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Introduction

The aim of this essay is to present a reflective account of my role as a student Nurse and as a future healthcare practitioner with a one-year action plan for a developmental need. I will discuss first learning in higher education, studying for a Nursing degree, and my roles as a future Healthcare practitioner. I will confer on nursing in current healthcare and the Value of lifelong learning. This will be followed by my initial reflections on entering higher education. I will discuss my academic profile and identify my learning style and the impact this has on my learning. This will be followed by a discussion on my area of development in relation to Essential Skills in higher education and a reflection on its significance in my practice as a student and future nurse. This essay will end with a conclusion that summarises all points discussed and the recommendation of what needs to be done in light of the findings. Reflection helps both student nurses and healthcare practitioners to enhance current and future nursing practice through learning from one’s experiences (Bulman and Schutz, 2013)

Discussion

It’s my first year at university and it has been an exciting experience so far. The diversity in culture and religion that make up the school community attracts an array of students from different backgrounds. The learning experience at higher education is one that will provide me with the skills I need as a student in practice and also as a future Healthcare practitioner; as I am strengthened through rigorous reading and research on various topics, to think independently, and also question what I read and learn. My first few weeks of attending classes confirmed that my choice to study mental health nursing was the right decision for me. Answers to questions I had always wondered about concerning nursing were taught and I found this particularly intriguing, as I hadn’t previously studied it.

I effectively manage my time to ensure that I meet all the program requirements for the completion of theory hours, practice hours, and theoretical and practice-based assessments. As a student nurse am expected to effectively manage the continual transition between my role as a health care support worker and my role as a student nurse. Am required as a student nurse to understand what it means to be a registered professional and how keeping to the Code helps to achieve that … these guidelines (Nursing and Midwifery Council [NMC], 2018). The patient is my first priority as a future Healthcare practitioner. My role as a future nurse is to advocate for the best interests of the patient and to uphold the patient’s dignity through treatment and care. This may include educating patients about the management of illnesses, collaborating with other health professionals, and making suggestions in the treatment plan of patients (Temple, J. 2012). Other roles are administering medications and treatments, Monitoring patient health, and recording signs. I am committed to upholding the standards as stipulated in the NMC (2018); this commitment to professional standards is fundamental to being part of this noble profession.

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There are many urgent Healthcare issues that need to be addressed as recognized by stakeholders nationally and internationally. Global population Health has drawn the concern of the World Health Organization (WHO); in light of this, it encourages healthcare providers to work collaboratively for solutions to improve the lives of people around the world especially the underserved. Nurses must, however, rapidly adapt as medicine, technology, and societal health concerns change. While this swift pace is a good thing in some ways, it also means that the problems the healthcare professionals encounter are constantly changing too. Given that nurses are part of the most integral members of the healthcare community; this is especially true for them. Continuing professional development is imperative because it ensures that as a professional nurse, I will continue to be competent in the profession. It is an ongoing process and continues throughout a professional’s career. The ultimate value of well-planned life-long learning for professional development is that it safeguards the public, the employer, the professional, and the professional’s career. Lifelong learning ensures that as a nurse my knowledge stays relevant and up to date.

The University’s motto struck a chord with me, as the Career University, before I’d even set foot on its beautiful campus. I knew I would have to work had to come out in flying colours and I was prepared. What seemed like fun at the start of the course has now turned into what I fear the most; low grades. I have been trying to keep my grades up but to no avail. I felt I could manage my studies, extra-curricular activities, and most importantly the challenges of studying with work and family life. I feel am distracted by other commitments, but I feel I can still get it right if I take the right steps. I don’t think I prioritize my various activities well, there should be a balance that will leave me stress-free at the end. Although my academic effort has been relentless, I am punctual and I do all my course work too. If I had been more careful in planning my time, instead of being disorganized, I would have done better. With excellent time management skills, I can get my grades up and put my life on track.

I have a BA. Ed English, however, I discovered my calling to be in the field of nursing so I did a diploma in mental health and social care level 4. My prior studies gave me a good foundation to build on my nursing career. I will attribute this to my strengths and the willingness to go the extra mile. I was always punctual in every class we had, even on days that I was a little under the weather I still made it to class. My core strengths are teamwork, strong work ethic, and problem-solving. I would say my learning style is more Kinesthetic and Auditory I learn better when I can move my body, and use my hands and sense of touch like in practical classes or placement (Schmeck, R. 2013). Writing or drawing diagrams are physical activities that I do to improve my learning as well, I also tend to grasp what I hear during lectures or recorded lectures.

As a nursing student, my schedule is hectic. Sometimes I regard my present school as the hardest thing I’ve ever done; I juggle all the responsibilities of school, my family life, and work. Using Gibbs’ reflective model I was able to explore my situation and then identified ‘Time management’ as an area of development in relation to Essential Skills. Time management doesn’t just benefit me as a future nurse; it can also be a big stress relief for me now as a student nurse with the high pace of study and the challenges at work and home. Knowing how to prioritize all my tasks and keeping track of my to-dos on the three fronts can make a big difference in lowering my stress and helping me to better manage my time. Improving my time management skills will make me a more efficient nurse in the future, one that will be capable of attending to the needs of more patients in less time. This doesn’t mean that I will sacrifice patient care and bedside manner; it’s just that I will be able to complete the basic care they need in an efficient way that takes less time. In some cases, I may even get more time to speak with and get to know those that I am caring for by the application of excellent time management skills.

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