Jump to content

"S.M.A.R.T" goals for preceptorship

Updated | Posted


I will be starting my preceptorship as part of my last 5 weeks of nursing school (yay!). I have to turn in a learning biography to my preceptor before I start. My instructor is asking for the following: Identify a minimum of five SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.

We have already been doing full patient care for 3 patients during our time on the floor including giving medications, performing and documenting assessments, etc and will be precepting on the same floor that we have spent the last 8 weeks so there is no need for orienting or the typical things you do on the first couple of days.

I have the following so far:

1. Continue to improve proficiency of IV starts by inserting at least 5 more IVs by 12/9/14, which would give me a total of 10.

2. Will develop a worksheet to use with 4 patients by day 3.

I am finding it very difficult to come up with 5 new goals seeing as we have already been performing full patient care and the main changes will be taking on 1-2 more patients as well as not having our instructor on the floor with us.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!

I'm a little confused, and I don't mean to come off critical.

It appears that these goals are for your own improvement. I'm not exactly sure how you can't think of something to improve on... because surely there is... and while we on AN can throw out a million ideas only you know what your personal weaknesses are.

Setting a higher success rate with IV starts is great but starting an IV is a technical skill.

You keep mentioning daily cares blah blah but I've learned nursing is way more than the skills you perform.

I'm a new grad and I can think of 50+ things I need to improve on.

Increase success regarding pain management in patients by implementing pharmacological means and non pharmacological means; achieving pain goals personalized per patient by the patient. (E.g some patients might be a goal of

"Out of 30 patients, 18 had successful pain management ... etc."

You could even find trends .... and this is useful for your future career. Like maybe patients of certain physical attributes (weight/gender) may have higher success with said interventions. Maybe certsin pains (visceral vs incisional vs rheumatic) may respond differently to different interventions.

In other words expand your thought a little. Don't just focus on IV starts and technical skills.

You're short of becoming a NURSE! Your input matters so much, at least of my facility. So thinking critically and in depth and not just following orders and poking people is important.


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

I agree with StudentOfHealing- you're very focused on SKILLS. Skills can be taught to a monkey. Learning how to THINK as a nurse is what nursing school is all about.

On what unit will you be?

Think about critical thinking, prioritization, delegation, working independently, and utilizing your resources. What have you accomplished so far in school, as far as clinicals go? How many patients are you handling on your own? How can you grow in that area? Can you tell when a patient is starting to decline or decompensate on you? Do you know the difference between what you can handle on your own and when you would need help? When would you call the MD, versus handle something with the RN? Maybe work on some of that stuff. I had a great clinical instructor for med/surg who would have me delegate to the RN. I would handle as much as I could, but I couldn't access the Pyxis, for example. In both med/surg and my preceptorship in mother baby, I had 4 patients (couplets in MBU) all on my own, and I delegated as needed, or utilized my preceptor as needed. There is always time to start IVs. Your brain sheet will vary from one unit to another, and from one hospital to another. Don't waste your time on that yet. However, figuring out a technique for taking and giving report will be a good goal for you. You can measure it by, for example, how much of the report is given by you versus by the preceptor.

Explore beyond skills. You are being taught to THINK as a nurse, and this is what the NCLEX will be asking you about. This is what MANAGERS are assessing in you. They don't care about how many IVs you've started. They want to know that you can determine when that IV is necessary, infiltrated, or needs to be replaced or DC'd.