Embracing Growth: A Nursing Reflective Essay on Clinical Placement Using Gibbs Model


The nursing profession is a dynamic and demanding field that requires constant self-reflection for personal and professional development. This reflective essay will explore the transformative journey experienced during a nursing placement, utilising the Gibbs Reflective Cycle as a framework for introspection. By examining the challenges, successes, and personal insights gained during the placement, this essay aims to shed light on the significance of reflective practice in nursing. This nursing reflective essay will help you understand how to write a nursing placement reflective essay Gibbs.

Understanding Reflective Practice in Nursing

The Essence of Reflection

Reflective practice in nursing is a crucial aspect of continuous learning and improvement. It involves deliberately contemplating and analysing experiences to gain deeper insights, enhance critical thinking, and refine one's practice. In the context of nursing, reflection is a valuable tool for fostering self-awareness, improving clinical skills, and nurturing a compassionate and patient-centred approach. This nursing reflective essay will help you understand how to compose your own piece.

The Gibbs Reflective Cycle

The Gibbs Reflective Cycle, developed by Graham Gibbs, provides a structured framework for reflection. It comprises six stages: Description, Feelings, Evaluation, Analysis, Conclusion, and Action Plan. This model systematically guides individuals through exploring their thoughts and emotions, evaluating the experience, and determining actionable steps for future improvement. The detailed description of each component makes this piece one of the perfect examples of reflective essays in nursing using the Gibbs model.

Nursing Placement Reflective Essay Using Gibbs Model

nursing placement reflective essay using gibbs model

Description: Navigating the Clinical Environment

I immersed myself in a bustling clinical environment during my nursing placement. The diverse patient cases challenged my ability to adapt and apply theoretical knowledge to real-life situations. For instance, I encountered a complex case involving a patient with multiple comorbidities. Describing the situation in my reflective essay allowed me to capture the nuances of the clinical setting vividly.

Feelings: The Rollercoaster of Emotions

The Gibbs Reflective Cycle's feelings stage encourages exploring personal emotions experienced during the situation. In my reflective essay, I delved into the initial apprehension and anxiety I felt when confronted with the complex case. Expressing these emotions authentically in my writing enabled a cathartic release and laid the foundation for a deeper exploration of the experience.

Evaluation: Assessing Personal and Professional Responses

The evaluation stage involves assessing the positive and negative aspects of the experience. I critically evaluated my initial response to the challenging case in my reflective essay. I acknowledged areas where I excelled, such as effective communication with the healthcare team, but also recognized areas that required improvement, such as managing time constraints efficiently.

Analysis: Unpacking the Learning Experience

Analysing the situation allowed me to identify the factors contributing to the challenges faced during the nursing placement. Applying theoretical frameworks to the case gave me a deeper understanding of the patient's condition and the multidimensional aspects of healthcare delivery. My reflective essay became a canvas for weaving theoretical concepts into the fabric of my practical experience.

Conclusion: Synthesizing Insights and Takeaways

The conclusion stage provided an opportunity to synthesise the insights gained and draw meaningful conclusions from the experience. In my reflective essay, I highlighted the importance of adaptability, effective teamwork, and continuous learning in nursing. This synthesis laid the groundwork for the final stage of the Gibbs Reflective Cycle.

Action Plan: Implementing Changes for Growth

The action plan stage outlines concrete steps for future improvement based on the insights gained through reflection. In my reflective essay, I crafted a thoughtful action plan encompassing further education on complex medical conditions, enhancing time-management skills, and seeking mentorship to refine clinical judgement. This forward-thinking approach demonstrated a commitment to personal and professional growth.

This is one of the great examples of reflective essays in nursing using the Gibbs model that will help you compose your own reflection assignment.

Examples of Reflective Essays in Nursing Using Gibbs Model

examples of reflective essays in nursing using gibbs model

Example 1: Embracing Vulnerability in Patient Communication

In this reflective essay, a nursing student applied the Gibbs Reflective Cycle to an experience where effective communication with a vulnerable patient was crucial. The student described the scenario, explored their emotions, evaluated their communication skills, analysed the impact of their words, concluded on the significance of empathy, and devised an action plan to enhance patient communication in the future.

Example 2: Navigating Ethical Dilemmas in Critical Care

In another reflective essay, a nurse reflected on an experience in the critical care unit, where ethical dilemmas emerged. The Gibbs Reflective Cycle guided the nurse through an exploration of emotions, an evaluation of ethical decision-making, an analysis of the underlying ethical principles, a conclusion on the importance of ethical awareness, and an action plan for continuous ethical education.

Example 3: Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice

A nursing student shared their journey in a reflective essay where they confronted challenges in translating theoretical knowledge into practical skills during a clinical placement. By utilising the Gibbs Reflective Cycle, the student described the situation, expressed their feelings of frustration, evaluated their performance, analysed the gap between theory and practice, concluded on the necessity of experiential learning, and devised an action plan for hands-on skill development.

These examples will provide insight while you write your nursing placement reflective essay, Gibbs.

The Significance of Reflective Essays in Nursing

Enhancing Critical Thinking

Reflective essays in nursing contribute to the enhancement of critical thinking skills. The process of systematically dissecting an experience allows nurses to question assumptions, analyse situations from multiple perspectives, and develop a more nuanced understanding of their practice.

Fostering Self-Awareness

Engaging in reflective practice fosters self-awareness among nursing professionals. By exploring emotions, evaluating responses, and analysing actions, nurses gain a deeper understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, ultimately contributing to personal and professional growth.

Improving Patient Care

Reflective essays bridge theory and practice, enabling nurses to apply classroom knowledge to real-world scenarios. This transfer of knowledge and the continuous refinement of skills contribute to improved patient care and outcomes.

Nurturing a Culture of Learning

In a dynamic healthcare landscape, a culture of learning is essential. Reflective essays contribute to this culture by encouraging healthcare professionals to regularly engage in self-reflection, share insights, and learn from collective experiences. This collaborative approach nurtures a supportive and evolving healthcare environment.


In conclusion, the nursing reflective essay, particularly when writing your nursing placement reflective essay Gibbs, serves as a powerful instrument for personal and professional development. Through the exploration of experiences, emotions, evaluations, analyses, and action plans, nursing professionals can navigate the complexities of their roles, foster self-awareness, and contribute to a culture of continuous learning. The examples of reflective essays in nursing using the Gibbs model illustrate the versatility and effectiveness of this reflective approach, providing a roadmap for nurses to embrace growth and deliver high-quality, patient-centred care.