Nursing Goals for Yearly Evaluation (12 Examples)

Everyone gets a little nervous when it’s time for their yearly evaluation at work. Somehow taking a deep breath just doesn’t work. Being prepared is the best solution for breezing through your yearly nursing evaluation.

Nursing goals for yearly evaluation

Using the SMART System for Your Annual Performance Appraisal

Applying the SMART goal system to help you prepare for the evaluation can provide you with the right tools to present your manager with your goals for the upcoming year.

Your goals should be: 

  • Specific – what exactly do you want to accomplish? 
  • Measurable – how do you know you achieved your goal? 
  • Attainable – do you have the skills to reach your goal? 
  • Realistic – what hurdles do you have to overcome to set yourself up for success? 
  • Timely – did you set yourself a deadline for when your goals have to be accomplished? 

Most managers prefer you using this format because it ensures you think about how and when you want to accomplish your goals. Goal setting has to be more than just making a statement of all the things you would like one day. It has to be a thoughtful statement that reveals that you have a plan in place to achieve your goals. 

Examples of Yearly SMART Objectives for Nurses 

For the rest of the post, we will examine some examples of yearly goals for nurses using the SMART format. 

Further your career

Each semester I will take at least one class toward earning my bachelor’s degree in nursing. I seek to earn my degree within the next three years. To accomplish that, I will study daily and make sure I pass all my classes. 

Earn Certifications 

I want to earn a particular certification by the end of the year. Depending on my nursing specialty, I will look into classes such as PALS, CCRN, or other certificates. I will sign up with a testing date by mid-year. That will give me enough time to study, and I can make sure at the same time, I will reach my goal in time.


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Grow your nursing knowledge

Every month I will sign up for one class that will increase my knowledge about my nursing specialty. I want to use my newly learned knowledge at least twice per month. For example, if I took a class about tubes and drains, I will request a patient with a chest tube or other drain to manage. 

Participate in the clinical ladder program

Every quarter I will review my clinical ladder folder and identify tasks to complete. Each month, I will see to have one task completed by the end of that month. 

Connect with your team

I will ask my co-workers if they need help. At least twice per shift, I try to be available to my co-workers to help them with tasks that require two nurses. 

Work on your weaknesses

I will identify my weaknesses and work on them daily. Each day at work, I will dedicate time to focus on my weaknesses and work on it. I will follow up with feedback within a week. For example, if I wanted to improve my time management skills, I would work to enhance these skills daily by performing a time-out when it gets close to the end of the shift. I would then identify tasks that I still need to complete, so I am ready to report off to the oncoming nurse. 

Related: 7 Examples of Leadership SMART Goals in Nursing

Participate in staff meetings

I will actively participate in every staff meeting by providing feedback or asking relevant questions. I will share one point of view or ask one question at each staff meeting. 

Train new nurses

By the end of my second year, I will train another nurse. During those two years, I will make sure to become very familiar with my unit and pull every policy before a procedure, so I pass on the correct way of performing a skill. 

Venture out into other specialties

After three years in my current unit, I will transition to a more challenging unit, for example, an ICU. I will have an open conversation about my plans with my unit manager by the second year so he or she can support me reach my goals. 

Improve your communication skills

Every year, I will attend a class to improve my communication skills. I will make sure to use at least one skill every day when at work. 

GOOD TO KNOW: communication improvement is paramount in the nursing field. Talking to so many different people that are part of a patient’s health care team affects the patient’s quality of care. 

Improve patient-centered care

I will take an extra five minutes for each patient and ask them how to improve their hospital stay. I will follow up with each patient that I discharge about how they perceived their hospital stay. 

Be on time

I will make sure to get up 15 minutes early each day, so if something unexpected comes up, I still will be able to make it to work on time.

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