Location of Repository

The use of reflective journals in the promotion of reflection and learning in post registration nursing students

By Kathleen Dympna Chirema


Reflective journal writing has frequently been used in nursing and other health care fields\ud as an educational strategy to promote reflection and learning. Although reflective journal\ud writing is recognised as a valuable tool to promote students' learning, very little research\ud has been undertaken to evaluate its use. The overall aim of this study is to examine the\ud use of reflective journals in the promotion of reflection and learning in post-registration\ud nursing students. In order to achieve that aim a qualitative descriptive case study design\ud was utilised to examine four objectives. The first was to analyse reflective journals\ud completed by students during a period of learning in order to determine the extent and\ud level of reflection achieved. The second, to examine the use of reflective journals as an\ud educational strategy for facilitating learning in the practice setting. Thirdly, there was the\ud intention to examine the nature and content of guidelines given to students with regard to\ud the use of a reflective journal, and fourthly, to examine the support given to students by\ud preceptors in relation to completing a reflective journal during their practice experience.\ud \ud \ud A purposive homogenous sample of eighty one part-time post-registration nursing\ud students undertaking one of four modules, either as part of the Diploma in Professional\ud Studies in Palliative Care Nursing or the Diploma in Breast Care Nursing during one\ud semester constituted the total sample. Forty- two students agreed to participate in the\ud research.\ud \ud \ud Data were collected from reflective journals completed during one module and by\ud interviews with fifteen students, two teachers and three preceptors.\ud Forty-two journals were analysed to determine the extent and level of reflection using a\ud model devised by Boud et al. [1985] and adapted by Wong et al. [1995]. A model devised\ud by Mezirow [1990] was used to identify the non-reflectors, reflectors, and critical reflectors.\ud \ud \ud The findings suggest that student writing can be used as evidence for the presence or\ud absence of reflective thinking. Allocating students to the three categories of non-reflector,\ud reflector and critical reflector was possible. However, identifying textual elements within\ud the journals and allocating them to the finer levels of reflection was more difficult and less\ud reliable. Evidence suggests overall that journals are a useful tool for promoting reflection\ud and learning. However, some students appear to benefit more from journals than others.\ud Approximately two thirds of the respondents were able to demonstrate varying levels of\ud reflection and were classified as either reflectors or critical reflectors. The remaining one\ud third of the respondents were unable to demonstrate any levels of reflection. Overall\ud respondents expressed positive views, regarding the use of reflective journals. However, a\ud small number found writing challenging and some questioned their use. Some\ud respondents preferred to talk about their reflections rather than write them in a journal.\ud The importance of receiving clear guidance on the purpose of journal writing from\ud teachers, and the need for non-judgemental feedback were highlighted as important\ud factors in promoting the effective use of journals. Some concern was expressed regarding\ud the disclosure of confidential information, and also who would have access to journals\ud when used for assessment purposes. The issue of the time required for reflection and\ud writing a journal was a major concern for some respondents. Students valued the role of\ud preceptors in supporting their journal writing during the practice experience. Preceptors\ud considered that the preparation they received for their role was adequate. However, they\ud did request debriefing sessions following their support of students who had experienced\ud difficult situations.\ud \ud \ud This study has presented further evidence that overall, reflective journals may be used as\ud a tool to promote reflection and learning in post-registration nursing students

Topics: RT, LB2300
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:4710

Suggested articles



  1. [1983/84] Why not really communicate? In dialogue journals. N.A.TESOL Working Papers.
  2. [1988a] Building on experience.
  3. [1988b] The journal as an assessment and evaluation tool in nurse education. Nurse Education Today.
  4. [1995] The Reflective Journal: A window to preservice teachers' practical knowledge. Teaching and Teacher Education.
  5. [1998] Facilitating reflection from a sage on stage to a guide on the side. Nurse Education Today.
  6. [2000] An inquiry into the development of critical reflection in secondary student teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education.
  7. [ed.] [1982] Field Research: A Source Book
  8. (1985). [eds.] Reflection: Turning Experience into learning.
  9. (2000). 2'
  10. (1995). 20011 Depending on the intent and emphasis of the supervisor, clinical supervision can be a different experience.
  11. (1994). 2nd ed. An Expanded Sourcebook. Qualitative Data Analysis.
  12. (1996). 2nd ed. Nursing Research: Application of Qualitative Approaches.
  13. (1991). 2nd ed. The Reflective Practitioner. San Francisco.
  14. (1999). 6th Ed. Nursing Research, Principles
  15. A [1995] Developing reflective practice in mental health nursing through critical incident analysis.
  16. (1963). A Case Study Approach.
  17. (1993). A conceptual framework to guide the development of teacher reflection and decision making.
  18. (1994). A critical thinking model for nursing.
  19. (1991). A method of analysing interview transcripts in qualitative research. Nurse Education Today.
  20. (1994). A Practicum in School Counselling Using Reflective Journals as an Integral Component. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the
  21. (1977). A Theory of Education.
  22. (1986). Action and reflection: practice and theory in nursing.
  23. (1985). Action research as critical educational science. In: Becoming critical, education, knowledge and action research.
  24. (1994). Action research: a few details, a caution and something new.
  25. (1987). Adult Learning in the Social Context. London. Croom Helm.
  26. (1997). An Action Research Study into the Development of Nurses as Reflective Practitioners.
  27. (1993). An ethical analysis of student-faculty interactions.
  28. (1978). An Evaluation Guide for College Women College Re-entry Programs, Centre for Adult Education Teachers'
  29. (1991). An Inside Job. Policing and Police Culture in Britain.
  30. (1989). Anonymous Journals in Literature Survey Courses.
  31. (1992). Anxiety, accuracy and reflection: the limits of professional development.
  32. (1994). Assessing reflective learning.
  33. (1995). Assessing the levels of student reflection from reflective journals.
  34. (2000). Assessing the Reliability of Grading Reflective Journal Writing.
  35. Association [1990] Critical Thinking: a statement of expert consensus for purposes of educational assessment and instrument. The Delphi Report: research findings and recommendations prepared for the committee on pre-coliege philosophy.
  36. (1975). At a Journal Workshop. The Basic Text and Guide for using the Interactive Journal.
  37. (1999). Baccalaurate Nursing Education and Home Health. A Collaborative Alliance. Nursing Connections.
  38. (2000). Becoming a Reflective Practitioner: A reflective and holistic approach to clinical nursing practice development and clinical supeivision.
  39. (1991). Becoming a reflective practitioner. In: Towards a Discipline of Nursing.
  40. (1986). Becoming Critical: Education, Knowledge and Action Research.
  41. (1987). Bias in the biography: bias and subjectivity in ethnographic research. Anthropology and Education Quarterly.
  42. (1987). Case Studies:
  43. (1981). Case study methodology: An Epistemological Advocacy'.
  44. (1988). Case Study Research In Education. A Qualitative Approach. San Francisco.
  45. (1994). Case Study Research.
  46. (1988). Clinical journals. A non threatening strategy to foster ethical and intellectual developments in nursing students. Virginia Nurse.
  47. (1994). Clinical Supervision in Practice.
  48. (1984). Communicating with Myself.
  49. (1985). Content of academic essays.
  50. (1994). Continuing education for nurses, orientating practitioners towards learning.
  51. (1997). Critical incident analysis a strategy for developing reflective practitioners.
  52. (2001). Critical Reflection for Nursing and the Helping Professions: A User's Guide.
  53. (1997). Developing a reflective teacher.
  54. (1995). Developing and maintaining reflection in clinical journals. Nurse Education Today.
  55. (1989). Developing and sustaining critical reflection in teacher education.
  56. (1987). Developing Critical Thinkers. Milton Keynes.
  57. (1996). Developing Curricula to encourage students to write reflective journals.
  58. (1992). Developing Professional Education. The Sociology for Research into Higher Education.
  59. (1993). Dilemmas in cross cultural research. In:
  60. (2001). Doing a Literature Search. A Comprehensive Guide for the Social Sciences.
  61. (1987). Educating the Reflective Practitioner. San Francisco.
  62. (1999). Establishing the credibility of qualitative research findings: the plot thickens.
  63. (1992). Examining Preservice Experiences through Journals. Paper presented at the
  64. (1996). Experiences of encouraging student-centred learning within a weilness-orientated curriculum.
  65. (1989). Experiential learning and the benefits of journal work.
  66. (1984). Experiential Learning.
  67. (1991). Exploring reflection: knowing and constructing practice.
  68. (1995). Exploring the lived experiences o psychiatric nursing students through self-reflective journals.
  69. (1995). Facilitating reflection: issues and concerns,
  70. (1996). Facing Death: Interdisciplinary Approach.
  71. (1994). Feminism and models of qualitative research. In:
  72. (1951). Field Theoty in Social Sciences.
  73. (1980). Fieldwork Experience. Qualitative Approaches to Social Research. New York.
  74. (1995). Framing learning through reflection within Carper's fundamental ways of knowing in nursing:
  75. (1969). Freedom to Learn.
  76. (1991). From Image to Action: Reflection in Nursing Practice.
  77. (1984). From Novice to Expert: Evidence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice.
  78. (1978). Fundamental ways of knowing in nursing.
  79. (1993). Going deeper teaching and group work in adult education.
  80. (1994). Guided Reflection: In:
  81. (1991). Helping students become better learners: a case study in teacher education.
  82. (1995). Hindsight bias in reflective practice: an empirical investigation.
  83. (1986). History of the dialogue journal into communicating thinking and learning
  84. (1990). How critical reflection triggers transformative learning. In: Fostering Critical Reflection
  85. (1987). How expert nurses use intuition.
  86. (1933). How We Think.
  87. (1993). Human Action Doubled.
  88. (1995). Humpty-Dumpty: reflection and reflective practice.
  89. (1994). Illuminating dissertation supervision through reflection.
  90. (1994). Images of Man in Psychological Research.
  91. (1996). Improving student's learning strategies through selfreflection. Teaching and Change.
  92. (1995). In our own voice: Journaling as a teaching/learning technique for nurses.
  93. (1984). In the Field: An Introduction to Field Research. London. Allen and Urwin.
  94. (1985). Independent Nursing Interventions. Toronto Ontario.
  95. (1991). Integrating theory and practice.
  96. (1995). Interpersonal Communication in Nursing: Theory and Practice. Effective Interactions with Patients. 2nd edition. Churchill. Social Skills: Interpersonal Communication. 3rd edition. Routledge. Helping the Client Sage Publishers.
  97. (1995). Interpersonal Relationships: Professional Communication Skills for Nurses. 2nd edition.
  98. (1992). Journal keeping as an educational strategy in teaching psychiatric nurses.
  99. (1997). Journal writing in Nursing In: Porrier, G. Writing to Learn: Curriculum Strategies for Nursing and Other Disciplines.
  100. (1994). Journal writing in the Training of International Teaching Assistants.
  101. (2002). Journal writing to promote reflection in physical therapy students during clinical placements. Physiotherapy - Theory and Practice.
  102. (1986). Journal writing: A key to promoting critical thinking in nursing students.
  103. (1988). Journals in an English graduate course.
  104. (1987). Keeping a Personal Professional Journal.
  105. (1978). Knowledge and Human Interests.
  106. (1993). Learning diaries:
  107. (1995). Learning Human Skills: Learning and Reflective Guide.
  108. (1976). Learning to learn: Research and development in student learning.
  109. (1992). Learning to reflect on teaching: A case study of one preservice physical education teacher.
  110. (1977). Linking ways of knowing with ways of being practical.
  111. (1994). Medical ethics: four principles plus attention to scope British Medical Journal.
  112. (1998). Module Grading: Graded Module Aims: This module aims to provide the student with the opportunity to: Approved by SAVP Issue No: 3
  113. (1991). Moral Responsibility in Nursing. Paper presented at the Inaugural Conference of the National Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Ethics,
  114. (1985). Naturalistic Enquiry. Newbury Park.
  115. (1987). New Jersey.
  116. (1981). Nonreactive Measures in the Social Sciences.
  117. (1987). Nurse education as social control. Nurses Education Today.
  118. (1995). Nurse educators' perceptions of reflection and reflective practice: A report of a descriptive study.
  119. (1999). Nurse's perceptions of the value of written reflection.
  120. (1990). Nursing and health-care research: the use and applications of research for nurses and other health care professionals.
  121. (1996). Nursing Ethics. A Principle-Based Approach.
  122. (1990). Nursing Practice High,
  123. (1991). Nursing: Reflecting on an evolving practice.
  124. (1978). Organisational Learning: A Theory of Action Perspective.
  125. (1972). Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
  126. (1993). Personal journal writing in a communication skills course for first-year medical students.
  127. (1995). Portfolios: a developmental influence.
  128. (1993). Privacy regulation and vulnerability. In: Self Disclosure. Newbury Park.
  129. (1995). Professional education - who learns what? Nurse Education Today.
  130. (1993). Professional Supervision.
  131. (1989). Progression from enrolled to registered general nurse. [1] Charting the conversion. Nurse Education Today.
  132. (1997). Promoting Reflective Practitioners in Nursing: a review of theoretical models and research into the use of diaries and journals to facilitate reflection. Teaching in Higher Education.
  133. (1986). Qualitative Data Analysis for Social Scientists.
  134. (1990). Qualitative Evaluation and Review Methods.
  135. (1996). Qualitative Research for Nurses.
  136. (1999). Qualitative Research in Health. An Introduction.
  137. (1985). Qualitative Research Methods in Nursing. Orlando Florida. Grune and Stratton Inc.
  138. (1988). Quality and Quantity in Social Research.
  139. (1998). Reflection a challenging innovation for nurses.
  140. (1995). Reflection and critical incident analysis: ethical and moral implications of their use within nursing and midwifery education.
  141. (1998). Reflection and nursing education.
  142. (1990). Reflection and Professional Education: Art Science and Competency.
  143. (1984). Reflection and teacher education. A case study and theoretical analysis.
  144. (2001). Reflection as a transforming process: student advanced nurse practitioners' experience of developing reflective skills as part of a M.Sc. programme.
  145. (1992). Reflection on reflection. Learning and Instruction.
  146. (1994). Reflection with a practice led curriculum. In: Reflective practice in nursing. The Growth of the professional practitioner.
  147. (1995). Reflection-on-practice: enhancing student learning.
  148. (1993). Reflection: a necessary but not significant condition for professional development.
  149. (2000). Reflection: nursing's practice and education panacea
  150. (1993). Reflection: review of the literature.
  151. (1999). Reflective education for professional practice. Discovering knowledge from experience. Nurse Education Today.
  152. (1996). Reflective journal writing in nurse education.: whose interest does it serve?
  153. (1996). Reflective Journals: Suggestions for educators.
  154. (1996). Reflective learning: a teaching strategy for critical thinking.
  155. (1983). Reflective learning: key to learning from experience.
  156. (1990). Reflective Pedagogical Thinking: How can we promote it and measure it?
  157. (1993). Reflective peer journals. Developing authentic nurses.
  158. (1992). Reflective practice and nursing. Nurse Education Today.
  159. (1994). Reflective Practice in Nursing: Growth of the Reflective Practitioner.
  160. (1994). Reflective practice in nursing: issues and implications for nurse education. Nurse Education Today.
  161. (1993). Reflective practice: a critique of the work of Argyris and Schön.
  162. (1995). Reflective Practice: A focus for caring.
  163. (1994). Reflective Practice: broadening the scope. Paper presented to the Clinical Nurse Specialist Conference.
  164. (2002). Reflective practice: Where now?
  165. (1990). Reflective practice. A new agenda for education. Education and Urban Society.
  166. (1990). Reflective withdrawal through journal writing.
  167. (1986). Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research.
  168. (1981). Research Design: Survey/descriptive. In:
  169. (1998). Research into Practice. London. Bailliere Tindall.
  170. (1990). Researching Lived Experience. Human Science for an Action Sensitive Pedagogy.
  171. (1983). Rethinking Case Study: Notes from the second Cambridge Conference.
  172. (1993). Revisiting theory and practice: the Hong Kong experience - an evaluative study of reflective learning among postregistration nurses.
  173. (1993). Rigour or Rigor mortis: The problem of rigor in qualitative research revisited.
  174. (1992). Self Disclosure: A Contemporaiy Analysis.
  175. (1990). Self-reflection in nurse teacher education.
  176. (1993). Social Research: Issues, Method and Process. Milton Keynes.
  177. (1989). Stress and Coping in Nursing.
  178. (1986). Stress and Self-Awareness: A Guide for Nurses. Heinemann Pubi Ltd.
  179. (1971). Structura/ism. London. Routledge and Kegan Paul.
  180. (1981). Student Nurses' Accounts of their Work and Training: A Qualitative Analysis. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis.
  181. (1996). Student reflective groups at a Scottish College of Nursing. Nurse Education Today.
  182. (1998). Supervising students: Exploring the experience through reflective journals. Occupational Therapy International.
  183. (1992). Swamplog: a structured journal for reflection-in-action. Writing Notebook: creative word processing in the classroom.
  184. (1997). Systematic Self Reflection: Professional Development for the Reflective Practitioner. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association
  185. (1991). Teaching physical therapy students to reflect: a suggestion for clinical education.
  186. (1987). Teaching with Writing. Upper Monttclair,
  187. (1997). Teaching your students to think reflectively: the case for reflective journals.
  188. (1986). The argument for writing across the curriculum. In:
  189. (1986). The case study a viable approach to clinical research.
  190. (1980). The conduct of educational studies ethics, theory and procedures.
  191. (1975). The Development of Writing Abilities.
  192. (1990). The diary as a formative teaching and learning aid incorporating means of clinical learning objectives. Nurse Education Today.
  193. (1993). The inevitable future? Post Fordism in work and learning.
  194. (1989). The interactive journal: a clinical teaching tool.
  195. (1992). The intimate dialogue: journal writing by students.
  196. (1986). The Journal Book. Upper
  197. (1994). The lecturer clinician role: faculty practice In: Lathlean
  198. (1979). The Practice of Social Research.
  199. (1995). The professional portfolio: purpose, process, and practice. Part 2: Producing a portfolio from experiential learning.
  200. (1993). The qualitative research audit trail; a complex collection of documentation. Research Nursing and Health.
  201. (1989). The reflective practitioner in nursing.
  202. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner, How Professionals Think in Action.
  203. (1991). The Reflective Practitioner. Triverton.
  204. (1990). The relationship between journal writing in education and thinking process. What educators say about it.
  205. (1998). The role of reflection in single and double loop learning.
  206. (1996). The search for a separate theory of adult learning. Does anyone need androgogy? In:
  207. (1990). The Skilled Helper: A Systematic Approach to Effective Helping.
  208. (1987). The team journal, In: Fulwiler,
  209. (1999). The use of brief educational material to promote reflection amongst trained nurses. Nurse Education Today.
  210. (1992). The use of clinical diaries by baccalaureate nursing majors. Unpublished paper presented at the research
  211. (1997). The use of journals to promote reflection.
  212. (1995). The use of reflection as a teaching and learning United Kingdom Council for Nurses Midwives and Health Visitors. [1988] Project 2000: a new preparation for practice. [UKCC] London United Kingdom Council for Nurses Midwives and Health Visitors.
  213. (2000). The use of reflection in a palliative care programme: a qualitative study of the development of reflective skills over an academic year.
  214. (1999). The use of reflective summary writing as a method of obtaining student feedback about entering physical therapy practice.
  215. (1993). The use of student journals in nursing education. Making meaning out of clinical experience.
  216. (1994). The views of students and teachers on the use of portfolios as a learning and assessment tool in midwifery education. Nurse Education Today.
  217. (1974). Theory and Practice.
  218. (1974). Theory in Practice: Increasing professional Effectiveness.
  219. (1978). Thought and Choice in Chess.
  220. (1992). Three modes of action research, Curriculum Perspectives.
  221. (1971). Towards a Rational Society. London Heinemann.
  222. (1975). Towards an applied theory of experiential learning. In: Theories of Group Processes.
  223. (1991). Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning.
  224. (1984). Transforming Qualitative Data; Description Analysis and Interpretation.
  225. (1991). Twenty ways to liven up learning logs.
  226. (2002). Unravelling the unknowns of reflection in classroom teaching.
  227. (1993). Use of journals to enhance critical thinking.
  228. (1982). Use your head. Revised edition. London. British Broadcasting Corporation.
  229. (1992). Using dialectical journals to teach thinking skills.
  230. (1996). Using individual and group reflection in and on assessment as a tool for effective learning.
  231. (1992). Using of clinical logs by beginning nursing students and faculty to identify learning needs.
  232. (1987). Using patients: exploring the ethical dimensions of reflective practice in nurse education.
  233. (1996). Using reflection to develop clinical expertise.
  234. (1994). Using Reflective Journals and the Workshop. Approach in 'University classes to develop students' SelfRegulated Learning. A Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association.
  235. (1984). Using student journals in Sociology courses. Teaching Sociology.
  236. (1989). Using student journals to teach study skills.
  237. (1996). Validity in qualitative health care research. An exploration of the impact of individual researcher perspectives within collaborative enquiry.
  238. (1996). Visualising and realising caring in practice through guided reflection.
  239. What is case study research?
  240. (1995). Where has Schön led us? 'The reflective practitioner upon nurse education, practice and research.
  241. (1986). Women's Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice and Mind.
  242. (2000). Writing with invisible ink! Narrative, confessional and reflective practice. Reflective Practice 1:11-24.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.