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Supporting nurses’ reflective practice and ongoing professional development Chan, Sara; Devlin, Erin 2013

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Supporting Nurses’ Reflective Practice and Ongoing Professional Development Sara Chan, B.Sc. & Erin Devlin, B.H.K. BSN Candidates 2013 School of Nursing, University of British Columbia This project aims to identify the best practices regarding reflective practice and how it enhances the professional development of registered nurses. The research collected will be used to develop recommendations and suggested practices for the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (CRNBC). Objective Methods     Reflective practice is very valuable to life-long learning and professional development. Reflective practice can empower and support nurses to engage in safe, competent patient care. According to Teekman (2000), there are three levels of reflective thinking: reflective thinking-for-action, reflective thinking-for- evaluation, and reflective thinking-for-critical-inquiry.      Platzer et al. (2000) discovered that reflective practice led to an increase in professionalism, greater autonomy in decision-making, and allowed nurses to become more self-confident in making their own judgments.      In order for reflective practice to provide an opportunity for nurses to grow professionally, it is necessary for individuals to be instructed on how to properly engage in reflective practice and for them to be supported in the clinical setting.       We conducted a literature review on the most relevant articles pertaining to the following research questions:  1)What is reflective practice? What is significant about reflective practice?  2)How does reflective practice relate to ongoing development? What role does reflection play in ongoing development?  3)If reflective practice is valuable for ongoing professional development, how can we apply to our practice as nurses? Are there any alternatives to reflective practice?      After completing the literature review, we summarized our major findings to determine recommendations  and suggested practices for the CRNBC.       Reflective practice is valuable to lifelong learning and ongoing professional development.  As reflective practice can empower nurses, the effective use of reflective practice can help support nurses in providing safe, competent patient care.  The CRNBC can help support nurses’ reflective practice and ongoing professional development through the use of education, self- assessment tools, peer feedback, and web-based mentorship.  Recommendations & Suggested Practices Conclusion Acknowledgements     We would like to thank Rebekah Smith, Quality Assurance Coordinator  with the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia  for her much appreciated guidance and support. We would also like to thank Dr. Maura MacPhee for providing us with this learning opportunity.   The four following components have been identified as our suggested practices to support nurses’ reflective practice and ongoing professional development.  1) Education  Rationale: The effectiveness of reflective practice is dependent upon an individual’s ability to reflect on his or her own practice. It is necessary for registered nurses to be educated on how to successfully engage in reflective practice. Recommended Strategies for the CRNBC: • Educational tools facilitating the development of reflective practice skills • Available online and at healthcare facilities • A sample resource could include: the definition of reflective practice, the benefits of reflective practice for nurses, sample case studies demonstrating effective reflective practice, and contact information for more information and questions regarding reflective practice.  2) Self-Assessment Tool  Rationale: Self-assessment tools support nurses to maintain and improve their practice by identifying their strengths and learning needs. When nurses engage in self-assessment in the form of journaling, there have been findings of enhanced critical thinking.  Structured reflection with the use of a facilitator has also proven to be very supportive and motivating for nurses. Recommended Strategies for the CRNBC: • Provide resources to teach nurses how to use measurement tools to help them effectively engage in self-assessment • Investing research into developing more self-assessment models • Encourage nurses to complete written narratives and to participate in structured reflections with the provision of facilitators  3) Peer Feedback  Rationale: Many registered nurses feel that self-evaluation is not sufficient and that they need to receive peer feedback in order to develop professionally and to help them understand their own actions better. Peer feedback is believed to offer nurses a professional evaluation that promotes and supports their professional and personal growth. Recommended Strategies for the CRNBC: • Provide nurses with resources demonstrating how to give and receive peer feedback appropriately • Resources should include strategies for effective communication, how to properly select peers, and opportunities for individuals to practice giving and receiving feedback  4) Web-based Mentorship  Rationale: Online mentorship through the use of an online discussion forum was found to enhance communication and problem-solving skills, and promote an increased sense of support.  An online mentorship program with role modeling can greatly support the continuous growth of nurses as they progress through their careers. Recommended Strategies for the CRNBC: • Implement a mentorship program by creating an online discussion forum • Allow nurses to share their experiences and support each other, while encouraging each other to engage in reflective practice   Background


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