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Posted: September 4th, 2023

Aligning Academic and Professional Goals with Walden University’s Vision and Mission

Review The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (AACN, 2006) in this week’s Learning Resources and reflect on the competencies presented.
• Review Walden University’s mission, vision, and university outcomes.
• Reflect on your professional and academic goals. Consider how Walden’s mission and vision as well as the AACN’s perspective may fit with your goals. How might you incorporate a commitment to social change into your academic and professional plans?
• How might your academic and professional goals align with addressing the social determinants of health?
• Explain how your academic and professional goals align with Walden’s vision, mission, social change message, social determinants of health, and university outcomes as well asand the AACN DNP Essentials. Be specific.
• Explain how you plan to incorporate social change throughout your program of study and in professional practice. Be sure to include how social change may contribute to your practicum/field experience and your role in professional practice.

Required Readings
• American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2020). Fact sheet: The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).Links to an external site.
• American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2015). The Doctor of Nursing Practice: Current issues and clarifying recommendations. DNP-Implementation-TF-Report-8-15.pdf
• American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2006). The essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice. DNPEssentials.pdf
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Social determinants of health: Know what affects health.Links to an external site.
• Read, C. Y., Pino Betancourt, D. M., & Morrison, C. (2016). Social change: A framework for inclusive leadership: Development in nursing education.Links to an external site.Journal of Nursing Education, 55(3), 164–167.
• Walden University. (2022). Social determinants of health: Understanding vision health equity.Links to an external site.
• Walden University. (n.d.). Walden catalog.Links to an external site.
o Review the “Introduction” to the Walden Catalog, noting in particular the “Vision, Mission, and Goals” section of the Walden University Catalog.

Aligning Academic and Professional Goals with Walden University’s Vision and Mission

As an aspiring advanced nursing practitioner, it is crucial to align my academic and professional goals with the core values and mission of the educational institution I choose. In this context, Walden University’s vision, mission, and social change focus, combined with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Essentials, provide a strong foundation for achieving my aspirations.

Walden University’s vision is to create a diverse community of scholar-practitioners who contribute to positive social change through their professional and academic endeavors. The university’s mission is to provide a transformative educational experience that enables students to make a difference in their lives and communities. These elements resonate deeply with my personal and professional aspirations, as I aim to enhance healthcare outcomes and advocate for vulnerable populations.

The AACN DNP Essentials outline the core competencies required for advanced nursing practice. These essentials emphasize the importance of leadership, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and systems thinking. They align seamlessly with my academic and professional goals, as I seek to develop advanced clinical expertise, foster leadership skills, and contribute to improving healthcare systems. Walden’s commitment to excellence in education and its focus on social change align well with the AACN’s perspective, as both emphasize the need for advanced nursing practitioners to drive positive transformations in healthcare.

Incorporating Social Change into Academic and Professional Plans

Integrating a commitment to social change into my academic and professional plans is a central tenet of my journey as an advanced nursing practitioner. Walden University’s emphasis on social change aligns closely with my vision to address healthcare disparities and promote health equity. Throughout my program of study, I plan to leverage Walden’s resources, such as courses, research opportunities, and networking platforms, to explore and advocate for innovative solutions to social determinants of health.

Social change will permeate my practicum/field experience, where I intend to collaborate with local community organizations and healthcare providers to develop and implement initiatives that address the social determinants of health. By conducting thorough needs assessments and engaging in evidence-based interventions, I hope to make a tangible difference in the lives of individuals and communities facing healthcare disparities.

As I transition into professional practice, my commitment to social change will guide my approach to patient care and advocacy. I aim to adopt a holistic perspective that considers the broader social, economic, and environmental factors influencing health outcomes. By actively engaging with interdisciplinary teams, community stakeholders, and policymakers, I will strive to influence healthcare policies and practices that address social determinants of health and promote health equity.

Alignment with Addressing the Social Determinants of Health

The social determinants of health are the conditions in which individuals are born, live, work, and age, and they have a significant impact on health outcomes. By pursuing advanced nursing education and practice, my academic and professional goals align naturally with addressing the social determinants of health.

Through Walden University’s curriculum and resources, I will gain a comprehensive understanding of the social determinants of health and their profound influence on population health disparities. Armed with this knowledge, I will be better equipped to identify, assess, and address the social determinants that contribute to health inequities.

By incorporating a commitment to social change into my academic and professional journey, I can actively contribute to reducing health disparities caused by social determinants. Whether through research, policy development, or community engagement, I will strive to enact meaningful change and empower individuals and communities to achieve optimal health.

Aligning my academic and professional goals with Walden University’s vision, mission, social change message, social determinants of health, and university outcomes, as well as the AACN DNP Essentials, sets the stage for a transformative educational experience. By integrating a commitment to social change throughout my program of study and professional practice, I will have the opportunity to make a tangible impact on healthcare outcomes and promote health equity. Through collaboration, advocacy, and evidence-based interventions, I will work towards addressing the social determinants of health and fostering positive change in healthcare systems and communities.

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