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Sample Reflective Essay on Leadership in Nursing

 Reflective essays are a form of writing that seeks to merge theory with practical situations. When talking of reflective essays, we bring on board real-life experiences or an imagined situation that depicts how leadership skills come into play. This can be used to either show the presence or absence of the same from your paper. When it comes to the field of medicine, leadership is needed and this is a very valuable trait that is required but not found in all. But is leadership the same as management and what traits are shared between these two phenomena? Most people will often mistake leadership for management and this is a common mistake that affects workflow as well. So how does all this connect in a relative essay? Do not worry, I will be walking you through how this is done. By the end of this, you will have all the basics on how to formulate a well done reflective essay on leadership in nursing. 

Reflective essays seek to review experiences that are repetitive in nature and are seen on a daily basis or isolated cases that are a one-time occurrence kind of scenario that had you thinking and assessing how things turn out and what lessons are to be learnt from it. However, just like any other type of writing, and more so an academic form of writing, it is held to a certain standard and has a format to it. Let me take this opportunity and introduce you to Graham Gibbs, who takes all the credit for the Gibbs Reflective Cycle. So what is this all about? 

Gibbs Reflective Cycle

The Graham Gibb’s structure of learning is all based around an experience-based type of learning which is documented as a reflective paper. The cycle is one of a repetitive nature and has six actionable steps to it. These steps seek to provide you with a framework on which to evaluate your experiences. These stages are: 

  • Description
  • Feelings
  • Evaluation
  • Analysis
  • Conclusion
  • Action plan.

Let me show you how these fit perfectly into your reflective essay


Having in mind that we are dealing with experiences or simulated situations, you have to paint a mental picture of all that was going on and describe the situation as best as you can. Answer the questions; 

– What happened? 

– Where did it happen?

– Who was there? 

– Where were you? 

– What was your role in the situation?

– How did others respond to the situation?

– What was the outcome of the situation.

These will help you establish the grounds for your ‘ case study. The descriptive nature of the paper seeks to introduce your reader to the situation. At this point, they are already evaluating the situation themselves and asking themselves what they could have done differently. 


Get to express your feelings at that point in time. Get to express not only your feelings but also, how do you think the other people around felt. How differently do you feel about the situation now that you come to think of it? 


Put the whole situation into perspective and understand what worked and what did not work during the situation. In the case of an essay on leadership, you have to pinpoint who were the key players and what role did they have in the whole situation. How did they handle it all? What were the good, the bad, achievements and the failures? 

Try to maintain an open mind and see things as they were without any bias and maintaining objectivity. This section should focus on the whole situation and how it was handled rather than what you feel of the people that handled it. It is very easy to lose objectivity when you have a clouded judgement. 


The analysis takes into consideration the situation in its entirety and dissects it into stages and explores what other options were available and what could have been done in what way. Truth be told, we cannot change the past, but we can do something about the future. Learning from the past helps avoid such mistakes from occurring in the future. Get to understand what the medical procedures dictate and what the law also stipulates on certain issues. 

As you get to pinpoint what did or did not go well, you need to say why. To what standards did you hold it to analyze the outcome at hand. 


The end game is always getting to learn from the experience and this is handled in the conclusion part of the paper. The conclusion will briefly touch on the flow of the instances and scenario and give the lessons learnt and what could be done in the future or what can be done better,

A learning experience is always a good time. Get back to the fundamentals of medicine and embed it with leadership traits that are highly recommended for medical personnel. Critical thinking has frequently been seen as one of the vital skills that are needed by leaders. Decision making too has presented itself as crucial as well. Getting to be the final voice before action is taken is very important as it carries with it unforeseen risks and if not critically thought about could potentially be catastrophic.

Action plan

At this point, you have identified the situation, understood what you were dealing with and what was needed to be done. On top of that, you have pinpointed the loopholes that present themselves but to seal them off you have to come up with a plan for the future non how to make things better. The world appreciates it when things are done in a more comprehensive way as it allows for more accomplishments and ease of flow. 

Recommendations are provided as well for actionable plans for future situations. 

To make this easier on your mind, think of a reflective essay as a well-formulated diary on your personal experience that you review according to given standards. However, you should make sure to maintain utmost care not to break any privacy and give any confidential information. So, go slow on the name of institutions and patients. This information should be substituted for other fake names. 

Make sure to use referencing as well when quoting the professional code of conduct that was upheld or that was expected to be upheld in the scenario. If you have access to a reliable database, you can also include views of other medical practitioners on the view. This sheds a brighter light on the issue at hand. 

Now let’s get to the actual writing of the reflective essay on leadership in nursing. Here’s a preview.

The events of the unfolding of the coronavirus pandemic unfolded quite rapidly and the world was not ready for the havoc it was about to send. On this specif day, news came in of the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the region and being one of the referral hospitals, the patient was being brought in. 

Preparations had made prior, as soon as news of the disease had come in and despite the tension, we had to keep calm. An emergency meeting was called for as the patient was en route to the hospital. The briefing done covered all bases and lifted the morale of the medical staff given that they were the last line of defence. Priority was however on the medical personnel and safety measures were implemented on the spot. The room had a mixed feeling among fellow medical officers and nurses as this was the first case and not knowing what to expect and if you shall perform accordingly was an underlying worry. This change of the norm was not one to accustom to abruptly but given that directives were issued, the implementation was seamless. 

The briefing included the running of procedures as presented by the world health organisation on how to handle coronavirus patients and stay safe in the process. Assigning of duties was done and we were dispatched to our respective units. The hospital still had events running concurrently, so not everyone was involved at that juncture. The emergency response team that was in charge of reeling in the patients made sure to follow the ministry of health guidelines on how to handle such patients and communication was made to the ministry on the development. . Evacuation of a secluded wing of the hospital was done quite fast and it was at that moment that realized I were not quite fully prepared for this.

Treatment of the patient at this point was not an option on the table and care was given on the basis of symptoms exhibited and given that they were quite similar to those of pneumonia then we had to be cautious. The team of doctors that went into the room for examination purposes was one that included specialities in different areas to get a holistic view. 

Information management was executed excellently and everyone was in the know of the situation at hand but not of the particulars to avoid panic eve within the public. The spot-on decision on duty allocation was not an easy decision but given that it included every department, it seemed quite fair and sat well with everyone. I however appreciate the fact that despite the fact that we got into emergency protocols, there was no panic and disorder. A state of disorder simply makes things worse to handle and ends up with people not pulling their weight on the work at hand. 

Administratively, information channelling was done through a single office and data collection was handled prudently leaving no stoned unturned from the observation and diagnosis. The case I itself was not a severe one but seeing that ventilators and the intensive care unit were prepped was a sign of relief

At the end of the day, a meeting was convened once more and this time events of the day were recaptured for accountability purposes and reports submitted on the different aspects as directed. Now that it was clear that the disease was now with us, a team was assembled to lead in operations, each being assigned their duties. All views on the day were taken into consideration and recommendations also received as well, depending on how the first case was handled. To be honest it takes something extra to manage the whole operation and keep things running without prior experience. 

Essays are easy to write, at least that’s what comes into mind when I think of essays. The notion was cemented into my mind as a result of working with expert Gibbs nursing reflection assignment helpers who get the job done. Well, you know what they say, results don’t lie and this has been proven time and again. A compilation of a reflective essay is among the list of many academic projects we can deliver.  

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