How to write a Nursing Career Plan Essay (Plus Example)

Written by Brandon L.
September 18, 202316 min read

The nursing profession is an essential part of the healthcare system. It is the glue that holds the healthcare journey together. For this reason, any person aspiring to join this magnificent but challenging profession must acquire extensive knowledge, education, and the necessary skills before practicing as a nurse. But before entering nursing school, you must show the college reviewers that you are up for the task by writing a career plan essay.

A nursing career plan is an essential document that serves as a roadmap for aspiring nurses. It outlines the goals, aspirations, and strategies for professional development for students aspiring to be nurses. You must, therefore, clearly state why you are passionate about the profession.

In this comprehensive guide, we will define what a nursing career plan is and show you how to write one that articulates your vision,

What is a Nursing Career Plan?

A nursing career plan is an important document that ranges between 300- 500 words outlining your goals, dreams, aspirations, and experiences.

It is a necessary document required before being enrolled in a nursing program. Depending on the nursing college or university of choice, you will be asked to write a nursing career plan essay explaining why you should be given a chance to pursue the program and the value you will bring to the institution. It is part of an institution’s competitive application process. For this reason, you must know how to write one.

A career plan essay is essential to helping you figure out what you want at the end of the program. While it is easy to state your dreams and aspirations, putting them down on paper is something else.

What Does a Career Plan Include?

A nursing career plan outlines how you intend to use the nursing degree after school. So, the essay's primary focus should be your goals and the necessary information that distinguishes you from other applicants. Some additional information that you should consider adding to your career plan essay is:

Steps for Writing a Great Nursing Career Plan

Follow these steps to write an effective nursing career plan essay.

Plan Your Essay

Before writing a career plan essay, you need to develop a plan for writing the content. Start thinking about what you wish to include in the document. This could be things like your qualifications, what sets you apart, and why you are passionate about it. As you do this, you might also consider the following:

Answering these questions will help you write an impactful nursing career plan essay.

What Your Motivation

Think about your motivations for choosing nursing as a career of choice. Consider what inspired your interest in a healthcare career. Is it a desire to help those around you? A personal experience that sparked your interest? Or your fascination with the healthcare industry. Keep in mind that nursing is a career that demands a lot from an individual. You may have to sacrifice a lot, including some relationships and personal time, to earn that degree. Your motivation will guide you through all the hurdles. Therefore, clearly state your reasons and how they align with your values and aspirations. By doing this in your essay, you will demonstrate to the recruiters that you are passionate and committed to the profession.

Define Your Goals

You must identify both short- and long-term goals for your nursing career, no matter how small you think they are. For instance, your short-term goals could be finishing assignments and submitting them on time, attending class early, gaining practical experience through clinical rotations, and procuring specific nursing certifications. On the other hand, long-term goals could be choosing a specialization, for instance, working in pediatrics, geriatrics, or critical care. Or maybe you wish to take up leadership roles or research opportunities? Define these goals clearly, ensuring they align with your passions and aspirations.

If you have no clue about your long-term goals. Consider conducting relevant research on nursing programs to comprehensively understand the different career paths, specialties, and available opportunities. Carefully explore the different roles and determine which areas align most with your interests and goals. Doing this will help you tailor your career plan essay and make an informed decision about the desired nursing path.

Please remember, as you set your goals, make sure they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Goal setting is an effective way to monitor your progress in school and your profession.

Assess Your Skills and Knowledge

Conduct an honest self-assessment of your skills and knowledge to determine what you have to offer. Break down your skills into the following categories: knowledge-based skills, transferable skills, and soft skills.

Ensure you identify areas where you excel and those that require further development. Once you have broken down your skills into the above categories, you will be able to identify the necessary steps to enhance them and fill any knowledge gaps. This will then ensure that you are well-prepared for a career in nursing.

Create a Timeline

You must show the admissions board that you have goals and aspirations and the commitment to achieving them. State all the strategies that you will use to accomplish these plans. This could involve furthering your education, attending healthcare conferences, participating in professional organizations related to nursing, and seeking mentorship from experienced nurses. Highlight any steps you plan to enhance your skills, knowledge, and expertise in your chosen nursing specialty.

Come up with a timeline that outlines your milestones and deadlines for achieving plans. This timeline will keep you focused and motivated throughout your education and nursing career. Please ensure that the timeline is realistic. Allow some flexibility for unexpected situations that could arise during this time.

Highlight Your Commitment to Patent Care

Since this is a nursing program, you must show the admissions board that you are committed to patient care; that's what the whole career is based on. Explain what values and ethical principles you will embrace during your practice. Additionally emphasize the importance of cultural sensitivity, advocating for patients’ rights and interest, and evidence-based care. Share relevant personal experiences or stories that prove your dedication to delivering high-quality, patient-centred care.

Organize Your Work

Trying to figure out how to write a nursing career plan essay is challenging when your thoughts are disorganized. For this reason, you must create an outline highlighting all the points you will cover in the paper. An outline will also help you develop an excellent nursing career plan essay that impresses your target audience. It will also help you identify areas for improvement that add essential information to the essay.

A good outline must have the following:

Come up with a Great Title

Like all other academic essays, a nursing career plan must have a great title that accurately tells readers what you will discuss. Ensure the title suits the essay's purpose and highly resonates with your target audience. So, highlight qualities the admission board will likely appreciate, like professionalism and originality.

Consider writing the title after you are done writing the rest of the essay when you know what information to add that will capture the context of the paper.  

Write a Captivating Introduction

Now that you have everything you need to write a good nursing career plan essay, write a great introduction. A great introduction that grabs the readers' attention will go a long way in encouraging the admissions board to rest the paper. It tells them that it is not just an essay they are used to reading. Remember that these people go through thousands of career plan essays, so you must ensure you stand out.

After writing a good introduction, end with a thesis statement highlighting your motivation for choosing the nursing program. Remember that the essay aims to show your goals for the nursing program. So, apart from outlining the theme of the essay, it should also show your “why.”

Many students find the introduction the most challenging part of writing a career plan essay. So, you may have to consider writing it last if you want it to reflect everything you have talked about in the body part.

Write the Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs should mention all the essential details about your goals and ambitions. Explain why these goals are essential and why the nursing program means so much to you. Then, clarify all the actions you would take to achieve these goals.

Finish with a Great Conclusion

As with any academic essay, your conclusion must summarize everything you have discussed in the essay. Don’t add anything new; it will tell readers you have not cohesively written your essay. Mention the goals again and state why you wish to study the program in the particular school.

Tips for Writing a Nursing Career Goal Essay

Use these tips to help improve your nursing career goal essay.

Cite Your Sources

Ensure you cite everything that is not your own in the essay. This tells your readers you value and respect other authors by giving them credit for their work. It also demonstrates that you are well-versed with essay writing standards. Additionally, if you state that you have worked in a healthcare setting and acquired relevant nursing skills, provide evidence about your experience there.

Ensure you provide a list of references at the end of the paper. This will show that you have researched the work.

Use the Proper Structure

Since this is a formal document, it must follow the appropriate structure, especially if you are trying to get admission into a nursing school. So, ensure that you have structured it well, including the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. It should also meet all the requirements needed in a career plan and those that apply to a formal essay. If there is a specific structure that the institution wants you to use, make sure you follow it to the letter.

Use Your Unique Voice

Make sure you use your own unique and creative voice throughout the essay. Write about your aspirations and goals in a way that reflects your personality. Use a language that is easy to understand and fits your personality experience. Just because you are writing to an admission board does mean you should use complex vocabulary. Your writing should be communicated consistently throughout the essay. This will tell your target audience that you are taking the nursing career very seriously.

Sharing a little backstory about yourself is a great tip to show your personality. This could be a unique experience that shaped your desire for the nursing profession. Clearly explain why you chose this profession amongst others. Share any pivotal moment in your life that made you make this step.

Proofread Your Essay

Before you submit the nursing career plan essay, ensure that it has no errors. Follow the editing and proofreading tips to evaluate your essay for mechanical correctness. Proofread after you have finished writing.

Follow the Word Length Given 

You must follow all the instructions given, especially in word length. Going above the word count will distract from the intended message and tell your readers that you are not really keen on following instructions. So, check the word count periodically to ensure you stay on the limit.

Sample of a Nursing Career Plan Essay

Nursing is a great and noble career that provides more room for professional advancement ((Waddell et al., 2008). Nurses perform various functions in healthcare settings. They work with doctors, pharmacists, therapists, social workers, and other professionals to save lives and alleviate patients' suffering. I want to join the program and help those in need. 

My long-term goal is to be a leader serving an entire health institute ward. However, I do understand that to get there, I must first have a solid academic foundation. For this reason, I wish to join a nursing program and become a registered nurse within four years. I understand nursing can be challenging, so I intend to work hard and work the required hours to finish my degree program. 

I was drawn into the program because the career requires being close to another person to understand their needs. One has to be involved with a patient's key moments, including birth and death. I have had an opportunity to work closely with elderly people in a nursing home, which enabled me to acquire patient care skills, including helping patients maintain oral hygiene and take their medications.

Action Steps 

I must complete a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Nursing to attain the leadership role. During my studies, I intend to join an internship program to demonstrate the knowledge acquired in class and gain technical skills and experience. This experience will be sufficient when working in the Nation Health Service.

For my short-term goals, I intend to improve my skills throughout my time in school continuously. I'll join various group discussions to improve my oral and presentation skills.

Professional Development

I intend to gain more skills and focus on my studies for the remaining two years of education. I will focus more on my weaknesses to ensure I become the best I can be, especially in mastering drugs and professional patient observation.


Nurses have a fundamental role to play in the hospital setting. This is why there is a need for constant professional improvement and new skills to ensure they are in a better position to care for their patients. Therefore, one must have a plan on how they intend to achieve these goals by doing a self-assessment to identify strengths and weaknesses and develop their career plans.


Waddell, J., Donner, G. J., & Wheeler, M. M. (2008). Building Your Nursing Career: A Guide for Students. Mosby.

The above sample is intended to give you a general idea of how to write a nursing career sample.

What to Avoid When Writing a Nursing Career Goal Essay

Your career goals essay should be as straightforward as possible. The following are some things you must avoid when writing the essay.

Weak Statements

Every word, phrase, and statement should be specific to your experience. For instance, a sentence like the following, I want to study nursing because it will allow me to get a well-paying job after graduation, doesn’t communicate why you are passionate about the profession. You must be specific about your goals and ambitions and clearly state your reasons for applying to the nursing school.

Talking About Finances

A career plan essay aims to show your short- and long-term goals about the nursing program. So, the admissions board wants to see your passion for the career in your essay. Sure, a career in nursing could be lucrative, but you don't have to show it in your essay. Focusing on fiancées shows that you are not focused on longevity in your career.

Starting Blandly

Don’t begin your essay with lackluster statements such as, ‘my career goal in nursing is…’ behind with a captivating story that is impactful to your career goal essay. Inject something exciting about your life by sharing an anecdote to set the stage for your career aspirations.

Failing to Connect Your Goals with the Nursing

Clearly state what drove you to choose the nursing program and why you want to pursue it as a career. Thus, share specific examples to demonstrate your motivation and clarify the goals for the program.

Final Word on Writing a Nursing Career Plan Essay

A nursing career plan essay is a vital document that you can use to showcase your goals and aspirations for a nursing career. Writing the essay is a proactive approach to professional success. While setting these goals is important, remember to be flexible and adaptable to navigate the ever-changing healthcare landscape.

At, we understand that writing a nursing career plan essay is challenging, so we are ready to walk with you every step of the way. As experts in nursing assignments, our writers will write exemplary career plan essays that capture every required detail. Just place an order and let us help you.

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