Benchmark-Professional Capstone and Practicum Reflective Journal

Benchmark-Professional Capstone and Practicum Reflective Journal


Benchmark-Professional Capstone and Practicum Reflective Journal

Practicum provides nursing students with opportunities to attain hands-on experience and enhance personal knowledge and skills gained throughout the course in real settings. Practicum experiences allow nurses to be better prepared to handle different situations, from getting to know new practice to inter-professional collaboration and health disparities that impact care delivery (Ellis, 2019). Prior to the practicum, nurses may think that theoretical knowledge attained in class is enough to enable them to operate. Attending a practicum allows a nurse to understand that there are many aspects of the nursing profession as the classroom work constitutes only a part of their education process. The essence of this paper is to provide my practicum reflective journal based on the eleven weeks’ period that I undertook my practicum at the neuroscience unit with patients susceptible to falls and the interventions to enhance their safety and quality of care through fall prevention.

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New Practice Approaches

My first week at the facility was critical as I got a chance to acquire knowledge and skills related to the quality of care and treatment for individuals in the unit. The core of this new way was to understand the essence a neuroscience unit and the need to reduce susceptibility to falls. I learned that a nurse practitioner requires substance experience and knowledge in taking of such individuals. New practice approaches were evident through the need to implement patient-centered interventions based on the individual patient that one would handle. These interventions focused on supporting patients with different vulnerabilities to reduce their susceptibility to falls (Murdaugh et al., 2018). I realized that these patients need holistic care through nutritious diets, gaining their gait, and ensuring that they get cognitive, emotional, and spiritual support. I realized that basic issues like hygiene and interactions with others are essential for patients to attain quality care and life.

Nursing is about patient and includes a pragmatic approach that helps patients get tailored care interventions. The practicum experience demonstrated the need to seek new practice approaches to fit the different patient needs. Understanding the different areas of nursing has allowed me to seek new and innovative approaches to care to enhance overall outcomes for patients.

Inter-Professional Collaboration

The second week offered me an opportunity to understand the significance of inter-professional collaboration. Health care obligations are complex, multifaceted and require professionals to develop and execute common plans with the aim of attaining quality outcomes for patients. For instance, attainment of quality patient-centered care requires healthcare professionals to coordinate and develop a common approach to treatment provision. As a nurse, one must understand that no single professional can perform all functions and be self-sufficient. For example, my practicum project entailed enhancing quality and patient safety. Quality improvement projects require enhanced inter-professional collaboration to attain set goals and objectives (Ellis, 2019). The practicum enlightened me that inter-professional collaboration leads to teamwork and is an indispensable part of effective and quality care delivery. We worked as a team in the facility to attain the set goal of reducing and preventing the occurrence of falls.

Inter-professional collaboration allows nurses to improve professional performance like innovation, shared decision and effective coordination. It also improves their individual performance and satisfaction with their profession (Oruche & Zapolski, 2020). The professionals in my practicum site encouraged me and urged me to create innovative strategies to enhance the existing ones with the aim of preventing falls. For instance, I started focusing on the importance of integrating evidence-based practice interventions to prevent falls among the patients.

Healthcare Delivery and Clinical Systems

Healthcare delivery in the United States’ system comprises of a multidisciplinary approach where different professionals work collaboratively as a team to deliver care. The implication is that new healthcare delivery systems are helping increase access to, quality of and affordability of care for many individuals and families, especially those from low-income groups. The practicum facility offered a host of healthcare delivery models, right from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) value-based to increasing implementation of evidence-based practice interventions (Murdaugh et al., 2018). The use of these models and clinical systems allow practitioners to specialize, increase access, and improve overall care delivery. The healthcare delivery model in the facility was a combination of innovative models and leveraging technology to improve access and quality.

Ethical Considerations in Healthcare

Week four offered an opportunity to get first-hand ethical challenges that nurses encounter in care delivery. I realized that nurses must keep a delicate balance between the need to offer care and adhering to existing ethical and even legal obligations that may contradict their professional duties and oath of saving life. For instance, nurses and other healthcare providers struggle with informed consent principle despite the need to offer emergency and life-saving treatment interventions. Nurses must uphold professional code of conduct as espoused by professional associations like the American Nurses Association (ANA) among others.

I learned that nurses must comply with ethical provisions by practicing certain values, norms, and biomedical ethics like beneficence, autonomy, non-maleficence and justice. During the practicum, I experienced situations that would implore one to consider an array of ethical values, especially from a cultural perspective when dealing with patients whose needs may contradict one’s beliefs and norms. The week’s experiences were demonstrative of the need for nurses to comply with a professional way implementing their duties to avoid legal suits. For instance, one ethical aspect that made increased sense was the need for informed consent from patients or their next of kin before any contemplation to offer care.


Ensuring the Integrity of Human Dignity in Care of All Patients

The fifth week of the practicum focused on the need to uphold integrity of human dignity in care for patients. Serving in the neuroscience unit and ensuring safety of patients from falls’ susceptibility was not easy and requires one to apply ethical considerations; especially human dignity. Human beings, irrespective of their health and medical conditions, should be treated with the dignity that they deserve (Ellis, 2019). The unit consisted of patients with increased levels of vulnerabilities and one could simply degrade them. However, I realized that nurses must uphold the human dignity of their patients, treat them with equality and value, and provide all the necessary support to help them attain better outcomes. Integrity allows nurses and other providers to be accountable, responsive, and execute their responsibilities in the most effective manner. My practicum experience showed me that integrity is an integral part of value system for healthcare providers as it enhances their interactions with patients and their families.

Population Health Concerns

Environment plays a core role in the health of populations. During the practicum with the assistance of my mentor, I was able to understand the various health concerns for the population in the facility. Social determinants of health influence population health, which is a core aspect of health reforms like the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Health concerns like ensuring the safety of patients and provision of quality care are essential for effective care delivery. I realized during the practicum that collaboration enhances the ability of nurses to care for patients and advocate for them. The practicum offered an opportunity to have a better understanding of the unit and offer interventions that addressed patient concerns. Nurses should promote health and safety of patients while reducing the cost of care through application of evidence-based practice interventions.

Role of Technology in Improving Health Care Outcomes

The course content identified the critical role that technology plays for enhanced care outcomes, especially in fall prevent in neuroscience units. Advances in technology have improves communication, led to a reduction in medication errors, improved patient engagement and involvement through aspects like telemedicine and telehealth. Technology facilitates health management through effective use of electronic health records (EHRs) to capture data for better and effective decision-making in healthcare settings. The practicum site offered the chance to understand the integral role of technology in identifying, preventing and reducing falls among the patients (Oruche & Zapolski, 2020). The use of bed alarms by and alerts for nurses is one of the technological approaches to reducing and preventing patient falls in the unit. The practicum offered a chance to understand the integral role of hospital portals in accessing patient health information. Technology allows nurses to enhance care provision and patients to understand their treatment interventions and interact with their providers in the most effective manner.

Health Policy

Health Policy Nurses are frontline care providers and possess expert perspective on every component of the healthcare system. They also have a voice on current efforts and interventions to improve public health. The IOM report of 2010 emphasizes the role of nurses and implores them to take leadership roles in improving healthcare quality through policy interventions (Porche, 2017). Nurses should influence policy at different levels, right from organizational to national and even international for better care and quality delivery. The practicum provided me an excellent opportunity to implement organizational policies on effective communication and handover through the use of models like SBAR (situation, background, assessment, and recommendations) to improve outcomes and engagement of patients and their families (Schmidt & Brown, 2017). The practicum experience proves that using policies that are patient-centered allows providers to enhance outcomes and ensure that patients get the best care. Nurses can improve quality of care offered to patients by emphasizing the importance of research and implementation of evidence-based practice through policy development. As experts, they should collaborate with policymakers at different levels to develop, advocate for, and implement policy interventions focused on improving care delivery and patient satisfactory outcomes.

Leadership and Economic Models

The week’s experience focused on the influence of leadership and economic models in healthcare delivery. As frontline care providers and with increasing reforms to expand their scope of practice, nurses should assume leadership role in care provision through policy development and implementation of evidence-based practice. The practicum site demonstrated the need for economic models that allow patients to cater for their treatment interventions through value-based approaches. Economic models impact patient’s ability to access health care resources, especially prescription medications and care for acute and chronic conditions like diabetes (Porche, 2017). The practicum site was instrumental in demonstrating that leadership is an integral part of influencing policy intervention at organizational level. I realized that with effective leadership, nurses are positioned to offer better care, integrate EBP interventions, and conduct more research to establish gaps and address them for better patient care delivery.

The volume and quality of nursing care has substantial impacts on quality and safety of patients through the entire health care system. Concerns on quality and cost of care implore nurses to develop better understanding of resource allocation, economic aspects of care, and the impact of social determinants of health (SDOH) (Schmidt & Brown, 2017). The practicum site was instrumental in illustrating the relationship between quality care, cost of care, social determinants of health for the population in the unit. I realized that effective care provision to this population could only happen when the facility improves patient safety by reducing susceptibility to falls.

Health Disparities

Nurses have a duty to ensure that patients and health populations access healthcare services when they need it, especially primary care. However, existing inequalities and disparities hinder the attainment of such noble intentions. The racial-based inequalities limit access to care leading to health disparities among health populations and individuals (Murdaugh et al., 2018). Racial minorities continue to experience dismal access to healthcare services because of existing systematic issues that encourage bias (Scott, 2017). Disparities in healthcare provision also arise due to lack of cultural competence among care providers. Nurses who lack effective cultural sensitivity are bound to ignore cultural issues that impact care delivery. The practicum offered me an opportunity to appreciate the need for cultural competence as one of the ways of addressing health disparities, especially among the racial minorities. The need for increased training of minority nurses arises to address these disparities (Karen, 2018). I also realized that policy implementation at different levels can help reduce the existing disparities to ensure that all who require healthcare can get it.

The practicum proved that nurses can play an integral role in addressing these disparities by advocating for policies that focus on increased access, affordability, and quality. Nurses can examine and investigate the cause of such disparities and what they can do to help minority and vulnerable populations get better care. Disparities in facilities like public parks, and open spaces to encourage physical activities hinder better health as individuals cannot exercise to stay fit (Goswami, 2017). Fall prevention in the unit could be enhanced through addressing the disparities as some patients came to the facility in situations that could not allow them to conduct physical exercises and were more vulnerable to adverse events.


The practicum that I had spanned for ten weeks during which I attained more knowledge and skills to improve care provision. The site proved that a hands-on experience can help nurses and nursing students to implement what they have learned in class for improved care delivery. The practicum proves that nurses are critical components of the health care system as frontline care providers, patient advocates, and change agents. They can influence policies that focus on addressing a host of issues like health disparities, inter-professional collaboration, and development of mechanisms to make their facilities responsive to diverse patient needs. The practicum demonstrated that as a nurse, one must always look forward to translating and implementing what they have learned in class to deliver quality patient care and interventions.



Ellis, P. (2019). Evidence-based practice in nursing. Learning Matters.

Goswami, N. (2017). Falls and fall-prevention in older persons: geriatrics meets spaceflight.

Frontiers in physiology, 8, 603.

Karen, M. (2018). From the archives: Challenging health disparities. Nursing Management

(Springhouse), 49(5): 8. doi: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000532339. 52067.c2

Murdaugh, C. L., Parsons, M. A., & Pender, N. J. (2018). Health promotion in nursing practice.

Pearson Education

Oruche, U. M., & Zapolski, T. C. (2020). The role of nurses in eliminating health disparities and

achieving health equity. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 58(12), 2-4.

Porche, D. (2017). Health policy: application for nurses and other health professionals (2nd

            ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Schmidt, N. A., & Brown, J. M. (2017). Evidence-based practice for nurses. Jones & Bartlett


Scott, A. (2017). Key concepts and issues in nursing ethics. Cham: Springer International

Publishing AG.

Benchmark – Professional Capstone and Practicum Reflective Journal

Students maintained and submitted weekly reflective narratives throughout the course to explore the personal knowledge and skills gained throughout this course. This assignment combines those entries into one course-long reflective journal that integrates leadership and inquiry into current practice as it applies to the Professional Capstone and Practicum course.

This final submission should also outline what students have discovered about their professional practice, personal strengths and weaknesses that surfaced during the process, additional resources and abilities that could be introduced to a given situation to influence optimal outcomes, and, finally, how the student met the competencies aligned to this course.

The final journal should address a variable combination of the following, while incorporating your specific clinical practice experiences:

New practice approaches
Interprofessional collaboration
Health care delivery and clinical systems
Ethical considerations in health care
Practices of culturally sensitive care
Ensuring the integrity of human dignity in the care of all patients
Population health concerns
The role of technology in improving health care outcomes
Health policy
Leadership and economic models
Health disparities
While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and in-text citations and references should be presented using APA documentation guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric

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