Reflection for Nursing Life : Principles, Process and Practice book cover
1st Edition

Reflection for Nursing Life
Principles, Process and Practice

ISBN 9781138787599
Published February 18, 2016 by Routledge
150 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Over the past decades, reflection has taken centre stage in nursing education but it is easy to get stuck in a superficial cycle of storytelling and self-examination, without getting any further insights into your own practice and abilities. Reflection for Nursing Life starts with a basic introduction to reflective practice and moves through to look at more critical perspectives, with guidance for reflecting on the complex realities of practice.

This accessible text is designed to support a deeper understanding of the value of reflection and its relationship with the needs of modern practice. Beginning with discussions of self-awareness and the reflective cycle, it goes on to explore ideas about critical incidents, critical reflection models and transformational learning. It integrates cutting-edge neuro-scientific research and thinking about emotional labour and intelligence in healthcare into mainstream reflective practice, drawing on both new and established ways of guiding learning and professional judgment.

Reflection for Nursing Life includes numerous exemplar reflective narratives, diagrams and exercises to help the reader identify their strengths and weaknesses, whilst tips for overcoming weaknesses and developing strengths are also provided. It is the ideal text for nursing students and practitioners looking to improve their reflective practice skills.

Table of Contents

Foreword David Scott  Introduction  1. Becoming a Reflective Practitioner One: Self Awareness and the Use of Self  2. Becoming a Reflective Practitioner Two: Exploring the Art of Reflection  3. Why We Need Reflection  4. Critical Incidents  5. Towards Critical Reflection  6. Transformative Learning  7. Harnessing Emotion to Inform Clinical Judgement: A New Framework for Reflective Practice  8. Conclusion

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John McKinnon is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Lincoln, UK. He was a frontline practitioner for 20 years and has researched, taught and published on reflective practice and emotional intelligence which were the focus of his doctorate.


John McKinnon's text is a comprehensive and highly readable exploration of the area. The use of stories enables the reader to consider their own practice and will appeal to a variety of health care professionals. The focus on resilience, humanity and engagement is both powerful and refreshing. 

Carolyn Crouchman, Senior Lecturer, Advanced Health Care, Buckinghamshire New University, UK

Reflective practice is an essential part of nursing life and supports personal and professional development. John McKinnon’s thought provoking and practical book offers new ways of thinking about this well-known concept. The use of practitioner narratives enhance the text and bring the associated theory to life. This book will support all health care professionals who want to develop their reflective thinking.

Dr Kirsten Jack, Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Written with a strong blend of the theoretical and the practical, this book is an excellent resource for those who wish to enhance their reflective skills whilst understanding more fully the theoretical underpinning of such skills. Written in a learned but accessible manner, interspersed with anecdotes and stories, the book is useful to students, novices and more experienced staff. One of the strengths of the book is its early focus on the understanding of self as a foundation of effective practice, often a step in the reflective journey that is omitted in other texts. The opening chapter of McKinnon’s book emphasises the importance of self awareness in becoming an effective reflector and acknowledged the importance of acknowledging one’s own humanity. This important fact is a theme throughout the book as is the necessity of a sense of self when undertaking reflective activity.

The book is distinct from many of the the other reflective texts in that it focuses on reflection in nursing life, acknowledging that one may still be a nurse, even when one is not actually ‘doing nursing’ and these periods are often the times when reflection can take place. McKinnon’s approach to reflection is based upon principles, rather than on process, highlighting the belief that it should be part of everything nurses are, rather than another task to be completed.

I found this to be an extremely edifying book, which made me look at my practice and myself in a different way. Practitioners, educators and researchers will find this book a useful source of inspiration and information.

Carol Haigh, Faculty Health, Psychology & Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK