reflective skills
nursing education

How to Cite

Uligraff, D. K. (2019). UTILIZING POETRY TO ENHANCE STUDENT NURSES’ REFLECTIVE SKILLS: A LITERATURE REVIEW. Belitung Nursing Journal, 5(1), 3–8. https://doi.org/10.33546/bnj.631
Google Scholar

Link to Google Scholar

Accepted for publication: 2018-12-05
Peer reviewed: Yes

Related articles in

Search Relations - Article by Author(s)

Share this article on:


The notion of reflective practice has been considered important in healthcare professionals’ practice. In nursing, particularly in developed countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, it has been set as a required competence for registration. Some action has been taken to support the achievement of competent and reflective practitioners, including embedding reflection in the nursing pre-registration education curriculum. In the past twenty years, there has been focus on using art-based initiatives to help student nurses to reflect on their clinical experience. Amongst the art forms, poetry has been used as a reflective tool. Many studies found that poetry could be helpful for developing students’ reflective skills. This literature review was conducted to identify the feasibility and promising benefit of using poetry to increase student nurses’ reflective skills. A comprehensive search of the literature and integrative review were undertaken for reviewing and discussing the evidence-based literature that supports the using of poetry as a reflective tool. A critical and narrative approach was undertaken for 16 relevant literature related to the importance of reflection in practice, the promising potential to enhance students’ reflective skills during academic education, and how poetry might promote students’ reflective skills. The literature review showed that using poetry in education have been carried out, and have yielded positive results. It is promising to note that the development of reflective practice, as required to be an attribute of a registered nurse, could be stimulated and achieved by the employment of poetry as a reflective tool in clinical education. The literature review also demostrated that using poetry as a reflective tool in nursing education is both feasible and worthwhile. Therefore, it is proven that using poetry as a means of reflection in an education setting is beneficial and valuable.




Copyright (c) 2019 Deby Kristiani Uligraff

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Article Metrics

Total views 2727 [Abstract: 2067 | PDF: 660 ]


Download data is not yet available.

PlumX Metrics


Bradbury-Jones, C., Coleman, D., Davies, H., Ellison, K., & Leigh, C. (2010). Raised emotions: A critique of the peshkin approach to reflection. Nurse Education Today, 30(6), 568-572.

Burrows, D. (1995). The nurse teacher'srole in the promotion of reflective practice. 15(5), 346–350.

Burton, A. J. (2000). Reflection: nursing's practice and education panacea? Journal of Advanced Nursing, 31(5), 1009.

Carper, A. B. (1978). Fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing. Advances in Nursing Science, 1(1), 13-24.

Casey, B. (2009). Arts-based inquiry in nursing education. Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, 32(1/2), 69-82.

Chelliah, K. K., & Arumugam, Z. (2012). Does reflective practice enhance clinical competency in medical imaging undergraduates? Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 60, 73-77.

Clancy, M. A., & Jack, K. (2016). Using poetry to explore difficult issues in children's nursing. Nurse Education Today, 44, 127-129.

Clarke, B., James, C., & Kelly, J. (1996). Reflective practice: reviewing the issues and refocusing the debate. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 33(2), 171-180.

Clegg, S., Tan, J., & Saeidi, S. (2002). Reflecting or acting? Reflective practice and continuing professional development in higher education. Reflective Practice, 3(1), 131-146.

Clouder, L. (2000). Reflective practice: Realising its potential. Physiotherapy, 86(10), 517-522.

Coleman, D., & Willis, D. S. (2015). Reflective writing: the student nurse's perspective on reflective writing and poetry writing. Nurse Education Today, 35(7), 906-911.

Cotton, A. H. (2001). Private thoughts in public spheres: issues in reflection and reflective practices in nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 36(4), 512-519.

Coward, M. (2011). Does the use of reflective models restrict critical thinking and therefore learning in nurse education? What have we done? , 31(8), 883–886.

Dewey, J. (1970a). Educational thinkers series (M. Skilbeck Ed.). London: Collier-Macmillan.

Dewey, J. (1970b). Experience and education (12th ed.). London: Collier-Macmillan.

Duffy, A. (2009). Guiding students through reflective practice – The preceptors experiences. A qualitative descriptive study. Nurse Education in Practice, 9(3), 166-175.

Epp, S. (2008). The value of reflective journaling in undergraduate nursing education: A literature review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 45(9), 1379-1388.

Foster, W., & Freeman, E. (2008). Poetry in general practice education: perceptions of learners. Family Practice: Oxford Journals, 25(4), 294-303.

Foureur, M., Bush, R., Duke, J., & Walton, C. (2007). Poetry: a reflective practice tool for nurses and midwives. Practice Development in Health Care, 6(4), 203-212.

Gustafsson, C., & Fagerberg, I. (2004). Reflection, the way to professional development? Journal of Clinical Nursing, 13(3), 271-280.

Hahessy, S. (2016). Reflections on the use of poetry in nurse education: Speaking a credible language of care. Nurse Education in Practice, 16(1), 140-143.

Hargreaves, J. (2004). So how do you feel about that? Assessing reflective practice. Nurse Education Today, 24(3), 196-201.

Hatlevik, I. K. R. (2012). The theory‐ practice relationship: reflective skills and theoretical knowledge as key factors in bridging the gap between theory and practice in initial nursing education. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68(4), 868-877. Holmes, V., & Gregory, D. (1998). Writing poetry: a way of knowing nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 28(6), 1191-1194.

Jack, K. (2015). The use of poetry writing in nurse education: An evaluation. Nurse Education Today, 35(9), e7-e10.

James, C. R., & Clarke, B. A. (1994). Reflective practice in nursing: issues and implications for nurse education. Nurse Education Today, 14(2), 82-90.

Jasper, M. A. (1999). Nurses’ perceptions of the value of written reflection. Nurse Education Today, 19(6), 452-463.

Johns, C. (1995). Framing learning through reflection within Carper's fundamental ways of knowing in nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 22(2), 226-234.

Lindahl, B., Dagborn, K., & Nilsson, M. (2009). A student-centered clinical educational unit – Description of a reflective learning model. Nurse Education in Practice, 9(1), 5-12.

Macdonald, K. (2015). Taking risks in sharing data: the use of poetry for dissemination of research. IPDJ, 5(2), 1-7.

Mann, K., Gordon, J., & MacLeod, A. (2009). Reflection and reflective practice in health professions education: A systematic review. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 14(4), 595-621.

McBrien, B. (2007). Learning from practice – Reflections on a critical incident. Accident and Emergency Nursing, 15(3), 128-133.

Merriam, S. B. (2009). Qualitative research : a guide to design and implementation. San Francisco: San Francisco : Jossey-Bass.

Mohammadian, Y., Shahidi, S., Mahaki, B., Mohammadi, A. Z., Baghban, A. A., & Zayeri, F. (2011). Evaluating the use of poetry to reduce signs of depression, anxiety and stress in Iranian female students. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 38(1), 59-63.

Moon, J. A. (2004). A handbook of reflective and experiential learning theory and practice. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd, Routledge Falmer.

Nelson, S., & Purkis, M. E. (2004). Mandatory reflection: The Canadian reconstitution of the competent nurse. Nursing Inquiry, 11(4), 247-257.

Noormohammadi, S. (2014). Teacher reflection and its relation to teacher efficacy and autonomy. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 98, 1380-1389.

Nursing and Midwifery Council. (2010). Standards for pre-registration nursing education. United Kingdom: Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (2015). The Code for nurses and midwives. United Kingdom: Nursing and Midwifery Council.

O’Connor, A. (2008). The use of reflective practice on critical incidents, in a neonatal setting, to enhance nursing practice. Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 14(3), 87-93.

Parahoo, K. (2014). Nursing research: Principles, process and issues (3rd ed.). Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Paterson, C., & Chapman, J. (2013). Enhancing skills of critical reflection to evidence learning in professional practice. Physical Therapy in Sport, 14(3), 133-138.

Quay, J., & Seaman, J. (2013). John Dewey and education outdoors : Making sense of the 'Educational Situation' through more than a century of progressive reforms. Rotterdam: Sense.

Raingruber, B. (2009). Assigning poetry reading as a way of introducing students to qualitative data analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65(8), 1753-1761.

Rankin, B. (2013). Emotional intelligence: enhancing values-based practice and compassionate care in nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69(12), 2717-2725.

Rees, K. L. (2012). The role of reflective practices in enabling final year nursing students to respond to the distressing emotional challenges of nursing work. Nurse Education in Practice. 13(1), 48-52.

Schwind, J. K., Santa-Mina, E., Metersky, K., & Patterson, E. (2015). Using the narrative reflective process to explore how students learn about caring in their nursing program: An arts- informed narrative inquiry. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 16(3), 390-402.

Speare, J., & Henshall, A. (2014). Did anyone think the trees were students? Using poetry as a tool for critical reflection. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 15(6), 807.

Tashiro, J., Shimpuku, Y., Naruse, K., Maftuhah, M., & Matsutani, M. (2013). Concept analysis of reflection in nursing professional development. Japan Journal of Nursing Science, 10(1), 170-179.

Threlfall, S. J. (2013). Poetry in action research. An innovative means to a reflective learner in higher education (HE). Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 14(3), 360-367.

Wright, D. J. (2006). The art of nursing expressed in poetry. Journal of Nursing Education, 45(11), 458-461.

Wringe, C. A. (1988). Understanding educational aims. London: Unwin Hyman Ltd.

Readers are able to give us their valuable feedbacks here. The comments will be reviewed by the editors and then published here. Important Note: The "Comments" related to the Galley Proof PDF must NOT be submitted via this form. Authors should submit their comments on their galley proofs only via system