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A Personal Account of the First Year Student Nurse

Following Gibbs Reflective Cycle 1988

Action Plan What happened? Feelings
If it arose What were
again, what you thinking
would you do? and feeling?
Conclusion Evaluation
What else What was
could you Analysis good and bad
have done? What sense can about the
you make of experience?
the situation?
My personal journey began when I embarked on the NVQ 3 at Bronllys training department. I developed a hunger for education
and knew that this was my time to progress in my chosen area of nursing.
On completion of the NVQ 3, I then set about securing a place on the B.N.Hons. Pre reg Nursing Mental Health, at N.E.W.I.
The next step was to apply for a secondment, thankfully this was granted and my course began in September 2005.


The feelings I have endured so far have ranged form euphoria to sheer terror. At the beginning of the course I questioned my
academic ability to be able to succeed, but as time has progressed my confidence is building and I am continually surprising
myself with my achievements so far.

Up to the present time, the good things I have experienced are getting a ‘B’ for my first assignment, and an ‘A’ for my second
assignment. Along with these grades I have so far experienced two practice placements, both of which were fulfilling learning
experiences offering insights into different fields of nursing. Also it must not be forgotten that you meet the most amazing
people along your way. As a student nurse you are in a very privileged position and this becomes apparent from a very early
The bad things so far are the course is not easy, it requires a lot of hard work and dedication from me, taking me away from my
family for long hours. Additionally I have felt much stress and anxiety during my first year, regarding my overwhelming urge
to succeed.

The sense I have made from it all is, to achieve an academic qualification is not easy. It requires an enormous amount of
dedication from me, my family, university lecturers, the mentors and all other health professionals involved in enhancing my
learning experience. These realisations are both humbling to me, to feel all of these individuals are there to support me and
guide me on my journey. As it is a terrifying prospect to feel that so many dedicated individuals are there to help me succeed.

At this stage I don’t feel there is anything else I could have done, my journey so far has been a huge learning curve, with many
highs and a few lows. I thank God every day I have been given this opportunity to enhance my academic skills, and been
granted the privilege of working in a field of nursing that I feel passionately towards.

If the opportunity arose again for me to undertake the course I would not change a thing. My life is very different now; it is
busy, exhausting on times but also very rewarding fulfilling and exciting.

Reference List
Palmer, A. Burns, S. Bulman, C. (1994) Reflective Practice in Nursing the Growth of the Professional Practitioner, Oxford, Blackwell
Science Ltd.

Louise Mills