Critical Reflection writing for Nursing course

Purpose: Reflective writing is a means of recording ideas, personal thoughts and experiences, as well as the reflections and insights a student has in engaging with the learning materials of a course. In addition to the demands of a typical written assignment (e.g. able to give definition of concepts), a critical reflection requires higher-order thinking that challenges students to identify, question, and assess deeply-held assumptions and biases. Students synthesize this analysis with the course material and the knowledge they have gained into personal thoughts and philosophical ideas so as to inform and change future actions.


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This critical reflection will focus on your thoughts, ideas, and insights related to an encounter that does or does not reflect the standards of therapeutic nurse-client relationship. It is best to use an experience that you have personally had, and you may disclose as much as you are comfortable, but enough to provide context to the situation for analytical purposes. While your essay will only be read by the CD and/or TA, to maintain privacy, you may wish to remove any identifying information, i.e. name of mother, hospital name, heath care professional name, etc. If you cannot think of a personal experience, then you may use a scenario/case study from a scholarly resource (e.g. textbook, journal article, etc.). Your writing assignment is an opportunity to synthesize your work over the course of the semester, integrate the readings/course work into what you have learned, and outline your goals for your future practice as a professional nurse. You must also incorporate the relevant practice standards from the CNO that we have covered during the course.


The reflective essay can be broken down into three parts:

1. Description (keep this piece to a max 2 pages): What is being examined? Experiences, ideas, and observations you had. What you found confusing, inspiring, difficult, interesting. This is the “what, when, who” part. Consider asking yourself:

a) What happened?

b) What did you do?

c) What did you expect?

d) What was different?

e) What was your reaction?

f) What did you learn?


2. Interpretation: This is the analysis part – “how, why, what if”. Before you can begin to assess the words and ideas of others, you need to pause and identify and examine your own thoughts and prior knowledge. Reflective writing is a way to achieve clarity and better understanding of what you are learning—how new ideas may challenge what you already know. Again this is not a summary of your learning, but a focused reflection and synthesis of relevant concepts from the course materials and prior experiences which may help you examine the experience through multiple perspectives.


3. Outcome: What have I learned from this? What you have yet to learn? How does it help develop my professional identity as a nurse? What important elements will you preserve or change in your nursing practice? What is the significance of this learning for you and others? How will this influence future actions/behaviours, professionally and personally?


The reflective essay should:

· Be 8 pages maximum, double-spaced, 1” margins, Times New Roman size 12 font

· Be written in full sentences and can be in first person

· Use correct APA, 7th ed. format, spelling and grammar

· Include a minimum of 3 additional scholarly publications or journal articles to support your analysis. The literature should be current, preferably within the past 5 years

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