Assignment 2: Practicum Experience Plan (PEP) – Objetives Please review the attached instructions. Use the Practicum Experience Plan (attached word documen

Assignment 2: Practicum Experience Plan (PEP) – Objetives

Please review the attached instructions. Use the Practicum Experience Plan (attached word document – Practicum_Experience_Plan)  to complete the assignment. 

Attached last week assignment to be use to establish the objectives. At least 3 objectives from the areas for which you would like to gain application-level experience and/or continued growth as an advanced practice nurse.   

Your objectives should address your self-assessment of the skills found in the “PMHNP Clinical Skills Self-Assessment Form” you completed in Week 1. (see attached document – WK1Assgn2_Cordova Lopez_A) . 


Self-assessment of Clinical Skills

Ariel Cordova Lopez

Walden University

PRAC 6635: Psychopathogy and Diagnostic Reasoning Practicum

Dr. Brandy Benson

March 05, 2022


According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, NPs are licensed clinicians with a doctorate or master’s education who provide advanced health care to clients in collaboration with other health care professionals. Clinical training is an educational module that provides psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners an opportunity to assess, diagnose, and treat patients with mental and behavioral disorders. Clinical training offers PMHNP with essential skills to undertake their job functions. The clinical assessment form identifies and discusses my strengths and weaknesses concerning clinical skills. During the practicum experience, goals and objectives are necessary to maintain focus throughout the experience (Kleinpell et al., 2018).

Desired Clinical Skills for

Students to Achieve

Confident (Can




confident (Can

complete with


Beginning (Have

performed with

supervision or


supervision to

feel confident)

New (Have


performed or

does not apply)

Comprehensive psychiatric evaluation skills in:

Recognizing clinical signs and symptoms of psychiatric illness


Differentiating between

pathophysiological and



Mostly confident

Performing and interpreting a comprehensive and/or interval history and physical examination (including laboratory and diagnostic studies)

Mostly confident

Performing and interpreting a

mental status examination


Performing and interpreting a

psychosocial assessment and

family psychiatric history

Mostly confident

Performing and interpreting a

functional assessment

(activities of daily living,

occupational, social, leisure,


Mostly confident

Diagnostic reasoning skill in:

Demonstrate knowledge of

psychopathology of mental

illnesses through discussion

for different age groups and

mental illnesses


Developing and prioritizing a

differential diagnoses list


Formulating diagnoses

according to DSM 5 based on

assessment data


Differentiating between

normal/abnormal age-related

physiological and





Treatment Planning

Provide psychoeducation to

individuals and/or any



Promote health and disease

prevention techniques

Mostly confident

Self-Assessment skill:

Develop SMART goals for

practicum experiences

Mostly confident

Evaluating outcomes of

practicum goals and modify

plan as necessary

Mostly confident

Documenting and reflecting

on learning experiences

Mostly confident

Professional skills:

Maintains professional

boundaries and therapeutic

relationship with clients and



Collaborate with multidisciplinary teams to improve

clinical practice in mental health settings


Identifies ethical and legal

dilemmas with possible



Demonstrates nonjudgmental practice

approach and empathy


Practices within scope of



Selecting and implementing

appropriate screening

instrument(s) and

interpreting results:

Demonstrates selecting the

correct screening instrument

appropriate for the clinical



Implements the screening

instrument efficiently and

effectively with the clients


Interprets results for

screening instruments



Identifies the need to refer to

another specialty provider

when applicable


Accurately documents

recommendations for

psychiatric consultations

when applicable

Mostly confident

Summary of strengths

Patient-centered care is my greatest strength during my daily routines with my patients. my patient-centered approach enables me to obtain relevant historical information and perform a complete physical and mental status exam. My culturally competent communication methods make me aware of patients’ empathic interview techniques. Patient-centered care enables a nurse practitioner to treat clients with respect and dignity. Another strength is delivering personalized and supportive care to my clients (Chambers & Ryder 2018). Over the years, I gained experience maintaining a positive attitude while communicating with patients to avoid annoying them. Empathic interview techniques allow me to perform a comprehensive examination of patients to develop an accurate diagnosis of their condition. To maintain these skills, I practice them daily in community health clinics and medical wards. I can describe the variations in the patient presentation according to age and cultural background.

Another essential skill that is quite beneficial to me is recognizing and making recommendations on the possible use of psychotropic drugs. I usually embrace a warm demeanor during my interactions with my patients, which is essential in obtaining historical data from multiple sources. I have a complete understanding of each component of the mental status exam which enables me to describe common abnormalities and their causes. The principle of communication has allowed me to conduct myself professionally and be more empathetic to accept criticism and learn from my mistakes. Documentation is another notable strength that I utilize to note down clinical findings, diagnoses, and clinical reasoning. At times, laboratory findings may be unavailable; hence, I use my communication skills to obtain information with the patient and other professionals. My multifaceted skill sets have been an immense help, especially in the early identification of psychopathology symptoms.

Opportunities for growth

I need to develop more interview techniques for challenging situations, such as dealing with hostile, potentially assaultive, and cognitively impaired patients. There are many complications when it comes to diagnosing mental and behavioral disorders. Most psychological and pathophysiological disorders are challenging to diagnose because they require extensive knowledge; hence I need to gain a more comprehensive understanding and better my assessment skills. I need to focus on psychopathological differential diagnosis in that it becomes my priority. Another area of improvement is distinguishing between psychopathology and pathophysiology since they are two broad fields that require more profound understanding. The mental diagnosis process is lengthy in that it begins with the conduction of a physical examination of the patient (Phillips, 2020).

A mental status examination is then done, followed by a psychological assessment to do away with differential diagnosis to arrive at an accurate psychosocial diagnosis. Over the years that I have been caring for patients with behavioral disorders, it goes unnoticed that psychopathological diagnosis and treatment require in-depth knowledge and assessment skills. As a result, most diagnostic tests are unreliable during diagnosing psychopathological diseases. I need to widen my knowledge of psychopathological conditions to improve these weaknesses. I have to take advantage of every opportunity during the clinical rotations to apply the acquired knowledge. I also have a liability in the performance and interpretation of mental status examinations. I have to embark on vigorous clinical practice sessions to boost my experience in the interpretation of mental status examinations. Another way to improve my knowledge at the clinical sites is by continuous practice and personal and professional development. The newly acquired skills will encourage the provision of evidence-based and patient-based care as PMHNP (Price & Reichert, 2017).

Possible Goals and objectives

1. Goal: Incorporate knowledge on clinical reasoning and differential diagnosis

a) Objective: Identify signs and symptoms predisposing to any psychopathological disorder

b) Objective: understand basic test outcomes and other professional reports

c) Objective: Develop differential diagnosis of some clients with psychiatric disorders.

2. Goal: Independently develop psychiatric diagnosis at the end of the practicum

a) Objective: demonstrate the practical application of advanced techniques in the assessment process

b) Objective: Identify differential psychiatric diagnosis by utilizing patient’s concerns and physical assessment

c) Objective: Apply laboratory and other medical tests to evaluate clients

3. Goal: Expand mental status examination skills by the end of the period

a) Objective: monitor patients and perform cognitive assessments

b) Objective: recognize and differentiate clinical features to make accurate recommendations

c) Objective: perform mental status exams and interpret its results accurately


Chambers, C., & Ryder, E. (2018). Compassion and caring in nursing. Routledge.

Kleinpell, R., Cook, M. L., & Padden, D. L. (2018). American Association of Nurse Practitioners National Nurse Practitioner sample survey: Update on acute care nurse practitioner practice. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 30(3), 140-149.

Phillips, K. (2020). Mental illness is not anyone’s fault: a review of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 24(1), 75-81.

Price, S., & Reichert, C. (2017). The importance of continuing professional development to career satisfaction and patient care: meeting the needs of novice to mid-to late-career nurses throughout their career span. Administrative Sciences, 7(2), 17.



assessment of Clinical Skills

Ariel Cordova Lopez

Walden University

PRAC 6635

: Psychopathogy and Diagnostic Reasoning



Brandy Benson


05, 2022


Self-assessment of Clinical Skills

Ariel Cordova Lopez

Walden University

PRAC 6635: Psychopathogy and Diagnostic Reasoning Practicum

Dr. Brandy Benson

March 05, 2022

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