Desired outcomes are where you expect your patient to be at the end of the course of treatment, after a hosptial stay, following teaching/counseling, etc.. Goals are small identifiable steps along the way to your outcome.
Typically you state goals in objective/observable terms, "The patient will...." It is preferrable to be specific when writing goals. Your nursing program
certainly made it clear to you how they expect you to word both goals and outcomes.
An example, nonspecific generic outcome would be worded something like, "The patient will return to their preinjury level of functioning/health."
You would then establish short and intermediate goals for your client to achieve/work toward as they move toward reaching the desried outcome. Examples (and these are not as specific as they should be).
-Patient will stand unassited for 5 minutes.
-Patient will ambulate 6 feet, with walker.
-Patient will transfer from bed to chair with the assistance of one nurse.
Again, the examples are not worded as detailed as they should be, they are only used to illustrate that goals are short measurable steps to achieving the (long term) desired outcome.
In other words, an outcome would be the end of the journey/trip and goals are mile markers along the road.
Hope that helps.