As a nurse practitioner student, you may be a registered nurse continuing your education after years of nursing experience or a fresh-faced college student.
Either way, the workload is extremely intensive and requires even the best of students to spend a great deal of time studying outside the classroom.
The SMART System
When it comes time to submit your goals and objectives, we have you covered. Below you will find plenty of examples of goals that you can use as inspiration.
Here is a brief snapshot of what the acronym SMART stands for.
- Specific: Be detailed about your goal
- Measurable: Include a measurable component
- Attainable: Break up your primary goal into small ones
- Realistic: Consider your situation
- Timely: Set a time limit
SMART NP Student Goals
For the rest of the post, we will examine some simple and SMART nurse practitioner student goals.
Simple goal: I want to be able to formulate diagnoses appropriate for my patient.
SMART goal: I will formulate diagnosis for every patient and seek immediate feedback from my preceptor. Next time I develop my diagnosis, I will take into account my preceptor’s feedback. I want minimal to no assistance by the end of the semester.
Simple goal: I want to improve my skills in dictating and formulating notes.
SMART goal: I will use the SOAPIE note format to ensure a complete note. By the end of the semester, I want minimal corrections necessary to my notes.
Simple goal: I want to be able to perform a focused assessment.
SMART goal: I will practice focused assessments every day according to the reported symptoms of my patients. By the end of the semester, I want to perform my assessments without any preceptor prompts.
Simple goal: I want to educate the patients and their families about the patient’s disease process.
SMART goal: During the teaching sessions, I will intermittently ask the patient and family if they understand the content and clarify any questions. By the end of this semester, I want the patients to repeat back information about their disease process.
Simple goal: I want a more in-depth understanding of medications and their mechanism.
SMART goal: Each semester, I will learn about medications and their mechanism of action, so I feel more comfortable prescribing medications. By the end of the last semester, I want to be able to prescribe medications appropriately with minimal corrections from my preceptor.
Simple goal: I want to be able to manage a full patient load.
SMART goal: I will gradually increase my patient load over the next few weeks. By the end of the semester, I will be able to manage a full patient load with minimal assistance from my preceptor.
Simple goal: I want to be able to state the usual dose ranges for common medications in my specialty.
SMART goal: I will state the correct dosage ranges at least three times per day to prescribe medications.
Simple goal: I want to be able to develop the proper treatment plan for a patient.
SMART goal: I will identify the correct treatment plan for my patients three times per week without any tweaking necessary by my preceptor.
Simple goal: I want to improve my time management skills to have enough time to go to classes and study.
SMART goal: Time management for students is a lot more than just getting assignments done on time. To improve my time management skills, I will use my smartphone alarm to remind myself before a project or a due test. By the end of the semester, I will not miss any important projects and hand in all assignments before the deadline.
Simple goal: I want to improve my organizational skills.
SMART goal: I will use a master calendar that contains all school-related appointments and personal ones. To stay organized, I will take time once per week to fill out my calendar and adjust times and appointments if necessary.
Simple goal: I want to improve my note-taking skills.
SMART goal: I will use tools to help me improve my note-taking. I will bring my laptop to class and type my notes. I will use my computer daily to minimize rewriting notes but write them neatly the first time.
Simple goal: I want to improve my study habits.
SMART goal: Within the next two weeks, I will join or start a study group.
I will attend at least once per week and use one study method I have learned in the study group.
Simple goal: I would like to improve my research skills.
SMART goal: The Internet is full of information; some are great, and some are bad. I will learn how to find sites that provide correct information, such as government sites. I will use the online library offering peer-reviewed articles every time I have a research assignment.
Simple goal: I want to improve my multitasking skills.
SMART goal: Being able to multitask is a beneficial way to tackle several projects. I will start by writing three simple things that I need to do, and once I complete each one, I will cross it off my list.
I will improve by adding one more item to the list each day, a few simple ones, and a few more difficult ones. I will continue to do this until I feel confident in my multitasking skills. I would like to have this accomplished within two weeks.
Related Reading: SMART Goals for Nursing Students During Preceptorship
Simple goal: I want to practice my clinical skills such as giving injections, and procedures that can be done in the office, for example, skin biopsies, sutures, pap tests, breast exams, foot examinations for diabetic patients, etc.
SMART goal: To improve my clinical skills, I will successfully perform one skill per day without much guidance from my preceptor.
Simple goal: I want to be a better listener.
SMART goal: There are several books and free online courses to learn how to be a better listener. I will start by clearing my mind/turning off my brain and giving the person 100% of my attention. I will listen closely to what they are saying. Try to see yourself in their situation. This will add empathy and a better understanding, make eye contact, and not change the subject.
I will listen to the speaker, and I will hear what they are saying. I will practice this at least once a day for a minimum of 10 minutes. I can ask a family member or a friend to help me. I will continue to do this until I feel my listening skills are the best they can be. This will benefit me during class and when listening to patients.