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How to Write a Nursing Essay: Writing Tips for Applicants and Students

how to write a nursing essay

Whether you are keen on writing or not, you will have to write a lot as a nurse. When you see your life’s purpose in caring for others, excess paper writing might feel like a waste of time and energy. However, writing is an essential skill for a nurse, and you should strive for proficiency in it early in your career. It allows you to communicate effectively with patients, their families, and your colleagues. Being able to write clearly significantly contributes to a nurse’s aptitude to provide better care.

That is one of the reasons essays, research papers, reports, and other forms of academic writing play a significant part in nursing education. In this post, we will give some general guidelines for nursing essay writers and look more closely at two popular paper types. You will learn how to write a nursing application essay and how to write a personal essay for nursing school with elements of reflection and self-analysis.

If you need samples of the formats mentioned above or editing assistance with your papers, you can always rely on PaperHelp’s essay writing service.

Guidelines for Writing Clearly as a Nurse

The best writing is clear writing. The world today is overloaded with information. Writing without unnecessarily taxing your reader’s attention is a valuable skill. As a nurse, you will write not only for health care professionals but also for your patients and the general public, educating them on health care issues. Accessibility of your text will have a great impact.

However, even when you write a thesis or a dissertation, you should demonstrate to your instructors the clarity of thought and ability to express it concisely – not your mastery of complicated terms and complex syntax structures.

Here is how to ensure readers breathe through your text instead of plowing through it.

Use fewer words

The shorter your text, the clearer your message. No one has time to read chunky passages trying to get to the point. Unfortunately, there is a tendency in academia to use ten words where one would suffice – a throwback to the times when education was elitist and deciphering obscure language made you a part of an “in” crowd. As a nurse, you should be wary of this tendency.

Use simple vocabulary

All medical documents should be written in plain English for people to understand instantly and effortlessly. In healthcare, lengthy and complicated medical terms of Latin and Greek origin are unavoidable. However, make sure to water them down with simple, short words to make your text lighter and easier to parse. Write “buy” instead of “acquire,” “a year” instead of “annually,” and “start” instead of “commence.”

Keep your sentences short

Long sentences can be hard to follow. If possible, avoid them. Break your sentence into smaller statements. A subject and a verb make a point. Sometimes, two words is enough. Even one. See? Easy. Once you start, it will come naturally.

Avoid nominalizations

Nominalization is a language phenomenon where a verb is substituted by an abstract noun. For example, when instead of saying, “foreign object blocked the throat,” you say, “the blockage of the throat was caused by a foreign object.” Avoid nominalization in your writing. It makes your statement passive and weakens your message.

Read well-written texts

One of the best ways to improve your writing is by reading a lot. Make a habit of reading nursing journals, newspapers, and magazines. Read actively. Think about whether the text is easy or hard to read. Analyze what makes it so. Observe how the argument is built. Note structures and word choices.

How to Write an Essay for Nursing School Application

Now let’s look into how to write a good nursing application essay. A personal statement giving your reasons for choosing the nursing profession, this particular program, explaining your qualifications, and making you stand out from other candidates is a vital part of your application package. A strong application essay can fling the doors open for you even if something minor is lacking in the scores and stats. On the other hand, an underwhelming paper can get you rejected even if your qualifications, grades, and other “hard data” on your application look perfect.

Here is how to write a nursing entrance essay that will get you accepted.

Spin a story

An essay should not be a list of your program participation and accomplishments. All this is available on your application. However, you can highlight the relevant skills by weaving them into your personal story. It’s okay to share the main takeaways from past experiences if they demonstrate your growth as a professional or your way into the profession.

Make it personal

To convince admission officers that you are the right candidate for the program, express your personality. Demonstrate qualities that not only make you a good nurse but make you unique, make you stand out: empathy, kindness, caring and forgiving nature, moral code, determination, resourcefulness, and sense of humor. Explain what nursing means to you. Share your dreams. Show a human behind the application.

Be specific

To help admission officers decide in your favor, demonstrate that you and this program are a perfect match. Use specific examples. Tell about your short- and long-term goals and point out how participating in this program will help you achieve them. Also, share your vision. Show how being a professional nurse will help you change the world for the better. Convince them that if you are accepted, everyone is a winner. You will be able to do the job you love. The healthcare system will gain efficient and talented worker. And patients will enjoy the skillful care of an empathetic person.

Start early

Procrastination is your enemy. The winning essays are usually those that go through several iterations. Start working on your personal essay as early as possible and space out edits of your draft. This way, you will be able to look at your text with fresh eyes and see minor flaws that would otherwise escape your notice.

Use help

Use free online editors or professional assistance to make sure your draft is flawless. Good grammar, carefully chosen expressions, and precise punctuation that does not distort the meaning of your words are just as important as your message.

How to Write a Good Reflective Nursing Essay

Any guide on how to write an essay for nursing school would be incomplete without tips on reflective writing. Learning diaries, response papers to articles you read, reports analyzing your experiences with courses and practice – a great deal of your time in a nursing school will be devoted to reflection.

Thinking about your experiences, things you learn, words that people say, and how you have changed due to all this is an integral part of studying. Here is how to write a nursing school essay with elements of reflective thinking that will benefit you the most.

Keep formal tone

You are probably familiar with non-academic reflective writing, such as a personal diary or journal. Some elements are shared between those and formal reflective papers: first-person language (I, me, my), observations of emotions and feelings, pondering one’s strengths, weaknesses, anxieties, etc. However, in a reflective nursing essay, you should use academic language, avoid informal words and slang, incorporate models and theories, and provide evidence to support your criticism.

Outline the structure

Academic reflective writing should be structured as opposed to the free form of non-academic reflection. Make sure to include the following components:

  • introduction of the incident or topic;
  • description of the event/course or summary of the book;
  • cause and effect of the discussed event/material;
  • explanation and critique of what happened;
  • conclusion resolving what you’ve learned and where you will go from here.

Don’t just summarize

A reflective essay should focus on your responses. It is a way of exploring your learning, gaining self-knowledge, and making meaning out of your study. Simply summarizing the book you’ve read or describing the case from your practice doesn’t make it reflective. Communicate your thoughts and feelings, tell how new knowledge and experiences changed you, constructively criticize yourself, the event, or the course material.

Use reflective vocabulary

Don’t hesitate to use personal statements when you interpret the events or materials with phrases like: “I believe that,” “I felt that,” “For me it was,” “I noticed/didn’t notice,” “I questioned/didn’t question,” “I realized,” “I did not expect,” “I found this disturbing/empowering/etc.” However, don’t forget to provide evidence and explain your reasoning. Also, use academic caution expressed in phrases like: “it indicates,” “this suggests,” “it could be due to,” “it can be seen as,” etc.

Perfecting your writing skills requires time, patience, and practice. A parting piece of advice to all aspiring nurse writers is to integrate your communication skills and intellectual exercise with empathy and compassion. By putting your heart into writing, you will create powerful and impactful words.

Read more on the importance of writing in nursing and find some inspiring nursing essays topic in our previous posts.

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