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Health Sciences

Students Getting Crafty: Creative Reflections on Nursing Practice

February 18, 2021

At the end of each rotation in Clinical Practice: Community Health Settings, 3rd year nursing students have the opportunity to utilize the arts to meaningfully reflect on their clinical practice. Students choose from a wide variety of artistic forms to express their reflection including poetry, video, painting, collage, and more. They then present their reflection via WebEx to their peers, which provides a unique way to review and reflect on the key learning experiences/concepts from this rotation. We were happy to have 3 students volunteer to showcase their Creative Reflections from this past term. Please read on and enjoy!

– Tanya Cole RN BScN Nursing Instructor


Natalie Rocan-Menard

“For community clinical 2, we were tasked with representing our clinical experience in a creative manner. It was important for me to try and do something I have never done in the past. Since our rotation was focused on family health promotion and strength-based nursing, I felt the tree of life was a great symbol to represent that experience. I searched for inspiration and stumbled upon a YouTube tutorial for this macrame tree of life. My interpretation of my project is the tree represents the family/client encircled by the community. The roots are the families’ values, health, and past, and the branches the possibilities, the connections with the community and resources that surround them. Community health nurses are in a position to highlight families’ strengths and help grow their connections and family support. In addition, I felt it also represented both our journey as student nurses and the nursing community, and the resources that surround us as we grow into working professionals.”

– Natalie Rocan-Menard SNRRC

Project inspired and tutorial by: MandalaBunny, August 2, 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqpJMYFZk7o


Sara Kinfu

“This painting is my friend’s artwork, it is named “Astir”. For me, this piece of art is a representation that life is full of struggles and hope. The people in the painting are inside a blanket and are struggling to get out of it. They seem to be at different stages in their struggle as they try to pull out and rise toward the light. I like to think of the light as a hope. Some of the people in the painting are close to the light while others are far from it. People that we come across in our nursing journey may be struggling because of chronic illnesses, addiction or mental health issues. They may be at different stages in their struggles. Some may have resilience and resources and others may not have that. As student nurses, we may have our own struggles whether the struggle be trying to find ourselves in the profession or expressing ourselves. For me, the main struggle during my journey as a student nurse was juggling school and family. However, what inspired me and helped me to keep moving on is the light or the hope that I saw in front of me. Drawing on my past experiences also played a role in helping me pull through. This helps me to see the strengths and hopes in my patients. I believe that their struggles could facilitate their strength. This is one of the biggest lessons I have learned in my community clinical, to adopt a strength-based practice and to emphasize on individual’s aspirations, resources and potentials instead of their problems. And, I work in partnership with them to maximize on their strengths to reach their goals.”

– Sara Kinfu SNRRC

Artist Credit: Abreha, Y. (2006). Astir [Acrylic].


Michelle Menon

“Community health nurses serve patients in many ways. They work as part of a multidisciplinary team to bring health and healing to vulnerable populations. My creative reflection to resemble the nursing profession includes a stethoscope surrounding a tree. The stethoscope represents the nurse, and the tree can be referred to as the “tree of life”. The tree is interspersed with large sized leaves, which signifies the bigger facilities such as schools, hospitals, and clinics in which nurses are employed in. The smaller leaves represent individuals within the community. You also notice that the leaves are different colours, which represents that nurses are present at every stage of human life, from birth to death, providing care. The green leaves represent birth and younger populations. As individuals get older, the colour of the leaves changes. Adolescence and middle adulthood are symbolized by red and orange leaves, respectively. Older adults are represented by yellow leaves. Finally, as individuals reach their life limit, nurses provide end of life care, this is represented by falling leaves.”

– Michelle Menon SNRRC