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Description
For this assessment, you will re-assess the views you had at the start of the study period about the role of nurses and reflect upon how well these represent your current understanding after completing this unit. This is a critical reflection and will require you to select an image to support your writing.
You will only be required to submit an essay. No discussion board participation is required nor are there any other forms that need to be submitted. Please take the time to read through all of the following information and if you have any questions about the assessment, post them on the Assessment 3 Discussion Board.
Essay Question
What is your understanding of a role undertaken by nurses in contemporary society? How has your perspective changed in relation to this role since you began your nursing studies?
Directions
1. The image: Choose one image (this may be a photograph, drawing, or other illustration) that that you believe captures what a registered nurse is or does in today’s society, and insert the image into a Word document. We are not looking for any particular sort of image, and will not be judging whether your chosen image is ‘right’ or wrong’ - there are many contexts in which nurses work and many aspects of nursing that you might choose. We are interested to see what ideas you have, and where these ideas have come from.
2. The role: In this critical reflection, you want to consider the role of the nurse in contemporary society. You would be wise to focus on one role. The term 'role' is quite broad so the following examples are offered, but please understand that this is far from being an exhaustive list - it is just a few examples. If you have a role in mind, but are not sure if it is suitable, feel free to post the question on the the Assessment 3 Discussion Board or ask during one of our Q&A sessions on Friday afternoon.
An advocate
A researcher
Someone who cares
A clinician
Someone who promotes health
A leader
A manager
An educator
A prescriber
3. The critical reflection: There are different perceptions about what the role of the nurse is in society. Indeed, there are different perceptions about what a 'real nurse' is in healthcare and even within the profession. Critically reflecting on your initial view of the role of the nurse will require you to examine earlier assumptions you had about the profession, and how these influenced your understanding of the role of the nurse.
Before you start...
Before you write your reflection, you may find thinking about the following steps (and making notes as you go) helpful:
Return to your discussion board posts and submission for Assessment Task 2: Topic 1. Consider some of the perceptions you had about nursing on entering this degree, and whether they are still an accurate reflection of your ideas about the role of nurses. What has changed? Note that you weren't required to discuss the role of the nurse in Assessment task 2: Part A. However, you can use this Assessment Task to reflect on how your earlier perception of the profession may have influenced your understanding or the role of nurses.
Think about how some or all the following have shaped your ideas about the role of nursing during this study period:
discussions in the webinars
the activities in your workshops
discussion board posts
other MyLO content
other activities external to this unit that have shaped your ideas about nursing since that first assessment.
Revisit the Activity you completed in 1.4. You can use this Nursing Degree Survey Word doc. to see if/how your perspective has evolved since module 1.
Choose an image that reflect your current understandings, to help inspire your reflection and illustrate your ideas.
Having considered these things, it's time to get writing. We did not want to be restrictive in terms of the structure of your reflection. However, we recognise that a suggested structure or template can be helpful.
You are free to structure your reflective essay any way you like, but if you are unsure how to approach it, this suggested structure may help.
Example Structure
Introduction
In the opening paragraph, explain your topic - what you are going to write about – and the important aspects of your paper (for example, that you are going to include an image to inspire your reflection). This will let the reader know what to expect, and also help to keep you focused on what is expected of you.
Example: “In this reflective essay I will discuss how my understanding of the role of the nurse in modern society has developed since I commenced this unit. I will be focusing on the areas of health care in which nurses work, using an image to help depict my new understandings.”
In your introduction, you should identify which role you plan do discuss in your essay. Additionally, you may wish to:
specifically name what has changed in your thinking
identify the key points of your reflection (eg discipline and profession)
The introduction should leave no doubt in the marker’s mind about what will be discussed. But remember, the introduction should be brief – a paragraph will be plenty. While the following page is information on Essay structure, it gives some helpful guidance on how to write an introduction (and conclusion): Essay Structure Planner. For further information on academic writing and structuring your work, please go to the Additional resources for academic writing page.
Body
In the main part of the paper, you will explain WHAT you thought the role of nursing was at the beginning of the course, and WHAT you understand it to be now. You will then reflect on this to uncover WHY you had these ideas and WHY they have changed.
The What
In this section, you are essentially describing the situation - your changing views on the role of nurses.
Start with a brief explanation of what you thought the role of nurses was when you commenced NUR131.
Next, explain how your thoughts have changed since. To ensure you explore the topic in sufficient depth in your reflection, it may be best to concentrate on a single aspect of the topic rather than trying to cover lots of different ideas. Add an image you have chosen to illustrate your current ideas, to help inspire your reflection and set the platform for your discussion. At this point, you can include references to underpin your evolving ideas, such as this example which draws on the Code of Conduct for Nurses.
Example: “In my discussion in Assessment 2: Topic 1, I wrote that I thought all nurses worked in clinical settings, like hospitals. Now I have learned that that nurses work in many other areas of health care, including non-clinical roles. This is demonstrated in the Code of Conduct for Nurses, which states that RNs work in ‘management, leadership, governance, administration, education, research’, among other roles (NMBA, 2018, p 2).”
You may also include scholarly literature here in a similar way. Be mindful that in the example above, a number of roles are listed representing the author's new understanding. We deliberately left this vague. You will need to decide which role you want to focus on for the essay.
This 'What' section may be shorter than the next section - potentially quite a bit shorter. It would be reasonable to use this section to set the scene.
The Why
For the next stage of your reflection, you are analysing the 'situation'. That is, you are analysing your evolving understanding of the role of nurses.
In this stage of your reflection, you should uncover the assumptions that underpinned your original ideas of the role of the nurse, and the critical thinking process that you have taken to reach your current position. Where did these ideas come from? What influenced you to think this way? What have you learned that challenged these ideas? How did they compare to your current understanding?
This discussion should:
include an exploration of the difference between, and interrelatedness of, nursing as a discipline and nursing as a profession. This should be linked back to the role of the nurse.
draw on scholarly literature. Good papers will integrate scholarly literature throughout the ‘Why’ stage of the reflection. Scholarly literature will be used to further support your evolving understanding of the role of the nurse. Additionally, scholarly literature may be used to support your analysis of your assumptions. For example, on reflection and analysis of your initial thoughts, perhaps the pervasive stereotype that nursing is woman's work had shaped your thinking about the role of the nurse. Literature can support this discussion.
refer to the nursing codes and/or standards if appropriate. Please note you do not necessarily need to quote specific standards or principles; the most useful information for this assessment task may be found in the introductions or preambles of the documents, which explain their purpose.
Conclusion
In your final paragraph, draw together the threads of your discussion and finish with a strong statement that addresses the topic that you identified in your introduction.
Example: “This paper has explored my developing understanding of the role of the nurse in modern society. From my initial belief that nursing was a purely clinical profession, I now know that nurses work in many areas outside clinical settings. Nurses are an essential part of the health care workforce, providing safe, high quality care to the public in all aspects of the health care sector.”
Again, keep the conclusion short and do not add add anything new here. Where the introduction tells the marker what you are going to say, the conclusion simply tells the marker what you just said.
If you are having difficulty at any stage of your assessment, you are strongly encouraged to seek help. A great starting point is the Learning and Study Support website. Remember that the Additional resources for academic writing page has range of resources that you can refer to. You'll also see some helpful sites in the Criterion 4 tab below.
If you have any questions about the assessment, please post them on the Assessment 3 Discussion Board.
What if I don't feel my perception of the profession or the role of the nurse has changed since the beginning of the study period?
This will be a common challenge for many people so please don't feel that you are alone here. However, it is a key part of this assessment task and we need you to consider and identify your evolving understanding of the role of nurses.
It is expected that students who have engaged in all aspects of this unit will have a different view of the role of nurses than when they started. We have this expectation because despite some of us being nurses for decades, our understandings of the role of nurses continue to evolve when we engage in this unit. This engagement includes:
reading, watching, listening and reflecting on the content in all modules
posting on discussion boards
contributing in webinars
discussing and sharing ideas in workshops
completing all assessments
One way to trigger your memories of earlier understandings of the role of the nurse will be to go over some of the content above, including some of the posts you made across all discussion boards. If you are still having difficulty recalling your earlier ideas, try working backwards by thinking of something that surprised you this semester. For example, you may have been surprised to learn that a role of nursing includes research. If that is the case, what does that tell you about your initial understanding of the role? Would you have been equally surprised to learn that doctors research as well? If so, does that reveal something about earlier assumptions you may have had?
This example illustrates the early stage of a reflective process.
Rubric Marking Criteria
This is the rubric for AT3. Please see the following for an expanded explanation of the marking criteria. The criteria for this assessment will be:
Explore the role of the nurse
Demonstrate critical thinking and reflection skills
Adhere to academic presentation requirements
You will note that there are three criteria rather than the four identified in the Unit Outline. Nothing to be alarmed about here. We have simply combined Criteria 1 and 2.
By combining these criteria, hopefully the rubric (and task) is easier to navigate.
Criterion 1: Explore the role of the nurse in contemporary society
This criterion evaluates your understanding of the role of the registered nurse in today’s society and how well this reflects the reality of the modern profession. You should only discuss one role. That is, avoid listing the various roles of nurses.
You will support your discussion with reference to scholarly literature (eg peer-reviewed journal articles), which will be used to underpin your argument about the work that nurses do and the responsibilities they bear. It is recommended that you use at least six scholarly sources.
You should also link your discussion back to nursing codes and/or standards. This does not necessarily required you to identify specific standards or principles. We want you to consider how these documents reveal the role of the modern registered nurse. One approach is to look at the introductions of the codes and standards, as these will give you a good overview of their relevance to nursing practice. Unlike AT2 Part B, where we very specifically required you to focus on either a code or standard, you are free to discuss more than one if it suits. But as per usual, we are only interested in the quality of links made, not quantity. A gentle reminder that the codes and standards are not scholarly sources. Do reference them appropriately, but do not include them in your six scholarly sources.
You will need to demonstrate your understanding of the meaning of ‘discipline’ and ‘profession’, the difference between these, and how they work with one another to produce the modern registered nurse. Again, support from scholarly literature is required to underpin your discussion. This explanation of the inter-relationship between discipline and the profession of nursing comes from Criterion 2 in the Unit Outline.
You will also see in the rubric that reference to your image is marked in this criterion. That is, your reflection on the role of the nurse will have links back to the image you include.
Criterion 2: Demonstrate developing skills in critical thinking and reflection
Your paper will compare the ideas you had at the beginning of the study period. This criterion evaluates how you use the process of critical thinking and reflection to explore the assumptions you had when you started this degree. You will see more information in the sections above on how to demonstrate critical reflection.
Criterion 3: Adhere to academic presentation requirements, including spelling, punctuation, grammar and referencing
A large portion of this paper will be written in the first person, as it is your own understanding and ideas that are being explored. However, you will still need to write in a scholarly way – no abbreviations, no slang, complete sentences. Remember, it is important to include in-text referencing along with a reference list. Generally when referring to literature, you will revert to third person.
Good academic writing includes a clear introduction and conclusion, and good structure through the paragraphs and paper. If you do not include these things, the key points you are trying to make will be lost and this will impact your marks across all criteria.
Similarly, good paragraph structure is a critical part of effective written communication. Each paragraph should focus on one topic and start with a topic sentence.
You will find helpful resources for all of these areas on the Additional resources for academic writing page.
Remember
Please write your reflection in the first person.
Use a minimum of six (6) scholarly sources to support your discussion.
Task length
You are required to write 1200 words. The standard rule of +/- 10% applies.
Assessment value
This task is worth 40% of your final grade.
Due date
This assessment task is due on April 27th (Thursday), 3pm
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