Nursing Student Reflection on Clinical Experiences and Growth Journey

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Updated: Apr 30, 2024
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Nursing Student Reflection on Clinical Experiences and Growth Journey

This personal narrative will reflect on a nursing student’s clinical experiences and their growth journey. It will discuss the challenges faced, skills developed, and insights gained from hands-on patient care. The piece will highlight the importance of practical experience in nursing education and the student’s evolving understanding of the nursing profession. On PapersOwl, there’s also a selection of free essay templates associated with Health Care.

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My journey from a clerical assistant to a vocational nurse has been nothing short of an adventure. Every adventure begins with a first step. (Uknown Author, distributed to the Chesire Cat).

Skill Level and Achievements

In comparing clinical I and clinical III, I have grown a great deal in the past 15 months. I entered into The Vocational Nursing Institute, Inc (VNI without any medical background. I am not a CNA or Medical Assistant, as some of my colleagues are. This process is a lateral career change for me.

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In the first few days of the laboratory at the school, I learned how to take vital signs. My biggest accomplishment was learning how to perform a head-to-toe assessment. In clinical III, I am able to perform the skills I’ve learned with little to no supervision.


I have gradually become more and more comfortable with speaking to and teaching patients. The Village of Gleanloch Farms was a great place to practice communicating with patients. I was able to grow my skills in therapeutic communication at this clinical site. I had a difficult patient with dysphagia and learned to communicate effectively and build rapport. I was also able to identify normal and abnormal findings during the health assessment here.


Before graduation, I wish to achieve supervision and leadership skills. Delegating work to assistive personnel is a difficult task for me. I hope to be able to identify tasks for delegation based on the care the client needs. I want to prepare to assign and supervise the care provided by others. Before graduation, I also hope to be well positioned to inform patients about referral resources. Nurses hold a vital role in supporting patient referrals. Continuous, comprehensive patient care is critical in today’s health care. Clients have shorter hospital stays and are quickly transferred from one facility to another. Continuity of care is an essential part of a well-functioning system. A seamless referral system is key. Nurses help ensure that these referral processes function well. (Edwards, 2017)

Clinical Experiences

Clinical experience is one of the most anxiety-producing components of the nursing program, which has been identified by nursing students. (Sharif, 2015) Clinicals were extremely stressful to me, as I have not ever experienced working in healthcare. Psychologically, I felt the most emotionally challenged at Tomball Nursing Center. I experienced compassion fatigue at that site because I felt as though the level of care that was provided to the patients could have been better. Physically, I grew stronger, having to lift and move patients, which then physiologically led to back pain, body fatigue, and exhaustion. I’m a small adult, so strenuous work takes a toll on me. Although I enjoyed it, bathing patients was a huge task for me. I must admit that caring for the geriatric patients at Grace Care Center Tomball heightened my spirituality. I had a patient there who was in bad condition, but she still managed to put a smile on my face and spoke of her faith to me daily. I had to remember the importance of practicing cultural sensitivity and awareness of each patient’s differences.

Clinical Sites (Hierarchy Summary)

I am providing my opinion of the least valuable to most valuable clinical sites. Oakmont Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Katy provided the least amount of experience for me. The nurses there were mostly agency nurses who didn’t know the patients. I was uncomfortable when one of the nurses attempted to change a patient’s IV but seemed confused. The patient told her it was obvious that assistance was needed and asked for another nurse. Tomball Nursing Center is next to the least valuable site because of the lack of care provided to the patients, but I was able to take some key concepts; it was here that I learned the importance of handwashing. At this location, I took pride in having the cleanest patients and practiced safety throughout the facility. The most satisfying was that the patients enjoyed our cohort being there with them. TC Jester, for me, was not what I expected. I gained a lot of insight when I sat in on the Team Treatment Meeting Thursday at 10:00 am. I think it would be beneficial for the instructor to make it a priority to have the students sit in on the meeting.

The physicians and therapist discuss each patient in crisis management in detail. I was the only student who attended Group A. Shadowing a therapist would have also been educating, as well as sitting in on more patient therapy sessions. Observation of wound care and injections doesn’t fulfill the mental health observation that the students are to receive from the site. Walls Unit was great practice for medication distribution and insulin injections. Grace Care Center in Tomball was helpful with building communication with patient families, and it was at this site that I was able to experience caring for more than one patient at a time. The Glennloch Village Farms was great for identifying normal and abnormal head-to-toe assessments. The patients there were very enthusiastic in teaching the students about their conditions.

I learned a lot here from the CNAs, also. The most valuable clinical site was Estelle Prison Unit. At Estelle, I received the most hands-on experience from any other of the previous sites. The nurses were great teachers and were welcoming. There are many different conditions to see at Estelle. Unfortunately, I am not able to review Carol Young or TCH pediatrics as I have not yet been to those clinical sites. I didn’t realize until now that I have been to over nine different clinical sites for the duration of this vocational nursing program at VNI.

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Nursing Student Reflection on Clinical Experiences and Growth Journey. (2023, Jun 16). Retrieved from