Reflect on your decision to pursue a specialty within the MSN program, including your professional and academic goals as they relate to your program/specialization. My specialty is Psychiatry
Post an explanation of your choice of a nursing specialty within the program. Describe any difficulties you had (or are having) in making your choice, and the factors that drove/are driving your decision. Identify at least one professional organization affiliated with your chosen specialty and provide details on becoming a member.
ISPN – International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses
Foundations of Graduate Study
Pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing has been a significant moment in my professional journey. It marks the start of a career in the nursing specialty of choice. Making the decision to specialize in psychiatry has been a tough moment. I had to evaluate various factors both at a professional and personal level. Major challenges in making a choice included conflicting personal interests. Other specialties were also equally attractive and provided an opportunity to make significant changes across communities and populations. Previous experiences with the availability and utilization of mental across my community facilitated the choice to pursue psychiatry. Assessing the cost of training in terms of all the sacrifices and adjustments required was also challenging. This included how the training would affect personal lifelike social life. The challenges faced by psychiatric nurses were also weighed in the decision. According to Joubert and Bhagwan (2018), a significant challenge for psychiatrists is exposure to the unpredictable behavior of patients characterized by aggression and violence. The challenges were, however, overshadowed by the passion for working and making changes in mental health and improving mental health across communities.
The decision to be psychiatric was influenced by personal experiences through observation. One of the experiences regards the stigma that surrounds mental health. I grew up in a community where mental illness was regarded as a person’s fault and with no consideration for mental health interventions. Studies indicate that stigma is the major barrier to mental health utilization at community levels (Devkota et al., 2021). Mental care was also not readily available. The communities also underutilized the available mental health. Individuals were more likely to keep mental health problems private. Although various changes have taken place, social support has been a major issue at the community level. Personal interest in how mental health is associated with other social problems such as substance abuse also contributed significantly to my decision of the nursing specialty to pursue. The specialty provides an opportunity to work with the community and make significant changes through patient education and creating awareness to reduce barriers related to mental health.
One of the professional organizations for psychiatrists is the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses. The organization seeks to support psychiatric mental health nurses in advanced practice to promote mental health care, literacy, and related policies worldwide. Membership in the organization as stipulated in section 1A Article 3 of the ISPN’s bylaws is open to all professional registered nurses interested in psychiatry nursing practice in all settings education, clinical practice, and research (International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses, 2020). To join the organization, one is required to submit their application online for those to be paid through credit card or by filling the application PDF form if payment will be through check. The organization also offers discounted membership to students and the retired. The organization also provides an opportunity to receive or issue gift membership to others. Members renew their annual dues on 1st July. Every member is entitled to the annual international conference, an annual business meeting that provides an opportunity to discuss and respond to issues regarding psychiatric nurses, regional groups, which offer a platform to network and collaborate, and other benefits. Membership to the organization provides a platform to network and collaborate with other professionals in making significant changes both to the professional practice and mental health care.