How to Write Strong Conclusions for Reflective Essays

The conclusion of your reflective nursing essay wraps up your insights and ideas to reinforce your key learnings. An effective conclusion creates a sense of completion and perspective for the reader. Follow these tips when crafting your reflective essay conclusion:

Summarize Key Points

Briefly recap 2-3 of your most important reflections and insights from the essay body. Use different wording than in your body paragraphs. For example:

  • “This clinical experience taught me the importance of staying calm when faced with unexpected challenges.”
  • “Connecting with pediatric patients on a personal level is essential to providing holistic care.”

Keep it concise – the reader already read your details earlier. The purpose here is to distill the key takeaways.

Connect Insights to Nursing Practice

Show the relevance of your reflections to the larger context of nursing practice. For example:

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  • “The empathy and patience I gained from this experience will make me a more compassionate nurse when caring for scared patients.”
  • “Applying evidence-based IV insertion techniques will allow me to better live up to my duties as a competent nurse.”

Explain how your new knowledge and changed attitudes will positively impact your nursing abilities.

Express Commitment to Professional Development

Affirm your dedication to continue growing and improving based on the insights described in your essay. For example:

  • “This process has reinforced my commitment to reflective practice as a tool for providing the best possible care.”
  • “I will be more proactive about seeking feedback and guidance when I am struggling or feel out of my depth.”

Convey your forward-looking mindset and passion for lifelong nursing education.

End on a Positive, Hopeful Note

The last sentence should create a sense of optimism and progression as you complete your reflective journey. Some examples:

  • “I feel renewed confidence to face the challenges of nursing practice thanks to the lessons I have learned.”
  • “Reflecting on this formative experience has reaffirmed my passion and preparedness to keep developing as a nurse.”

Leave the reader feeling inspired about the future of your nursing path.

Tips for Writing a Reflective Nursing Essays Conclusion

When writing the conclusion of a reflective nursing essay, it’s important to effectively summarize your reflections while also providing a cohesive end to your narrative. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Reiterate Your Thesis: Begin by revisiting your thesis statement. This doesn’t mean repeating it verbatim, but rather reflecting on it in the context of the insights and experiences you’ve discussed in your essay.
  • Summarize Key Reflections: Briefly recap the main points of reflection from your essay outline. This summary should tie back to your thesis and demonstrate how your experiences have supported or expanded upon it.
  • Highlight Personal Growth: Emphasize what you have learned from your experiences and how they have contributed to your professional development as a nurse. Discuss any changes in your perspective or approach to nursing that have resulted from these reflections.
  • Connect to Broader Nursing Practice: If possible, relate your personal reflections to broader themes in nursing practice or healthcare. This can provide context to your experiences and show the relevance of your insights in a wider professional setting.
  • Future Orientation: Conclude by looking forward. You might want to discuss how your reflections will influence your future practice, or what additional learning or changes you plan to pursue based on your experiences.
  • Reflective Tone: Throughout your conclusion, maintain a reflective and introspective tone. This is a personal essay, so it’s appropriate to express thoughts and feelings, but remember to maintain a balance with a professional tone.
  • Closing Thought: End with a strong, memorable final sentence or thought that leaves a lasting impression on your reader. This could be a reflective question, a profound statement, or a call to action that encapsulates the essence of your essay.

With an optimistic, forward-looking conclusion, you can complete your reflective essay on a high note, demonstrating growth and commitment.

Reflective Nursing Essay Conclusion Examples

To better understand how to conclude a reflective nursing essay effectively, it helps to look at examples. Here are two sample conclusions for different essay topics showcasing key elements:

Example 1

Turning Pediatric Challenges into Commitment to Compassionate Care

My first attempt at inserting an IV into a pediatric patient was challenging and emotional, yet the reflective process has allowed me to glean important lessons that will make me a more perceptive, resilient nurse. This experience emphasized the need to approach pediatric patients with sensitivity to their fears while also remaining calm and determined as their nurse. 

Moving forward, I will integrate child-friendly communication methods to establish trust and provide more thorough pre-procedure education. Though difficult, I now see this instance as an invaluable opportunity to refine my nursing practice and become better equipped to handle curveballs. After thoughtful reflection, I feel re-energized in my commitment to becoming both the knowledgeable nurse and compassionate patient advocate I aspired to be when I chose this career.

Key elements:

Summarizes main insights around communication and resilience

Connects to larger nursing practice of patient advocacy

Conveys commitment to keep improving as a nurse

It ends on an optimistic, forward-looking note

Example 2

Difficult Experiences as Stepping Stones: How Reflection Transforms Nursing Practice

While the challenges of my first pediatric IV insertion were emotionally taxing, this reflective process helped transform the experience into one of growth. The lessons I gleaned about coping with pressure, seeking support, and connecting with young patients and families will undoubtedly make me a better nurse in any setting.

I am reminded of nursing's ups and downs and feel prepared to face future challenges with positivity. My key takeaway is that reflection allows difficult experiences to become meaningful benchmarks in the journey toward professional excellence. I am confident that deliberate self-analysis will help me provide thoughtful, patient-centered care as I continue to build my nursing skills.

Key elements:

Summarizes lessons learned

Discusses the meaning of nursing challenges

Conveys preparedness and positivity about the future

Connects reflective practice to professional development

Both essay examples paint the experience as an impactful learning opportunity that reaffirms commitment to nursing excellence. The conclusions leave the reader feeling uplifted about the writer’s growth mindset.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Concluding Reflective Essays

While concluding your reflective nursing essay, beware of these common pitfalls:

Introducing New Ideas or Details

The conclusion sums up what you already discussed in the body paragraphs. Do not mention any new reflections, clinical details, or insights here. Stick to recapping previous points using fresh phrasing.

Simply Restating the Introduction

The conclusion reaches the end of your reflective arc after mining the essay experience in-depth. Rehashing the introductory paragraph fails to provide perspective or reinforce your key learnings.

Making It Too Long

Conclusions should be economical. Shoot for 5-7 concise sentences that powerfully yet succinctly convey your final reflective thoughts. An overly long conclusion loses impact.

Using an Overly Formal Tone

The language should remain personal and reflective. Avoid concluding with dense, dry statements about nursing theory. Maintain the intimate, introspective tone built earlier in the essay.

Neglecting Forward Momentum

Your reflections should propel you forward with purpose, optimism, and commitment. Avoid concluding on a somber, defeated, or overly questioning note. Affirm your path forward.

Keeping these common pitfalls in mind will help you conclude your essay effectively, underscoring your personal growth and dedication to nursing excellence.

Final Thoughts

Writing a reflective nursing essay requires vulnerable honesty and insightful reflection. By describing the situation objectively, analyzing your thoughts and feelings, identifying key learnings, and committing to future improvement, you demonstrate introspection, compassion, and an ability to handle adversity—all essential nursing qualities.

An impactful conclusion will reinforce your reflective realizations, bringing the arc of the essay to an empowering close. With courage and wisdom, your reflections will paint a portrait of a nurse in development committed to lifelong betterment.

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