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Posted on March 11th, 2013, by

Nursing profession is one of the noblest and highly important professions. A professional nurse needs to have a unique set of practical skills, experience, knowledge and attitude. In addition to this, true nurses are driven by the spirit of nursing and possess special personal characteristics, which are the basis for stereotypical perception of nurses as “selfless angels”¯ (Boykin & Schoenhofer, p. 27). Although this is an idealistic perception, patients have faith in nurses, and our professional duty is to justify their trust and to care about our patients in the best possible way until they fully recover.

In order to evolve from a student into a professional nurse, it is necessary to follow a consistent personal development plan covering educational, practical, professional and personal objectives and to determine exact time frames for achieving these objectives. Effective personal development also includes making timely changes to the plan, adjustment of goals and analysis of possible obstacles. The paper presents my updated personal development plan, with updated long-term objectives and better defined financial, career and support goals.
Career track and goals

I have managed to achieve almost all short-term goals, since I have successfully passed all the examinations, except the state board exam. This important event is yet to come, and it is the major short-term objective for my personal development now. I have identified a study group of 5 persons and I am planning to continue preparing for the state board exam together. To achieve these goals, it is necessary to pay attention to such skills as clinical competence and leadership skills, and to improve personal time-management practices.
The next important short-term goal is to sign documents regarding my internship as a medical-surgical nurse. I am also planning to research for available externship programs, and to gain experience as a staff nurse.

My long-term career goals (within the scope of 1-2 years) are to continue specializing as a medical-surgical nurse, and to become the registered nurse first assistant. To accomplish this goal, I am planning to pass the Certified Registered Nurse First Assistant (CRNFA) professional board exam. In addition to this, my objective is to join the American Nurses Association (ANA). There are three types of members in this organization: individuate affiliates, direct members and full members (Basford & Slevin, p. 524). Within 1 year I expect to become an individual affiliate of ANA, and within 2 years I am planning to become a full member of this organization.

Financial and support goals

As I am finishing my education, issues of financing and support become crucial. I am planning to perform full financial support of myself within one year. During this year, my goal is to gain enough experience and skills to start working as a registered nurse. In addition to this, there are many part-time jobs available for nurses, such as travel nurse and in-home care. My objective is to find at least one part-time job (preferably in-home care), which would allow me to get diverse nursing skills and to contribute to making people’s life better and healthier.

Regarding financial goals, I have researched the average salaries of registered nurses, and have found out that they range from $50,000 to $70,000 per year (Turner, p. 39). Basing on this information, I expect to earn $1,500-$2,000 per month in 6 months after passing the state board exam. This will allow me to save for future education and certifications, and to stop using financial support of my family.

To become a true professional, I will need a mentor with vast experience who could help me in difficult cases or in ambiguous situations (Henderson & McGettigan, p. 107). Also, mentor’s advise regarding my current skills and future career development would be very useful. Connection with a mentor and with our learning group constitute the support I will need to pursue my professional goals.
The process of becoming a professional nurse is very fascinating and rewarding. While achieving short-term goals set in the original version of my personal development plan, I have transformed the idea of the “spirit of nursing”¯ into practice by participating in the community events and helping out my neighbors, friends and relatives when they are sick. My skills and experience will significantly improve when I start my internship as a medical-surgical nurse.
The spirit of nursing is the moving force which motivates me to continue education and to gain more hands-on experience in helping people and promoting their well-being. I plan to make a valuable contribution into nursing by becoming a full member of American Nurses Association, actively participating in conferences and educational events and delivering the best achievements of medical science to my patients.

Basford, L. & Slevin, O. (2003). Theory and practice of nursing: an integrated approach to caring practice. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.
Boykin, A. & Schoenhofer, S.B. (2001). Nursing as caring: a model for transforming practice. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Henderson, F.C. & McGettigan, B.O. (1994). Managing your career in nursing. New York: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Turner, S.O. (2007). The nursing career planning guide. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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