Improving Academic Writing in Nursing Education

Improving Academic Writing in Nursing Education

Is nursing a calling? Many people seem to believe so. The reason for this is that nursing requires a selfless dedication that is not typically observed in other professions. Nurses have to put in a lot of time and possess attributes like empathy to be directed at the patient. Communication skills are another major soft skill that successful nurses possess. It allows them to effectively communicate with patients and colleagues. There are several other skills that constitute communication skills, one of which is academic writing.

Academic nursing writing is a hard skill and is a necessary skill to acquire in order to pass a class or whatever specialized nursing undergraduate program one is undertaking. Many writing assignments are issued at different intervals and nursing students are expected to meet the obligation of successfully completing and submitting them. This task is not always possible for a good number of nursing students. One reason for this is because they lack time to dedicate themselves to completing the particular academic nursing writing assignment. Many others are not experienced with the scholarly writing process and are therefore incapable of consistently producing great assignments that will give them good grades.

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Academic Writing Skills Needed in Nursing

There are many different types of academic writing papers written in nursing education. The most common ones that we handle are listed below:

  • Nursing Essays
  • Nursing care plans
  • SOAP Notes
  • Research Papers
  • Laboratory Reports
  • Case Studies

    Each of them have their own formats and specific objectives. For instance, essays require the author to arrive at his or her own opinion over an issue. All the same, all types of academic nursing writing test proficiency on the four types of writing - descriptive, analytical, persuasive and critical.

    Descriptive writing requires that a nursing student demonstrates his or her proficiency in detailing facts. The instruction on the assignment may guide the student to “identify” or “define”. It is appropriate when detailing the method of collecting data or sharing findings of such an exercise. How is descriptive writing useful in a professional setting? The nurse can use techniques learnt from academia to improve his or her methods of writing down guides or instructions to colleagues and patients respectively and increase the chances of successful treatment outcomes.

    Analytical writing is required when there is an objective to demonstrate relationship between variables. The relationship could be of any kind. For example, in concept analysis papers a nursing student will have to detail the antecedents and consequences of his or her idea. Analytical writing improves critical thinking skills leading to better decision making in both professional and personal settings.

    Persuasive writing is another competency that nursing students have to demonstrate in nursing education. It is particularly useful for BSN and postgraduate students who need to develop the capability of not only conceptualizing unique ideas and views but also make strong cases for them. Unfortunately, many students mistakenly believe that there is not room for one’s point of view in academic writing. This is perhaps because of how much the notion that academic writing should be objective has been hammered down. The truth is that there is space in academic papers to include one’s opinion as long as it is developed logically from preceding written material.

    Last but not least, there is critical writing. It incorporates the techniques or purposes of the aforementioned types of academic nursing writing. A student will have to consider multiple points of views not too dissimilar to the manner one’s own opinion is considered in persuasive writing. A student will also have to be good at descriptive and analytical writing to be objective and single out the relationship between concepts or findings.

Format in Academic Writing

Academic Writing is not complete without format. The formats may seem like unnecessary bureaucracy but they exist because of the time-honored traditions of academic writing and the fact that standardized formats make it easier for anyone to go through an academic nursing writing paper. This has made it easier for information about nursing to be shared across the globe highlighting issues and disseminating new ideas. All academic papers in nursing need to be written using the American Psychological Association (APA) format. It is the format of choice for both natural and social sciences. One of the criteria for APA formatting is to arrange references by the author’s last name and in alphabetical order. Other guidelines include double spacing and use of a size 12 formal style font like “Times New Romans.” Nursing education should also intensify learning on what constitutes the different sections of academic papers. It is not enough to know what section goes where. For instance, the Title and Abstract can be referred to as summary sections. They contain only summarized content which informs a reader what the paper is about. Many students confuse the Abstract with the Introduction section. Do you know what constitutes what? The Abstract is written after all sections of the paper have been completed. It summarizes the purpose, results and conclusion of the particular paper. The Introduction, on the other hand, goes into detail on purpose of the paper as the author develops a justification for writing the paper. Context must also be developed to make justification for the paper clearer.