What are your nursing career goals?

What Are Your Nursing Career Goals?

Planning for a long and successful nursing career

Just because you love your work now doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a plan for the future. You’re a nurse. You’re competent, caring and kind, always there when your patients need you. You also have the chance to use your highly versatile degree in a lot of different ways, avoiding the kind of fatigue that leads to nursing burnout. Growing your nursing career doesn’t happen automatically, though. It involves smart goal-setting and persistence.

Long-term and short-term goals

Whether you’re just leaving nursing school or you’re looking to make a mid-career change, it’s helpful to identify both long and short-term goals. Say for instance you are an ASN and you’d like to become a BSN. General short-term goals will include applying to programs or scholarships, which support your long-term goal of finishing the degree. Breaking things into attainable tasks is the best way to keep making progress on what’s important and advance your nursing career.

Setting S.M.A.R.T goals

S.M.A.R.T. is a fun acrostic for intelligent goal-setting. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Your goals need to be specific so that you know what you’re working towards. They should also be measurable, so that you know when you’ve made progress. Knowing when a career goal is attainable requires self-knowledge, while knowing when it’s realistic means being honest about your circumstances. For instance, you might capable of getting an advanced degree, but is it a good time in your life to enroll in graduate school? Finally, establish a schedule. Without one it’s difficult to achieve your goals in a timely way.

Take a look in the mirror

Before you set any career goals, it’s important to have a sense of your strengths and weaknesses. Nursing is such a wide field it offers something for almost every personality. However, before plan for your future nursing career, think about what aspects of nursing make you happiest. If you need some help speak with trusted friends or a mentor who can give you honest feedback. You should also re-evaluate your goals every once in a while. As life changes so could your plans for the future.

Making the most of education and experience

While some nursing career goals require additional education, sometimes your previous experience can qualify you for new or different positions. For instance, work in a particular unit or hospital might be particularly appealing to a potential employer. Look over your resume and see if any of your previous experience could be an asset for the job you want. Sometimes the only way to advance your nursing career is to return to school for an additional certification or even your Master of Science in Nursing Administration. There are many new options for continuing your nursing education, like online courses, which are more flexible and affordable than traditional classroom education.

Build a support network

Nursing is a demanding field and burnout is a real problem. Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation reports that 60% of nurses leave the profession within eight years. If you want to have a long and flourishing nursing career build a strong support network of people who can help you grow professionally and personally. And remember that the Uniform Outlet is here to support you as well. For almost twenty years The Uniform Outlet has been providing brand name scrubs at outlet prices and supporting our local medical communities through charitable giving and community involvement. As you grow your nursing career we will be here every step of the way.

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