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LaDonna Henderson, RN
Statement of Professional Goals

Nursing is a second career for me. I chose this field for many reasons, not the least of

which are the numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth and career potential.

My initial fear of being too old to return to school and pursue a new career was quickly allayed

as I realized I was but one of many adult students pursing second, or even third, careers.

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2012), second career nurses are mature

and highly motivated and bring diverse perspectives and years of work experience to the

nursing profession. After accomplishing my initial goals of getting through nursing school and

finding my first nursing job, I am looking to the future as I identify longer term goals of one,

three, and five years.

One-Year Goals

With two years of nursing experience now completed, I now plan to focus on becoming

certified within my fields. I have been working on a medical oncology floor for the past two

years and was certified in biotherapy/chemotherapy administration last year. Over the next year,

I would like to pursue certifications in both medical-surgical nursing (CMSRN) and oncology

nursing (OCN). To round out my oncology nursing practice, I have begun studying the concepts

of end-of-life and palliative care nursing and also plan to become a Certified Hospice and

Palliative Care Nurse (CHPN). Being certified is an important way to progress in my specialty

field and validates specialty knowledge, enhances professional credibility, and contributes to

feelings of personal accomplishment. (Benefits of Certification, 2017).


Three-Year Goals

Within three years, I would like to continue obtaining my oncology-related certifications,

including Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse (AOCN) and Certified Breast Cancer Nurse

(CBCN). The AOCN certification is a continuation of the OCN certification. To become AOCN

certified, I will need to earn oncology-related continuing education credits, be published in

nursing journals, or give presentations at seminars or conferences. Each of these professional

development activities provides points toward the AOCN designation. The CBCN certification

requires candidates to have a minimum of 1000 hours of nursing care of breast cancer patients in

order to sit for the certification test. This certification is the only national accredited breast care

nursing certificationthat encompasses the entire spectrum of breast care nursing practice

(Certified Breast Care Nurse, 2017).

Five-Year Goals

I will be completing my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at the end of this

summer. As an Associates Degree in Nursing educated employee, eventually completing my

BSN is required. Within the next five years, I hope to have completed my Masters Degree in

Nursing with a Nurse Educator certification. My plan is to become a psychiatric nurse

practitioner, which will incorporate my first career as a family counselor into my nursing

practice. With certification as a nurse educator, I would like to become a clinical instructor in a

college setting.


Nursing combines my love of learning with my desire to help others. I am able to provide

for my family as well as fulfill my own passions. Setting career goals is one of the most

important activities that an individual can do to enhance professional development and ensure

upward mobility in the nursing profession (Pullen, 2011, p. 5). Working in the field of oncology

affords me the opportunity to become intimately involved in patients and their families lives

wherever they are in their cancer journey. I am able to positively impact their adjustment to

treatments and outcomes. I consider it an honor to assist in their recovery and support them as

they face end-of-life decisions. The goals I have set for myself will ensure I am making the

necessary progress in my goal of becoming a well-rounded oncology nurse.



Benefits of Certification. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.oncc.org/certifications/benefits-of-


Certified Breast Care Nurse. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.oncc.org/certifications/certified-


Pullen, R. L. (2011). Get on the road to professional development. Nursing Made Incredibly

Easy!, 9(1), 5. doi:10.1097/01.nme.0000390931.36665.fb

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2012, May 29). Nursing as a 'second act'. Retrieved from