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Reflection on Graduate Nursing Experience Sample Essay

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Reflection on Graduate Nursing Experience Sample Essay


The nursing profession stands as one of the most critical and multifaceted fields, necessitating a delicate balance between professional competence and interpersonal skills. To flourish as a compelling nursing professional, acquiring a diverse skill set is imperative. As a recent nursing graduate, I must formulate a comprehensive plan and engage in strategic practices to cultivate the competencies required for success. This essay aims to reflect on my journey of learning and comprehending various vital nursing skills crucial to becoming an adept and reflective practitioner in this field. Currently enrolled in a nursing program at the graduate level, I am confronted with many academic and practical activities designed to bolster my comprehension, knowledge, and skills in nursing. I aim to devise a practical plan that will enable me to translate theoretical knowledge into practical proficiency. To this end, this essay delves into my personal experiences and strategies for applying my theoretical understanding and knowledge of essential nursing skills and competencies.

Formulation of a Personal Development Plan (PDP)

To transform my academic knowledge into practical skills and foster confidence as a registered nurse, I recognize the necessity of practical application. Throughout my academic journey, I have encountered a plethora of nursing theories and concepts integral to the nursing profession. However, realizing their implications in real-world healthcare settings is pivotal for my evolution as a healthcare professional. Practical exposure and a well-thought-out plan are indispensable for me, as a recent nursing graduate, to effectively align with my career aspirations. Consequently, I am committed to pursuing diverse projects and tasks that provide opportunities to serve the community and enhance my practical experience as a nursing professional.

During the initial six months of my graduate nursing course, I have encountered invaluable experiences that have deepened my understanding of the challenges faced by nursing practitioners and the skills required to address these challenges. As a reflective practitioner, my initial months as a graduate nurse have highlighted areas where personal growth and development are necessary. In this light, formulating a Personal Development Plan (PDP) is imperative. This plan encompasses various facets of my personal growth, focusing on:

Personal SWOT Analysis

To assess my competencies and areas requiring development, I have conducted a SWOT analysis of my personality, which is outlined below:


  • Effective communication skills, facilitating positive patient relationships.
  • Experience in team-related tasks, offering insights into handling team dynamics and related issues, thus contributing to effective teamwork.


  • A tendency toward short temper can harm a practitioner nurse’s role.
  • Time management skills need improvement, as meeting project deadlines has been challenging in my previous experiences.


  • The graduate nursing course will expose various nursing-related theories and concepts, enhancing my skill set.
  • Practical projects undertaken during the course will augment my real-life experience in various nursing roles and responsibilities.


  • Growing competition in the nursing field has heightened the pressure to develop essential and diverse personality skills.
  • Frequent technological advancements in medical science present a challenge for new nursing graduates, necessitating adaptability to evolving technologies.

Personal Skill Audit

In line with my Personal Development Plan (PDP), I’ve conducted a personal skill audit, assessing the importance of various skills on a scale from less important to most important. The audit revealed critical skills that warrant intensified focus:

  • Control of anger and maintaining composure are vital skills, given the demanding and frequently high-stress nature of nursing (Mooney 2007).
  • Effective time management is imperative, as nursing often involves tight schedules and heavy workloads, requiring timely and efficient task completion (Gustafsson and Fagerberg 2003). I must enhance this skill.
  • Adaptability to extended working hours and late shifts is essential (Nutley 2008). My current preference for shorter working hours may not align with the demands of a professional nursing career.

Development of Action Plan

Recognizing the critical areas in my personality that necessitate development, I understand the need for a well-structured action plan with strategic measures and a timeline. This plan will enable me to overcome my weaknesses while reinforcing the positive aspects of my personality. The action plan is outlined below:

SkillsExisting StatusDesired OutcomeStrategiesEstimated Time Required
1. Anger ManagementVery poor, needs immediate considerationControl anger in pressure situations to remain calm– Practice meditation to control emotional expression in difficult situations. Study literature on anger management for techniques. (Mooney 2007)3-4 weeks
2. Time ManagementSatisfactory, long-term projectDevelop time management skills for efficient scheduling– Learn time management through practical implementation and experience. Create a daily schedule and follow it rigorously. Prioritize activities based on importance. (Gustafsson and Fagerberg 2003)2-3 weeks
3. Late Hour WorkFair, needs improvementEnhance ability to work late hours– Practice meditation to control emotional expression in difficult situations. Study literature on anger management for techniques.(Mooney 2007)More than 4-6 weeks


Reflecting upon the first six months as a graduate nurse, it becomes evident that my personality encompasses both positive and negative aspects. As a reflective practitioner, I have engaged in a skill audit to assess certain vital competencies necessary for a nursing professional. To improve these essential skills and bridge the gap between theory and practice, this essay has outlined a comprehensive action plan that details critical strategies and tactics for personal enhancement. This plan serves as a roadmap for my ongoing personal and professional development.

Frequently Asked Questions About “Reflection on Graduate Nursing Experience”

What is the significance of a Personal Development Plan (PDP) in the nursing profession?

A PDP is crucial in nursing as it helps professionals bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application, fostering personal growth and competence.

How can anger management skills benefit a nursing professional?

Effective anger management skills enable nurses to remain composed and calm in high-pressure situations, promoting better patient care and teamwork.

What strategies can be employed to improve time management skills in nursing?

Practical strategies include creating daily schedules, adhering to them diligently, and prioritizing activities based on their importance, thereby enhancing time management in nursing.

Why is the ability to work late hours important for a nursing professional?

Nursing often involves working extended hours and late shifts. Developing the capacity to work during late hours is essential for fulfilling nursing duties effectively.

How does reflective practice contribute to professional growth in nursing?

Reflective practice allows nurses to assess their strengths and weaknesses, leading to self-awareness and targeted personal development efforts.

What is the purpose of a skill audit in the context of personal development in nursing?

A skill audit helps nursing professionals evaluate their competency levels, identify areas that require improvement, and plan for skills enhancement.

Why is it important to prioritize activities based on time management?

Prioritizing activities ensures that nursing professionals address critical tasks first, allowing for efficient time allocation and better patient care.

What role does a Personal Development Plan (PDP) play in bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application in nursing?

A PDP provides a structured approach to transforming academic knowledge into practical skills, enabling nursing professionals to excel.

What is the estimated time required for improving time management skills through a PDP in nursing?

The estimated time to acclimate to a time management schedule typically ranges from 2 to 3 weeks.

How does the reflection essay contribute to ongoing personal and professional development in nursing?

The reflection essay serves as a roadmap for personal and professional growth, offering a well-elaborated action plan to enhance skills fostering competence in the nursing profession.

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