughout our professional journey. The professional development plan paper assigned in week 7 was helpful in being able to identify where I am at currently and identifying areas of strength and weakness; to develop strategies to overcome limitations, in order to become more competent in my role. I appreciated the opportunity to develop curriculum vitae, as I had not realized the difference between that and a professional resume. It offers a more thorough representation of who we are and what we have to offer a potential employer. I also found it helpful to research the networking andmarketing strategies and how we can use social media to our advantage.I enjoyed the fact that case studies were used throughout the course that allowed us to integrate the information into real-life, practical situations that we will likely encounter. It was like being able topractice our skills and knowledge ahead of time. These case studies help us to develop the leadership competencies that are required for us to be able to advance the profession, our career, and ourselves. It offered us the ability to critically think about exactly how we would: 1) assume complex leadership roles to initiate and guide change; 2) use leadership to foster collaboration with multiple stakeholders; and 3) advocate for the profession and for improved patient outcomes and healthcare delivery systems, to name a few. Saying we will integrate said
competencies is one thing, but to play out scenarios and develop strategies to implement them, is entirely another.