Writing a nursing essay is not like writing any other academic paper. Oftentimes, nursing students have to adhere to a more complex paper structure and meet more rigid essay writing requirements than their counterparts specializing in other areas. And those who try to combine their work with studies feel even more overwhelmed, since putting together a strong piece of medical writing may be akin to creating a dissertation in terms of time and effort put in research, collecting evidence, and properly organizing the paper. Below is a formula that we created in collaboration with PapersOwl. This formula will help you create an effective paper that will hopefully earn you a coveted A.
1. Write Down Everything You Know
First thing first, make sure you’re willing and ready to put your mind wholeheartedly to your assignment at this very moment. Nothing should distract you from your work and nothing should interfere with this meticulous and painstaking process. After that, you can open your Word document and jot down everything you already know about the system in question. This means that if you nursing paper needs to be, say, on the notorious COVID-19, the first thing you want to do is write down everything you already know about this infectious disease, its origins, transmission, clinical progression, etc. You’re going to do this from the broadest things to the narrowest. What is this important? If you start your paper with just looking it up and writing it down, you risk turning your writing into a fully automated process where creating a paper is the end in itself. If you start writing your essay by pulling important information out of your mind, you’re going to gain much more insight into the question at hand and over time become more knowledgeable about a variety of topics.
2. Bring It Down to the Cellular Level
Lots of beginner nursing students, when writing about some particular systems, don’t bother to bring it down to the cellular level. What do we mean by that? Imagine you’re given the assignment requiring you to talk about the pathophysiology of CKD. Most students just scratch the top of the subject without, so to speak, delving into the deeper layers. So, if you’re assigned a paper about kidneys, make sure to talk about the nephrons, glomerulus, individual part of nephrons, and molecules being exchanged through which kinds of tissues. If you’re talking about the respiratory system, don’t forget to mention the alveoli, the blood and the epithelial tissue, and the gas exchange to show your readers the broad picture of the problems discussed. Should you be talking about the neurological disease, be sure to mention the connections between neurons, maybe even fluid and electrolyte exchange. So, you need to pinpoint that cellular level in your essay or even the molecular, depending on what your teacher wants.
3. Fill in the Gaps
The third step is when you’re actually going to go in and look your issue up in your textbook, dedicated website or medical research databases to fill in the gaps in your research. After you do this, you can reorganize the paragraphs and your essay structure so that it be from broad to narrow.
4. Start With Hallmark Signs and Add the List
Signs, symptoms, and complications… They are the main points that need to be addressed in most of the nursing papers assigned to students. Our suggestion is that you start with hallmark signs. For example, should your paper be devoted to acute respiratory distress syndrome, one of the hallmark signs you want to mention is refractory hypoxemia. Also, be sure to give a detailed explanation of all the signs. Then, you want to proceed to consult your chosen sources and pick the signs, symptoms, and complications to mention in your essay.
5. Connect Hallmark Signs to the Disease Process
Writing down you signs and symptoms is not enough. It’s necessary that you connect them your topic. You should be able to justify why the item has been listed as a sign, symptom, or complication. If your topic is related to acute kidney injury and you mentioned the oliguria as the main sign, you need to explain why a patient is experiencing this problem. This is where you want to go back to the nephrons and explain their inability to perform its functions normally. And the same goes for possible complications.
6. Suggest Treatment
Another thing that you may need to include in your nursing essay is medications that can be effective in treating the problem your paper is concerned with. For every single medication you mention you need to think of three things: why they are prescribed, what to watch out for, and potential antidotes.
7. Priority Nursing Interventions
Finally, you need to think of at least three priority nursing interventions which are hopefully evidence-based practice. You want to relate them to problem discussed in your essay. This is where your textbook and nursing process may come in handy once again. In this section of your paper, list each priority intervention and provide succinct explanation why you’re doing each first.
Even if you’re working on a scientific paper, make sure that it complies with APA (or whatever format you’re using), grammar, and punctuation rules. Read through your paper at least twice to see if it flows organically. All your ideas must be presented in a coherent and logical way. Double-check that you’ve given proper credit to the authors whose ideas and findings you relied upon to backup your arguments to reduce the likelihood of plagiarism.
If you have some time before the paper is due, it’s a good idea to put your nursing essay aside to get back to it later. Looking at your paper with fresh eyes will give you a chance to identify potential flaws, incoherencies, and errors before you hand it in.
Hopefully, these simple tips and recommendations will come in handy when you start working on your next nursing paper. Over time, you’ll develop your own unique writing style and acquire new knowledge that will help you in your medical school and beyond.