Skip to Main Content

Resources for Nursing: Reflection

This guide will lead you to resources that help your study and research in the field of Nursing and Midwifery. There are also a range of learning tools that will allow you to develop your research and study skills.

Refelective Writing Books

What is reflective writing?

“Thinking back on what we have done in order to discover how our knowing in action my have contributed to an unexpected outcome.

We may do so after the fact, in tranquility or we may pause in the midst of action (stop & think).”

(Schon 1987, cited in Bulman & Schutz, 2004, p.2).

The Thinking Process (adapted from Mezirow 1990, Schon 1987, Brookfield 1987)

Benefits of reflective writing

Engaging in reflective writing will develop your understanding in many ways, including helping you to:

  • Become a critical thinker
  • Identify weaknesses in your understanding
  • Gain a deeper understanding of course content
  • Become an independent learner and problem-solver.


  • Things (experiences) that happen to a person.
  • The reflective process that enable the person to learn from those experiences.
  • The action that results from the new perspectives that are taken. (Jasper, 2003, p.2).

Stages of Reflective Processes

  • Stage (1): Selecting an experience or a critical incident to reflect on.
  • Stage (2): Describing the Experience/Critical Incident & Identifying its Significance.
  • Stage (3): Analyzing the experience.
  • Stage (4): Interpreting the experience.
  • Stage (5): Exploring alternatives.
  • Stage (6): Learning from the Experience or Forming an action plan.  (Jasper, 2003, p.12-31).

John's Model

The following cues are offered to help practitioners to access, make sense of, and learn through experience.


Write a description of the experience What are the key issues within this description that I need to pay attention to?


What was I trying to achieve? Why did I act as I did? What are the consequences of my actions?

• For the patient and family

• For myself

• For people I work with

How did I feel about this experience when it was happening?

How did the patient feel about it? How do I know how the patient felt about it?

Influencing factors

What internal factors influenced my decision-making and actions?

What external factors influenced my decision-making and actions?

What sources of knowledge did or should have influenced my decision making and actions?

Alternative strategies

Could I have dealt better with the situation?

What other choices did I have?

What would be the consequences of these other choices?


How can I make sense of this experience in light of past experience and future practice?

How do I NOW feel about this experience?

Have I taken effective action to support myself and others as a result of this experience?

How has this experience changed my way of knowing in practice?

Johns, C. (1994). Nuances of reflection. Journal of Clinical Nursing 3 71-75

Gibbs Model

Gibbs, G. (1988) Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Further Education Unit, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.


From the perspective of the medical model, disability is considered a personal tragedy and a physical deficit. When I cared for J.D., I focused more on functional limitations than her abilities to accomplish things. In the article on Disability and the Body, however, Hughes (1997) argues that disability should not be seen as a deficit but the ways in which social structures excludes and oppresses disabled people.  By reading these articles, my view of disability has been changed.  The medical model sees part of the problem, but the social model allows me to see the problem in a broader way.  When working with children living with disabilities, I need to be aware of social barriers that are imposed on these children…She needs not just physical treatment but also psychosocial support, from her friends and from me as her nurse.

Adapted from  Taylor, 2013, pp 177-178 Taylor, D. B. (2013). Writing skills for nursing and midwifery students. Los Angeles, Calif: SAGE.

1st red sentence: Topic sentence about how disability is considered within the medical model.

1st green sentence: reflection (notice the use of I) and how the writer is thinking and observing her practice relating to this topic sentence.

2nd red sentence: the writer now relates this reflection to theory.

2nd green sentence: the writer reflects on how this article changed her views of disability

Blue sentence – represents what she is going to do with this new knowledge and how she will work with her client.

(From QUT University study skills)