So you decided you want to take the leap and apply to grad school! Congrats! This is a big decision, but furthering your nursing education can be so beneficial to the patients we take care of. Personally, I think that nurse practitioners are a great solution to the increasing aging population and the high patient acuity levels we are facing in the healthcare field.
One big aspect to your Nurse Practitioner school application will be writing your goal statement. This is where you get to show the admissions committee who YOU are as a professional nurse and person, and what assets you will bring to the NP profession.
Here are some tips for writing a memorable, professional goal statement for your Nurse Practitioner program:
Make sure you address all bullet points.
You can have the most jaw-dropping, memorable goal statement in all the land, but if you don’t address the required topics, you will not be considered a top contender. Not addressing the questions shows that you cannot even follow a simple set of guidelines, and this does not reflect well on you, especially when you are going into such a high-stakes, detail-oriented role. Start by making an outline that addresses each point. This will ensure that you address everything, and your statement will flow much more naturally once you get to writing the “meat” of your essay. Also, stay within the recommended word or page count as well. Don’t be rebellious with this!
Don’t be generic.
They’ve seen it a thousand times…”I wanted to be a nurse because my Aunt Soandso was sick and the nurse practitioner that took care of her was inspiring and amazing.” You like caring for people. Well I sure hope so, seeing as that you are a nurse…Put your own unique story into your goal statement on why it is you want this so badly. Let your experiences and passions guide you! There has got to be a good and interesting reason as to why you want to be a nurse practitioner. Tell your side of the story here. Insert your personality into your statement.
Connect the dots on how your experiences will accentuate your NP practice.
Use your story, experiences, and passions and show them how this can make you a GREAT nurse practitioner, not just an average one. For example, I am VERY passionate about quality of life issues after working in a vent unit for years. From what I saw working here, I used what I learned and applied it to how these principles would guide me in my practice as a NP. Take your specific experiences and apply them on a BROAD level. Show them that you see the big picture and how you can be a positive practitioner in the healthcare field.
Focus on the nursing model of care.
Even though you are going into a role that is similar to that of a doctor, the medical model and nursing model are very different from one another. The nursing model of care looks holistically at the entire person and how ALL the dynamics of their life must be addressed and incorporated into care. Nursing puts the emphasis on education and primary prevention…and you really want to show that you have an understanding and passion for this as a nurse.
Demonstrate your understanding of evidence based practice
This will be an integral part of your practice. Demonstrate that you know this. Show your enthusiasm for evidence-based thinking.
Don’t be modest!
Don’t be afraid to rattle off all of your fancy certifications, awards, honors, committee work, etc. These things are what set you apart from others and make you GREAT. This goal statement is not the time to be modest about your accomplishments and achievements. Be proud of your accolades and show them how they make you into a top candidate for your program.
Have coworkers, friends, and family proofread your goal statement.
Check for spelling or grammatical errors. Make sure your ideas make sense and flow together nicely. Be open to their suggestions. Sometimes people find ways to improve on the way you wrote something…be open to this and honest with yourself. Now is not the time to think you are perfect! Learn how to take constructive criticism…it can turn a good essay into a great one.