New Year's Resolutions of a Nurse Practitioner

The holidays are over and a new year is here. A nurse practitioner shares her professional goals for 2022. Nurses General Nursing Article

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  • Specializes in Student Health, Urgent Care.
New Year's Resolutions of a Nurse Practitioner

While I love the Christmas season and truly look forward to it every year, I also feel a bit of relief on those last days of December. The several weeks prior were filled with decorating, gift shopping, baking, holiday excursions, and entertaining. But now the gifts and baking supplies are put away, the parties are over, and there is a calm in the house. It is now a time for reflection, resolutions, and goal setting. I love evaluating the past year and making plans for the next. It gets me excited for the potential I have in my career as an APRN.

So every late December, I sit down and think about my role. I work at one of the local universities in the student health center. A typical day is spent in the clinic seeing acute complaints, such as URIs, UTIs, and STIs. While I am happy with the previous year and have seen progression in my career, I know that there are things that I can improve upon. Below are some of my intentions for the new year.

2022 Professional Goals and Resolutions

Smile

The clinic can be bustling at times, and this can cause me to feel overwhelmed with trying to stay on schedule and keep up with charting. This affects my demeanor: I enter the room and get right to the point, asking questions and typing away on my laptop, appearing distant and rushed. I know this is not the best way to interact. My first goal is to slow down, provide eye contact, and smile, no matter how busy I am. Making the patient feel comfortable is the first step to a successful encounter. 

Address Mental Health

The pandemic has brought to light the depression and anxiety that agonizes much of the population. The college student population is specifically vulnerable to mental health disorders. The transition from living at home to a college dorm can be very challenging. Being away from family and friends can make them feel alone and with a lack of support. While many students adjust well, some may need extra guidance. We know as nurses that many with depression or anxiety do not outwardly seek help and so the college health center can and should be a check-in point for emotional health. Asking each student a couple of quick questions is a way I can help to identify vulnerable students and provide them with our counseling centers information. 

Research

When it comes to determining a treatment plan, using evidence-based medicine guidelines is the standard of care. My goal is to research anything I am uncertain about and confirm that the planned course of action is a "best practice." I will do this by collaborating with fellow practitioners and referring to reputable resources. I like to use UptoDate, Merck Manuals, Medline, and Medscape.

Stay Up To Date

The medical industry is constantly evolving. It takes a lot of effort to keep up with research studies and other health news. But I know that being up to date is an important aspect of caring for patients. For this goal, I will be subscribing to journals and medical news websites. I will set aside at least 15-30 minutes per day to read through the latest news and studies. To make it easier, I will subscribe to hard copies of these journals and put them on my coffee table as they come through the mail. If I see it, I will read it. Some journals that I plan on looking at are The Nurse Practitioner, The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and The Lancet

Be More Confident

I tend to doubt myself. I guess you can say I have imposter syndrome. But I need to learn that if I use my education and experience and follow the guidelines, I am most likely providing the appropriate care to my patients. I will do my research, collaborate if needed, and make evidence-based decisions. And I will be confident with my course of action.

Reflect

As I sat down to reflect on the year I tried to think of a particular patient that stood out to me. I tend to see a lot of the same complaints over and over again and so I wanted to think about different scenarios - something that I learned something new from. It was hard! I just couldn't remember many of them. But I know they were there. And so that's why this year I want to write about them, of course, while protecting their private health information. I hope to take notes of those "different " patients and reflect back on them throughout the year. Hopefully, this will contribute to my learning even more.

There they are - my professional goals for 2022. I am excited to see where the year takes me. Did you make any goals for 2022?

kerryp16 has 13 years experience and specializes in Student Health, Urgent Care.

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JBMmom, MSN, NP

4 Articles; 2,537 Posts

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC.

I am scheduled to start my new NP career next week, so I guess you could say my whole career is going to be based around new goals for a while. After my 9 years at the bedside, I'm excited and nervous to make the transition to the provider role as a hospitalist in the state university medical school hospital. I have to remember that I'm not going to know everything right away. The learning phase is always uncomfortable for me because I get easily frustrated with myself. I've invested in a learning course, on top of the education I just completed, so I'm hoping to augment my understanding of the role and what I'm likely to be covering. But I'm going to have to just accept that I'm new and I have the knowledge to complete my education and board exam, and I had excellent feedback from my preceptors, so while there will be a learning curve, I can do this.

Best wishes to you on a successful 2022! Your students are lucky to have someone working there that strives to provide the best patient care.  

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