Whether you believe in resolutions or not, the beginning of the New Year is a great time to think about what you’d like to achieve. How can you set yourself up for success? Whether you’re planning to go back to school to earn your RN to BSN degree, looking to earn a higher ranking position at work, or simply aiming to improve a specific skill, here are four steps you can take to reach your nursing career goals.
Identify Your Goals
The first step to achieving growth is to identify what objectives and benchmarks you’d like to reach. When setting a career goal, remember to make sure that they are SMART — Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Ask yourself “why?” to make sure you are carving a path that is right for you. By making sure you want to take on an endeavor and verifying that it will help you in your longer-term plans, you not only improve your chances of achieving your goals, you ensure that doing so will be worth the work.
Build Your Support Team
Accountability is paramount when taking on new challenges. There are many people in your life who can help keep you focused and honest about your progress. Ask your family to be supportive and tell them what you need from them (e.g. taking responsibilities off your plate so you can adjust your schedule). Find co-workers who understand what you’re going through so you can talk (and occasionally rant) with to keep you determined. Finally, find a mentor
who can offer guidance and advice as you work toward your career goals.
Make Your Plan; Write it Down
Knowing where you want to go is important, but so is knowing how to get there. For example, if you’ve decided to go back to school to earn an advanced nursing degree, many factors will come into play. What program best fits your needs? What pace do you want to work at so you can balance school, work and life? In what ways will your employer help support you in advancing your education? Do your research, ask for help, plan your course of action and write it down. While it shouldn’t be set in stone, having a firm plan in place will help you be more successful in progressing toward your goal.
Revisit Your Goals Often
Beyond setting objectives, it’s important to continually revisit and analyze them as you go. Not only can measuring your progress be a source of renewed motivation, it also can serve as a time to reflect on and reevaluate your goals. No matter how much planning you do up front, there’s always the possibility that you will need to pivot or make a change. Sometimes, things happen, life gets in the way, or you simply change your mind about what you want. Use these check-ins to make sure that your goals are still reasonable, and adjust your scheduled progress points as needed.
When you’re ready to dive in and start moving toward your goals, consider starting your journey with Madison School of Healthcare. Whatever your goals, Madison has the program you need to get there.
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