NURS6600 Capstone Synthesis Practicum Week 10 Forum Professional Development and Certification Consider the following scenario: Maria recently earned certification in executive nursing practice from the American Organization for Nursing Leadership. She was especially proud of this accomplishment and was confident it would serve her well as she continued her career. At a conference last week, she had found herself talking with a colleague about certification. Photo Credit: Monkey Business – To her surprise, her colleague suggested that she look into the Project Management Institute. It had not occurred to Maria that she might need or want that type of certification, but upon further reflection, she could see how important it was to be able to manage projects effectively. She wondered how pursuing this type of certification might further her professional development and lead to new opportunities. At the very least, she decided it was worth exploring further. Certifications like those Maria has pursued recognize an individual’s specialty area knowledge and skills and can lead to professional empowerment. By obtaining certifications, you can help improve your quality of practice and increase your earning potential. In this Discussion, you consider development opportunities afforded through professional associations and examine how earning certifications can advance your career. To prepare: Reflect on your professional goals. These goals may relate to the practicum professional development objectives you established in Week 2, but you are encouraged to take a broader view of what you would like to accomplish in the immediate future, as well as 5 or 15 years from now. Identify at least one goal that is especially important to you. Think about the benefits of becoming involved in professional organizations and obtaining certifications. If you already have a specialty or clinical certification, reflect on how this has impacted the achievement of your professional goals thus far. As a Walden graduate, consider how you will advance the role of scholar-practitioner in your daily practice and how certification may assist. Review information about two or more of the professional organizations listed in the Learning Resources. Consider the following questions: As you explore each organization’s website, review the mission, vision, and value statements. Also examine the strategic plan, if possible. How do these align with your interests and your professional goals? Investigate whether the organization offers networking opportunities with fellow professionals. Is there a local or regional chapter you could join? What are the potential benefits of obtaining a certification through each organization? Examine the criteria for certification. Evaluate your readiness and desire to become certified through each organization. What hesitations, if any, do you have? How and why might this certification be useful to you and/or enhance your professional development? By Day 3 Post a description of one or more of your professional goals. Describe a certification provided by a professional organization that would be of interest to you. Explain how and why this additional certification would be useful to you and/or enhance your professional development and your role as a scholar-practitioner. Evaluate your readiness to obtain this certification, noting any reservations you may have.

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