How to write a Reflective Journal as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

How to write a Reflective Journal as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

The principles of nursing

Safe and effective nursing is significantly dependent on strict adherence to nursing principles. These principles cover aspects of behavior and attitude, which are essential for good nursing care. As a PMHNP, these principles are critical to my professional development as they help reflect on my practice. There are several instances where I have applied these principles in the clinical area.

According to McDermott-Levy, Leffers & Mayaka (2018), the principle of beneficence requires that nurse practitioners act with love and genuine concern to ensure the wellbeing of their patients. In my practice, I have applied the principle of beneficence in taking care of a patient diagnosed with major depression. I learned that my patient liked to meditate during our interaction, but his concentration was constantly interrupted by stray thoughts and worries. During his time in the hospital, I would dedicate fifteen minutes of my shift to meditating with him, helping him improve his concentration in the process. We would recite affirmations together, and at the end of the sessions, he would be feeling better, at peace, and in good spirit. This act helped alleviate the patient’s feelings of loneliness and hopelessness, improving his mental health.

The principle of nonmaleficence is also significant in nursing practice. It requires health professionals to “Do No Harm” (McDermott et al., 2018). During my patient interaction event, I applied nonmaleficence in implementing interventions that can cause the least harm while generating the most beneficial outcomes. For instance, there was a patient who verbalized suicidal thoughts with a plan of executing them. In this case, the healthcare professional team was in an ethical dilemma between ensuring patient privacy and providing patient care to protect the public. We were compelled to provide patient care under close supervision using this principle. Therefore, patient privacy had to be violated in the process to protect the patient and the public.


From these two patient interaction events, I have gained a lot of personal and professional insights. First, as a young professional in this field, I have been able to set my nursing values based on the few patient interactions I have had. For example, one of my nursing values is ‘to treat others how I would like them to treat me if I were in their shoes.’ Based on this, I always give my best and genuine care to my patients for a better health outcome in the shortest time possible. Professionally, I have improved my collaboration with colleagues by applying ethical principles in addressing patient concerns.

The level of trust that the public has in healthcare providers is just among the indicators that highlight the importance of adhering to ethical principles. These principles are essential in nursing practice as they establish the foundation upon which expectations of nursing care are generated (Poorchangizi et al., 2019). Haddad and Geiger (2018) further established that caregivers, patients, and families expect a certain way of treatment and services based on these principles. Also, patients can evaluate the standard of care they receive and provide an informed feedback based on these principles.


Haddad, L. M., & Geiger, R. A. (2018). Nursing ethical considerations. Retrieved from

McDermott-Levy, R., Leffers, J., & Mayaka, J. (2018). Ethical principles and guidelines of global health nursing practice. Nursing Outlook66(5), 473-481.

Poorchangizi, B., Borhani, F., Abbaszadeh, A., Mirzaee, M., & Farokhzadian, J. (2019). Professional values of nurses and nursing students: A comparative study. BMC medical education19(1), 1-7.

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