What is PRN nurse and PRN order?

Smart Goals For Nurses [10 In-Depth Examples]

Please, share this post with someone:

Every exceptional nurse sets and works with SMART goals.

Just as it is with personal development or any profession, setting goals is helpful.

First and foremost, the nursing career is highly regarded because they care for the sick and this can be physically and mentally demanding.

Being a nurse is not easy because people’s lives are in your hands but with the right skills, you can have a fulfilling career.

Hence, nurses and nursing students need to understand the SMART goal system so that they can be guided and motivated.

For this reason, this article will explain to you what nurses’ SMART goals are and examples of nursing SMART goals.

Also, on this page are the importance of SMART goals, how to use them, and how to set achievable goals for a thriving nursing career.

Keep your ear on the ground as we get to know more about SMART goals in Nursing.

Meanwhile, you may like to read about 9+ Free Online Courses by Google (Best for 2023).

SMART goals for nurses [10 in-depth examples]

What is a SMART goal?

The word S.M.A.R.T. in the SMART goal system is an acronym, that describes a goal or set of goals.

We can therefore say, that a SMART goal is any intent or aim that possesses these five features namely;

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound.

Goal setting is common for individuals and organizations but sometimes these goals tend to be unrealistic and vague even in the nursing profession.

For instance, if we set goals about what we want to do without including instructions on how to achieve them, we will end up with a wish.

On the other hand, a goal with specific instructions on how to accomplish it is a SMART goal.

It means that you can have a goal that lacks some or all of the five features mentioned.

In other words, for a goal to be SMART, it must have the five attributes mentioned above.

Can a SMART goal be used by a nurse?

Yes, SMART goals can be used by nurses and by other professionals.

The idea is for you to get the most out of the goal-setting system by getting the results that the goal is intended for.

SMART goals are reliable if you want to improve yourself as a nurse or add to your nursing skills.

Without further ado, let’s identify SMART goals in nursing.

What are SMART goals in nursing?

What are SMART goals in nursing?

Nursing SMART goals are clear objectives according to the SMART goal system that has been tried and tested by nurses and nursing students.

The five SMART features in nursing goals are described below.

1.  A SMART goal is always Specific

As a nurse, you must have a clear goal of what you want to do now or later.

Also, it is easier to achieve your goals when they are well defined.

2. You can Measure a nursing SMART goal

It is easy to quantify a SMART goal for nurses.

Nursing SMART goals must have a time of completion, specific targets, or metrics.

If you have a goal and cannot track your progress then it is not a SMART goal.

3. Nursing SMART goals are Achievable 

Smart goals are challenging and within the nurses’ capacity.

Just as it is advisable not to set easy goals, it is also important not to set unrealistic or impossible goals.

4. SMART goals for nurses are Relevant

Nursing SMART goals are important to both nurses and nursing students.

These goals must align with your passion, profession, and long-term goals.

5. Nurses’ SMART goals are also Time-bound

Using the SMART principle as a nurse, you must have a start and end date for your goals.

You may like to apply for a nursing program at the University of Michigan, click to know more about its acceptance rate [2023].

Why set SMART goals as a nurse?

It is important to set SMART goals as a nurse so that you can achieve your desired outcome and become more efficient in your place of work.

A lot of people including nurses create goals but very few can stick to them until the end.

This is a result of creating goals without applying the SMART rule.

Some key reasons why nurses set SMART goals are:

  • It makes nurses focused by reducing distractions.
  • With SMART goals, nurses can improve their relationships with patients.
  • As a nurse, you will be motivated by your accomplishments.
  • These goals help nurses achieve more within a specific time. 
  • SMART goals make you take responsibility for your actions and in-actions.
  • With SMART goals, your nursing career will be outstanding

In the meantime, pay close attention as we get to know the process of making your goals effective in the SMART way.

How to use and set SMART goals as a nurse

How to use and set SMART goals as a nurse

Remember that the purpose of the SMART goal system in this context is for nurses to have a fulfilling career journey.

Now that you have known the meaning, purpose, and benefits of SMART goals in nursing, you must know how to set and use the SMART goal rule.

The SMART goal process is as follows:

Specific (SMART)

As a  nurse, you must be specific about your goal by answering the question why?

Don’t just set goals, make sure you take out time to understand the reason for writing these goals.

If you don’t do this, you will likely lack the focus to fulfill your target.

Also, you should be able to explain your goal to anyone in detail.

For example, why do I want to become a certified nurse?

A goal

I want to become a certified nurse.

Specific goal

I want to become a certified nurse to have improved knowledge and skills that will make me competent and confident thereby increasing my chances of employment or retainment in the nursing profession.

Measurable (SMART)

As a nurse, you should create measurable metrics to help you achieve your goals.

The process of your goal must be measurable so that you won’t get stuck along the way.

You ought to know what needs to be done for this goal to come to pass by answering the question what?

For example, what do I require to become a certified nurse?

A goal

I want to become a certified nurse.

Measurable goal

I want to become a certified nurse for that reason I will do the following:

  • Obtain my nursing license,
  • Work in a specialty for a few years,
  • Afterward, apply to a nursing certifying organization and,
  • Write my nursing certification exam for me to become a certified nurse.

Achievable (SMART)

You must create goals that will stretch you in your nursing career but make sure these goals are attainable.

If the goal seems to be broad, you have to break it down into smaller goals.

In some cases, your goal may require a long time or a lot of money to be completed.

In addition, find out if this goal has been accomplished before, how it is done, what is involved, and so on.

Therefore, an achievable goal always answers the question of how.

For example, how do I become a certified nurse?

A goal

I want to become a certified nurse.

Achievable goal

The following are steps to becoming a certified nurse.

STEP 1: Become a licensed nurse

Firstly, I will apply to an accredited school for a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) to study for about four years.

Secondly, I will sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) after I have completed my degree.

Thirdly, after I have passed my NCLEX I will apply for my nursing license

STEP 2: Work as a nurse for a few years

With my nursing license, I will practice what I have learned in school in my chosen specialty for a minimum of two years.

Here, I will learn from my experience and also impact the lives of patients through my service.

STEP 3. Apply to a nursing certifying organization

While in my second year of working as a nurse, I will search for organizations that offer accredited nursing certificate programs in my nursing specialty.

Subsequently, I will find out their requirements and work towards them.

After I have met the requirements, I will sit for the exam to get my nursing certificate.

Relevant (SMART)

Whether you are a nurse, a nursing student or you intend to apply for a nursing program your goal must be relevant to your life and career now and later.

You ought to be sure that this goal aligns with your short-term and long-term goals.

Again, a SMART goal must be relevant enough for you to stick with through thick and thin.

In that case, a nursing SMART goal must answer the question where?

You should know clearly where you are now and where you want to be in the future.

For example, where in my life journey can I become a certified nurse?

To rephrase it, where do I see myself in the next five years from where I am now?

A goal

I want to become a certified nurse.

Relevant goal 

I want to become a certified nurse, yet I am still a nursing student.

So, I will ensure I will be thorough with my academics, take my training seriously, and work to save more money to become a certified nurse.

Time-bound (SMART)

Your goal must be within a specific time as a nurse, you should know when to begin and when to finish.

Setting a deadline for your goals keeps you in check, as well as setting a date to begin will help you avoid procrastination.

A SMART nursing goal always answers the question when?

For example, When will I become a certified nurse?

In other words, how long will it take for me to become a certified nurse?

A goal

I want to be a certified nurse.

Time-bound goal

I want to become a certified nurse, that’s why I will be patient and diligent to fulfill the following targets:

  • Obtain my nursing license after 4 years in BSN,
  • Work in a specialty for 2 years,
  • Afterward, apply to a nursing certifying organization and,
  • Write my nursing certification exam for me to become a certified nurse.

so, as a new nursing student, I have about 6 – 7 years to become a certified nurse.

Put all (SMART) together

Scenario

You are a first-year nursing student, who aspires to become a certified nurse in the future.

Simple goal

I want to become a certified nurse.

SMART goal

I want to become a certified nurse to have improved knowledge and skills that will make me competent and confident.

Thereby increasing my chances of employment or retainment in the nursing profession.

For these reasons, I will apply to an accredited school for a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) to study for about four years.

Afterward, I will sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) after I have completed my degree.

After I have passed my NCLEX I will apply for my nursing license. 

Next, I will practice what I have learned in school in my chosen specialty With my nursing license for a minimum of two years.

Also, I will take my training seriously, and work to save more money to become a certified nurse.

While in my second year of working as a nurse, I will search for organizations that offer accredited nursing certificate programs in my nursing specialty.

Subsequently, I will find out their requirements and work towards them.

After I have met the requirements, I will sit for the exam to get my nursing certificate.

so, as a new nursing student, I have about 7 years to become a certified nurse.

For the SMART formula to be more relatable we will cut to the chase as we will see in the next section. 

Before you apply to the NYU school of nursing, you can read about NYU Transfer Acceptance Rate [How To Gain Admission Fast].

10 examples of SMART goals for nurses

10 examples of SMART goals for nurses

Below are the 10 examples of SMART goals for nurses

1. An example of a SMART goal for nursing educators

Scenario

Your current nursing students are not doing well academically compared to the previous ones.

Simple goal

I want my current nursing students to improve in their academics.

SMART goal

I want my current nursing students to improve in their academics and perform better than my previous nursing students.

So, I will engage them on a one-on-one basis to know their challenges in their academic program.

This will be possible by seeing at least two students a day at my office before the close of work.

Also, I will tell them that they can reach me via mail with their questions or complaint at any time.

Every month, I will ask them to give feedback about how productive this has been and look forward to seeing the progress in their results.

2. An example of a SMART nursing goal for patients

Scenario

Some patients in your facility seem to have a lot of arguments with you and other nurses, especially when they do not want to listen to the nurses.

Simple goal

I want to see things from my patients’ perspectives to avoid arguments.

SMART goal

I want to see things from my patients’ perspectives so that I can communicate with them without arguing. 

To achieve this, I will spend about two to five minutes with my patients at the end of every shift, asking them about their day and current state.

This I will do painstakingly to understand my patients better by getting to know about their interests and hobbies.

I will put myself in their shoes, and talk with them like family.

After I have developed this relationship, I will communicate instructions or advice to them respectfully and in a way, they will understand and accept.

In addition, I will have a diary for my patients to note down their complaints, like, and dislikes so that I can deal with them individually and not collectively.

At the end of each week, I will see how much progress I have made. 

3. An example of a SMART goal for new nurses

Scenario

You are two weeks old in your new job as a nurse, you feel you are not up to the task yet and your colleagues are not making it easy at all.

Simple goal

As a new nurse, I want to stop feeling incompetent.

SMART goal

I want to stop feeling incompetent in my new workplace and demonstrate my skills and abilities effectively.

So, for me not to be overwhelmed as a new nurse, I will resume work 20 minutes early and get to know my colleagues by their names and job titles.

when dealing with patients, I will put up a smile, listen attentively and learn to communicate with them in simple terms.

I will learn to keep my space clean, keep track of my time with a stopwatch, and also have a diary.

Again, I will be confident in what I am good at while I ask older nurses for assistance when I need it or ask questions when I don’t understand the doctor’s prescription.

Most importantly, I will always double-check every form of medication before administration.

Each day I will take out an hour to study, examine and review my previous shift; about my time management, mistakes, why I was scolded, what I learned, and what to improve on.

At the end of each month, I will measure my progress.

4. An example of a SMART goal for nursing care plans

Scenario

Your nursing care plan is sometimes effective and other times it is not.

Simple goal

I want my patients to get the desired outcome from my nursing care plan. 

SMART goal

For my patients to be optimistic and healthy, I will use the specific nursing care plan format endorsed by my nursing manager.

I will ensure I write down the patient’s assessments and diagnosis immediately so I don’t forget.

For proper implementation, I will write this plan clearly for my team to understand or take orders from the doctor for nursing intervention.

Also, I will include the date and time from the start to the end of each care plan as well as short and long-term goals.

After a month, I will find out how effective this plan has been.

Depending on the outcome, I will plan on what next to do.

Lastly, I will stay updated about nursing care plans to always offer excellent service.

5. An example of a SMART goal for nurse managers

Scenario

Most of the nurses you work with never give feedback about their work in time, they all have the I can handle it mentality until things get above their heads.

Simple goal

I want a better relationship with the nurses I work with.

SMART goal

I want the nurses I work with to be free to talk to me about their challenges at work.

Therefore, I will schedule a meeting at least once a month with all nurses working with me for us to commend and correct ourselves.

Again, I will ensure that every nurse working with me will be treated with respect no matter their age, gender, level, race, or beliefs.

Furthermore, we will all give suggestions, complaints, and feedback anonymously at any time in the nurse’s suggestion box which I will review every week.

Also, I will spell out the rules and regulations for each nurse on duty so that they will not be violated.

6. An example of a nursing leadership SMART goal

Scenario

Most of the new nurses who begin work with passion and enthusiasm are now passionless and unenthusiastic.

Simple goal

I look forward to being a mentor to the new nurses in my organization.

SMART goal

With over 40 years of experience in my nursing career, I look forward to being a mentor to the new nurses in my organization so that they can be motivated and zealous about their profession.

To that end, I will schedule a one-on-one meeting with two new nurses weekly to ask them about their work and educate them about my skills and experiences.

If need be, I will watch the new nurse occasionally how he/she handles patients.

Subsequently, I will organize monthly group discussion meetings with all my nurses where every nurse both old and new will address us on various topics. 

Every month, I will have a general assessment with the nurses I mentor and request their feedback.

Quarterly, I will watch how these new nurses have improved. 

7. An example of a nursing student’s SMART goal

Scenario

You are in your third year in BSN and you notice that you are always ill during your promotional exams and you can not afford to reduce your pace of reading.

Simple goal

I want to have good grades while I stay healthy all through my third year and final year.

SMART goal

I want to be healthy during my final exams and at the same time improve my grades.

First, I will book an appointment with my doctor to tell her what my issue is.

Also, I will explain to her that I want to improve my grades and this I know will be stressful.

I will take my doctor’s advice while I eat healthy without skipping meals, exercise three times a week, maintain proper hygiene and sleep for at least 6 hours daily.

At the same time, I will practice past questions with my classmates on weekends, study for three hours daily and rest for 10 minutes after each hour.

Most importantly, I will begin my study for each subject immediately after each class to avoid trying to meet up when my exam timetable is out.

Also, I will take one of my classmates who is always healthy and comes out with good grades as my accountability partner.

My check my progress will be obvious by the end of my third-year promotional exams.

8. An example of a personal nursing SMART goal

Scenario

You always need to say the same things to your patients repeatedly because they either forget or assume something else.

Simple goal

I want my patients to understand and remember what I tell them.

SMART goal

I need my patients to always understand and remember what I tell or discuss with them.

For my patient to understand what I tell them and discuss with them, I will explain things to them in simpler terms.

Whenever I go to see my patients, I will write down the things he/she cannot easily remember or grasp so that I can find better ways to explain these things.

Also, I will give my patients journals where they can take notes, ask them questions about what we discussed to know if they understand, and encourage them to read through the notes often.

On my part, I will enroll in an online course for a month so that I can learn how to communicate with my patients in a way they will never forget and understand.

At the end of each week, I will check my progress with each of my patients.

9. An example of a SMART goal for nurse practitioners

Scenario

Some of your patients do not know much about their health history and forget about the treatment plans when they feel better.

Simple goal

I will update each patient’s portal so that my patients can have access to information about their health, test results, and treatments.

SMART goal

I want my patients to know more about their health, treatment plans, and how to stay healthy after treatments.

So, after each lab test result is out, I will discuss them with the patients and then put all the test results, diagnoses, and treatment on the patients’ portal where they can access this report.

Also, I will inform them that they can schedule a non-urgent appointment, take note of allergies, message the doctor, and request prescription refills.

Lastly, I will advise them not to stop their medication without medical advice.

I will review the outcome of this goal weekly.

10. An example of a SMART goal for nurse practitioner students

Scenario

It has been difficult to pass your exams well as a nurse practitioner student despite how hard you prepared.

Simple goal

I need to put more effort into my academics to improve my grades.

SMART goal

To improve my grades I will restructure my timetable to study three hours a day and join a study group.

During the weekend, I will practice past questions with senior colleagues so that I can learn how to write my exams confidently.

Also, I will always meet my teachers for clarity on any topic I do not understand.

I will continue to be in class early and always so that I will not be left behind.

After my test this semester, I will see how effective this goal played out.

In the meantime, you can read about 13 Free Online Courses in Psychology with Certificates in 2022 that will be a plus in your career.

Conclusion: SMART goals for nurses

The term SMART goal for nurses is fundamental for a successful career journey.

No matter your current state SMART goals for nurses will help your pull through and be the best in what you do as a new nurse or a nursing student.

I bet that you will be able to handle the challenges in the nursing career now that you know the importance of SMART goals, and how to use and set them.

Be the exceptional nurse you’ve always dreamed of by applying the SMART goal method.

Frequently asked questions about SMART goals for nurses

  1. What do SMART goals stand for in nursing?

    SMART goals in nursing stand for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

  2. What is a SMART goal example?

    An example of a SMART goal example is; I want to become a certified nurse and to achieve this I will get my nursing license after my BSN to work for 2 years, and afterward apply to a nursing certifying organization so that I can sit for my nursing certification exam to become a certified nurse.

  3. Why are SMART goals important in healthcare?

    SMART goals are important in healthcare because it helps healthcare providers be organized, motivated, and efficient in their work which in turn benefits patients.

  4. Can a SMART goal be used by a nurse?

    Yes, a SMART goal can be used by all nurses.

  5. What are the five rules of setting goals SMART?

    The five rules of setting goals SMART are: be specific, keep it measurable, it must be achievable (yet challenging), it must be relevant to you, and ensure it has a duration.

References

  • Study.com – Smart Nursing Goals Overview
  • wikipedia.org – SMART criteria
  • usa.edu – how to write a care plan
  • wikihow.com – Set SMART Goals
  • nightingale.edu – blog becoming a certified nurse
Please, share this post with someone:

Similar Posts