Reflective Practice And Its Importance To Nurses

Reflective Practice And Its Importance To Nurses

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Reflective Practice And Its Importance To Nurses

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Reflective Practice And Its Importance To Nurses

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Discuss about the value of reflective practise in nursing and to identify a plan for career success.

The essay deals with the reflection and reflective practice and discusses its importance for RNs. The essay highlights the   key skills and attitudes required for nursing profession. The essay lastly presents the career action plan.  The purpose of the essay is to understand the value of reflective practice in nursing and identify the plan for career success. 
In nursing practice reflection is considered key skill. Engaging in reflection is the process of making sense of a workplace situation/event, comprehend and appreciate experiences. A reflective process consists of the three basic elements that are- “Why, what and how”. The “what” in reflection, refers to the self evaluation as a nurse. It helps to judge the standards of practice. Health care is the complex setting and nurses must be endowed with adequate skills, knowledge to process vast information on time. Thus, in contemporary nursing practice, reflection is very important to update professional skills, recognise the areas of improvement, and consider ways of communicating with colleagues. Reflection enhances self-awareness in nurses (Koutoukidis, Stainton & Hughson, 2013).
The “why” refers to reflecting on the situation in nursing practice that helps link between the self-awareness and professional self-monitoring. The need to undertake reflective practice for nurses is to understand personal values, vision and own intentions. It aids in dealing with daily nursing challenges such as test of ethics and morals, physical and emotional demands, and unequal power relations in workplace (Howatson-Jones, 2016).
Engaging in reflective practice is important for registered nurses as per regulatory requirement encompassed in the “NMBA registered nurse competency standards”. The relevance of reflection to registered nurse can be attributed to the domain of professional development, self appraisal, feelings and beliefs, reflection on practice and research for practice (Daly, Speedy & Jackson, 2014). The “How” in reflection refers to strategies used for reflection. In order to approach a situation systematically and logically there are various frameworks for reflection. For instance Gibb’s reflective cycle by Gibbs (1988), that consists of 6 stages starting from description of the event to action plan for eliminating the flaws.
The key skills/attributes of nurses are excellent communication skills. A registered nurse must have active listening skills to understand patient’s problems. They have to work in interdisciplinary team and coordinate with patients, fellow nurses and physicians. Owing to cultural diversity in health care setting they must have knowledge of multiple languages. Nurses must have dedication and patience for decision-making and avoid errors. Further, critical thinking skills are essential for nurses to acquire self-sufficiency in judging patient’s health outcomes. Critical thinking will help nurses to adapt changes in organisation and handle an emergency or a sudden causality through quick judgement. Registered nurses must have physical and mental endurance to deal with mental health patients who may contribute to violence. The nurses must be responsible in actions and conduct work ethically as their activities directly affect the patient’s life. Therefore, at the time of emergency the nurse must be detailed oriented, attentive and vigilant (Farrell, Payne, & Heye, 2015, p.6). The NMBA competency standards also emphasise on leadership skills as registered nurses must work in interdisciplinary team to contribute to patient outcomes. Leadership skills are required to solve problems, analyse the patient’s condition to make productive changes. Further, evidence based practice is essential as per the NMC code for registered nurse. This practice demands analytical skills to identify evidence and find its relevance to patient outcomes (Melnyk et al., 2014, p.13).
Reflective practice is important to improve nursing practice by recognising strengths and identifying areas of improvements (Howatson-Jones, 2016). My ambition is to become successful registered nurse and establish in geriatric care. I am reflecting on my personal and professional life to identify the personal attributes, traits and strengths and determine SMART Goals. My areas of strength are passion about nursing, high self-motivation, compassion, confidence, excellent verbal and written communication skills. Lack of leadership and analytical skills are my weakness. I have the potential to become registered nurse. Therefore, my SMART goals are- develop leadership skills and analytical skills. Nursing is challenging practice and stiff competence would be a threat to my career. The action plan to develop required skills in six months of time is discussed in subsequent sections. I understand that reflective practice is useful in recognising one’s own flaws and potential. 
As per reflective practice I would like to develop leadership skills by participating CPD activities. I will coach my juniors. CPD is mandatory for registered nurses to develop leadership competencies (Waddell et al., 2015, p.165).   I will volunteer for communities and participate in community health promotion campaigns as it helps develop leadership skills (Sellon et al., 2017, p.114). I will develop the analytical skills by engagement in poster presentations. I will attend the seminars, conferences and accomplish my research project.  Engaging in peer reviewed research process will enhance health care knowledge and help come up with new ideas for patient problems such as falls (Yost et al., 2015, p.98). For analytical skills, I will regularly engage in the reflective practice. Analytical skills are required in health assessment process. Reflection will help determine the efficacy of care plan (Howatson-Jones, 2016).
It can be concluded from the above discussion that reflective practice hold immense importance for registered nurses. The assignment has enlightened me with benefits of reflective practice. Upon reflecting I have realised to have skills and attributes required to be a successful registered nurse. However, there are areas of improvement, for which I have developed an action plan.   
Daly, J., Speedy, S., & Jackson, D. (Eds.). (2014) Contexts of nursing: An introduction, (4th ed.). Melbourne, VIC: Elsevier Australia. Retrieved from:,+(4th+ed.).+Melbourne,+&ots=_LKwC3rFSs&sig=eCPo9CYRKoBqR4P-fVGZcTDbrew#v=onepage&q&f=false
Farrell, K., Payne, C., & Heye, M. (2015). Integrating interprofessional collaboration skills into the advanced practice registered nurse socialization process. Journal of Professional Nursing, vol.31, no.1, pp.5-10. DOI:
Gibbs, G. (1988) Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford. FEU, [London]. ISBN- 1853380717 (pbk)
Howatson-Jones, L. (2016). Reflective practice in nursing. Learning Matters. Retrieved from:,+L.,+2016.+Reflective+practice+in+nursing.+Learning+Matters.&ots=1kPHuOkUgC&sig=OyEDYmIoFhJpRszbXRtFHXhELRg#v=onepage&q&f=false
Koutoukidis, G. K., Stainton, K., & Hughson, J. (2013). Tabbner’s nursing care, (6th ed). Elsevier Australia Retrieved from:,&ots=TuvbJHnMvB&sig=g4HhdfQIwzg1NkZCWWaWUYUOFzM#v=onepage&q=Tabbner%E2%80%99s%20nursing%20care%2C&f=false
Melnyk, B. M., Gallagher?Ford, L., Long, L. E., & Fineout?Overholt, E. (2014). The establishment of evidence?based practice competencies for practicing registered nurses and advanced practice nurses in real?world clinical settings: proficiencies to improve healthcare quality, reliability, patient outcomes, and costs. Worldviews on Evidence?Based Nursing, vol.11, no.1, pp.5-15. DOI: 10.1111/wvn.12021
Sellon, A. M., Chapin, R. K., & Leedahl, S. N. (2017). Engaging Nursing Home Residents in Formal Volunteer Activities: a Focus on Strengths. Ageing International, vol.42, no.1, pp.93-114. DOI:
Waddell, J., Spalding, K., Canizares, G., Navarro, J., Connell, M., Jancar, S., … & Victor, C. (2015). Integrating a career planning and development program into the baccalaureate nursing curriculum: Part I. Impact on students’ career resilience. International journal of nursing education scholarship, vol.12, no.1, pp.163-173. DOI:
Yost, J., Ganann, R., Thompson, D., Aloweni, F., Newman, K., Hazzan, A., … & Ciliska, D. (2015). The effectiveness of knowledge translation interventions for promoting evidence-informed decision-making among nurses in tertiary care: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Implementation Science, vol.10, no.1, p.98. DOI:

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