This portfolio will demonstrate evidence of my knowledge, skills and values essential for transition from student nurse to registered nurse. I have assessed myself using the Key Skills Assessment Framework (KSA) (University of Salford, 2012) and through critical appraisal of my academic, personal and professional skills against The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards for pre-registration nursing education (NMC, 2010), module outcomes (University of Salford, 2012) and Essential Skills Clusters (ESC) and through the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis (Pearce, 2007) I will identify the skills, knowledge and values I aim to achieve. Through the use of a Personal Development Plan (PDP) (The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, 2009) I will incorporate three Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) goals (Kerridge, 2012), which will address my personal, professional and academic development. I chose the NMC standards for pre-registration nursing education (2010) for my self-assessment rather the Knowledge and Skills Framework (Department of Health, 2004), as the NMC (2010) includes specific sections on mental health, and appears to be the best learning guide for my field of practice and professional development.
I completed the Honey & Mumford (1992) Learning Style Questionnaire (LSQ) to assess my learning style. According to and De Vita, (2001) and Kappe et al. (2009) the LSQ has been proposed as an alternative for the low face validity shown in Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory. However, Husler et al, 2008 suggests there is a debate in the literature on the scientific validity of learning style questionnaires. A study by Coffield et al (2004) found moderate internal consistency for the LSQ, thus more evidence is needed on validity and reliability of the LSQ.
My LSQ results indicated that I am a reflector. Honey and Mumford (1992) state that reflectors are known to adopt a ‘low profile’ I tend to observe when I am in a group such as in meetings and lectures, rather than participate in discussions. I prefer to discuss and compare different perspectives on problem solving and decision making on an individual basis. I realise this may not always be feasible once I am a registered nurse, and I will be required to make clinical decisions promptly.
One of the key principles of the NMC (2010, p26) is for registered nurses to ‘have a duty of care to patients who are entitled to receive safe and competent care’. Yet McCallum et al (2010) found that newly qualified nurses have difficulty making clinical decisions and suggests this is an important area for future research.
Next, I completed the KSA and compared it to the KSA from the previous year whilst also assessing myself against the NMC (2010) and essential skills clusters. The NMC (2010) states that ‘nurses must have excellent communication skills’ (NMC, 2010, p. 24). My score for verbal communication was low but the feedback I received from my mentors on placement was that my communication skills are good. On reflection I realise that my low score is due to my lack of confidence in public speaking rather than speaking to patients and colleagues. However, my lack of confidence in this area is not uncommon. McCarthy et al (2008) suggests that there is continuing evidence of the need for nurses to improve their communication skills. Unal (2012) supports this finding and suggests that students who suffer with low self-esteem and assertiveness may exhibit negative professional behaviours and attitudes. Unal (2012) adds that nurses’ development of self-awareness and effective communication should begin in the classroom and continue for the duration of the programme. I understand the importance of having excellent communication skills and the need for me to be able to lead patient meetings and advocate on behalf of the patients’ confidently during meetings in order to provide