Developing Professional Nursing Practice


Assessment 1A part ii is the second instalment of your major Professional Portfolio piece in this unit. This instalment allows you to add the next layers onto your experience by engaging in deeper critical analysis and evaluation of your practice.  This will help you bring more meaningful insights to your experiences, now you have had some reflective space from your PEP.

You have a chance to explore notions from your experience and substantiate these with high-quality scholarly literature.  This means you can investigate best practice and how this new information adds to your knowledge base.  In turn, this will allow you to set goals that will have the capacity to shape your future practice.

There is flexibility in the type of reflective format/framework/model you use in this piece of work to address the criteria and get the most out of your work.  There is no “best practice” model for reflection, so use the freedom to choose how you set out your reflection, to your advantage. Some examples are:

Driscoll’s (what? So what? Now what…?)

John’s (Looking in- all about you.  Looking out- what were the significant issues?)

Gibb’s (experiential cycle of reflection)

Stephenson’s (from “what was my role?” to “what do I do about these broader issues”?)

There are loads more to choose from to guide your reflective process. You can take a model, look at what you covered in your first piece and add in the rest of the model’s elements to cover:

A general reflection (this shows that you have questioned and evaluated your perceptions, values and beliefs through critical analyses of your own practice).

A directed topic reflection (this connects your experience to the scholarly literature through the investigation of best practice on your topic.  Many of you will find that what you experienced does not align with best practice and this is a chance to find out helpful information that will inform your practice goals for the future).

Remeber the quote I asked you to consider to underpin this two-part reflection?  It comes from the Clinica Reasoning material, which is embedded in our curriculum.

I am going to catalyse it to give you some food for thought!

The final step of the clinical reasoning cycle involves reflection “You know the cycle back to front so in your final year it makes sense to be at this place at this time!”.

This requires nurses to critically review their practice with a view to refinement, improvement or change (encompassed in part two).

Reflection is intrinsic to learning “I agree- it is a tool of master learners and helps in both professional and personal life”.

It is a deliberate, orderly and structured intellectual activity “consider this statement and align it to this basic continuum of forms of reflection from thinking to venting to informal debriefing to formal debriefing to journalling to a structured formal reflection. This allows you to see how the reflection we are undertaking in this unit aligns to the notion that reflection is a deliberate, orderly and structured intellectual activity”.

It allows nurses to process their experience, and explore their understanding of what they did, why they did it and the impact it had on themselves and others. “You will explore all of these things across part i + ii with the end product deepening your understanding of the situation you faced, what you did and how it impacted you and those central to the situation”.

Effective clinical reasoning requires both cognitive (the action or process of gathering knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses) and metacognitive (thinking about one’s thinking -aligns to reflection in action) skills in order to develop the ability to ‘think like a nurse’ ” 

(Levett-Jones 2013, pp6).