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Mental Health Nursing: Personal Development Plan Essay

Practically every person needs to coordinate his/her actions and ways of development. In such a situation a personal development plan turns to be of a paramount importance since it provides ample opportunities to plan and clearly define main goals a person is willing to meet, the ways and strategies of their achievement. At the same time, a personal development plan is also essential since it helps to focus an individual’s attention on certain flaws he/she has to overcome which may refer not only to his/her professional activities but to his/her personal characteristics as well.

In such a way, it is possible to treat a personal development plan as an essential issue of personal development in large sense of this notion. What is meant here is the fact that a personal development plan provides personal and professional growth and it is very important that this growth is not spontaneous but clearly defined, structured and planned. This way of self-coordination is particularly important for professionals working in the field of health, education, or any other field which may affect dramatically large amount of people. In this respect, a personal development plan is extremely important for me as a mental health nurse.

The necessity of the plan

Obviously, a personal development plan is important and it is even necessary for a professional like working in the field of mental health. There are several reasons that make this plan really essential.
First of all, a personal development plan is necessary for the professional growth. It is not a secret that nowadays technologies and science progress rapidly. This is why I cannot remain in rearguard of the contemporary mental health science. Obviously, in such a situation I need a plan that could provide gradual and stable acquisition of new knowledge, stimulated my researches and, what is more, that would challenge me to meet new goals that I should clearly define in my plan. This plan will keep me competent and I can be sure that I will never stop my progress. Otherwise, I cannot see any reasons to continue my work in this field.

Course requirements and basic goals

Taking into consideration the importance of a personal development plan, it is now possible to dwell upon the basic requirements that my plan should meet in order to be really efficient and produce a positive impact on my professional growth.

Firstly, the creation of the plan implies the identification of the basic needs both personal and professional that fully corresponds to contemporary demands of mental health and social policy. In this respect, it is necessary to develop punctuality at university and clinical placement that can increase the efficiency of work. In fact, punctuality will help develop my self-discipline and my colleagues and patients will treat me as a reliable professional.

Secondly, it is very important to develop teamwork skills since positive results in mental health treatment may be achieved only when the work of all members of a team is coordinated and the ambiance is really healthy. In this respect, it should be pointed that it is necessary to establish good relations with colleagues in order to be able to cooperate and help them as well as receive their help in return that is actually one of the demands of the Code of Conduct and Professional Standard of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

By the way, this Code also demands a particular attention to patients and what is more important, on realizing my plan I should learn to be absolutely tolerant to all patients and treat them without paying attention to stereotypes, their health problems, or whatever else can be a cause for moral discomfort of these people. This is particularly important in the contemporary society since the problem of equality is getting to be really important in Britain which society is getting to be more and diverse and tolerance becomes one of the key notions of the social life and anti-discriminating policy is the current official and dominant policy in the UK.

Finally, I should develop my interpersonal skills in order to be able to have therapeutically relationship with patients and what is more it will help me to better understand how I should behave with different patients. In other words, it will help me to find individual approach to each patient which meets his/her needs. At the same time, it will improve my relations with colleagues and will make me aware of professional boundaries not only with my colleagues but with other professionals, including those working in social sphere. The latter is particularly important in the context of the current trends of cooperation between professional working in social and health services which should work for benefits of patients. In this respect, the Code of Conduct of Nursing and Midwife Council.

The plan’s benefits

Naturally, the creation and of course realization of the personal development plan brings certain benefits. First of all, it helps me to organize my work and stimulate me to self-organization. It means that I will have clear goals and plan of actions that I cannot ignore. Otherwise, I will fail.

Furthermore, I believe that in the result of the realization of the plan I will achieve great results and become a well qualified and respectable professional since in the public I would be a person who knows what he/she wants to achieve. Consequently I will have chances for new career opportunities and probably in the future I will view my work as a mental health nurse only as the initial stage of my career as a respectable professional and scientist working in the mental health field. In such a way, this plan will help to realize my ambitions.

Initial conditions

At the present moment, I am working as a mental health nurse but I do not think that I am a poor professional quite on the on the contrary I do not tend to underestimate my skills and abilities. At the same time, I realize that I lack experience in the area I work in and my colleagues recognize this fact and sometimes it seems as if they are a bit prejudiced but, on the other hand, I constantly feel their support and I believe in the future they will help to realize my personal development plan. Their support will be important to me, especially in the acquisition of new experience.

Also, I know what I really want to achieve in my work and I am really motivated to do my best and achieve possibly better results that helps me to realize my plan. Moreover, I think I can critically evaluate my work and I always pay attention to criticism of my colleagues that may be treated as one of weakness since I am probably a bit more sensitive to public opinion than I should have been.

Anyway, I know that the way to positive results, new achievements, and my professional growth can face certain threats such as the possibility of some mistakes that can prevent me from fulfilling of the basic points of my plan but these mistakes do not mean failure but, instead, I view them as very important but negative experience that I will never have anymore.

The ways to meet basic goals

Naturally, it is necessary to meet the goals in order to make my personal development plan efficient. In this respect, it is necessary to start with the planning of every day work. It means that regularly I should spend some time on search and analysis of new information related to mental health at large and my work of a mental health nurse in particular. To do this I will also need to get used to a carefully scheduled work that will contribute to the improvement of some of my personal qualities such as accuracy, punctuality, patience, etc. At the same time, I obviously cannot improve my professional and personal characteristics without assistance and support of my colleague which can also help me to enlarge my knowledge and acquire new experience.

Furthermore, I have to use more modern technological devices and means of telecommunication. This is why I will need to use IT, Internet and other means of telecommunication which may be also a very important source of essential information as well as they contribute to my communication with other professionals who probably face the same problem that I do or who have already overcome them.


Finally, I need to properly evaluate the progress I will have made due to my personal development plan that will keep my motivation up. To do this, I will need to carefully develop the stages of my plan and record them thoroughly. For instance, one of my goal is to develop IT skills, consequently, in short terms I should learn to work how some program works. I take it as my short term objective and record when it is met and than find another goal in the same area. As a result, in the course of time, I will be able to look through my records are realize the progress I have already made. At the same time, if I make a mistake somewhere or I am not successful enough than I will have a chance to make certain improvements and have new goals to meet. Consequently, the desirable circle of constant motivation and development of new goals on meeting the old ones will be completed and my stable personal and professional development will be guaranteed. In this respect, I should say that currently I am aware of the importance of the equal opportunity policy in the UK as the basis of my work in the field of mental health service, and I realize the necessity to apply the basic principles of this policy to all patients and to treat people in respect to the Code of Conduct of Nursing and Midwife Council as any real professional must do. Anyway, the service users should not be stereotyped because of their mental illness.


1. BARKER, P (ED) (2003) Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing: Pub Arnold.
2. BOURAS, N. et al. (1995) “Community Care for People with Learning Disabilities: Deficits and Future Plans”, Psychiatric Bulletin, 19, 35-42.
3. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (2004) The Ten Essential Shared Capabilities, A Framework for the Whole of the Mental Health Workforce.
4. EVANS, K (2003) personal development planning. Nursing standard 17(37), 1-12.
5. KURTZ, Z. (2001) Joined Up Care: good practice in services for people with learning disabilities and mental health needs. The Judith Trust.
6. MATTHEW, D (2004) Challenging Service, Nursing Times, Vol, 91, p.55-59.
7. NEWELL & GOURNAY (2000) Mental Health Nursing. Churchill Livingstone.
8. NORMAN, I., Ryie, I (2004) Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing: A Textbook of principles.
9. NURSING & MIDWIFERY COUNCIL (2002) Code of professional conduct. London: NMC.
10. NURSING & MIDWIFERY COUNCIL (2002) An NMC guide for students of nursing and midwifery. London: NMC.
11. ONYETT, S (2003) Teamworking in mental health. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
12. REID, A. (1995) Psychiatric Services for People with Learning Disabilities, British Medical Journal, 12, 103-116.
13. RICHARDSON, L.W. (2002) Mental Health Nursing. London: Routledge.
14. STUART, L. (2003) Mental Health Service: Problems and Perspectives. London: Random House.

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Professional Development Plan Essay

Initial Self- Assessment and Reflection

According to the Befriender (2002), people learn through reflecting on their actions, then apply what they have learnt in their future actions and decisions. It is important for me to reflect on my goals from last year and take responsibility for my progress. For my first professional development plan, I chose 3 skills to expand on throughout the year which were:

Improve decision making

Always attend group meetings

Harvard referencing

Focusing on improving my decision making proved to be a tough task as I have always had a problem maintaining the choices I have made. Successfully, I chose which subjects I wanted to proceed with in second year of university and remained with them decisions which has proved to be the best choices to suit me. The second goal which was necessary to improve on was to attend every group meeting. It was important that I made time available for the team meetings so it was sure that I would be involved with the discussions. We received fantastic marks so overall I am pleased that I followed through with my objectives but although I attended, I did not give a satisfactory amount of input into the work. Reflecting over this is disappointing which is why I must make this a new objective. Lastly, I chose to develop the skill of Harvard referencing. The development of the goal was successful and I am now able to reference all of my assignments correctly without any supervision, and feel more confident when individually writing important essays. Overall, I feel that the goals were achieved and my skills were addressed and enhanced, and will stay with me when I become a manager of a successful company.

With an aim to eventually be a successful business woman, it is necessary that I identify my current strengths and weaknesses and choose carefully which skills I must develop. After setting myself the goal of Harvard referencing last year, I believe that this is now a strong skill which I possess, along with the ability to write professional essays. Unfortunately, when it entails a variety of work to do, I tend to struggle completing it all on time and find myself becoming extremely stressed. Another strength I value is that I respect other people's opinions and pride myself on being a good listener which will be beneficial for my future career. Despite the fact that I work well in a team, I lack the confidence to lead a group and voice my point of view. To succeed in a manager's position, you must be able to take charge of a number of people and have a strong opinion and vision. Based on this, it is crucial that I put this skill into practise and develop my confidence when working in a group.

Ethics, Values, Beliefs and Professionalism

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