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Guideline to Developing a Career Plan for Nurses and Midwives

This guide has been adapted from information provided by Health Workforce Directorate (HWD). It is intended for use by Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners who are undergoing postgraduate study funded by HWD.

This guideline and the career plan template are designed to support staff with choices around career development in order to support them to achieve their full potential.

The four step process
There are a range of career planning models and their design features vary. However, most, if not all, are based on four steps or some variation of them. These four steps can be summarised as:

  1. Knowing yourself
  2. Exploring possibilities
  3. Making choices
  4. Making it happen

(Please refer to the diagram on Page 2 of this guideline)

At each stage of the process it is expected that conversations between the employee and manager and/or other relevant person(s) will occur.
The first two stages may be quite brief – the nurse will be largely responsible for doing the work on “knowing yourself” and “exploring possibilities”.

This information does not have to be shared with the manager; however, employees are encouraged to discuss possibilities with a variety of people, which may include their manager(s).

Manager involvement may need to be more intensive during the third and fourth sections of the career plan: making choices and developing a plan to make things happen.
Career discussions may occur between the employee and one or more of the following: manager, a professional supervisor, a professional leader, an educator, a career development specialist, or people experienced in a particular field.


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Page last updated: 8 August 2019

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