Nursing portfolio Essay Example

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August 26, 2013.


  1. Understanding of the nursing competency domain ‘critical thinking and analysis’.

In the domain of critical thinking and analysis, nursing competence relates to professional development, self-appraisal as well as the value of research and evidence for practice. It further entails reflection on beliefs, practice, consequences and feelings of the concerned individuals or groups is essential professional benchmark. Furthermore, it assists nurses to identify issues or problems particularly in nursing practice which may be investigated via research. Additionally, critical thinking will assist nurses to make use of best available evidence, in addition to nursing respect and expertise for the beliefs and values of the groups or individuals in providing nursing care (Epstein & Hundert, 2002, p. 225).

  1. The role of reflection

Reflection is important for practitioners because it is believed to contribute in making the nurses to think critically. Additionally, reflections assist practitioners particularly students to become competent and thoughtful practitioners, an aspect that can assist them to be reflective. Additionally, reflection makes practitioners to engage in self-assessment, a tool which is vital in assessment as practitioners are in a position to recognize their clinical shortcomings particularly in terms of practice and knowledge. Consequently, reflection assist practitioners not only to identify but also build on their existing knowledge, so that they can easily identify errors in thinking and knowledge deficits (Cassidy, 2009, p. 39).

Reflection on learning

1. Understanding the connection between the competent practice and culture. I have learned that a practitioner has to move from being culturally unaware to being culturally sensitive and aware to her or his own cultural heritage and respecting differences in others. Additionally, it is critically important to understand the importance of being aware of biases and values and how the manifestation of the same may impact on the indigenous people.

Consequently, clear understanding of the operations of the socio-political systems with respect to marginalized groups such as Aboriginal people in their environment. Essentially, a practitioner need to have the ability to determine and use appropriate and culturally relevant interventions when providing health care to different groups in the society (Meretoja, Eriksson & Leino-Kilpi, 2002, p. 95).

The techniques and tools that are developed during critical reflection, enables practitioners to be in a position to make conscious decisions when dealing with a particular group. Additionally, questioning is important as it assists in generating knowledge about the culture of the clients. Meretoja, Eriksson & Leino-Kilpi (2002, p. 98) reflective practices also assist in fostering collaborative relationship in a culturally an aspect that makes practitioners to be self-critical or self-directed learners in a cultural environment.

The knowledge, skills and attitudes that you need to become a culturally competent practitioner in the Australian Health care system

2. In order for one to become culturally competent in the Australian health care system, there are certain attitudes, knowledge and skills. First one has to culturally aware of the people or the environment. One has to be sensitive and conscious the way in which the cultural, historical and social issues shape the aboriginal people practices, understanding and values and how to incorporate the same in the health service delivery (Cassidy, 2009, p. 39).

Health practitioners are required to gain competence through training and education as well as experience, via the existence or acquisition of specified values, knowledge, attitudes and values. Therefore a health practitioner need to demonstrate professionalism in issues to do with medication. Consequently, they need to have knowledge in referrals from and to other agencies which need comprehensive knowledge of Aboriginal community services. They need also to have knowledge on cultural differences and various ways of how to access assistance when handling people from linguistically or cultural diverse background (McArthur, 2002, p. 109).

Furthermore in offering nursing services to Aboriginal communities, a registered practitioner need to have leadership skills in the coordination of the health and nursing care across and within different cultural contexts in order to maximize optimal health outcomes. This entails appropriate referrals, consultation with the aboriginal community, other health professionals, support services and service providers among others. It is essential for the health professional to be in a position to develop their professional knowledge and skills in accordance with the health needs of the Aboriginal people and the changing patterns of illness and disease (Clinton, Murrells & Robinson, 2005, p. 83)

Additionally, it is important to have an important understanding of the specific historical and cultural patterns that have contributed to indigenous lives in the past and the manner in which the health patterns continue to be expressed in contemporary Australia (Nursing Council of New Zealand, 2009).

On skills, the health practitioners need to have problem solving skills as well as ability to work as a team member to successfully address the health concerns of the Aboriginal community. Moreover, McArthur (2002, p. 108) health practitioners need to have history-taking and investigative skills and verbal and written communication. Health practitioners should also have ability to self-monitor, resolve conflicts as well as debriefing skills.

On attributes, reflecting on individual attitudes and values entails the still of critical reflexivity which is important in Aboriginal health care. Therefore, it is important for health practitioners to have a better understanding of the dynamics and nature of the power. This is because the mentioned operates in diverse levels from practitioner-client interactions as well as organizational and political systems (McArthur, 2002, p. 108).

Consequently, it is essential for the health practitioners to have a better understanding of not only the nature but also the effects of racism at ideological, discipline, institutional and individual level. More importantly, in addressing the Aboriginal health issues, it is important to the history of relationships between the aboriginal Australians and professions and systems.

According to Clinton, Murrells & Robinson (2005, p. 82) it is essential for health practitioners to perceive cultural competence as a dynamic-in-interaction that needs putting into consideration critical reflexivity/reflection as key to culturally competent practice within the Aboriginal community. The aforementioned entails interrogating as well as integrating western and indigenous knowledge systems and ensuring that the same is reflected at the cultural interface.

Finally, critical reflection is another important skill that all health practitioners should have. Critical reflection skill is essential tool for not only producing new processes but also knowledge an aspect that contributes to improving fundamental social justice outcomes especially for the Aboriginal people. As a result of doing so, health practitioners are likely to become conscious of the power that inheres health so as to democratize interactions, processes, interactions in addition to promoting culturally secure environment and process that will improve aboriginal people health and wellbeing outcome.


Cassidy. S. (2009). Interpretation of competence in student assessment. Nursing Standard,

23(18), 39-46.

Castell, F. (2008). Professionalism in nursing practice. Nursing Journal: Tai Tokerau

Wananga North Tec,12, 13-17.

Clinton, M., Murrells, T., & Robinson, S. (2005). Assessing competency in nursing: A comparison of nurses prepared through degree and diploma programmes. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 14, 82-94.

Epstein, R.M., & Hundert, E.M. (2002). Defining and assessing professional competence.

Journal American Medical Association, 287 (2), 225-235.

McArthur, J. (2002). Evidenced-based healthcare and nursing practice. In E. Papps, Nursing in New Zealand: Critical issues: Different perspectives (pp. 108- 120). Auckland: Pearson Education New Zealand Limited.

Meretoja, R., Eriksson, E., & Leino-Kilpi, H. (2002). Indicators for competent practice. Journal of Nursing Management, 10, 95-102.

Nursing Council of New Zealand. (2009). Continuing competence framework. New Zealand: Nursing Council of New Zealand.