SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING PLAN

University Graduate School of Nursing

The Self-Directed Learning Plan (SDLP) is a process and document to chronicle your accomplishments and learning steps through the MSN program and beyond as they relate to your professional goals. 

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The SDLP will help you to identify and target the array of competencies you need to reach your professional objectives and to help you organize your MSN learning experience to suit your career objectives.

The SDLP will be a section of your Program Portfolio, so take some quality introspective time to consider strengths and areas of development relevant to your career objectives. Knowing your strengths and areas to develop, you can begin a plan to find out what you need to do to achieve your career goals. We encourage you to continue to reflect on the identified areas throughout the MSN program. If you feel a strength or development area is no longer relevant, you may add another to take its place. At any time, you may also add additional areas.

Your Name: Date:

Anticipated Nursing Role: Advanced Practice Nurse

Professional Goal (3-5 years) from now: 

My professional goal is to be an advanced practice nurse with a position that allows me to apply knowledge and skills acquired to provide comprehensive and safe care to the intensive care unit in Florida state. I hope to get associated with a health facility that has a large intensive care unit so that I can deliver competent care.

Knowledge that prepares a graduate student for an advanced nursing role: 

The knowledge that will prepare me as a graduate student for advanced nursing roles is the advanced practice knowledge in the scope of practice, critical thinking skills, and expert knowledge in interpersonal skills. The scope of practice extends to the national, state, institutional, and individual level. Advanced knowledge in the scope of practice is indispensable and necessary for the advanced nurse practice (LeFlore & Thomas, 2016). The Florida Board of Nursing provides detailed information on the scope of practice for APNs and I have read it in-depth and understood it. Nurses engaged in advanced clinical practice conduct in-depth assessment and are required to demonstrate expertise in judgment and decision-making for health promotion, disease prevention, intervention, and follow-up. Expert critical thinking skills help in the analysis, translation, and interpretation of symptoms, patient’s medical history, and diagnostic tests on a short notice to determine the extent of the illness and the most effective method to manage the condition (Hughes, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation., & United States, 2008). Expert knowledge in interpersonal skills helps APNs to collaborate and forge therapeutic relationships, and demands for advanced relationships, and communicative skills that facilitate the establishment of relationships and efficient communication (Hamric, Hanson, & Tracy, 2014).

Skills that prepare a graduate student for an advanced nursing role: 

The skills that will prepare me as a graduate student for an advanced nursing role include competency-based skills, clinical reasoning skills, and “hands-on” clinical setting skills. According to LeFlore and Thomas (2016), internal and external healthcare systems regulatory bodies often create barriers to various learning opportunities by limiting nurse students’ access to certain patient or procedural opportunities. Competency-based skills will help in gaining the necessary competency assessment and mastery of the current clinical setting. Consequently, the clinical reasoning skills allow students to practice at a level of confidence and expose them to a predetermined set of clinical encounters, preparing them for the real clinical experience. The “hands-on” experience of a clinical setting prepares the student to graduate with what they will encounter once they join the actual clinical setting.

Accomplishments that prepare a graduate student for an advanced nursing role: 

Major accomplishments that will prepare me for an advanced nursing role is obtaining the Master of Science in Nursing degree at the Purdue Global University and the necessary certifications required by the Florida Board of Nursing. Another accomplishment that will help me is efficiency in teamwork to enable the provision of quality and patient-centered care. 

Strengths to Leverage

Step 1: The most effective and satisfied people align their work with their natural strong points. Identify 3-5 of your key strengths (see Column 1 below); these could be a competency, skill, ability, knowledge area or personal characteristic. Think about how you can leverage those strengths to be effective in your work, achieve your professional goals, and become a leader in your profession.

Step 2: At the beginning of each course in your MSN program, answer the following question either using this template or a narrative format. What do you expect to learn in this course that will help you leverage your strengths? (See Column 2 below) Be as specific as you can, e.g., assume that a strength is your analytical ability.

Step 3: Answer the following questions either using this template or a narrative format. Did you learn what you expected to learn? (See Column 3 below) Was there information or insights that helped you that you didn’t expect to learn at the outset of the course? What changes or additions, if any, will you make to your SDLP based on learning in this course?

Step 1: Strengths to LeverageStep 2: Course Learning GoalsStep 3: Course Outcomes & Assessment 
Strength 1 – Knowledge area of different rolesUnder advanced practice nursing, different roles exist and this course has certainly expounded on the multiple areas of APN based on the health population.Yes. This course has taught me everything I expected to learn concerning the clinical expert knowledge base, the scope of practice, as well as the roles and responsibilities of APN among others. The course also provided detailed information about the variations in the scope of practice that I was not fully aware. 
Strength 2 – the ability to work independently and collaboratively with othersThe role of the advanced nurse practice expects individuals to be able to work individually, but also to collaborate with others when necessary. The course taught me the importance of working independently and collaborating with others when necessary. Initially, I found it hard to form relationships with patients and working collaboratively with colleagues. The course helped me improve my interpersonal skills and I can now easily relate with patients and other workers.
Strength 3 – the ability to undertake critical and complex decisions regarding patient careThe course significantly improved my critical thinking skills and decision-making skills, which harnessed my ability to make complex decisions regarding patient care.One of the areas that the course helped me was to improve my critical thinking skills. More specifically, the course helped eliminate my biases, which greatly improved my critical thinking and decision-making.
Strength 4 – determination to reach the APN goalsAt first, after getting a detailed outline of the role of APN, I found the roles complex. However, the course has helped increase my determination to reach my goals as an APN.Not only did the course teach me what I expected to learn, it also helped me set clear goals of what I want to achieve in my career as an APN.
Strength 5 – 

Areas to Develop

Step 1: We all have strengths, but we also have areas on which we need to improve. As related to your career goal, identify 3-5 areas to develop (see Column 1 below); these could be a competency, skill, ability, knowledge area or personal characteristic. Think about how you can improve in these areas so that you can achieve your professional goals and become a leader in your profession. 

Step 2: What do you expect to learn in this course that will help you to develop in the identified area? (See Column 2 below)

Step 3: Answer the following questions either using this template. Did you learn what you expected to learn? (See Column 3 below) Was there information or insights that helped you that you didn’t expect to learn at the outset of the course? What changes or additions, if any, will you make to your SDLP based on learning in this course?

Step 1: Areas to DevelopStep 2: Course Learning GoalsStep 3: Course Outcomes & Assessment 
Area 1 – Find it hard delegating tasksAs an advanced practice nurse, it is important to be able to delegate tasks and hold people accountable for their roles and responsibilities. By the end of this course, I hope the course will help me improve and be able to delegate tasks easily. Although I have not fully developed the ability to delegate tasks, this course has taught me the importance of delegating and holding others accountable of their actions.
Area 2 – Focusing on small detailsWithin the healthcare setting, a single error could result in losing a life. It is important for nurses or doctors to pay great attention to detail to ensure a patient’s health is not compromised. Unfortunately, this has worked against me since I keep on following up with others after I delegate tasks, without giving them the opportunity to work independently. I expect that the course will help me distinguish between the important details to pay attention to, and the others that I should let others handle without becoming too domineering. The course is teaching me to let others work independently without strict supervision.
Area 3 – biased critical thinkingInitially, I have practiced biased critical thinking. The course has slowly been teaching me to eliminate my biases.Over time, the course has helped me to improve on my critical thinking skills and not to allow personal viewpoints to get in the way of the decision-making process. 

Reflection

What do you expect to learn in this course that will help you achieve your academic and professional goals?

It is undoubtedly true that the current society requires a highly qualified nursing workforce that can handle the rigors of a demanding and expanding healthcare system. Nurses must strive to attain the highest levels of education to ensure continued delivery of quality care to the nation’s varied health population. I expect the course will provide the necessary insight and expert knowledge in clinical prevention and population health, evidence-based practice, and informatics. I also expect to improve my interpersonal collaboration skills, organizational leadership, as well as policy and advocacy skills. By the end of the course, I expect to be able to evaluate programs for improving patient outcomes and deliver quality and safe care to the nation’s population.

References

Hamric, A. B., Hanson, C. M., Tracy, M. F., & O’Grady, E. T. (2014). Advanced practice nursing: An integrative approach. St. Louis Missouri: Elsevier.

Hughes, R., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation., & United States. (2008). Patient safety and quality: An evidence-based handbook for nurses. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.LeFlore, J. L., & Thomas, P. E. (2016). Educational Changes to Support Advanced Practice Nursing Education. The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing, 30(3), 187-190.

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