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Kaplan University Graduate School of Nursing
The Self-Directed Learning Plan (SDLP) is a process and document to chronicle your accomplishments and learning steps through the MSN program and beyond as they relate to your professional goals.
The SDLP will help you to identify and target the array of competencies you need to reach your professional objectives and to help you organize your Kaplan MSN learning experience to suit your career objectives
The SDLP will be a section of your Program Portfolio, so take some quality introspective time to consider strengths and areas of development relevant to your career objectives. Knowing your strengths and areas to develop, you can begin a plan to find out what you need to do to achieve your career goals. We encourage you to continue to reflect on the identified areas throughout the MSN program. If you feel a strength or development area is no longer relevant, you may add another to take its place. At any time, you may also add additional areas.
Professional Goal (3-5 years) from now:
To work as an advanced nurse in a mental hospital where I will be taking care of patients. In addition, as an advanced nurse, I will be able to make critical decisions on the treatment of various patients. 
Knowledge that prepares a graduate student for an advanced nursing role:
Knowledge in the prognosis, diagnosis, as well as treatment of various patients. Knowledge on how to use medical equipment and machines, in the testing and treatment of patients. In addition to that, systems and organizational leadership, safety and quality improvement, integration and translation of theories of nursing into practices, healthcare technology and informatics, and population health and professional collaboration are part of the knowledge that have acted as a preparation for the advanced nursing role.
Skills that prepare a graduate student for an advanced nursing role:
 
Ability to gather information on the health problems in a systematic manner. Other vital skills mainly include identifying different sign and symptoms of illness, relating findings of assessment to pathology, development of effective care plans, and the ability to perform necessary laboratory tests while taking into consideration ethnicity and culture of clients. The skill of clinical decision-making is a well in the list of skills that helped in the preparation for the advanced nursing role.
Accomplishments that prepare a graduate student for an advanced nursing role:
Detailed evidence-based and theoretical knowledge of the clinical field that need improvement to enhance the ability to provide quality and comprehensive care in different medical settings. 
Strengths to Leverage
Step 1:  The most effective and satisfied people align their work with their natural strong points. Identify 3-5 of your key strengths (see Column 1 below); these could be a competency, skill, ability, knowledge area or personal characteristic. Think about how you can leverage those strengths to be effective in your work, achieve your professional goals, and become a leader in your profession. 
Step 2:  At the beginning of each course in your MSN program, answer the following question either using this template or a narrative format. What do you expect to learn in this course that will help you leverage your strengths? (See Column 2 below) Be as specific as you can, e.g., assume that a strength is your analytical ability. 
Step 3: Answer the following questions either using this template or a narrative format. Did you learn what you expected to learn? (See Column 3 below) Was there information or insights that helped you that you didn’t expect to learn at the outset of the course? What changes or additions, if any, will you make to your SDLP based on learning in this course?

Step 1: Strengths to Leverage Step 2: Course Learning Goals Step 3: Course Outcomes & Assessment
Strength 1 – People and Communication skills Understanding people, roles, as well as speaking effectively for everyone to understand. The course was beneficial as it gave exposure to different kind of people that shared vital information. It was important to listen and understand while at the same time sharing personal ideas.
Strength 2 – Compassion and Empathy Enhancing the ability to handle different patients with a wide range of psychological and physical issues. Through interaction with different people and patients, it became easy to handle different kinds of people and patients with a desire to help them. Communication was a vital part of improving empathy and compassion.
Strength 3 – Trustworthiness and honesty   Getting to learn how to work in line with all the confidentiality of procedures while simultaneously reporting mistakes for correction. The goal of learning was accomplished. Procedures need great honesty for clear flow, responsibility, and accountancy. Mistakes can be settled by improving honesty.
Strength 4 – Flexibility The ability to follow schedules depending on the program and the criticality of roles. The course runs through tight schedules. Settling each effectively was a good way to enhance flexibility at times getting in early and leaving late.
Strength 5 – Time management Strengthening management skills by getting to arrange agendas comprehensively right after getting into any shift, The course was beneficial in meeting the learning goal of improving times management skills.

Areas to Develop
Step 1:  We all have strengths, but we also have areas on which we need to improve. As related to your career goal, identify 3-5 areas to develop (see Column 1 below); these could be a competency, skill, ability, knowledge area or personal characteristic. Think about how you can improve in these areas so that you can achieve your professional goals and become a leader in your profession.
Step 2:  What do you expect to learn in this course that will help you to develop in the identified area? (See Column 2 below)
Step 3:  Answer the following questions either using this template. Did you learn what you expected to learn? (See Column 3 below) Was there information or insights that helped you that you didn’t expect to learn at the outset of the course? What changes or additions, if any, will you make to your SDLP based on learning in this course?
 

Step 1: Areas to Develop Step 2: Course Learning Goals Step 3: Course Outcomes & Assessment
Area 1 – Critical Thinking Getting the ability to make right decisions in different work situations that need keen reasoning as a solution to an issue. The expectations of learning have been met. Reasoning critically is part of the course and this improves critical thinking.
Area 2 – Healthcare Leadership Improving the capability to guide co-workers in challenging situations and fostering team-work in all activities. The goals of learning have been met. Working with different students and people improves the aspect of leadership based on the need to strengthen relationships and quality of care.
Area 3 – Reliability Improving maintenance of consistency in the provision of high quality primary care services. All procedures required great reliability for each to be a success. Flexibility proves to be the only way to enhance reliability.

Reflection
What do you expect to learn in this course that will help you achieve your academic and professional goals? (Your reflection should be at least one well developed paragraph.)
With the aim of turning to be a reliable Family Nurse Practitioner, I expect to learn the ability to work with families in every primary care setting which is the best way to implement my expertise and talent. The course should implement the ability to practice efficient nursing in clinics, hospitals, private agencies, and agencies of the government. Working collaboratively with patients with different complex family situations in the whole life span will require great skills only possible by following the course keenly. With this, the professional goals will be achieved.
Reference
The Ohio State University, (2015). Family Nurse Practitioner. Retrieved from https://nursing.osu.edu/sections/academic-programs/masters-program-overview/graduate-specialties-introduction/family-nurse-practitioner.html