Reflective Practice: Noticing / Collecting Data, Reflection-on-Action and Clinical Learning

LENGTH: Your reflection in writing will be 2-3 pages maximum


  • Describe a nursing situation you encountered


  • Describe your relationship to the patient at the time you noticed the situation (e.g., previous contact with patient and/or family, the quality of your relationship).
  • Consider experiences you have had that helped you provide nursing care in this situation. Describe your formal knowledge (e.g., physiology, psychology, communication skills), previous nursing experience with a similar problem, and/or personal experiences that helped guide you as you worked with the patient.
  • Describe your beliefs about your role as the nurse in working on the situation.
  • Describe any emotions you had about the situation.

Noticing/Collecting Data

  • What did you notice about the situation initially?
  • Describe what you noticed as you spent more time with the patient and/or family.

Interpreting/Assessing Situation

  • Describe what you thought about the situation (e.g., its cause, potential resolutions, patterns you noticed).
  • Describe any similar situations you have encountered in practice before. Describe any similarities and differences you observed when compared with the current situation.
  • What other information (e.g., assessment data, evidence) did you decide you needed as you considered the situation? How did you obtain this information? What help with problem solving did you get from your clinical supervisor/staff?

Your conclusion: What did your observations and data interpretation lead you to believe? How did they support your response to the situation? Include pertinent pathophysiology and/or psychopathology.


  • After considering the situation, what was your goal for the patient, family, and/or staff? What was your nursing response, or what interventions did you do? List all actions that you took.
  • Describe stresses you experienced as you responded to the patient or others involved in the situation.

Reflection in Action/ Evaluation of Outcome

  • What happened? How did the patient, family, and/or staff respond? What did you do next?

Reflection-on-Action and Clinical Learning

  • Describe three ways your nursing care skills expanded during this experience.
  • Name three things you might do differently if you encounter this kind of situation again.
  • What additional knowledge, information, and skills do you need when encountering this kind of situation or a similar situation in the future?
  • Describe any changes in your values or feelings as a result of this experience.