Research two or three career paths of interest in your prospective field. In 1,000 words, include the following:
At least four scholarly, peer-reviewed sources published within the last five years are required for this assignment.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
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Benchmark – Career Exploration/Short Research Paper – Rubric
Expand All Benchmark – Career Exploration/Short Research Paper – RubricExpand All
Discuss the Marketability of the Career
Discuss Career Benefits and Challenges
Discuss how career matches your skill set, your personality, and your values system.
Summarize which career path is best suited. (B)
Discuss any surprising factors discovered surrounding your career path.
Thesis Development and Purpose
Argument Logic and Construction
Mechanics of Writing
Documentation of Sources
Total 240 points
Running head: CAREER EXPLORATION 1
Benchmark Assignment – Career Exploration/Short Research Paper
Benchmark Assignment – Career Exploration/Short Research Paper
Two career paths of interest in the human service field that warrant further investigation include the psychiatric nurse practitioner (PNP) and the psychologist role. Although both roles allow providers to provide psychotherapy and allow for a therapeutic alliance with clients to foster balance within the client’s milieu, unique differences in scope of practice, educational requirements, and financial reward are present between the two roles.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)
In New York (NY), psychiatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) have evolved into an advanced practiced role for nurses choosing to specialize in psychiatry. PNPs are registered nurse (RN) who are masters or doctorate trained and able to diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic mental illnesses independently or collaboratively with other members of the health care team (Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS], 2017).
One of the benefits of working as a PNP in NY is the autonomy and attractive salary that aligns with performing in this role. The annual mean wage of PNPs in NY in 2016 was around $108, 170 to 124, 330 (BLS, 2017) and a job growth rate of 26% is predicted by 2020 (NurseJournal.org, 2017). Future stability looks good as NY has one of the highest numbers of employed PNPs compared to other states (BLS, 2017). Demand for PNPs are high because of an aging population with complex co-morbid disabilities as well as ever changing insurance laws that are complicated and access limiting. Therefore, opportunities for advancement appears promising but will be dependent on work environment, level of education and certification or experience, while time demands and burnout propensity will be dependent upon the facility in which one works (NurseJournal.org, 2017).
Similarly, the psychologist career path is another area of interest that promises a rewarding professional career. Psychologist are doctorate-educated individuals with good job stability predicted to reach 19% by 2024 (Lu, 2016). According to National Science Foundation, only 1% of psychology research doctorates were unemployed in 2013, making this area of specialization one with lower unemployment than other scientific labor force (Stamm & Christidis, 2015).
Despite current and future job stability showing a strong foundation for longevity, financial compensation for this area of work is sparse, with new psychology graduates expected to earn anywhere from $10,000 to 140,000 with an average median salary of $60,000 (Lu, 2016). However, starting salaries and opportunities may vary depending upon the field of specialty area with the highest paying subfield i.e. clinical neuropsychology earning around $75,000 (Lu, 2016). A 5% employment growth increase is projected for NY between 2008 and 2018 (Department of Labor, n.d).
Besides financial gains, the benefits of working as a psychologist stems from job satisfaction, flexibility of hours, work pace, and undemanding nature of the job (Lu, 2016). Like the PNP position, time demands and burnout proclivity are dependent upon the facility of work as are opportunity for advancement.
Overall, both career paths are matched with skill level as graduate degrees in both areas would have been achieved prior to pursuing either paths. However, the PNP path best suits my career choice because of the 17 plus years of experience already accomplished working as a nurse in the mental health field. Also, obtaining the degree can be accomplished in a third of the time that it would take to become a psychologist. Thus, performing in the role of a PNP could be accomplished at a faster pace, allowing for work autonomy, opportunity to have own practice with a solid income, and an ability to partake in psychotherapy plus prescriptive privilege which would ensure a more effective and holistic treatment foci to enhance the clinician patient experience.
To conclude, PNPs and psychologist are two unique and important career paths that can be pursued post-graduate degree in psychology. It is believed that by having a reserved and quiet personality, an alignment with the PNP role would be conducive to facilitating an enhanced psychotherapeutic relationship that would guide clients on the journey to illness management or recovery. With PNPs now able to practice independently in NY without establishing a collaborative agreement with other physicians (The New York State Senate, n.d), 2017 appears to be a great time to enter into the profession.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017). Occupational employment statistics. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291171.htm#ind
Department of Labor. (n.d). Employment projections. Retrieved from https://labor.ny.gov/stats/lsproj.shtm
Lu, S. (2016). Median salaries for new psychologists are static. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2016/04/salaries.aspx
NurseJournal.org. (2017). Psychiatric nursing careers and salary outlook. Retrieved from
Stamm, K., & Christidis, P. (2015). What proportion of psychology doctorate holders work in the psychology field? American Psychological Association, 46(3). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2015/03/datapoint.aspx
The New York State Senate. (n.d). Senate bill S4611A. Retrieved from https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2013/S4611/amendment/A
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