Discussion: Networking Opportunities NURS 6003

Discussion: Networking Opportunities NURS 6003

Discussion: Networking Opportunities NURS 6003

My Goals and University Vision

As a LVN for over 16 years working in numerous areas of nursing I had the opportunity to discover where my passion was and an area, I could make a change.  My journey to become a Registered Nurse was not easy but I was able to complete the task a year ago through determination and support from my current work team members. Prior to attending school, I spent five years working as a case manager for individuals with intellectual disabilities and provided clinical care to adults with mental health.  The experience allowed me to develop a vision for change within this population especially those who experience cultural health disparities.  My goal is to bring diversity to the field and provide care to those who may not receive culturally competent care which affects their outcomes and quality of life.

After several years of researching different schools to fit my personal situation I found Walden University.  Through networking and interacting with staff at Walden, I knew this was the school that could meet my needs.  The universities commitment to provide “rigorous and culturally relevant education for diverse groups of professionals” is something that made my decision easier (Walden University, 2021, paragraph 2).  I am compassionate about providing culturally competent care that meets the needs of a diverse population transforming the current healthcare system to benefit everyone.  According to Walden University College of Nursing (2021), their goal to initiate programs that are learner centered and incorporate the skills and abilities of students is a concept that has encouraged as well as increased my confidence in my decision to further my education.


Incorporation of Becoming a Scholar-Practitioner

According to Smith & Wilkins (2018) scholar-practitioners are individuals who participate in ongoing learning and self-reflection that benefit their fields while contributing to their professional development.  Walden’s Nursing program incorporates the leadership skills, diversity, and educational platform that will assist in becoming a scholar-practitioner.  My goal to provide cost effective care while improving the practices utilized to care for individuals with mental health are possible through the outcomes established through Walden University.

Discussion: Networking Opportunities NURS 6003

Over the years I have dealt with social anxiety which has made interacting in a class setting more difficult.  I was the student who did not speak out much in class and usually would sit in the back.  Walden’s online platform has given me the opportunity to collaborate and network with others in a comfortable setting that is easy to maneuver.  As I continue my education, also plan to increase my networking and ability to reach more people through collaboration with other healthcare organizations. I can increase my ability to network and build relationships that are beneficial to my professional growth which will also help the individuals I plan to serve.

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Smith, L. S., & Wilkins, N. (2018). Mind the Gap: Approaches to Addressing the Research-to-Practice, Practice-to-Research Chasm. Journal of public health management and practice : JPHMP, 24 Suppl 1 Suppl, Injury and Violence Prevention(Suppl 1 INJURY AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION), S6–S11.

Walden University. (2021). College of Nursing. Retrieved June 3, 2021, from

Walden University. (2021). Walden University Catalog. Retrieved from

It has taken me years to determine what, exactly, my goals were. I started as a young nurse working in women and children’s healthcare. At the time, all I wanted was to be a labor and delivery nurse. This was 30 years ago. Things change, we change and grow, and continue to learn about ourselves and our communities both local and global. In the end, my goal is to help bring about social change. This is something that Walden University also cares about.

” Walden University defines positive social change as a deliberate process of creating and applying ideas, strategies, and actions to promote the worth, dignity, and development of individuals, communities, organizations, institutions, cultures, and societies. Positive social change results in the improvement of human and social conditions.”

The importance of recognizing each individuals inherent worth is the cornerstone of everything I do as a nurse. I only recently obtained my MSN from Chamberlain University. It took two months of having that degree for me to understand that it wasn’t enough. That wanting to promote change would take more.  Ultimately, I have decided to pursue the role of PMHNP.  In this, I would like to focus particularly in the area of pediatrics.

I am fortunate to work on a small, community pediatric unit, which is currently developing a program tailored specifically to the needs of pediatric mental health patients. Our unit is going to be utilized as bed space for children waiting for placement. Currently, there is limited access to bed space in psychiatric facilities in our state. Because of this, children (and adults) are left in small rooms with no windows or comfortable beds in the emergency department. The process can take upwards of several weeks. Our goal is to allow mental health healing to begin before departure to a specialty facility. We have child life specialists, pediatricians, social workers, all available on our unit to assist these young patients during their stay. My hope is to create a position for myself as a mental health practitioner within the hospital.

Walden University (n.d.) Walden University Catalog. Retrieved June 1, 2021 from

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As a nurse with 15 years of various specialties experience to include medical, surgical, and forensics I became more interested in obtaining master’s degree in Adult Gerontology to further enhance my nursing career. My goal is to practice as a full-time AGPCNP in one of INOVA’s primary care facilities in my hometown. After months of researching for online schools that offer flexible schedules while pursuing MSN degree online, I found Walden University. I have applied to the program and was pleased to read that “The College of Nursing provides academically rigorous and culturally and contextually relevant educational programs to nursing professionals seeking enhancement of critical thinking skills, abilities to select and implement evidence-based practices, and core and specialty nursing knowledge in order to transform society”. (Walden, 2021).

Incorporating social change

My role as an advance nurse practitioner will include effective communication, education, health promotion, diagnosis, and treatment of patients in community in which I live and work. All of these are going to be learned outcomes after graduating with advance degree from Walden University. For example, “Scholar-practitioner model help students become scholar-practitioners by challenging them to integrate scholarly research with their own expertise as skilled practitioners in their fields”. (Walden, 2021). In addition, as a new nurse practitioner with a fresh view in the field, I might be able to provide a positive social change at my future place of employment. My goal as an advance nurse practitioner is to make a difference in patients’ lives and establish healthy and well-educated community.

Importance of networking

            Walden provides multicontextual educational opportunities which include career planning and development, archived webinars, career connections and events, and networking groups such as Facebook and LinkedIn to their online learners. Using and exploring these resources will prepare me to become a well-established scholar-practitioner. Building a professional network can be as authentic and natural as building social networking. Professional networking is a network of professional interactions and professional relationships where group of people who have similar interests and share similar knowledge assist each other in some way to perform at their best. (Schmidt, K. n.d.). Networking is important to me because it offers career advancement and placement. “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 70% of jobs are found through professional networking” (Walker, 2018).


Schmidt, K. (n.d.). 5 reasons nurses should engage in professional networking. (Blog Post)

Wofford, P. (2018) 10 Networking Tips for Nurses Who Hate Networking.

Walden University. (n.d.). College of nursing. Retrieved August 30, 2021, from

Walden University. (n.d.). Walden University catalog. Retrieved August 29, 2021, from

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am very excited and also very nervous to start the graduate degree program here at Walden University.  I have been waiting to start the MSN graduate program, and the time has finally come.  I have been in the healthcare field for ten years now.  I started my healthcare career as a medical assistant to become accustomed to the healthcare field and make sure that this is what I wanted to do.  I had already had my bachelor’s degree during this time and then I went on to obtain my second bachelor’s degree in nursing.  My background is in med surg, home health and medical aesthetics.  I have enjoyed working in each of these fields and I am excited to bring forth my knowledge that I have learned on the field to now incorporating that in my forthcoming practitioner career with the Walden MSN program.  I have always wanted to be able to help my community with improving health care and becoming a Nurse Practitioner, it will allow me to do so.

Walden’s vision, mission, goals and social change initiatives relate to my professional and academic goals and to becoming a scholar-practitioner because Walden is dedicated to providing the best programs to nursing professionals to help improve health outcomes.  I also amend Walden for promoting diversity; this is very crucial to me as I am a Sikh.  Walden’s approach to improving global communities also aligns to my professional goals, as I want to be able to provide excellent health care to those who are in need and do not have access.

The Walden MSN Program Outcomes and perspectives relate to my professional and academic goals and to becoming a scholar-practitioner because they focus on evaluating the health needs of diverse populations and providing the necessary education to those populations and also because of promoting cost-effective health care that contributes to high quality healthcare.  I believe that it is crucial for all patients to be treated the same regardless of where they come from, and whether or not they can afford health care.  This is very important to me because I want to be able to help those in need, those who do not have access to health care and those who can not afford it.

Networking is important in the healthcare field because it helps not only build relationships, but it also keeps you up to date with the latest healthcare content and research.  I truly believe that communication is key and in order to become a great practitioner, networking is required.  It is all about building relationships and building trust within colleague to colleague, or practitioner to patient.  It is important to share knowledge and resources as it only helps us learn more and helps with being able to expand connections.  I truly am excited to be a part of Walden University’s MSN program to help further my knowledge and take what I know and incorporate it onto the field.

My name is Jolanta Usher. I live in  New Jersey.  I have been working as a nurse practitioner for four plus years. I enjoy my nurse practitioner role, but I feel that I need to learn more especially in mental health. I have three sons in college at the same time. My husband just retired, so I get the support that I need.

Currently, I work as a hospitalist. I take care of the patients from infancy to geriatrics’ population. Working in a hospital setting as a hospitalist, I have realized that mental health is much more complicated than I thought. At times the admitted patient who need immediate my attention, my current knowledge is not enough, and for this reason I am willing to take another challenge of learning curve and pursue a degree in metal health.

I have researched different universities who offer mental health program, but Walden’s university mission and vision suited my needs the best. I have come to realization that Walden University can guide me and provide me with the appropriate tools to become academically successful,  create and expand my professional goals in to my career.  I am a strong believer that academic support from Walden University will prepare me to face upcoming challenges and will help me understand how to improve mental health disparities (Morales, 2020).

Working as a nurse practitioner networking plays a big role to achieve not only my professional goals but will improve my patient’s well being as well. For example networking with subspecialty consultants can help to understand the disease process and provides better care for the patients.

I am looking forward to learn about mental health and helping  individuals who are going through difficult times and to help them to achieve  their goals. By doing so, I will achieve my academic -professional goals as well.



Morales, D.A., Barksdale, C.L., and Beckel-Mitchener, A.C. (2020). A call to action to address rural mental health disparities. Journal of clinical and translational science, 4(5), pp. 463–467. Available at: