NURS 6003 Discussion: Networking Opportunities

Discussion – Week 1

I started my career in the healthcare field as an EMT over 20 years ago. I always wanted to be in the health care field, but I didn’t really know what I wanted to be. After not getting into school for sports medicine I was given the advice from a friend’s mother to take an EMT course while I was at the end of high school. After a couple years of that I debated either going to nursing school or paramedic school, which I ultimately decided on paramedic school with the intention I would do that for a couple years then nursing school, well that took 12 with life getting in the way of that. I’ve been a paramedic for the last 17 years and finally decided to go to nursing school 5 years ago with my end goal of being a Family Nurse Practitioner which is what led me here to Walden University.

I was looking at many programs and actually on the advice of a fellow paramedic who is currently enrolled in an FNP program at another college told me to check it out. Though he decided to go to another school with Walden being his second choice he told me he should have gone here, so why not check it out. Not every school or program are a right fit for everyone.  I believe Walden’s core values and mission is right in line with my goals. (Walden University, 2020) I want to know that the University I pick had my best interest in mind. This program is very intense, and you need to be given the help and resources to succeed. “To produce graduates who are scholarly, reflective practitioners” (Walden University, 2020)

In picking a program you have to have the confidence that your instructors have the knowledge and background to teach you what you need to know. (Walden University, 2020) You must also be willing to put in the time and effort it takes to make the best practitioner you can. I want to make a difference, no matter how big or small, in the lives of every patients I take care of and this aligns well with Walden’s MSN learning outcomes. “Integratively assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate cost-effective healthcare strategies that reduce health disparities by patient/population advocacy for access to specialist nursing care.” (Walden University, 2020)

Networking is a huge part of healthcare. We actually network more then we think we do. “You have to know someone to get that job” is something I hear all the time. I definitely have had the opportunity to gain employment from knowing someone or having them speak to someone about me. “Developing professional relationships, attending professional conferences and utilizing professional networking websites all serve to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information that are vital to keeping a nurse’s knowledge fresh and relevant.” (Schmidt)

I plan to utilize many academic and professional resources throughout my journey in this program. Academic and professional resources can go hand and hand since those professional resources you have can be great teachers as well. Academic resources will coincide with every class I take from the instructor to whatever resources we are given to study from as well as fellow students. I work alongside some really great mid-level providers that I ask questions of constantly. Though these are professional resources they also guide me to great educational resources since they went through this same process and know what worked for them. To me there is nothing like real world experience and the clinical time I will have during this program is invaluable.



Schmidt, K. (n.d.). 5 Reasons Nurses Should Engage in Professional Networking. Retrieved June 2020, from BluePipes:

Walden University. (2020). Master of Science in Nursing. Retrieved June 2020, from Walden University:

Walden University. (2020). Vision, Mission, and Goals. Retrieved June 2020, from Walden University:


Week 1

        Hello my name is xx. I have been a nurse for almost two years in February. I have accomplished numerous awards and accolades in such little time in my career. I am the chair of shared governance and currently working on my RN3. I love what I do serving and advocating for my patients. I currently work on a orthopedic, med surg, trauma, and surgical floor, where we see a lot of gun shot wounds, falls, etc. Previously, I worked at an OBGYN office as a Medical Assistant. After completing nursing school, I decided I would change specialties to gain experience in a different area of nursing.

As I have been a student my entire life, literally I have been in school since I graduated high school in 2008; I had the desire to be a labor and delivery (L&D) nurse, however, as I stated before after nursing school I decided I would start with med surg and later return to L&D. I have learned through this journey of nursing that you have to have a strong support system. What I love about my company is that they support, train, and equip us to grow in our career. With that being said I was undecided at first which career path I wanted to take. During the time I was a medical assistant, I was leaning toward Nurse Practitioner in Women’s Health. After I became a nurse I thought maybe leadership would be my clinical ladder pathway. After long thought and research, I finally decided that Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) was the way I wanted to go. I chose Family Nurse Practitioner because I want to help prevent patients from going to the hospital and them manage their health as much as possible.

I am looking forward to becoming an FNP and I chose Walden University because I felt like I would have the support and push I needed to complete this program, pass the boards, and be confident and equipped enough to go out and serve my patients as a Nurse Practitioner. Walden’s mission to produce scholarly graduates that will be agents of social change and providing a diverse and innovative learning environment relates to my academic and professional goals. (2019-2020 Walden University, 2020b). Walden’s MSN program outcomes relates to my academic and professional goals by exemplifying integrity, diversity, professionalism and encouraging me to be creative and enforcing what I learn into my career field. (2019- 2020 Walden University, 2020a).

I understand having a good support system helps you be more successful, not only in life but also in your career. Having a mentor or a team that supports you, keeps you focused and accountable of reaching your goals. A study also shows that having that extra support and accountability, boosts a student’s competency and confidence (Rush et al., 2019). My academic  team will consist of my student advisor and my instructors for each class. I plan on utilizing my student advisor as a resource here at Walden. I plan on utilizing my instructor to help challenge me in each course so that I can reach my full potential as a student. My professional team will consist of my current Director and a Physician Assistant from my previous job. I have built a rapport with them and I feel that they will also push and challenge me to reach my goals. The Physician Assistant can help me based on her clinical experience and may be my preceptor.

2019-2020 Walden University Catalog (2020a). Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

2019–2020 Walden University Catalog (2020b). Vision, Mission, and Goals.

Rush, K. L., Janke, R., Duchscher, J. E., Phillips, R., & Kaur, S. (2019). Best practices of formal new graduate transition programs: An integrative review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 94, 139–158.



Discussion – Week 1

The vast majority of my nursing experience is within the specialty of critical care. I’ve spent the first five years of my career working full-time within a MICU and SICU at a large community hospital. The population we serve is largely composed of minorities such as Hispanic, African-American, and Portuguese. Many are members of the lower to middle working class with approximately 21% of the population living below the poverty line (United States Census Bureau, 2019). The common denominator among these patients is that they are vulnerable populations and as a result have a higher prevalence of chronic illness, medical noncompliance, and drug addiction. Any of these challenges significantly increase the complexity of nursing care a patient’s chance of finding themselves in an acute care setting.

Of note I did spend some time working within a Level 1 trauma ED at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, a city that faces the same challenges as mine but on a much larger metropolitan level.

When reflecting upon the mission of Walden University I found that it directly applied to my own mission as an advanced practice provider as I endeavor to impact positive social change on a local level within my community(Vision, Mission, and Goals, 2020). I would love to collaborate with local officials and public health professionals in an effort to improve outcomes for vulnerable populations. This principle overlaps the MSN Learning Concepts as we prepare to take the next step in caring for diverse populations within the ever-evolving field of nursing science (Master of science in nursing, 2020).


U.S. Census Bureau (2019).QuickFacts, New Bedford city, Massachusetts.Retrieved from

Walden University. (n.d.-a).Vision, mission, and goals. Retrieved May 31, 2020, from

Walden University. (n.d.-b).MSN learning outcomes. Retrieved May 31, 2020, from


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