The decision to go back to school for my master’s in nursing was a difficult one. I wish that I had more time as a registered nurse to develop my clinical skills and knowledge, but I also have a deep desire to learn more and be able to provide higher level of care to my patients. When I finally made the decision to go for my master’s degree in nursing, I easily decided to go with the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) route. As mentioned, I want to provide higher level of care to my surrounding community, and I feel that becoming an FNP would give me a broad range of education and experience to care for and treat an entire family unit. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (2021), an FNP has a broad scope of practice, but they also have the availability to obtain additional certifications in specialties such as pain, obesity management, and diabetes. I love the fact that I have options to continue my education after I have obtained my FNP license. This option is what is driving me into the direction of becoming an FNP.
Two professional organizations that I am interested in joining as I continue this journey are the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the Nurse Practitioner Associates for Continuing Education (NPACE). The AANP provides NPs with career support, continuing education, state advocacy, and relevant information on current health events (AANP Member Benefits, n.d.). An additional perk to becoming an AANP member is that NPs qualify for a $75 discount when filling out certification applications. To join the AANP, one fills out an application online and pays a fee.
NPACE is beneficial for an NP because it provides countless avenues for continuing education hours. As nurses, we understand the daunting task it can be to find exciting and educational experiences that will give us the required CE hours to keep our license active. NPACE is a place where NPs can track their CE certificates, enjoy diverse CE courses, receive networking opportunities, attend exhibitions, and have the chance to listen to renowned speakers (Nurse Practitioner Associates for Continuing Education, 2021). As a future NP, I want to affiliate with an association that assists me in my education and keeps me accountable to continue learning. To become a member of NPACE, one must make an account and then purchase the educational bundle they wish to participate in.