Student Nurse Reflection Examples

Importance of self-reflection in nursing

Self-reflection is a useful tool adopted by student nurses to nurture their self-knowledge and create an awareness of their weaknesses and strengths that will further assist them in providing effective and quality care to patients ( Reljić et al. 2019). A student nurse aware of self-reflection is empowered to dwell on positive thoughts and experiences instead of pessimist thoughts and experiences. In addition, reflective student nurses look beyond obstacles and seek positivity to offer valuable services to patients (Rasheed et al. 2019). Nursing care can be only developed by self-reflection as it allows the former to acknowledge the condition of the patients and assess their situation objectively. This reflective essay will reflect on what I learned from my nursing course. My journey from the last 16 weeks will be narrated here, and my reflection will incorporate Gibb’s reflective model.

Elements of Self-Reflection

In nursing, self-reflection comprises self-evaluation, critical thinking and self-awareness. It is regarded as a crucial skill needed for competence and indulging in lifelong learning in the nursing profession. Moreover, in clinical practices, student nurses encounter situations that might not match what they have learnt in textbooks or, what they are taught in their classes (Tsimane and Downing, 2020). Thus the situation tends to be overwhelming. The areas that I will cover in my narration will include the feedback from the assignments that I have done, which has helped me improve areas where much study and practice was needed. Thus, I worked on developing my key skills and identified the issues related to personal learning. Accordingly, I can address them to help my personal and professional development. In addition, I could tap into my internal qualities to add value to patient care and aid in their quick healing (Andrews et al. 2020).

Furthermore, in nursing, reflective practices create an interrogative mind for the participants, thus allowing them to think critically and make links between the practice and theory. Similarly, I developed self-discipline with the training and experience I have gathered, which is regarded as significant for effective learning. Throughout the course I pursued, I developed confidence and strength in some skills, such as teamwork, communication and effective learning. For instance, I have developed communication skills which have enabled me to communicate with the patients, hospital staff, and nurses (Poorchangizi et al. 2019). The communication skills that I have learnt comprise verbal, nonverbal, written, clarity, confidence and tone. As regards teamwork skills, I have acquired conflict resolution and rapport-building skills. Regarding interpersonal skills, I have learned to remain productive and positive and collaborate effectively as a part of the team. One of the most important skills I have acquired is empathy, enabling me to deliver quality care to patients.

The work environment where a nurse works is likely unpredictable, so the nurses must adjust to their schedules, responsibilities and priorities even if no prior notice is provided to them. During my training, I have also acquired adaptability skills, including time management skills, resilience, problem-solving and motivational skills. Nurses’ Important skills are ethics and professionalism (Bjerkvik and Hilli, 2019). Through my training, I have learnt to show a genuine concern for a patient’s dignity. The professional skills that I have acquired are integrity, respect, a positive attitude, responsibility and discipline.

Previously I was not aware of motivational interviewing. However, with the help of training, I learnt the different ways to communicate,, which has been possible due to motivational learning. It has enabled me to indulge in critical thinking and develop a more collaborative approach towards patients. Previously I was unaware of how to listen to the patients and take care of their every detail. By undergoing the training, I have learnt to comprehend the needs and concerns of the patients (Mlambo et al 2019). I learnt to indulge in effective communication with the patients and with the healthcare team as well. Thus I could carry out my clinical duty more easily than expected.

During my earlier placement, I worked in the paediatric ward and indulged in the practice of relationship-building skills that enabled me to interact with children with different physical health issues. He had Down syndrome. For instance, while working in this ward, I observed from the facial expression that the patient was undergoing pain. After noticing this, I took the help of therapeutic communication. This provided support to the patient and helped him cope with the situation. I have gained therapeutic communication skills through practice and education. In addition, I have also learnt that good therapeutic communication helps patients in relieving pain and anxiety.

Application of Gibbs Cycle

One of the prominent cycles of reflection is Gibb’s reflective cycle, which leads an individual through the six stages: description, evaluation, feelings, conclusion, analysis and action plan. This model in nursing serves as the best way to function through an experience which can be a stand-alone experience or any situation that an individual might frequently undergo (Tawanwongsri and Phenwan, 2019). With the help of self-reflection, an individual can comprehend strengths and weaknesses. In nursing, when it comes to reflection, the Gibbs reflective cycle plays an important role as it enables the nurse to focus on a specific situation and evaluate more about the role that is played in it.

Figure: Gibbs Reflective cycle
(Source: self-developed)

Description: In this stage, an individual gives a detailed description of the event without drawing conclusions or providing personal insights. The incident occurred after a newborn baby’s death due to premature birth and low birth weight. Adequate support was given to the baby by those involved in the incident.

  • Feelings

I was extremely shocked and moved by the incident, and as a result, I entered a state of trauma. I empathised with the mother and felt bad because such an incident could have been prevented. My co-staffs and the patient’s family were grief-stricken after the incident.

  • Evaluation

This incident occurred because the newborn’s vital signs were not frequently tracked even though the baby was placed in the incubator. A ventilator known as the CPAP could have been used, which would have helped the baby to breathe properly. The baby also has jaundice which was diagnosed in a much later phase. The baby should have been placed under the bilirubin lights. Moreover, the baby should have been given enough fluids and there was a need to track the potassium, fluid and sodium levels. Also, diuretics should have been provided to the baby, which would have helped the baby to manage excess fluids.
The knowledge I have acquired will enable me to empower, sensitise and educate individuals and prevent the occurrence of such an event.

  • Conclusion

Although this incident resulted in the loss of the newborn baby’s life, it is a powerful tool for guiding healthcare professionals in the field of paediatrics. In the future, I will engage myself in lifelong learning in podiatry and will educate people more about it.
The knowledge I have acquired will help me prevent more such events in the future.

  • Action Plan

The suitable action plan embodies implementing a program that will educate healthcare professionals about caring for a premature baby. The campaign shall be effectively designed to encourage the professionals providing prenatal health care services.

Significance of Nursing

Nursing is a health profession that concerns the care of individuals, communities and families so that they can recover from the physical and mental health conditions that they are suffering from. Health planning refers to assessing patients’ conditions to diagnose the issue and what can be done to redress the issues (Tsimane and Downing, 2020).

In the workplace, diversity initiates a wide variety of languages. This diverse community is represented in the hospital community, and a diverse workforce implies an increased chance of communication with the clients. Essential care is a wider concept that assists nurses in diagnosing and communicating with patients to address their needs. EOC, or the essentials of care, offers a framework for the improvement and evaluation of the practice of nursing in patient care. In addition, health planning shall be aimed at monitoring the patients’ condition and tracking their progress. Similarly, this will be relevant for me when I involve myself in health planning, monitoring and tracking the condition of the patients. Besides this, it will also help me document every phase and aid in creating a greater picture of the patient’s treatment plan.

Comprehending the needs and conditions of the patients enables a nurse to interact effectively with the health care team. Besides this having a resilient relationship enables a nurse to execute her clinical duties more easily, keeping the patient engaged in the care and monitoring. Nursing is a noble profession that maintains, improves and protects the well-being and health of patients using offering effective treatment and prevention of illness. When centred around healing and advocacy of patients, nursing is always regarded as caring and empathetic.
In complex situations, nurses indulge in making difficult decisions. In this case, the situation clinical decisions making framework can be of great help to the nurses. The Situated Clinical Decision-Making Framework ingrains foundational knowledge, thinking processes, context and decision-making processes (Rasheed et al. 2019).

Context refers to the various contextual factors that impact the clinical decision-making of the nurse. Each level of decision-making comprises the ideological, social, political, economic, cultural, physical, historical and temporal factors. In nursing, foundational knowledge arises from various dimensions, such as clinical decisions’ specific, general and professional aspects. Effective clinical decision-making wants nurses to contribute more than simply knowing. Instead of this, it encapsulates the acquisition of new knowledge that aligns with the situation of the patients. With the help of this framework, I have acquired the skill of active engagement in knowledge acquisition, which has also been reflected in clinical practice. Good knowledge of the profession highlights the incorporation of knowledge in the nursing practice. This also comprises the nurses’ skills, roles, and competencies in clinical decision-making.


  • Andrews, H., Tierney, S. and Seers, K., 2020. Needing permission: The experience of self-care and self-compassion in nursing: A constructivist grounded theory study. International journal of nursing studies, 101, p.103436.
  • Bjerkvik, L.K. and Hilli, Y., 2019. Reflective writing in undergraduate clinical nursing education: A literature review. Nurse Education in Practice, 35, pp.32-41.
  • Mlambo, M., Silén, C. and McGrath, C., 2021. Lifelong learning and nurses’ continuing professional development, a metasynthesis of the literature. BMC nursing, 20, pp.1-13.
  • Poorchangizi, B., Borhani, F., Abbaszadeh, A., Mirzaee, M. and Farokhzadian, J., 2019. The importance of professional values from nursing students’ perspective. BMC Nursing, 18, pp.1-7.
  • Rasheed, S.P., Younas, A. and Sundus, A., 2019. Self‐awareness in nursing: A scoping review. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 28(5-6), pp.762-774.
  • Reljić, N.M., Pajnkihar, M. and Fekonja, Z., 2019. Self-reflection during first clinical practice: The experiences of nursing students. Nurse education today, 72, pp.61-66.
  • Tawanwongsri, W. and Phenwan, T., 2019. Reflective and feedback performances on Thai medical students’ patient history-taking skills. BMC medical education, 19, pp.1-8.
  • Tsimane, T.A. and Downing, C., 2020. Transformative learning in nursing education: a concept analysis. International journal of nursing sciences, 7(1), pp.91-98.


  1. Why is self-reflection considered essential for nurses?
    Self-reflection is regarded as an essential tool for nurses because it helps in the development of awareness of weaknesses and strengths and also the development of self-knowledge. This helps them act more authentically when it comes to providing quality patient care.
  2. What elements are self-reflection comprised of?
    self-reflection includes self-evaluation, critical thinking and self-awareness. It is considered an important skill required for achieving competence and indulging in lifelong learning in the nursing profession.
  3. State some of the skills that all nurses should possess?
    The nursing profession is multidimensional and certain skills are required to be possessed by nurses. The skills comprise critical thinking skills, communication skills, empathy, patient assessment skills, technological skills, physical endurance and well-versed in loving emergency care to patients.
  4. What do you mean by Gibbs’s reflective model, and how it has provided to be helpful in nursing?
    Gibbs’s reflective cycle has proven helpful for nurses as it enables them to learn from the situations. The situations are experienced by the nurses regularly if frequently from where they get to learn and explore things. The five stages they undergo are description, evaluation, feelings, action plan and conclusions.
  5. Explain the Situated Clinical Decision-Making Framework
    This framework helps nurses in the complex clinical decision-making process. In addition, it also assists educators to identify the issues that nurses face. Moreover, it helps select suitable strategies that will support the improvement of clinical decision-making.

Author Bio: Mark Edmonds is a dedicated nursing professional working at Academic Assignments. With a wealth of experience and expertise, Mark is passionate about providing top-quality nursing assignment help at the most affordable prices. His commitment to excellence and helping students succeed is evident in his insightful content on student nurse reflection examples.