Networking Opportunities Discussion

Discussion – Week 1

 I’ve been in the medical field for 40 years, however, have only been a nurse for the past 12 of those years. I started my nursing journey when my children were older and in high school, and the timing was right for our family. Because of the later start into my dream field, I dove into it with both feet and swam at lightening speeds to try to become the best nurse I could be, and what I found in myself was that I enjoy and excel at promoting change. I don’t know if that has to do with my age and associated life experiences, or if that was an innate ability in me all along that I was unaware of. I began my nursing career on a medical surgical floor, then transitioned to a hospice unit until it’s closure, and then to ICU. During the past 40 years I have been a CNA, med aide, and clinic manager of a busy urology practice, in addition to the past 12 years as a RN. I always knew I wanted to become a nurse practitioner.

I began researching schools and programs that were entirely online. I have several friends who have gone to Walden University in the recent past, and spoke very highly of it, so I put this university on my list. As I was searching, some of the most important facets for me are the reputation and ranking of the school, cost, educational level of the professors, and the vision and mission statements. It was easy to cross off several universities for me due to the absence of the important factors I mentioned. Walden University stayed on the top of my list for quite some time. I can honestly say this university meant all of my criteria. Walden’s mission and vision statements spoke to me for several reasons. What I appreciate most about Walden’s mission statement is that it highlights diversity (Walden University, 2020). The topic of diversity is exceedingly important to me for multiple reasons, and so much that I wanted to be sure I was a part of a graduate program that emphasizes and promotes this topic.

In meeting my personal goals, and reading on Walden’s website in the College of Nursing vision and mission statements, I knew I had found the perfect college for me when I discovered that Walden’s view is not just to feed us knowledge, though that is exceedingly important as a practitioner, but this distinct university desires to move us to become change agents (Walden University, 2020). That is when I knew it was a perfect fit for me and would challenge me as a person and nurse. I want to be challenged to think outside my box, and the knowledge base that I have thus far. This proved evident in the scholar-practitioner portion of the vision and mission statements by stating “have a deep curiosity, drive, and commitment to solve pressing problems in their field” (Walden University, 2020, Vision, Mission, and Goals, para. 3). This is when Walden became my school of choice. It is my belief that as nurses, we are a trusted, revered profession that has a platform to produce change in not only the medical field, but in the world. This is what I desire to be a part of in my life, especially as a practitioner in the future.

The word networking can be thought of in a negative connotation, thus associated with being a smoothie type person or schmoozing people just to get a desired outcome (Schmidt, n.d.). I was glad this was brought up in this article because I believe nurses are as far removed from exhibiting salesmen or insurance agent schmoozing behavior as anyone could be (Schmidt, n.d.). Professional networking for nurses is a valuable and useful tool that we should be taking advantage of in order to make professional relationships that may lead to career advancements, increased knowledge base, and develop a more powerful voice to effect change (Schmidt, n.d.).

According to P. Wofford, Founder of Your Nurse Connection, over 70 percent of nursing jobs are secured via professional networking opportunities (Wofford, 2018). We are all aware that social media can be used positively or negatively, and in the case of professional networking, social media is an effective tool (Wofford, 2018).

I personally belong to several Facebook medical groups, and have enjoyed the networking and exchange of knowledge. Other interesting ways to network as a nurse are becoming an influencer on Instagram or become a blogger, volunteer, attend conferences, have a signature look about you, seek out connections, and have business/networking cards available to exchange with connections made (Wofford, 2018). This article suggests not joining more than 10 social media type groups, and always send a follow-up email after making a connection (Wofford, 2018). Conferences are my personal favorite, and one that I’ve utilized frequently in my nursing career. I have always gained knowledge, and used it to empower my peers or those I supervise. It is the conferences I’ve attended on my own that have afforded be to become a change agent in my nursing career.

I have chosen the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program, not only because I enjoy this field, but because it needs and deserves change. It was my belief that the school I chose would have a great deal to do with the effectiveness of the changes I will be able to execute for the greater good of my profession. Becoming a scholar practitioner will enable and equip me to be able to effect the changes I hope to be a part of in my community regarding mental health advocacy. I have networked with a psychologist in the past who has given me great insight into the challenges surrounding the stigmas associated with the mental health industry, and I believe that has helped me by forming me into a passionate, and non-judgmental nurse to advocate for those struggling with mental health issues.

References

Schmidt, K. (n.d.). 5 reasons nurses should engage in professional networking [Blog post]. Retrieved November 14, 2018, from https://blog.bluepipes.com/5-reasons-nurses-should-take-professional-networking-seriously/

Walden University, 2020, Vision, mission, and goals. In 2019-2020 Walden University catalog. https://catalog.waldenu.edu/content.php?etc

Walden University. (2020). Scholar practitioner. Retrieved from waldenu.edu/about/who-we-are/scholar-practitioner

Wofford, P. (2018). 10 tips for nurses who hate networking. Retrieved from https://nurse.org/articles/tips-for-nurse-networking/

 

 

Discussion: Networking Opportunities

In this module, you begin laying the foundation for your academic and professional success. Your efforts begin with a vision that includes your own definition of success. Your vision may vary from those of your colleagues, but this does not mean you have to take these first steps alone.

Walden University and the College of Nursing also have a vision and mission, which include helping you to make your own vision a reality. Members of your new academic community, such as faculty, support teams, and fellow students, can also be helpful. Current practitioners and other member of the professional community can also help you to clarify your vision.

This Module’s Discussion asks you to consider how the Walden mission and vision as well as the College of Nursing’s mission and vision apply to your professional and academic goals. You will also begin to identify individuals and teams who can help you along the way as you begin designing the “blueprint”—your Academic Success and Professional Development Plan—that will guide you toward your own vision for academic and professional success.

To Prepare:

  • Review the Walden and College of Nursing mission and vision statements, Walden’s goals and University Outcomes, and the MSN Program Learning Outcomes presented in this Module’s Learning Resources.
  • Reflect on your professional and academic goals as they relate to your program/specialization.
  • Consider how the information in these resources fit with your own goals and to your becoming a scholar-practitioner.
  • Also consider academic and professional individuals and teams with whom you may collaborate in support of your efforts as a student at the university and as a professional within your organization and career.

By Day 3 of Week 1

Post a brief introduction of yourself to your colleagues. Include an explanation as to how Walden’s vision, mission, goals, and social change initiatives relate to your professional and academic goals and to your becoming a scholar-practitioner. Also include an explanation for how the Walden MSN Program Outcomes and perspectives relate to your professional and academic goals and to your becoming a scholar-practitioner.

By Day 6 of Week 1

Respond to at least two of your colleagues’ posts by suggesting additional individuals and/or teams with whom you wish to collaborate or by offering additional networking strategies.

 

Excellent Good Fair Poor
Main Posting
45 (45%) – 50 (50%)

Answers all parts of the discussion question(s) expectations with reflective critical analysis and synthesis of knowledge gained from the course readings for the module and current credible sources.

Supported by at least three current, credible sources.

Written clearly and concisely with no grammatical or spelling errors and fully adheres to current APA manual writing rules and style.

40 (40%) – 44 (44%)

Responds to the discussion question(s) and is reflective with critical analysis and synthesis of knowledge gained from the course readings for the module.

At least 75% of post has exceptional depth and breadth.

Supported by at least three credible sources.

Written clearly and concisely with one or no grammatical or spelling errors and fully adheres to current APA manual writing rules and style.

35 (35%) – 39 (39%)

Responds to some of the discussion question(s).

One or two criteria are not addressed or are superficially addressed.

Is somewhat lacking reflection and critical analysis and synthesis.

Somewhat represents knowledge gained from the course readings for the module.

Post is cited with two credible sources.

Written somewhat concisely; may contain more than two spelling or grammatical errors.

Contains some APA formatting errors.

(0%) – 34 (34%)

Does not respond to the discussion question(s) adequately.

Lacks depth or superficially addresses criteria.

Lacks reflection and critical analysis and synthesis.

Does not represent knowledge gained from the course readings for the module.

Contains only one or no credible sources.

Not written clearly or concisely.

Contains more than two spelling or grammatical errors.

Does not adhere to current APA manual writing rules and style.

Main Post: Timeliness
10 (10%) – 10 (10%)
Posts main post by day 3.
(0%) – 0 (0%)
(0%) – 0 (0%)
(0%) – 0 (0%)
Does not post by day 3.
First Response
17 (17%) – 18 (18%)

Response exhibits synthesis, critical thinking, and application to practice settings.

Responds fully to questions posed by faculty.

Provides clear, concise opinions and ideas that are supported by at least two scholarly sources.

Demonstrates synthesis and understanding of learning objectives.

Communication is professional and respectful to colleagues.

Responses to faculty questions are fully answered, if posed.

Response is effectively written in standard, edited English.

15 (15%) – 16 (16%)

Response exhibits critical thinking and application to practice settings.

Communication is professional and respectful to colleagues.

Responses to faculty questions are answered, if posed.

Provides clear, concise opinions and ideas that are supported by two or more credible sources.

Response is effectively written in standard, edited English.

13 (13%) – 14 (14%)

Response is on topic and may have some depth.

Responses posted in the discussion may lack effective professional communication.

Responses to faculty questions are somewhat answered, if posed.

Response may lack clear, concise opinions and ideas, and a few or no credible sources are cited.

(0%) – 12 (12%)

Response may not be on topic and lacks depth.

Responses posted in the discussion lack effective professional communication.

Responses to faculty questions are missing.

No credible sources are cited.

Second Response
16 (16%) – 17 (17%)

Response exhibits synthesis, critical thinking, and application to practice settings.

Responds fully to questions posed by faculty.

Provides clear, concise opinions and ideas that are supported by at least two scholarly sources.

Demonstrates synthesis and understanding of learning objectives.

Communication is professional and respectful to colleagues.

Responses to faculty questions are fully answered, if posed.

Response is effectively written in standard, edited English.

14 (14%) – 15 (15%)

Response exhibits critical thinking and application to practice settings.

Communication is professional and respectful to colleagues.

Responses to faculty questions are answered, if posed.

Provides clear, concise opinions and ideas that are supported by two or more credible sources.

Response is effectively written in standard, edited English.

12 (12%) – 13 (13%)

Response is on topic and may have some depth.

Responses posted in the discussion may lack effective professional communication.

Responses to faculty questions are somewhat answered, if posed.

Response may lack clear, concise opinions and ideas, and a few or no credible sources are cited.

(0%) – 11 (11%)

Response may not be on topic and lacks depth.

Responses posted in the discussion lack effective professional communication.

Responses to faculty questions are missing.

No credible sources are cited.

Participation
(5%) – 5 (5%)
Meets requirements for participation by posting on three different days.
(0%) – 0 (0%)
(0%) – 0 (0%)
(0%) – 0 (0%)
Does not meet requirements for participation by posting on 3 different days.
Total Points: 100

 

response

Discussion – Week 1

Hello

I admire the fact that you have been in this field  so long, I truly think it takes a special person to put the care of others in the forefront. I am curious to know more about your time on the hospice unit as this is something I have wanted to do, but I felt that I may not be able to function with the thought that my patient would eventually pass on. While I do have an understanding that Hospice care is not only comfort care, and it does factor in holistic care. I don’t think I fully understand every thing that Hospice encompasses. I would think that it would aid in improving the quality of life that is left? maybe you could expound on that for me.

I will not say that I did much research in schools but I did trust my nursing  counterparts when it came to the school that put them first.

I also read your post and noted your article on professional networking. There was once a time when I just went to work and did my job limiting my conversation to patients, families, doctors and fellow nurses. I didn’t realize prior to becoming a nurse exactly how important it would be to my overall career to have effective communication and networking. I can agree that by networking it opens the door to many other opportunities and aids in securing jobs. Though I did not realize how much planning and preparation went into effective networking. And according to your presented article when networking one should have their career goals in mind (Schmidt, n.d.).

I also belong to a few Facebook groups that pertain to medical topics, I love how colleagues can come together without putting each other down and spread love and knowledge also, I believe that I have missed many networking opportunities by being ill prepared and not being exactly conscious of my overall goals in the past. I did not began my journey as goal oriented as I have been as of lately. I believe my energy was somewhat misplaced, that is why I am always happy to see someone who has all of their plans lined out such as you. Reading your post I became even more inspired to get my ducks in a row.

I also commend you on your entrance into the Mental Health practitioner program, you are correct, I do not feel enough focus is placed on mental health as a lot of the issues go undiagnosed, and in some ethnicities there is a stigma assigned to seeking help when it comes to mental health it has been viewed at times as being weak. While I considered the ACAGNP program I feel as though I would like to extend my care across and entire lifespan and not be limited by a specified degree, my whole career has been spent with the elderly, I feel its high time for me to spread some love to the rest of the population.

References

Schmidt, K. (n.d.). 5 reasons nurses should engage in professional networking [Blog post]. Retrieved November 14, 2018, from https://blog.bluepipes.com/5-reasons-nurses-should-take-professional-networking-seriously/

Walden University, 2020, Vision, mission, and goals. In 2019-2020 Walden University catalog. https://catalog.waldenu.edu/content.php?etc

Is this the question you were looking for? If so, place your order here to get started!