Health care, Uncategorized

How To Achieve Your Long-Term Nursing Goals

How To Achieve Your Long-Term Nursing Goals

It might surprise some people to learn this, but the fact is that nursing is a career that has a lot of scope for advancement. Rather than simply gaining your RN and heading off to help your patients in any way you can, there is more than can be achieved if you want to. Of course, there is no rush, and if you are happy and fulfilled at any level of nursing, it is perfectly fine to retain that position until the day you retire; the choice will always be yours.

That’s what is so great about the nursing profession. There are a lot of choices, and for those who are ambitious and want to get ahead, those choices are very exciting. To make things easier, because there is so much choice and it can sometimes feel overwhelming, it’s important to have an idea about your long-term nursing goals. You don’t have to stick to these goals indefinitely – it’s best if they are flexible – but you should have an idea of what you might want to do and what direction you might want your career to go in if you want to achieve your dreams. Otherwise, you might find you start off down the wrong route, so it will take you longer to get back on track. With that in mind, here are some of the ways to achieve your long-term nursing goals once you have determined what they are.

Don’t Dwell on Wishes

Making wishes is fun. It’s enjoyable to daydream about these wishes and dreams, whatever they might be. However, leaving it at that isn’t something you should be doing when it comes to your career. Instead, identify among these dreams the ones that you most wish to come true. Then, once that is established, curate a plan that will see you make progress towards them. This plan is what transforms a dream into a goal, which is a much more effective use of your time and focus. The reality is that a wish is something you hope will happen, but not something you’ll actively try to make happen. A goal, on the other hand, is something you will work towards and take action towards – this is the difference, and it’s why wishing things about your career might be fun, but it’s not going to help you get where you want to be.

In fact, dreams aren’t even always a positive thing. Although you’ll wish for good things to happen, the tendency to compare your life to what it could be and the very fact that you’re not doing anything to make this happen can lead you to feel down about your life and it might even lead to depression.

So, concentrate on your plans and not your wishes, and good things will happen. If you have a goal of becoming a family nurse practitioner, for example, you can determine just what you need to do, which will usually include gaining specific qualifications to become an FNP. It is also good to know when to aim to do it and start working towards those goals. Wouldn’t it be a different story if you just wished that you could have that job? If you didn’t before, after this segment you can hopefully see the difference between wishes and goals and why the former won’t help you unless you work towards them.

Be Specific

Something else that will help a great deal when you are working out what your ultimate nursing goals are, and how to achieve them, is to be specific. Having vague goals will fall into the same category as wishing for things; in other words, it just won’t work. The more details you can give your plan, the easier it will be to achieve the outcome you’re looking for. Not only will it become a more solid idea in your mind that you can actively work towards, but you’ll also find that it is easier to look at each individual step you’ll need to take when you have specifics in place. Be specific about your studying accomplishments as well. Nursing is a very challenging career path. So, you’ll need to develop your skill set each day. Indulge in both participatory and non-participatory learning to keep on revamping your skillset. Also, take advantage of online resources and apps such as Osmosis on the App Store to make this process easier.

An example might be a promotion. You know that you want to be promoted, so you have that as a goal. Yet simply saying you want to be promoted isn’t very helpful. It’s too vague. It would be much better to take that idea and make it more specific. You could put a date by which you want to achieve your promotion (deadlines are always helpful when you’re trying to prioritize), for example. You could have a job that you want, rather than a more generic ‘promotion’ to aim for. You could even speak to your superiors and ask for information about what steps you need to take to get to the level you want to reach. All of these practices, and more, will push you towards progress. Remember; specifics are what make a goal achievable.

Write Down Your Goals

Goals are great and are absolutely necessary if you want to achieve things in life and in your nursing career. Yet they can also be problematic. One of the issues with goals is that you also have to contend with other aspects of your life as you’re working towards them, and this can cause them to become derailed or even entirely forgotten about. When that happens, you can easily make a choice in error that doesn’t help you achieve what you initially wanted, and it can be hard to undo such choices (not impossible, but time-consuming and challenging).

Therefore, as simplistic as it might sound, you need to write your goals down. The very act of writing them (ideally writing, although typing can work too) will enable you to remember them more clearly. If you also read through your goals each morning or night – or both – then they will stick more easily in your mind, and when it comes to making decisions, even small ones, your ultimate goal, and the smaller ones you need to put in place to get there will come to mind. This will make decision-making a lot easier and ensure you are always moving in the right direction.

Break Long-Term Goals Into Smaller Goals

This idea has been briefly mentioned above, but defining a clear path by creating milestones is an important element of setting and achieving your goals, therefore it’s certainly worth discussing in more detail. When you think about your ultimate career goals it can feel like a big thing; it’s where you see your career taking you in the end, the last step you want to take before you retire – it’s what you want to achieve after everything is said and done.

So of course, although it’s crucial to know what this is (or at least a clear approximation of it), it’s best to break that large goal down into much smaller goals. This will make it easier to achieve, because you can work on each step at a time rather than trying to reach for a goal that you’re not ready to get to yet. For example, if you want to end up running the hospital you work in, you can’t simply start applying for that role without the experience, training, and knowledge required. You’ll need to plan out what you need to do to reach that goal, and these are the smaller, more achievable goals to work on. It means that everything becomes a lot easier and you’ll be more likely to succeed as you make progress towards your goal.

Re-Evaluate And Adjust

It can feel as though making these long-term goals is a difficult thing to do because once you’ve worked out what you want, you have to stick to what you intend to do. This can cause all kinds of problems, and when you work in this way, it’s no wonder that goals and aims can be abandoned and wishes and hopes can come back into the equation.

In reality, there is no law that says you have to stick to your initial ideas when it comes to your career or even your life. You can change your goals as often as you need to. For example, you might find that you start down one route but realize it’s not something you enjoy. If that means you need to change what you do in the end, so be it – it’s better to make the changes as soon as you know you need to than to keep working towards a goal that no longer suits you, doing things along the way that you simply don’t enjoy.

However, if you do still want to do what you initially chose, it’s a good idea to check where you are on that mission from time to time as well. If you don’t, you might find that you can stray way off track, and getting back to a place that will help you achieve your goals could feel like several steps backward.

Don’t Give Up

Finally, no matter how ambitious or otherwise your goal might be, no matter whether other people are behind you or not, no matter where it takes you if it’s what you want then don’t give up. Keep working towards your goal at every opportunity. Whatever else might be happening in your life, having this goal in mind at all times will be crucial – it might even help you through difficult patches. At the very least, it will keep you heading in the right direction which, as we’ve seen, is an essential part of getting where you want to go. The more you can keep your goal in mind and not give up, the sooner you’ll reach it.

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