A Comparison of Specializations
Nursing is a fulfilling profession because it provides an opportunity to care for and help the at-risk population. My best choice of specialization is a Psychiatric Nurse, but I would have loved to also work with children as a pediatric nurse. Both specialties are essential in helping vulnerable populations, that is, those with mental health challenges and children with various health problems. Nurses’ specialization in either of the specialties can work in hospitals and in-patient care facilities caring for their patients. However, they differ in terms of the type of patient population they serve. While psychiatric nurses work with individuals with mental problems (Orthwein, 2017), Pediatric Nurses help children with various conditions (Weese, Jakubik, Eliades, & Huth, 2015). Psych nurses ensure that patients take their medications, attend therapy and counselling sessions, and stay away from harm. Conversely, pediatric nurses work in settings where children receive care, such as pediatric wings in hospitals, pediatric hospitals, and private practices
While there are many other MSN specialization I could have taken, including psychiatric nursing, I chose psych nursing because it would assist me in achieving my goal in caring for the most vulnerable populations. Although many reasons could have led me to a different direction, such as the violent behavior of some mental health patients, I have maintained my dream to become a psych nurse. Over the years, I have discovered that many nurses avoid taking a specialization that will place them in contact with mental health patients. As a result, there are fewer nurses pursuing psych nursing compared to other specialties (Thongpriwan et al., 2015). The inadequacy of nurses in this field has also been a source of motivation to become a psych nurse and provide the much-needed mental health services in the country. Besides, high demand for the nurses in this area is evident, hence securing a job might not be a problem.
I discovered that our society is battling a significant challenge of mental health patients. Many people are suffering from mild to severe illnesses that affect their quality of life (Olfson, Druss, & Marcus, 2015). Diseases such as depressive and anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, various types of dementia, and many other mental health challenges are affecting the lives of both young and older adults in my community and the country in general. The reality has also motivated my decision to pursue a career in psych nursing. I accept the challenge involved in this field to give hope and a better life to vulnerable populations. I feel fulfilled in knowing that I will be part of improving the quality of life for many mental health patients.
Professional organizations help nurses to grow, personally and professionally, as part of a community of like-minded individuals. I can play the role of a nurse in mental health settings effectively by becoming a member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA). The professional organization brings providers in the psych nursing specialty to work together for career development as well as to have the necessary platform to share information. A registered nurse can become a member of an organization by paying a subscription fee depending on the type of affiliation. One remains active in the American Psychiatric Nurses Association by paying all charges (APNA, 2019). Being a member of the organization will help me to further develop academically and professionally within the specialty as I provide care for mental health patients.