Regular protected time for reflective practice in nursing and midwifery: a joint statement
29 March 2022
We have released a joint statement with the Florence Nightingale Foundation, the Foundation of Nursing Studies, and The Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland about the importance of regular, protected time for reflective practice in nursing and midwifery.
In our statement, we state: “…Charities which exist to support the development of the nursing and midwifery professions and amplify their voices, have focused their activity on providing forums and development opportunities which enable reflective practice. These have included the provision and expansion of Schwartz Rounds®, Resilience Based Clinical Supervision, Nightingale Frontline® and winter wellbeing sessions hosted by the Queens Nursing Institute Scotland. The nature and structure of these forums are different; however, they all provide a psychologically safe space which enable nurses and midwives to reflect upon their practice, including the personal and professional impact of their role.
Our insights, gained from the facilitation of these services, inform us that despite the significant regulatory support and top down directive, forums which enable reflective practice can still be perceived as a strategy for performance appraisal, assessment of individual clinical practice, a remedial intervention for those who are identified by occupational health as experiencing symptoms of stress, or a self-indulgent luxury for those who aren’t busy enough with the ‘real’ work.”
Importantly, it includes: “…despite the recognition that reflective practice is important in nursing and midwifery, there is a lack of equality between different employment settings, the various levels of seniority and fields of practice in nursing and midwifery. All too often, nurses and midwives accept that they will need to access this type of learning and support in their own time if they are to guarantee their ability to attend. In this statement, we set out our rationale for a call to action which we recognise will require investment and a concerted whole-system effort.”
The statement concludes: “Protected time for reflective practice will require a system wide commitment to the resources and processes needed to embed and sustain access for nurses and midwives working in all sectors and at all levels of responsibility and authority. We are committed to maintaining a focus on this issue by developing the evidence and raising awareness to justify the resourcing, delivery, and evaluation of reflective practice. We urge professional and care regulators, employers, commissioners, and policy makers to follow up their commitment and act immediately to enable protected time for nurses and midwives to engage in reflective practice.”