It’s important to set goals for yourself. They can help you reach your professional goals, and they make you feel good about yourself. As a nurse, you’ll also want to set smart goals. Smart goals are goals that:
- address multiple levels of performance (e.g., clinical outcomes, individual behaviors)
- provide feedback on progress towards achieving goal(s)
examples of smart goals in nursing
1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of current nursing practice, theory and research as evidenced by incorporating a nursing theory, model or practice guideline into patient care during clinical rotation.
One of the most important parts of being a nurse is demonstrating a working knowledge of current nursing practice, theory and research. One way to show this is by incorporating a nursing theory, model or practice guideline into patient care during clinical rotation. For example:
- Theoretical approaches such as the bio-psycho-social model can be used to help you understand health conditions in different populations.
- Nursing models like Florence Nightingale’s nursing model can help you think about how you assess patients and start treatment plans.
- Research has shown that many patients prefer nurses who use humor while they are being treated, so it might be useful to incorporate humor into care plans when appropriate.
2. Compile a list of four to six research articles published over the last two years and evaluate their relevance to the role of the nurse in the current healthcare environment using 100-150 words.
Compile a list of four to six research articles published over the last two years and evaluate their relevance to the role of the nurse in the current healthcare environment using 100-150 words.
How to compile a list of four to six research articles:
- Go to PubMed, an online medical library. Search for “nurse.” You will get many results from all over the world that have been published recently.
- Read through each article’s abstract (the first few paragraphs) and determine whether it is relevant or not. Some journals only publish studies related specifically to education or administration, so if you are looking at those types of journals, don’t choose anything with nursing in its title unless it is relevant! Also be aware that some journals specialize in certain areas (like management), so your search may not always turn up what you’re looking for (this can be frustrating!).
- Write down those titles on a piece of paper or use bookmarking software like Delicious or Pinboard where they’ll be saved forever! Then go through them again later when compiling other assignments so nothing slips through your fingers!
3. Identify three local healthcare professional organizations that provide resources for educational opportunities on current trends and practices within his/her specialty area.
- Identify three local healthcare professional organizations that provide resources for educational opportunities on current trends and practices within his/her specialty area.
- Attend one educational event a month, including webinars, lectures or workshops.
4. Update CPR certification by enrolling in an American Heart Association CPR course within 30 days after starting the next clinical rotation.
If you’re a nursing student, it’s important that you get CPR certification before starting your clinical rotations. You can find American Heart Association courses at local hospitals and community centers. Once you’ve completed an American Heart Association course, ask if they will keep your certification current by sending them your certificate of completion. Even if they don’t do this automatically, it’s easy enough to keep up with the requirements yourself: just keep practicing until they test you again!
5. Attend a professional conference that is related to his/her specialty area and write a reflection incorporating what he/she learned from the conference in 100-150 words within 60 days after attending.
Reflection is an important part of learning and growing as a professional. Reflecting allows you to think about what you have learned and how it will impact your practice in the future. A reflection should be written in 100-150 words within 60 days after attending a conference or workshop that offers continuing education credits.
- The name of the conference, its location, date and time
- A brief description that includes why this was important to attend (i.e., what did you learn?)
- How can you use this information in your nursing practice?
6. There are many smart goals for nurses
Smart Goals are very useful for setting goals for yourself, your team and department. The reason is that they are specific, measurable, attainable and timely. Examples of Smart Goals include:
- “I will complete my first leadership role in nursing by 2020.”
- “I will be promoted to RN supervisor by 2020.”
- “My team will increase our patient satisfaction scores by 5% by June 2019.”
We hope that these examples have helped you to understand how to set smart goals for your career. It’s important to remember that every person is different and will have their own way of setting goals. If you’re looking for more inspiration, consider checking out our list of sample nursing resumes!