My Nursing Journey: Continuing Professional Development

1835 words - 7 pages

Nursing has been viewed as both a science and an art (Price et al., 2007, p. 155). A logical progression of ideas and theories as well as evidence-based research supports the varied interventions and rationales that the nurse must effectively use to provide safe care (McCrae, 2011). Human touch, compassion, creativity and moral values characterise the artistic nature of the nursing profession, which can promote personal satisfaction and growth (Finfgeld-Connett, 2008, p. 383). However, similar to any other line of work, nursing is not without its dangers as seen by examples of errors and negligence (Tingle & McHale, 2009; Young, 2009). Hence, the National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse were formulated by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) as the core competency standards used to assess and evaluate the performance of a registered nurse in Australia (Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2006). Moreover, these standards provide the public with information on the expected actions and behaviour of a nurse, emphasising the latter’s accountability and responsibility. Integrated into the nursing curricula, these standards orient and guide the student nurse on the many aspects of nursing practice focussing on quality health care and professional development amidst changing times (ANMC, 2006).

These competency standards have had a large impact on my nursing studies particularly in this unit, NURS5084. One major component is the domain of professional practice. According to Muller (2010, p. 232), “a profession is made up of people who are members of an occupational group who share a common body of knowledge and set of skills that have been gained through a formal course, which has resulted in a qualification”. In the context of nursing, professional practice becomes personal, reflexive and intuitive due to work largely done with patients and their families. However, Stephen (2007) claims that establishing a professional nursing identity and emphasising on a situated learning model such as that used in clinical placements may be challenging due to care becoming more medicalised. In this essay, this domain and its impact on my development as a student nurse will be discussed, focussing on three essential subcompetencies. Relevant examples will be based from my personal experiences as reflected on Pebblepad and recent clinical experience.

With respect to professional practice, it is also vital to note that knowledge on how individuals conduct themselves professionally cannot be acquired without reflection on practice, self, feelings and consequences of actions on individuals or groups. Reflective practice is a powerful tool for professional growth and development (Freshwater, 2008, p. 10). The process of reflection may include awareness of uncomfortable feelings and thoughts, critical analysis of the situation and development of a new perspective (Freshwater, 2008, p. 9). The purpose of this reflective professional...

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