Reflective inquiry in nursing practice or 'revealing images'

Nurs Inq. 1997 Dec;4(4):246-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1800.1997.tb00110.x.


Nurses live and work in complex practice worlds; worlds of shrinking resources and expanding needs. Reflection through journaling offers unique opportunities to gain insight into practice. What might we learn from one's journal? A reflective journal can be a source of interplay between the self as written and the self as other. Likewise, the journal may act to situate ourselves in practice, while at the same time enabling us to illuminate how and in what ways our understandings have become distorted. The extent to which one's journal is educative depends upon the manner in which one chooses to use it as a transformative tool, a tool that might well be described as a process of healing and enlightenment. In order to illustrate the reflexive nature of journaling, this paper is presented as a play reading, where a conversation about practice stories between the different aspects of the nurse's self is depicted. In adopting a play reading, an alternative pedagogical tool is used to illustrate different methodologies exemplifying the emergence of how and in what ways we develop and reconstruct our understanding in nursing.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nurses / psychology*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Process*
  • Nursing Theory
  • Self Concept*
  • Thinking*
  • Writing*