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Career Planning Toolkit

Planning Your Career
Welcome to the career planning tool kit, a program supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

A career in nursing is a lifelong journey, full of opportunities to grow as a professional and a person.

But it doesn't matter what path you take - if you don't know where the destination is. This career planning tool kit, in combination with our database of Michigan's educational options, will help you decide where to best take your nursing career.

Career Plan
Do I Need a Career Plan?

Why bother with the time, expense, and stress of returning to school? Will I make more money if I get an additional degree? How can I cope with the demands from my work, family, and school?

These are good questions to ask.

This slideshow introduces a few concepts nurses may want to think about. 

Supporting Document:

The Case for Academic Progression

Creating Your Career Blueprint

Where to get started in career planning? This slide show explains how to get started planning your career. 

Acknowledgments: Special thanks to Carole Stacy, MSN, RN and Katie Kessler, MSN, RN for developing this content.

Supporting Documents: 

Personal SWOT Worksheet 

Personal Development Plan Worksheet​ 


Are you ready to start your educational journey? These questions will help you evaluate if pursuing additional education will meet your personal and professional goals. There are additional resources below for more information to help you (or your colleagues) make these decisions.

Acknowledgments: Special thanks to Illinois AHEC for providing resources for this project.

Supporting Documents:


Making Time
Making Time

How do you make time for additional education?

Balancing the time demands placed on us by family, work, school, can be a challenge. Here are some questions to think about and some resources to balance and prioritize finding time for work, school, family, and yourself.

Questions to Ask Your Employer:

  • Does our workplace support flexible schedules to accommodate career preparation?

  • Is our management supportive of additional education?

  • Am I allowed release time to take in-person exams or evaluations?

Supporting Documents: 

Activity table.pdf


Managing Your Time.pdf

Career Advancement
Paying for Career Advancement

Additional education can be expensive, but it's an investment in yourself that's worth making.

Federally subsidized student loans make college more affordable. Often, loan forgiveness programs are available. To learn more, visit the HRSA website on student loans.

Your employer often has resources available to make additional education more affordable. Also, visit scholarship resources below to find assistance in paying for college.

Getting ahead of paying for the cost of nursing education can pay big dividends. There are many scholarships available for all types of nursing students. Learn more here.

Looking for a job? Create a free ACEMAPP candidate profile or log in to your current ACEMAPP account to find nursing opportunities in Michigan and beyond.

Careers Overview
Nursing Careers Overview

Learn more about the unique and challenging variety of nursing careers in this short video.

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