Transition from student to nurse

Last week I completed my university module concerning preparation for role transition – from student to becoming a nurse.  It culminated with my delivery of a 20 minute power point presentation, which reflected on my learning journey – where I was at the beginning, where I am now and where I need to get to.  There were certain criteria which had to be met, and hereby follows an outline of the main material that I covered.

Choosing and using a reflective framework was the key requirement, and the one that I used was Gibbs (1988).  I like the way that the headings prompt and guide the reflective process, and I particularly like the Action Plan stage, because past learning is used to inform future learning too.

reflective cycle

I used Gibbs Reflective Cycle to frame all of my presentation, and directly used the headings and order as illustrated above, e.g. description, feelings, evaluation, and so forth.

Another key requirement was to carry out self-assessments in order to determine my learning needs.  I used the Honey and Mumford Learning Styles Questionnaire (1992) (- reflector, theorist, activist and pragmatist), the VARK 80 item questionnaire (visual, auditory, reading and writing, kinaesthetic), a Key Skills (2003) assessment and the NMC (2010) Standards for Pre-registration Nursing.


The results of all these self-assessments were collated into a SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  The weaknesses were then used to create SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound, and propositions of how these goals would be achieved.


Besides these basic requirements, a discussion of role transition was also included.  The work of Duchser (2012) was used to illustrate the three stages of role transition within the first year of becoming a nurse; with transition shock taking place in the first 3-4 months of becoming a nurse, followed by a middle stage of lots of new learning and knowledge acquisition, then a final few months of finding stability and settling down.

The presentation was a personal challenge, because I am not a natural public speaker.  I enjoyed putting the slides together however, and I practised presenting them a few times each day for a couple of weeks before the actual day.  I am glad that I had the courage to approach the challenge, but am now looking forward to commencing my next piece of assessed work – a 6,000 word report on evidence based practice, which is something that I am more familiar and comfortable with.


Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. (2015). SWOT analysis factsheet. Retrieved 17 May, 2015, from

Department for Education and Skills. (2003). Skills Strategy White Paper- 21st Century Skills: realising our potential. Cm 5810 The Stationery Office.

Duchser, J. B. (2012). From Surviving To Thriving: Navigating the First Year of Professional Nursing Practice (2nd ed.). Canada: Nursing the Future.

Gibbs, G. (1998). Learning by Doing: A Guide to Teaching and Learning. London: FEU.

Honey, P., & Mumford, A. (1992). The manual of learning styles (3rd ed.). Maidenhead: Peter Honey.

Nursing and Midwifery Council. (2010). Standards for Pre-registration Nursing Education. Retrieved from

VARK Questionnaire Version 7.1 Retrieved 17 May, 2015, from