Career Development Plan: The Nursing Career

Career Development Plan

Employees have laid down goals concerning their current position at work, the position they would like to hold in the future, and the means through which they will attain their goals. This plan is referred to as a career development plan. The main aim of creating a career development plan is to meet some laid down objectives. An employee can create a career development plan or do it with the assistance of the employer or a professional. The employee should list down the goals and strategies to be employed to achieve these goals and the expected date during which the task should be completed. A career development plan begins even before an individual joins college. Young children develop an interest in certain careers during their early stages of life. It is during this time that they should begin planning for their chosen career. Other students choose their careers while in college and develop their plans. It is never too late to come up with a career development plan. Employed people also need to plan for their careers so that they can be promoted. Career development plans are not permanent; they are only supposed to be guidelines and therefore can be changed whenever it is necessary (Hoschette, 2010,p.275).

Overview of the Nursing Career

Nurses work in the healthcare system to promote healthcare by caring for and treating the sick. Nurses educate patients in matters of their health, families, and communities. For instance, nurses educate patients on how they should relate to each other. They provide direct care to the patient by observing and assessing the condition of the patient. They diagnose patients and give medical prescriptions based on their diagnosis. Because of the nature of the work that they do, nurses should be patient and tolerant.

Current Issues and Trends in the Nursing Workforce

The nursing sector is confronted by many issues in the modern world. Some of the current issues and trends in the nursing sector include staffing issues, the relationship between nurses and patients among other factors, which affect the safety and quality services offered in the health sector. Improvement in the health sector can be enhanced through recruiting more qualified nurses.

Shortage of Nurses

In many countries, there is a shortage of nurses in medical institutions. Studies have shown that nursing is the largest occupation in the healthcare system. Research conducted by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations showed that more than 126,000 positions that required nurses to work on in hospitals were vacant. This is approximately a 13% vacancy rate. A study conducted in Albany by the State University of New York in November 2002 showed that most of the states had the problem of shortage of nurses. Special care units like the operating room and Intensive care unit, which requires knowledgeable, skilled, and well-trained nurses, also suffer from a shortage of personnel. The shortage of nurses has contributed to high rates of death rates realized in hospitals because the number of nurses is not enough to care for the large numbers of patients (Kouzes & Posner, 2007, p.65).

Supply of Nurses

Student enrollment number in the nursing sector has gone down. Traditionally, the male-dominated society regarded nursing as an occupation for women. That is why sometimes back nurses were women. In the modern world, women specialize in a wide range of occupations initially reserved for men. Women are competing with men in challenging occupations like engineering. In addition, students are discouraged from joining the occupation on the basis that they will not be employed. Large numbers of trained and qualified nurses are unemployed in many governments (Kouzes & Posner, 2007,p.80).

Job Dissatisfaction

According to Kouzes and Posner (2007,p.81), studies have shown that nurses are not satisfied with the nature of their jobs. This is because many health institutions have fewer numbers of nurses. Because of inadequate personnel, they are overburdened, their work schedule is changed frequently, are forced to work for extra time and their wages are low compared to other professionals. Moreover, nurses are not appreciated by their colleagues and supervisors. In developing countries, nurses are recruited to work in developed countries. For instance, in the United States of America, nurses are imported from Africa and the Philippines to work in American hospitals. This leads to a shortage of teachers in their home countries. If nurses are to be satisfied, this is all they are asking for in the marketplace. Respect increased salary and respect from the entire society in the healthcare system.

The provision of healthcare facilities is a crucial activity in human life as it helps in the preservation of human life. If nurses fail to carry out their duties, higher rates of death will be realized. It is therefore a profession that should be valued. Qualified nurses are employed in public institutions by the government to tend to its citizen’s health needs. Apart from public institutions, there are large privately owned institutions, which offer healthcare services. Nurses can seek employment in such institutions. Studies show that privately-owned health institutions offer better and quality services compared to public institutions. Because of this, financially stable patients tend to seek medical assistance from these institutions. The private sector provides employment to large numbers of nurses worldwide (Kouzes & Posner, 2007,p.97).

Nursing Career Development Plan

Among the most responsible person in hospitals are nurses. Nursing is a noble profession as well as a great way of earning a living. According to Kelly and Crawford, “nurses should be hardworking, skilled and devoted to their work. Additionally, nurses should be passionate, caring, polite and committed”( 2008, p.98). In order to be good nursing, individuals should be trained and qualified from a recognized institution. The nurse should have good communication skills because they interact directly with the patients. Kindness and empathy are important values. The nurse should talk politely to patients even when they are rude. This is a time-demanding profession and nurses should flexible. This is because they will be forced to extend their working hours, work during holidays or weekends when emergency cases arise.

Students should consider the above qualities when developing nursing career plans. The following is an example of a career development plan for nursing for a student in college. One of her hobbies is helping people in need and has decided to join the profession.

  • Name: Sarah Smith
  • Goal: To become a registered nurse
  • Current Education and Experience: Continuing student holding a degree in Business Administration at Harvard University.
  • Current Skills: multitasking ability, good communication, and writing skills, Computer literate, organizational and teamwork skills, Administrative, guidance, and counseling skills.


  • To investigate to find out the prerequisites of the nursing career, call on to the division of nursing to gather vital information concerning the prerequisites of the curriculum, timetable of the classes, monetary information, and transfer eligibility. Then choose the program to take.

Completion of the target: Feb. 28, 2012.

  • Fill out application forms and submit them to Administration offices. Receive a calling letter from the nursing department allowing me to pursue a degree in nursing. Make the required financial payment for the course.

Completion target: April. 30, 2012

  • Begin my nursing program in the year 2012

Completion target: April. 2014

  • Do my exams, pass and qualify to be a registered nurse.

Completion target: June 2014

  • Begin searching for my job. Update my curriculum Vitae, create a cover letter, and send applications to various institutions. Be called for an interview, pass and get a job marking the beginning of my new career.
  1. Completion target: August 2014 (Schutt, 2007).
  2. Creating a Career Vision
  3. To: The Nursing Department
  4. Subject: Career Vision

Provide Care

During my career as a nurse, my work will be based on various principles. I will attend to my patients through observing and monitoring the condition of the patients, keeping the records, and working hand in hand with the doctor to offer the right medication to patients.

Emotional Support

Some of the patients admitted in hospitals lack moral support because no people visit them. Some of them may not have families at all. Visiting, sharing, and supporting such people will be my hobby. I will educate patients and families on how to deal with various diseases for instance communicable diseases that can be transmitted from one person to another like tuberculosis. A special diet helps in quick recovery. I will make patients know how and what to eat in order to recover faster from their illnesses as well as the importance of taking drugs as per the doctor’s prescriptions (Waddell, Donner & Wheeler, 2009,p.40).

Guidance and Cancelling

In many cases, exposure to long periods of illness leaves many patients hopeless in life. Patients suffering from deadly diseases like HIV and Aids also require guidance as many have no hope and would wish to die rather than stay. I will count it on myself to guide and counsel patients and family members on matters pertaining to their relationship

Provision of Home Nursing Services

I will provide outpatient services to patients out of hospitals by visiting them at home to give them moral support and medical services if there is a need to do so. I will be ready to assist in case am called upon to give first aid before the patient is taken to the hospital. For instance, in case an accident happens, I will help before the ambulance takes the patients to the nearest hospital.


In case of emergencies, I will be ready to adjust my timetable so that I can extend my working deadline, work during weekends and holidays. This is because apart from earning a living, I count it upon myself to preserve human life by helping patients. I would not wish to see a patient die because I failed to attend to him/her on the basis that is not on duty. Finally, I will join hands with my colleagues. I will be hardworking throughout my career as a nurse (Waddell, Donner & Wheeler, 2009,p.69).

Strategic Development


In order to succeed in my career as a nurse, I have to be devoted to all that I do. I have to set some of the goals that I would wish to attain in the future. One of my goals is to work hard so that I can pass my examination. Failing in my examination will be the end of my dreams. This will be achieved through my hard work. Secondly, I wish to join the professional Association of Nursing, become a registered nurse, and get a job in a recognized health institution. I do not want to be money-driven during my career. I want to serve people not because I will be paid for that but out of my passion to do so. Money will not be my goal at any time in my career. I want to be a role model by serving as an example to my fellow nurses and community back at home. I will serve patients so well that they also wish to join the profession or encourage their children to become nurses to help others too. Finally, I would wish to be polite, understanding, and serve patients to their expectations (Goodman & Moule, 2009,p.3).

Action Steps

In order to achieve my goals, I will work hard in my studies by consulting my tutors about any issues which I do not understand. I will attend seminars in which nursing programs are being offered. This will help me understand better the concepts of nursing. I will volunteer to work in hospitals and assist nurses to carry out their activities without demanding pay. Through this, I will acquire the knowledge and skills applied in nursing. Lastly, I will pay visits to patients and offer any assistance based on the knowledge acquired during classwork. I will make sure that I understand everything that my tutor teaches and complete all the assignments given to us in time.

Resources Needed

I need several resources in order to achieve my goal. I need a wide variety of books to study. A variety of reading materials will help me get concepts that may not be taught in class. I will read further after the tutor has left. Money will be needed to purchase these books. In addition, I will need money for upkeep when I attend educational seminars. I need nurses to advise me as well as my fellow students to form teams and work together because we have a common goal.


During the period of my study, I will spend most of the time studying but I will set apart some time to visit the sick. I will concentrate on my classwork on the weekdays and save some time on Saturday to visit the sick and attend educational seminars. I will also engage in group works and discussions whenever the teacher assigns work to us (Goodman & Moule, 2009,p.26).

Indicators of Success

Having laid down my career plan well, I will be assured of my success once I pass my exam. This is because I will automatically keep to my goals because it is out of my heart. Am not being forced by anybody to join the nursing career and therefore I will do it to my best because it is my heart’s desire. In conclusion, nursing careers require devoted and hard-working personnel. The services provided by nurses are crucial to human survival and therefore nurses should be serious when executing their duties (Goodman & Moule, 2009,p.151).


Goodman, M. & Moule, J. (2009). Nursing research: An introduction. New York, NY: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Hoschette, A. (2010). The career guidebook for engineers. New Jersey, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Kelly, P. & Crawford, H. (2008). Nursing leadership and management. Toronto: Nelson Education.

Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2007). The leadership challenge. 4 Edn. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Waddell, J., Donner, G. & Wheeler, M. (2009). Building your nursing career: A guide for students. 3 Edn. Toronto: Mosby Elsevier.

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