While reflective writing about practice experiences is frequently used in nursing curricula to foster critical thinking, faculty mem- bers may be unaware of how to help students reflect, what kinds of feedback are helpful, and how to deal with students' concerns. This article describes faculty best practices in mentoring the student to effectively think critically through structured reflective writing. Models of structured reflection, Baker's four-step model and John's revision of Carper's patterns of knowing, are discussed as effective guides at graduate and undergraduate levels. The article addresses potentially problematic issues with the implementation and evaluation of reflective writing assignments in clinical courses. With foresight and planning, reflective writing may be an empowering strategy for facilitating students' thinking skills.
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