Melissa Hinkhouse RE: Discussion 

Week 6-Melissa Hinkhouse-Original DB Post.

Deciding to become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is a decision I have dreamed of for several years. Working in a rural Health care clinic my patients wait 6-12 months before they can see the Psychiatrist or a PMHNP via Telehealth. The access to care is limited and the need is growing rapidly. When I was looking at different schools and read Walden’s description of a PMHNP I knew I had found the school that was for me, “The need for mental health services has never been greater, yet the U.S. continues to face a critical shortage of professionals in the field.”  They understood the needs for mental health care, the lack of care available to patients, the fact the need is only going to increase. In the UP of Michigan where I live, we have 2 adult inpatient facilities, none offering care for adolescents. Children must go out of state if they require admission. If you re an adult most patients travel 3-4 hours for care for in-patient

During our readings this week one article states a scholar who has the MSN, “Serves as a consultant to provide additional insight and potential solutions.” (Bickford, 2015), I feel this is imperative to my career goals as a mental health provider. As a nurse now and even more so once my education and degree is advanced I am looking to assist my patients with insight and potential solutions to their mental health problems as well as the lack of accessibility to care in our rural community. The benefit to being part of the solution weighed heavily on my mind in the decision to go back to school to further my education.

I have decided to become a member of the he American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA). They offer CEUS, networking and discounts, as a PMHNP I feel like the resources and networking will be key to the specialty area I plan to work. To obtain a membership visit their webpage at They offer different membership levels. A regular membership is $135.00 for 1 year (engaged in pursuits which further the purposes of the Association. Regular members may vote, serve on committees and seek election to the Board of Directors.)

As a Behavioral Health Nurse in the outpatient and inpatient setting I decided I need to act on this dilemma and assist my patients my advancing my degree. One small step can make a big difference if you have the heart and the passion for change.


American Organization for Nursing Leadership. (2015). AONL Nurse Executive competencies. Retrieved from

Bickford, C. J., Marion, L., & Gazaway, S. (2015). Nursing: Scope and standards of practice, third edition—2015. Retrieved from American Organization for Nursing Leadership. (2015). AONL Nurse Executive competencies. Retrieved from

Walden University. (n.d.). Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Retrieved April 27, 2020, from

Mary Vincent RE: Discussion – Week 6

My chosen nurse specialty program is education.  I have always enjoyed patient teaching as a staff nurse.  I would often volunteer to be a “champion” when new products or practices rolled out.  I liked precepting practicum students, new grads and new hires.  I was always complemented on how I was able to explain things, whether it was to patients or other nurses, in a way they could understand.  For years, I enjoyed doing this because every time I explained something, I learned it as well.  For me, explaining it made me learn it better.  I had wanted to be a nurse educator for a while, but the opportunity did come up.  I had become an assistant nurse manager (ANM) when the position opened, and I liked that position.  2 years into my ANM position, our educator had left so there was an educator position open.  I almost didn’t apply for the position because I was enjoying being an ANM.  My manager encouraged me to apply and I found that I indeed loved teaching people more than leading them.  Walden’s description of a nurse educator really sums up how I feel, “They serve as role models and provide the leadership needed to implement evidence-based practice” (Walden University, 2020).

            As I researched different professional organizations for a nurse educator, I came across two that seemed like good resources.  One is the Association for Nursing Professional Development (ANPD).  The ANPD states they has many resources to help with nursing professional development (Association for Nursing Professional Development, 2020).  The other professional organization I investigated is the National League for Nursing (NLN).  They offer nurse educator core competencies and offer the certification for nurse educators (CNE) (National League for Nursing, 2019).  To become a member in both organizations, you have to fill out an application and pay the yearly fees. 


Association for Nursing Professional Development. (2020).  ANDP offers comprehensive in person and online education. Retrieved from 

National League for Nursing. (2019). Nurse educator core competency. Retrieved from

Walden University. (2020). Master of science in nursing – nursing education. Retrieved from

Eniola Oladokun RE: Discussion – Week 6

Choosing a specialty within the MSN programs for me was an easy decision as I knew what I wanted to do from the beginning of my career.  Although, deciding on the specialty could be a critical part of my plan for success, and getting it right is important to avoid waste of time and money.  While I was in nursing school, I thought of FNP and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, but upon graduating from nursing school, I started my nursing career working full-time on a medical surgical floor and per diem in psychiatric mental health unit.  After a year I switched it up and started working full-time in psychiatry and per diem in medical surgical floor  and I come to love what I do on a daily basis on the psychiatric unit and this solidify my desire and intention to pursue a specialty in mental health nursing.

I  got my psychiatric nursing experience working at  state facility within the adult and the forensic units but currently I work  with adolescent from ages 10 through 17 who suffer from psychiatric mental health disorder, which are not limited to ADHD, Bipolar disorder,  anxiety, depression, ODD and many other behavioral problems. The way the society views and treat patients with mental illness is quite different from any other physical health issues but sometimes it is difficult to understand how or why this affects us. Consequently, this unequal treatment of mental and physical illnesses leads to unequal results.  Working with this population and having friends with bipolar disorder, I have come to realize that mental health is as important as physical health, the two are inseparable.

Our society currently lacks education and understanding that mental disorders are comorbid with other chronic diseases that can add to the problems in caring for them. My goal is to educate, advocate and promote awareness to mental health disorders in our community, making sure that mental health services are available in the rural areas with focus on all age groups irrespective of their socioeconomic status.

Currently I am a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) and the organization supports over 13,000 psychiatric mental health nurses at all levels of education who works in a variety of setting including inpatient, outpatient, research, education, administration, clinical, private practice, military and forensic. The APNA “is committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health nursing, health, wellness and recovery promotion through identification of mental health issues, prevention of mental health problems and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders” (American Psychiatric Nurses Association, n.d.).

You can become a member by filling out an online application or by mailing the application to the organization.  The organization has five different types of memberships: a regular membership, an affiliate membership, an international membership, retired membership, a student membership. The membership fees vary for the above-mentioned membership types and some requires for you to provide proof of identification for a reduced membership fee.


American Psychiatric Nurses Association. (n.d.). Welcome from the American Psychiatric Nurses Association! (n.d.). Retrieved from

Walden University. (n.d.). Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Retrieved April 26, 2020,  from

Greggs-McQuilkin, D. (2005). Why join a professional nursing organization. Retrieved from