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What are Common Nursing Career Goals?

The world of healthcare is incredibly vast, filled with seemingly endless options and routes you can take depending on your personal goals and what you wish to get out of your work life. When you choose to dive into nursing specifically, whether before you become a nurse or a decision regarding advancing your nursing career further, it's important to remember how mentally and physically demanding the journey is and will be during your career. Keep reading to learn more about applying the SMART method to setting nursing goals, advancing education, choosing a nursing specialty, and more.

The Importance Of a Work-Life Balance

Since work is one of the most critical factors in your life, staying organized will also be more important than ever imagined. Here you can learn vital goal-setting tips for nurse managers, nurse practitioners, ordinary nurses, those interested in various nursing specialties, and any other profession you could dream of.

An incredible factor in assisting you with keeping yourself organized and on schedule is setting goals for yourself, personal goals, and goals regarding what you want to get out of your nursing career in the present and the future. As a nurse, you will find yourself with handfuls of goals involving your nursing career, some of which could contradict goals relating to your personal life outside of work, which brings the importance of putting these two sets of dreams next to each other and genuinely evaluating them. Naturally, keeping your goals in mind consistently, as we are everchanging, you will find yourself reevaluating them from time to time if your desired pathway changes.

Applying SMART Goals to Nursing 

Although the idea of setting goals may be something quite simple, taking the time to honestly think of everything you wish to achieve and writing all of these goals down could take a fair amount of time. If you have any contradictory goals on your list, you'll have to find a proper way to decide for yourself so you can be content with your goals. This is why goal-setting tools can be an extreme help in these situations. Handfuls of nurses choose to use SMART goals in nursing, an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

So as this tool entails, each of these is the different factors you can and should take into account when evaluating your goals, personal and work-related. 

Going through all of the pieces of SMART goals, you begin with the specifics. What exactly is the goal you are trying to achieve? That is for you to decide. Once you have a plan in mind, you should figure out just how you can measure your progress and assess if this goal is realistically attainable for you, such as if you have the required skills needed to achieve what you have in mind. The last two factors to keep in mind are if the goal is genuinely relevant to you, evaluating just how vital this specific goal is to you, and looking into how timely this goal-achieving process will be.

Nursing Goals to Advance Career and Knowledge

Many nurses end up sticking to one specific role for their entire careers. However, this can be different for you if you desire to move on to something greater. Perhaps you've been asking yourself, "should I specialize as a nurse?" or others are pointing to increasing your lexicon regarding nursing or advancing your career further. It is ultimately your decision what you desire to do with your career and education on the subject. However, here you can learn about common goals other nurses make towards career advancement and possibly even add one to your list.

Although it is not required to move on to further careers in nursing, if you desire something more, you could put a goal towards taking regular classes in learning new techniques and methods. These skills benefit our everchanging healthcare system, earning a certification in a specific specialty or perhaps even moving on from being an ordinary staff nurse to a nurse leader.

Nursing Goals for Increasing Skills or Choosing a Specialty

While going into nursing, you're immediately aware of all the challenges you may face, along with the mental and physical requirements to do this critical work. Although the job is, in fact, physically demanding - mental fortitude is crucial, and you will require a handful of skills relying on superb decision-making skills, among many others. Of course, alongside these qualities, there are also skills you can only improve on with practice within nursing, so much so that some choose to have goals focusing exclusively on these skills. If you wish to improve on specific skills in nursing, perhaps so that you could even specialize, maybe some of these common goals other nurses have can assist you. Read this article to learn how to choose a nursing specialty you'll love!

Those looking to improve their skills in nursing, whether they are regarding personal growth or mastery regarding equipment or techniques used in nursing, many choose to focus on improving communication and attitude on the job, mastering the use of specific techniques and technology used in nursing, skills regarding management and education, and many more. The decision is on you!


Booher, RN
Blog published on:
October 28, 2022

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