PRAC 6665 Week 1 Competencies of Advanced Nursing Practice


Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.

—Xun Kuang, Chinese Confucian philosopher

Welcome to your PMHNP Care Across the Lifespan I Practicum! The practicum experience is an experiential learning opportunity which allows you to gain and refine your clinical advanced nursing skills under the mentorship of a Preceptor. As you engage with patients in the practicum setting, your involvement will extend your learning about a variety of psychiatric and mental health care needs for patients across the lifespan.

Throughout the next 11 weeks, you will evaluate your skill development, reflect on patient encounters, and generate goals related to your growth as an advanced practice nurse. This week, you start by assessing your strengths and opportunities related to psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) clinical skills.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Complete practicum site form
  • Assess clinical skills related to advanced psychiatric-mental health nursing practice
  • Develop measurable goals and objectives for the practicum experience
  • Describe clinical hours and patient encounters

Learning Resources

Assignment 1: Practicum Site Information

Prior to starting the course, you should have applied for a practicum site following the guidelines for psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) practice. Now it is time to make it official. For this Assignment, you provide your Clinical Faculty with information about your practicum site, your Preceptor, and your clinical calendar.

To Prepare

  • Verify that your practicum application has been approved by logging in to Meditrek.
  • Access the Practicum Site Information Form from the Learning Resources.

The Assignment

Complete the designated areas of the Practicum Site Information Form, including your practicum site and contact information, your Preceptor and contact information, and a schedule of when you plan to engage in practicum activities onsite.

Assignment 2: Clinical Skills Self-Assessment

Before embarking on any professional or academic activity, it is important to understand the background, knowledge, and experience you bring to it. You might ask yourself, “What do I already know? What do I need to know? And what do I want to know?” This

critical self-reflection is especially important for developing clinical skills such as those for advanced practice nursing.

The PMHNP Clinical Skills List and PMHNP Clinical Skills Self-Assessment Form provided in the Learning Resources can be used to celebrate your progress throughout your practicum and identify skills gaps. The skills list covers all necessary skills you should demonstrate during your practicum experiences.

For this Assignment (just as you did in PRAC 6645), you assess where you are now in your clinical skill development and make plans for this practicum. Specifically, you will identify strengths and opportunities for improvement regarding the required practicum skills. In this practicum experience, when developing your goals and objectives, be sure to keep assessment and diagnostic reasoning in mind. 

As you complete your self-assessment this week, you may wish to look back over your self-assessments from prior practicums to reflect on your growth.

To Prepare

  • Review the clinical skills in the PMHNP Clinical Skills List document. It is recommended that you print out this document to serve as a guide throughout your practicum.
  • Review the “Developing SMART Goals” resource on how to develop goals and objectives that follow the SMART framework.
  • Review the resources on nursing competencies and nursing theory, and consider how these inform your practice.
  • Download the PMHNP Clinical Skills Self-Assessment Form to complete this


The Assignment

Use the PMHNP Clinical Skills Self-Assessment Form to complete the following:

  • Rate yourself according to your confidence level performing the skills identified in the Clinical Skills Self-Assessment Form.
  • Based on your ratings, summarize your strengths and opportunities for improvement.
  • Based on your self-assessment and theory of nursing practice, develop three to four (3–4) measurable goals and objectives for this practicum experience. Include them in the designated area of the form.