Self assessment is an important part of being a professional. Every practicing RPN and GPN must reflect to identify strengths and areas of growth within their practice.

Informal reflection
Reflection often occurs automatically throughout the course of one’s work and daily living. For example, a psychiatric nurse might review an interaction that occurred earlier in the day to determine how things went and how they might respond to similar situations in the future. These reflections can result in learning and a deepening of one’s psychiatric nursing practice. Informal reflections can also generate new or adjustments to existing learning goals.

Formal reflection
Approaching self-assessment in a more structured way is also valuable. As part of the annual reflective requirements of RPNAS’ CLP, all practicing RPNs and GPNs must self-assess their practice using the current standards of psychiatric nursing practice. This self-assessment will form the basis of each member’s reflective practice review. Based on the standard of practice the member decides what learning to focus on for the year.

Feedback (optional)
Feedback is an important part psychiatric nurses’ professional practice. Feedback can help a psychiatric nurse identify areas in their practice where they can improve. A trusted peer or colleague is a valuable source of insight into a nurse’s own practice. Obtaining feedback is not a required component of the RPNAS CLP, however, members may choose to utilize any feedback obtained to help them fulfill the CLP requirements.

Tools (optional)
The Self-Assessment Guideline is based on the RPNAS’ current standards of psychiatric nursing practice and is designed to be used as an optional tool to support the member’s reflection. The psychiatric nurse may choose to use the Self-Assessment Guide to help their reflection. Or they can choose to refer directly to the Standards of Psychiatric Nursing Practice, 2019 for their self-assessment.

Ongoing reflection
Psychiatric nurses continue reflection throughout the year by critically thinking about their practice, adjusting their learning priorities as needed, selecting, and engaging in learning activities that relate to their learning goals, implementing their learning and evaluating the impact of their learning on their practice.

The learning goal that a member selects might change throughout the year. This is acceptable and should be noted on the Reflective Review Form with an explanation of how their learning needs evolved throughout the year.