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Peer Response – Nursing Specialties

Peer Response – Nursing Specialties

Post 1


Thank you for sharing your post. It is indeed true that nursing specialties contribute to the advancement of nursing practice. As Garey (2022) notes, nursing specialties are not only an avenue for expanding nursing skills but also contribute to quality enhancement in healthcare. In the contemporary healthcare landscape, where quality enhancement efforts are on a trajectory, nursing specialties accord nurses the prerequisite skills and knowledge to maintain excellence in nursing care. Centered on addressing care gaps in healthcare, nursing specialties grant nurses an opportunity for increased participation in the care processes and quality improvement initiatives. It is thus important that nurses pursue various specialties to address apparent gaps in nursing care and also reinforce their prominence as healthcare leaders.

Cardiology remains an area of concern in modern healthcare. The ballooning incidence of various cardiovascular diseases and subsequent morbidity and mortality attributed to these disorders warrants heightened approaches to addressing them (Mendis et al., 2022). While the U.S. has made considerable strides in managing these illnesses, a lot still needs to be done to curtail the devastating effects of these illnesses on healthcare systems and communities across the country. An underexploited area in this approach is human resources. Currey et al. (2019) note that inadequate nursing care for patients with cardiovascular illnesses is a driver for poor clinical outcomes. This explains the need for more nurses to pursue a specialty in cardiology. Cardiac nurses contribute to the comprehensive management of cardiovascular diseases. Their skills place them in a better position to diagnose and treat these diseases. As health advocates and educators, nurses can also engage in preventive care by enhancing community awareness of these disorders and expanding communities’ knowledge on measures to prevent these illnesses. Besides The American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN), professional organizations such as The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association are also affiliated with cardiac nursing and play a role in capacity development and expansion for cardiac nurses.


Garey, A. (2022). Importance of Nursing Research and Nursing Continuing Professional Development. Research in Nursing & Health45(6), 635–635.

Mendis, S., Graham, I., & Narula, J. (2022). Addressing the global burden of cardiovascular diseases; need for scalable and sustainable frameworks. Global Heart17(1).

Currey, J., Sprogis, S. K., Orellana, L., Chander, A., Meagher, S., Kennedy, R., & Driscoll, A. (2019). Specialty cardiac nurses’ work satisfaction is influenced by the type of Coronary Care Unit: A mixed methods study. BMC Nursing18(1). 

Post 2


I enjoyed reading your post. Your passion for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) and what informed your resolve to pursue this specialty are indeed inspiring. I concur with you on the state of global mental healthcare. Mental health illnesses remain unrecognized and underserved in many communities. Müller (2020) notes that mental health illnesses are one of the most neglected illnesses in the developing world. Even in developed countries like the U.S., these illnesses do not receive much attention compared to other diseases. This invisibility often translates to tangible health consequences. Arias et al. (2022) report that mental health disorders are increasingly becoming a global healthcare concern. The increasing morbidities and mortalities attributed to these illnesses reinforce the need to ramp up efforts to address them.

Even with enhanced awareness of these illnesses, several barriers to quality mental healthcare still exist. These include inadequate human and financial resources to manage these illnesses, poor psychosocial support accustomed to poor understanding of these illnesses, and poor accessibility of mental healthcare resources. Ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected by these problems. Overall, these barriers contribute to the suffering of persons with these illnesses. This suffering stretches beyond individual levels to the family level. Families, in this respect, not only bear the financial burden of managing these illnesses but are also emotionally affected by the suffering of their loved ones (Fekadu et al., 2019). As evident in your case, witnessing a close family member suffer from a mental health illness affected your psychosocial wellness. These reasons warrant increased nursing engagement in psychiatric healthcare. PNHNP provides an opportunity for nurses to provide mental healthcare. It equips them with skills to engage in mental health awareness as health advocates and educators and to diagnose and treat these illnesses. In their professional journey, professional organizations become critical in enhancing their focus on their niche of practice.


Arias, D., Saxena, S., & Verguet, S. (2022). Quantifying the global burden of mental disorders and their economic value. eClinicalMedicine54, 101675. 

Fekadu, W., Mihiretu, A., Craig, T. K., & Fekadu, A. (2019). Multidimensional impact of severe mental illness on family members: Systematic Review. BMJ Open9(12). 

Müller, A. (2020). Mental health disorders: Prevalent but widely ignored in academia? The Journal of Physiology598(7), 1279–1281.


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Peer Response - Nursing Specialties

Peer Response – Nursing Specialties

Post 1

Description of the Specialty

The advancement of nursing practice is deeply anchored on the capabilities of the different specialties. Through their specialties, nurses can play vital roles in addressing health disparities affecting individual patients. My area of interest is cardiology; this is a field of practice that focuses on caring for patients with heart complications (Hardin & Kaplow, 2019). I am driven by the fact that in the past few decades, there has been an extensive increase in the incidence and prevalence rates of cardiovascular disease. The ethnic minority populations, including African Americans, record the highest prevalence rate of these complications.

Factors that Drove My Decision

I believe that cardiac nursing provides a holistic point of view in addressing this health disparity by formulating an avenue for integrating medical interventions and lifestyle practices. The high mortality rates across the globe reported by patients with heart complications continue to open up the demand for cardiac nurses. Therefore, I believe that my area of pursuit would be aligned with the market demands of nursing practice at the advanced level. Cardiac nurses also offer a wide range of services, from critical care to cardiac rehabilitation interventions (Hardin & Kaplow, 2019). The dynamic approach to dealing with this health disparity broadens the opportunity for promoting population health and increasing the life expectancy of many people with chronic illnesses. Cardiac Nursing also offers a chance to deliver patient education programs, which is the cornerstone of contemporary nursing practice (Hardin & Kaplow, 2019). In the current healthcare delivery system, patient-centered care can be effectively achieved by ensuring that patient education is prioritized in the process of care. The health literacy aspect creates an opportunity for strengthening patient’s independence and commitment to the care plans.

Difficulties in Making Choice

The selection of Cardiac Nursing as a specialty was challenging in different ways. To begin with, nursing offers a wide range of specialties; I had the responsibility of doing more research and narrowing it down to the specific area of interest. Moreover, I considered doing more self-reflection to ensure that the specialty I selected is aligned with my attributes and qualities. Another challenging area was consulting other professionals. There was a need for applying communication skills such as active listening and assertiveness. These attributes were to be demonstrated while still maintaining the necessary level of respect that should be accorded to other professionals. Another challenging part was choosing Cardiac Nursing despite the specialty being extra demanding, considering the certification that should be earned for one to become a practicing nurse (Hardin & Kaplow, 2019). The specialty requires more commitment in terms of continuous professional development and training standards.

Professional Organization

The American Association of Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) is one of the most common professional organizations that is associated with cardiac nursing. The organization is committed to advancing cardiovascular health practices in nursing by bolstering education, clinical practice, research, and advocacy (American Association of Heart Failure Nurses, n.d.). Members become the beneficiaries of the vast network of professionals, which creates an opportunity for personal and professional development through publications, research support, and educational programs. To become a member of AAHFN, one can visit their website and apply for membership online. Membership fees apply for the onboarding members; they vary depending on the individual’s professional level of practice.


There are several reasons for my decision to pursue my Psychiatric Mental Health NP degree at the college. Firstly, I have wanted to be a psychiatric NP for a few years now but recently decided to take the steps to begin because I need a change from the bedside setting. Bedside nursing makes me feel like I am not helping people because I feel that hospital corporations are treating patients as numbers for money. I have also been extremely passionate about mental health awareness and psychiatry because it is so underserved and under-recognized. According to a recent study, around 65% of non-metropolitan areas do not have a single psychiatrist available, and over 60% of rural Americans live in mental health provider shortage areas (Morales et al., 2020).  These statistics prove we need more providers, especially in America.

I also believe I can really make a difference in this field because I have grown up with a sister and father who are bipolar and have witnessed firsthand our society’s lack of support for these disorders. I also had severe postpartum anxiety/depression with my child four years ago and was told by my OBGYN that it is a common occurrence but that she did not have enough resources to help me fully. I could not believe those words came out of her mouth, and it was very difficult for me to get into a psychiatrist, even in the Phoenix area, which is so largely growing. I want to be able to help people who are struggling and who are frustrated with the system like I was.

I have also decided I want to specialize specifically in pediatric psychiatry, but I am nervous to see how I will be able to handle the mental and physical abuse I will witness in practice occurring to children. I recently spoke to a PMHNP student I work with, and she was explaining some stories she sees at clinical with pediatric patients that are extremely sad and will probably affect me mentally. I feel this difficulty is something that I will need to address once I start clinical because I won’t be able to know how I’ll handle the situations until I see them firsthand. I came across a recent article based out of Canada regarding mental health providers that explained 83% of them worked with a patient who was sexually abused or trafficked over the past year (Dimitropoulos et al., 2022). I found this statistic to be very disturbing, but it is something I hope to help with once I become a provider.

I found an organization called the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). On the organization’s webpage, it explains that it was founded in 1953 and has over 8,000 physicians involved. To become a member, the site lists that you must pay a 495 dollar yearly fee and provide a copy of your license and a completed membership application. To become a member, an individual must also have at least 2 years of general psychiatry training. Lastly, there is an optional yearly meeting held in October to review current events and psychiatry information with providers (The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2023). This organization would be interesting because it would be nice to meet several other providers who all specialize in pediatric psychiatry across the United States.

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