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NSG 7220 Week 10: Professional Development: Where Do We Go from Here?

The discussion assignment provides a forum for discussing relevant topics for this week based on the course competencies covered.

For this assignment, make sure you post your initial response to the Discussion Area by the due date assigned.

To support your work, use your course and text readings and also use the South University Online Library. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.

Start reviewing and responding to the postings of your classmates as early in the week as possible. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ initial postings. Participate in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view with a rationale, challenging an aspect of the discussion, or indicating a relationship between two or more lines of reasoning in the discussion. Cite sources in your responses to other classmates. Complete your participation for this assignment by the end of the week.

Professional Development: Where Do We Go from Here?

In this assignment, you will discuss barriers to portfolio development. Identify three barriers to portfolio development. For each barrier identified, identify two productive strategies that can eliminate this barrier.

Your textbook discusses many reasons for portfolio development. Discuss how a comprehensive portfolio can help you meet your specific career goals.

Reflective Wrap-Up Discussion

In every course throughout the DNP program, we have finished with a discussion question that promotes self-reflection. Today is the day to remember how far you have come since day one and how close you are to the finish line.

Over the past ten weeks, you have learned about evidence-based practice/research through the discussions and assignments in this course, as well as through your practicum experience. Reflect on what goals were successfully met during this course and what goals you have yet to achieve for both your DNP degree and your professional nursing career. How have you met the DNP Essentials in the course activities? Please be specific.

Over the past 10-weeks this course has helped me to define parts of my quality improvement project. For example, the improvement intervention and the project population have been more clearly defined.  Originally, I thought my focus for the “population” was adolescents. However, after exploring the process and project components, a clear distinction was made between the project population and the patient population. This distinction provided clarity for the project trajectory.  One of the goals at the start of the course was to identify mental health screening tools and their use in the practicum setting.  It was discovered that while screening tools are available, their use is limited to diagnostics. This provides sound rationale for the improvement project, which focuses on the intervention of screening tool use for prevention.

As stated throughout this course and the term, this is only the second term in the DNP program for me. Much of the proposed project is still under development and while some progress has been made, there are many more goals to achieve for the DNP degree.  Academically I am still a long way from feeling that I have achieved much toward the degree. Professionally, I have not determined what path I will take. As I am a nurse educator, the options are limited to remain in academics and or leadership with the DNP degree.  I have discussed and am being actively encouraged by my preceptor and entire practicum site clinicians to seek a clinical certification and become a practicing nurse practitioner. I do not know if I will ultimately choose this path as an option but have not eliminated it from the possible professional pathways.

DNP Essentials met during this term related to NSG7220, my first of three times that I will take this course include: DNP Essential I: Scientific Underpinnings for Practice and DNP Essential II: Organizational and System Leadership for Quality Improvement and System Thinking as outlined in the following summaries.

DNP Essential I: Scientific Underpinnings for Practice was demonstrated throughout this program with exercises in research and evidence collection to support improvement initiatives. Specifically, I was able to demonstrate the ability to collect different types of data and analyze pieces to determine for relevance to my project. This exercise was extremely helpful as it helped to shape some of the project components. I discovered that my improvement project is organizational based and that my project population is the team providing care to the client.  Preparation at the DNP level requires a strong scientific and evidentiary foundation (American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 2006).  Other research explored that helped to develop skill in the use of evidence for practice was biophysical, biostatistical, legal and ethical.

DNP Essential II: Organizational and System Leadership for Quality Improvement and System Thinking was demonstrated through the initial and continued development of the project improvement initiative.  As previously mentioned, the improvement project will be organization based, which underscores the “ongoing improvement of health outcomes” (AACN, p.10) as outlined in the Essentials.  Identifying the need at the organization level through observation and discussion with the practice preceptor and care providers, to develop a project based on a change in organizational process is the foundation of the quality improvement project.  As the project evolves, this essential will continue to be met as I work to meet the needs of patient populations based on the scientific evidence that supports Essential I while simultaneously improving organizational strategies to improve outcomes.  


American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (2006). The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. AACN.

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