If you have chosen to be a part of the rewarding profession of nursing, you will learn quickly that having goals for yourself will be an important part of your success. The responsibilities of being a nurse can be overwhelming and extremely stressful at times and may cause you to question your abilities or why you even decided upon the profession in the first place. For that reason, setting goals for yourself and fulfilling them is crucial and will give you those needed confidence boosts each and every time you feel like giving up. Everyone’s journey is different and we’ll all stumble upon obstacles in the paths that we need to take to get to where we want to go. Having a strong mindset, great motivation and confidence in every aspect of what makes you, you will make a ton of difference in how successful you actually become. The goals you set may be different from those of the next person, but we’ve found that the if you can tailor the following ten goals to your lifestyle they will assist in elevating your nursing career and personal well-being more than you may have ever imagined.
#1 – Build Professional Relationships
As a nurse, you will have the opportunity to meet so many new people that it may seem overwhelming at times. Most likely, each day on the job you will have the chance to meet someone new and it’s up to you to make the best of it. Keep in mind though that no matter what in this profession you cannot make everyone happy, there will always be someone that finds fault…but don’t let it get you down – do your best to consider it constructive criticism to build upon your character. Building professional relationships with co-workers and looking up to someone as a mentor will allow you to greatly develop upon your nursing skills and learn about yourself. Having a close knit group of people you can count on makes everything go much more smoothly and will help to increase productivity and overall satisfaction.
#2 – Remain Open to Learn
Since you have chosen to be a nurse, you should know how the medical world is ever-changing and continuing to share more and more positive advancements with the public. Due to this ever-changing world, the professionals within it must keep an open mind and be willing to learn all these new things in order to keep their skills up to date with the current medical standards. Nurses also must complete a set amount of continuing education hours as required by their home state in order to keep their license in good standing. As a nurse it may seem like you never get a break from learning, but you should feel special because all this learning will allow you to provide the most up to date, safe and effective care to vulnerable patients day in and day out, while also advancing your career.
#3 – Soak Up Experience
Unlike some other professions, a career in nursing is filled with countless opportunities and numerous specialties. We all have to start somewhere – usually near the bottom, but do not take it the wrong way because in nursing there is so much to learn and you do not want to start out by doing something that is way in over your head. Rather it is important to soak up all the experience you can so that you can be a better nurse with each step you take in your career. In addition, if you soak up experience you will be more willing to accept new challenges and engage in opportunities you may not have otherwise. Be a go-getter and never hesitate to ask questions if you’re unsure…you’ll have a much better career – and gain much more respect.
#4 – Mind Your Health
Some people may think, “Oh, she’s a nurse…she probably never gets sick.” That definitely is not the case. Nursing professionals have just the same chances to fall under the weather or suffer from nursing burnout just as anyone else does. Therefore as a nurse, taking care of yourself if the most important thing you can possibly do, because let’s face it – if you’re not healthy and able, you won’t be at the top of your game to safely care for anyone else. It is very important that you do all you need to do to keep yourself in good health in body, mind and spirit in order to best care for your patients and their families.
#5 – Tune In & Be a Team Player
Even before you build your professional relationships, as mentioned above…the first day you walk into your career as a nurse you must go into it willing to be a team player in order to have the best success and build professional relationships much easier. The nursing profession works so much more smoothly if those involved work as a team to take care of their patients. When working as an effective team, everyone who is involved will notice positive outcomes and care that goes above and beyond the rest. Contrary to what you may think, nursing definitely is not a profession where you work the best alone, so keep an open mind to help out whenever you can.
#6 – Always Go the Extra Mile
Going that extra mile for someone doesn’t mean you have to do something extraordinary; rather sometimes it may just be the little things that matter. It could be that you pass medications to your patient, but then come back later to chat or help them put a few pieces of their puzzle together. It seems as if the little things help you create a much better rapport and make the care you provide more effective. Going the extra mile could also mean that you always make time for your co-workers and find ways to help them out too! Usually, it doesn’t take much to go that extra mile and keep in mind that generally it’s the one that makes the care you provide extra-special. Don’t worry, with time and experience you will find ways to do this to make your career that much more successful.
#7 – Share Strengths, Build Upon Weakness
This goal stems from being a team player and going that extra mile in the nursing profession. Sharing your positive experiences and strengths with others will help to increase their success and may have positive effects on their nursing practices. Sharing is caring, so sharing any knowledge you have may not benefit everyone…but it most likely will benefit someone out there so don’t keep it to yourself. On the other hand weaknesses are something that we all have, but we may not be so willing to admit. However, admitting you have a weakness is the first step in making it better. Once you come to terms with your weakness, you can begin to work toward ways to improve it – either by accepting challenges or taking advice from others who have been in your shoes before. The point is…just share your strengths and build upon your weakness whenever you can because it will make you feel better about yourself and help to take your career to that next level.
#8 – Set Professional Goals
As a nurse, setting goals for yourself should be a must in order to achieve success and increase your self-esteem. Keep in mind that in order to set effective goals they must be realistic and share a reasonable timeframe to get there. If you set effective goals for yourself you will be guaranteed to reach them, and with every goal you meet you will be that much more confident in yourself to ensure the most success. Reaching goals will also prove to improve your overall morale and sense of well-being.
#9 – Take a Step Back & Take it All In
Sometimes in order to put it all together and see how far you’ve come you just need to take a step back, take a look around and take it all in. Take the time to get a good view of the big picture because most likely you will get caught up in all the little things that it has taken to get there. Stepping back and looking at what all you have done in your nursing career will be the picture of your current success and possibly give you a view of where you’re headed in the future. Taking a break every now and then is a good idea, both to continue toward your success and improve upon your personal well-being.
#10 – Practice a Non-Judgmental Attitude
As a nurse you will be introduced to all walks of life. Everyone is leading a different journey and you never know what routes they have been taking, so make sure to always practice with a non-judgmental attitude because you never know what their story may be. Sometimes it can be difficult to practice in a non-judgmental manner due to stereotypes and first-impressions, however you should treat everyone with the same amount of respect and as if they are your family in order for the most effective care to take place and the most effective nurse-patient relationship to develop.
Ultimately, a career in nursing can prove to be very stressful and leave you questioning why you chose such a profession. Aside from those bad days, the amount of reward felt from being a nurse and helping people during their most vulnerable of times should be enough to secure your decision. Following the advice above and having goals set for yourself will ensure you’re on the right track toward success and being the best person and nurse you can possibly be!