How to write a nursing essay on the RN to APRN-NP Role Transition

How to write a nursing essay on the RN to APRN-NP Role Transition

There is a significant increase in nurse practitioners (NPs) in the United States. Reports indicate more than 234 000 licensed NPs in the United States in 2017 (Owens, 2022). Transitioning from registered nurse to nurse practitioner is a stressful and challenging experience. Most new NP graduates have worked in various settings, but the current expectations and demands to function at the advanced level pose challenge to any newcomer.

The challenges experienced during the transition are divided into four stages; “laying the foundation, launching, meeting the challenge, and broadening the perspective” (Owens, 2022). Lying the foundation entails recovering from school intensity, including exam preparation, acquiring a license, and job hunting (Owens, 2022). The second stage is launching, which involves role identification, confronting the anxiety, and developing time management skills in the new set-up. The third stage is meeting the challenge, and it starts when the new NPs feel confident and competent in their work. The final step is broadening the perspective, which occurs when new practitioners can perform greater responsibilities and has a sense of legitimacy.

The novice NP typically experiences stress during the transition. The stressors are categorized depending on the source of stress. We have internal and external stressors (Owens, 2022). Internal stress occurs when the novice NP is under pressure to be knowledgeable and competent in every aspect of new roles just after graduation. External stress results when the new NPs are anxious to handle the organization’s workload (Owens, 2022). Also, fitting into the structure and roles of others might create role ambiguity, causing confusion and frustration.

Differences in Nursing Roles of RN And APRN-NP

The significant difference in the nursing roles of RN and APRN-NP is the scope of practice. Nurse practitioners are given more autonomy than registered nurses (Regis, 2022). The NPs have greater responsibilities due to their advanced experience, education, and training. They are allowed to prescribe medications, diagnose patients, and order tests, which are normal duties for physicians and clinicians, whereas RNs are not (Regis, 2022). On the other hand, RNs usually work under clinicians’ and physicians’ instructions and directions. Also, at the primary care level, Nurse practitioners manage patients, organize and set up referrals, coordinate with other caregivers and take complete account from registration to discharge of their patients.

Potential Differences/Challenges Regarding Ethical Issues

Ethics are vital in maintaining the profession’s integrity as it aids in ensuring better patient care. Unfortunately, some situations result in an ethical dilemma, which can cause a decline in patient care, moral distress, and tense clinical relationships (Avanl, 2022). The first ethical issue is informed consent. A dilemma can happen when relatives and patients are not informed about the treatment plan making them uncomfortable to ask questions affecting the prognosis and patient outcomes (Avanl, 2022). To avoid this dilemma, health workers should ensure patients understand all aspects of their treatment plan, including the risks and adverse effects.

The second ethical principle is patients’ autonomy in decision making. Ethical issues arise when the patient refuses to comply with the instructions and directions from health caregivers (Avanl, 2022). It’s their right to refuse procedures, medications, or treatments. Though this might conflict with health workers’ opinions, they still have to respect patients’ decisions and function accordingly.

The other ethical approach is addressing advance care planning. Together with the healthcare providers, patients might discuss and make plans for their health or pick someone responsible for making such decisions. A dilemma occurs when there is disagreement on the care plan between the patient and their close associates. Despite the dilemma, health workers should prefer the needs of patients, especially in end-life care.

Role of PMHNP In Health Policy and Public Awareness of Psychiatric Mental Health Trends and Issues.

The PMHNP collaborate and partners with various disciplines such as education, nutrition, social work, the justice system, neurology, and psychology to generate and implement health policies. Capitalizing on these partnerships is critical to improving patient outcomes. The World Health Organization also recommend collaboration with ‘informal’ psychiatric health providers such as nongovernmental organizations, religious leaders, and school teachers to strengthen and enhance health outcomes in diverse populations (Kumar et al., 2020). Notably, the role of PMHNP as a community healthcare provider is vital in creating public awareness of psychiatric health trends and issues. In their interactions with their clients during home care nursing, school nursing, nurse-family partnership initiatives, and correctional nursing, PMHNPs can create awareness of various mental health issues in different populations (Kumar et al., 2020).

Preparation as a PMHNP through education and certification

Becoming a PMHNP in the U.S. requires several educational processes and certification. According to the Nursing License Map (2022), one must first become a registered nurse by completing an associate degree in the nursing program and then sit for and pass the registered nurse licensing examination. The next step is applying for a PMHNP course in accredited institutions, where one does 500 relevant, faculty-supervised clinical hours. The next step is applying for the PMHNP exam. Finally, one applies for state-specific PMHNP certification.


Owens, N. (2022). – Transitioning from Registered Nurse to Nurse Practitioner. nursingALD. Retrieved 11 May 2022, from

Regis. (2022). Registered Nurse vs. Nurse Practitioner: What’s the Difference?. Regis College. Retrieved 11 May 2022, from

Avanl. (2022). Top 5 Ethical Issues in Nursing. Retrieved 11 May 2022, from

Kumar, A., Kearney, A., Hoskins, K., & Iyengar, A. (2020). The role of psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners in improving mental and behavioural health care delivery for children and adolescents in multiple settings. Archives of psychiatric nursing34(5), 275–280.

Nursing License Map. (2022). How to become A Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). Retrieved from

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