Nursing Issue Paper: A Guide with Steps, Tips, Topics, and Ideas

Written by Brandon L.
August 17, 202320 min read
how-to-write-a-nursing-issue-paper

Nursing students research, plan, and write many pieces of assignments. A nursing issue paper is among the most common assignments, although most students either dread it or find it challenging. If you are pursuing a Nursing Issues and Trends class, you will most likely write an issue paper.

A nursing issue paper is a written assignment focusing on a current or trending issue in nursing. It focuses on giving an evidence-based opinion about an issue or topic. The target audience of a nursing issue paper includes nurse leaders, nurse managers, policymakers, policymakers, lawmakers, and other healthcare stakeholders.

The scope of the nominated nursing issue can be of local (in your clinical setting), national, regional, or global interest in the nursing field.

We have witnessed many nursing students struggle with writing an issue paper in nursing school, so we have professionally put together a guide to help you navigate this vital assignment.

Steps for Writing a Nursing Issue Paper

Writing an issue paper in nursing school entails addressing specific nursing or healthcare issues or problems. The aim of an issue paper is to present a well-reasoned, researched, and organized analysis of the problem, its implications, and potential solutions. Follow this step-by-step guide to help you write an outstanding issue paper for nursing school that wows your professor and gets the best grades.

Step 1: Choose a Relevant Topic

Check out our ultimate nursing essay writing guide to familiarize yourself with the nursing writing process. The very first step is to select a nursing or healthcare issue to focus your paper.

When selecting the issue, start from broad to narrow, as you would with any essay topic. Consider an issue relevant to your current practice or the area you wish to specialize in.

Ensure that the topic is current, significant, and manageable. It is manageable because it has enough resources and peer-reviewed journal articles to get up-to-date information.

You can check the news websites for trending nursing issues, ask your peers for suggestions, or do research online.

Nursing issues include nursing shortage, nursing burnout, compassion fatigue, alarm fatigue, hospital-acquired infection, nursing pay, needle-exchange program, understaffing, delegation, nurse rights and privileges, shifts, nursing ethical dilemmas, assisted suicide, cancer care, caring for patients with terminal diseases, social media, etc.

Some nursing professors are good; they will list potential topics or at least suggest them to you. You can reassess your notes to see some of the issues you have covered in class. When selecting an issue, ensure it affects healthcare or nursing and needs urgent solutions. Besides, consider the interested stakeholders.

If unsure if an issue is fit for exploring, consult your professor and implement their feedback. Define your issue and identify the stakeholders so that you can address their needs accordingly. You need to state the nursing issue that your paper is addressing clearly.

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Step 2: Conduct an In-depth Research

With the issue out of the way, you need to gather ideas. Re-read your rubric and prompt, and begin your research confidently.

The preliminary research stage is meant to develop ideas for your paper. You should brainstorm using freewriting, mind-mapping, and concept-mapping tools to generate as many ideas about the issue as possible. Take notes and organize the resources you feel are credible enough to use in your paper.

You can develop a research question related to the nursing issue, which you can use to frame a good title for your paper.

Step 3: Come up with a Thesis Statement

A good nursing issue paper is thesis-driven. This will be a tentative thesis statement informed by your preliminary research. You can always revisit and reword it as you advance your writing process.

Ensure that the thesis is one or two sentences long, explaining the central aim of your paper. It should be clear, concise, and debatable. You can present the issue, its impacts, and the solutions.

It is the thesis that your entire paper is based. The body paragraphs of an issue paper focus on building or expounding the thesis statement, with topic sentences acting as mini-thesis statements.

Step 4: Develop a Title

Anyone reading your paper first interacts with the title. It is a great deal to have a captivating issue paper title. It should be short, 10-15 words max, informing the readers what the paper is about. With the issue and thesis statement known, writing the title should be easy. Ensure that it has keywords that signal the readers about the topic, the issue of focus, and the scope of the paper.

Step 5: Create an outline

You are still in the preparation phase, culminating in the writing stage. The last part of the preparation stage is to write an outline or develop a scaffold or plan for the issue paper.

An outline helps you to visualize your final paper by highlighting the main areas you want to focus on. When outlining, organize your ideas by prioritizing the points.

As you outline the paper, map out the attention-getter, the points to include in the background, the thesis statement, topic sentences, supporting ideas, and concluding sentences. Include the in-text citations so that you are organized from the word go.

Break down the paper as you would want it to be when you finish writing. Plan for 10% of the word count for the introduction paragraph, 80% of the word count for the body paragraphs, and the remaining 10% for the conclusion.

Step 6: Write the First Draft

At this stage of the writing process, the rubber meets the road. Draft the issue paper bit by bit. It is easier now that you have the outline.

The introduction should begin with an attention-grabber or a hook to interest your readers in your paper. It can be a shocking statistic or statement. You should then provide a background of the nursing or healthcare-related issue.

Provide a brief overview of the issue's significance to patients, community, practitioners, nursing practice, patient care, or the healthcare system. Highlight the affected key groups – patients, healthcare providers, the general public, or the government.

Present your thesis statement. If it is a long paper, signpost the main ideas so that your readers know what to expect in the paper.

Build the body paragraphs, expanding the thesis statement. You can use the MEAL plan paragraph format to make things flow better. Other strategies include the PEEL or TEEL paragraph formats.

MEAL stands for the main idea, evidence, analysis, and link to the thesis. You write the paragraphs by introducing the focus of the paragraph or stating your mini-thesis, followed by giving supporting statements using facts from scholarly research.

The analysis entails explaining and synthesis of the presented evidence to make it meaningful to the context of your paper. Finally, the lead out of the link entails concluding the paragraph and transitioning to the next. You can discuss previous attempts to solve the issue and assess the reasons for failure or success. Identify any shortcomings.

At the same time, propose potential evidence-based solutions to the issue or problem. When recommending change, consider feasibility, sustainability, and potential impacts. Include both short and long-term strategies.

Include counterarguments and rebuttals to fortify the proposed solution. Considering what others would otherwise recommend and giving reasons why your preferred solutions matter makes you a mature writer. It is a display of creativity, critical thinking, and analytical reasoning.

Finalize with a complete, comprehensive, and concise conclusion. In the conclusion paragraph, revisit the main points, restate the thesis statement, and give a call-to-action, recommendation, or recommendations to solving the nursing/healthcare issue.

When writing the draft, focus on putting your thoughts, ideas, and points on paper. Do not focus on perfection at this stage.

Step 7: Edit, Proofread, and Polish

The final step of the writing process is to polish everything. You can put away the draft to get some time away to allow an objective evaluation when you resume working on it. To revise a draft well, check the focus of the nursing issue paper and revise it according to the prompt. You can let another person read your issue essay or paper so that they can spot errors and mistakes.

Act on any feedback you receive to improve the paper. You must also think critically about the thesis and how you have developed it. If areas don’t make sense, revise accordingly by adding, rearranging, removing, and replacing (ARRR revising) as appropriate.

Read the paper aloud to spot mistakes further. Check the paper via Grammarly to remove all the stylistic, mechanistic, spelling, and formatting mistakes. Your paper should be flawless to score the best grade in the rubric.

You can also do a reverse outline to help you check if the paper meets the requirements. Check that the in-text citations and references are well formatted in APA, AMA, ASA, Vancouver, or Harvard formatting style.

Once everything flows smoothly and is polished, convert the paper into the required format and submit it. Submitting the nursing issue paper early allows your professor to read and give honest feedback. Papers submitted near or after the deadline hardly get the attention of the professors.

List Nursing Issue Paper Topics

Here are the top 100 nursing issue research topics for your next assignment.

  1. Nurse Staffing Shortages and Its Impact on Patient Care
  2. The Role of Advanced Practice Nurses in Primary Care
  3. Ethical Challenges in End-of-Life Care
  4. Nursing Burnout and Strategies for Self-Care
  5. Addressing Health Disparities in Underserved Populations
  6. The Use of Telehealth in Nursing Practice
  7. Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections in Hospitals
  8. Integrating Mental Health Services into Primary Care Settings
  9. Enhancing Cultural Competence in Nursing Practice
  10. The Role of Nurses in Disaster Preparedness and Response
  11. Promoting Safe Medication Administration Practices
  12. The Impact of Nursing Leadership on Patient Outcomes
  13. Strategies for Reducing Medication Errors in Nursing Practice
  14. The Importance of Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing
  15. Ethical Issues in Nursing Research
  16. Improving Communication and Collaboration among Healthcare Teams
  17. The Role of Nurses in Promoting Vaccination and Immunization
  18. Addressing Substance Abuse and Addiction in Patient Care
  19. The Role of Nursing Informatics in Healthcare Technology
  20. Promoting Patient Safety in Home Healthcare Settings
  21. Challenges and Opportunities in Geriatric Nursing Care
  22. Promoting Healthy Lifestyles and Preventive Care in Communities
  23. The Impact of Social Determinants of Health on Nursing Practice
  24. The Role of Nurses in Addressing Mental Health Stigma
  25. Enhancing Patient Education and Health Literacy
  26. Strategies for Managing Stress and Compassion Fatigue in Nursing
  27. The Role of Nurses in Advancing Healthcare Policy
  28. Addressing Ethical Dilemmas in Pediatric Nursing
  29. The Importance of Infection Control in Long-Term Care Facilities
  30. Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Nursing Workforce
  31. The Role of Nurses in End-of-Life Decision Making
  32. Strategies for Improving Pain Management in Healthcare
  33. The Impact of Technology on Nursing Education and Training
  34. Promoting Healthy Aging and Elderly Independence
  35. The Role of Nurses in Disaster Relief Efforts
  36. Addressing Nursing Shortages in Rural Areas
  37. The Importance of Interprofessional Collaboration in Healthcare
  38. Strategies for Preventing Healthcare Worker Burnout
  39. The Role of Nurses in Palliative Care and Hospice Settings
  40. The Impact of Chronic Illness on Nursing Practice
  41. Promoting Cultural Competence in Pediatric Nursing Care
  42. Strategies for Improving Maternal and Child Health
  43. The Role of Nurses in Mental Health Crisis Intervention
  44. Addressing Ethical Issues in Organ Transplantation
  45. The Impact of Nursing Education on Patient Outcomes
  46. Promoting Inclusive Healthcare for LGBTQ+ Communities
  47. Strategies for Improving Nursing Documentation and Charting
  48. The Role of Nurses in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  49. Addressing Nursing Staffing Ratios and Patient Safety
  50. The Impact of Nursing Shortages on Global Health
  51. Promoting Resilience and Emotional Intelligence in Nursing
  52. Strategies for Improving Pain Management in Pediatric Patients
  53. The Role of Nurses in Disaster Preparedness Education
  54. Addressing Ethical Issues in Neonatal Intensive Care
  55. The Impact of Environmental Factors on Nursing Practice
  56. Promoting Healthy Work Environments in Nursing
  57. Strategies for Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections in NICUs
  58. The Role of Nurses in Managing Chronic Pain
  59. Addressing Health Disparities in Maternal and Child Health
  60. The Impact of Nursing Interventions on Patient Satisfaction
  61. Promoting Patient-Centered Care in Nursing Practice
  62. Strategies for Preventing Medication Errors in Pediatric Patients
  63. The Role of Nurses in School Health Promotion
  64. Addressing Ethical Issues in Genetic Testing and Counseling
  65. The Impact of Nurse Navigation in Cancer Care
  66. Promoting Breastfeeding and Maternal Health
  67. Strategies for Improving Patient Engagement in Healthcare
  68. The Role of Nurses in Public Health Initiatives
  69. Addressing Mental Health Needs in the Geriatric Population
  70. The Impact of Technology on Nursing Workflow
  71. Promoting Healthy Sleep Habits in Patients
  72. Strategies for Improving Wound Care in Nursing Practice
  73. The Role of Nurses in Substance Abuse Prevention
  74. Addressing Ethical Issues in Nursing Home Care
  75. The Impact of Nursing Interventions on Pressure Ulcer Prevention
  76. Promoting Healthy Nutrition and Dietary Habits
  77. Strategies for Improving Fall Prevention in Healthcare Settings
  78. The Role of Nurses in Mental Health Education
  79. Addressing Infection Control in Dialysis Settings
  80. The Impact of Nurse Training on Emergency Response
  81. Promoting Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare
  82. Strategies for Improving Nursing Documentation in Electronic Health Records
  83. The Role of Nurses in Addressing Opioid Epidemic
  84. Addressing Ethical Issues in Organ Donation and Transplantation
  85. The Impact of Nursing Research on Evidence-Based Practice
  86. Promoting Physical Activity and Exercise in Patients
  87. Strategies for Preventing Healthcare Worker Injuries
  88. The Role of Nurses in Sexual Health Education
  89. Addressing Infection Control in Dental Settings
  90. The Impact of Nurse Navigation on Chronic Disease Management
  91. Promoting Inclusive Care for Patients with Disabilities
  92. Strategies for Improving Nursing Care for Patients with Dementia
  93. The Role of Nurses in Disaster Recovery and Rehabilitation
  94. Addressing Ethical Issues in Assisted Reproductive Technologies
  95. The Impact of Nursing Interventions on Sepsis Prevention
  96. Promoting Patient-Centered Communication in Nursing Practice
  97. Strategies for Improving Oral Health in Patients
  98. The Role of Nurses in Domestic Violence Intervention
  99. Addressing Infection Control in Ambulatory Care Settings
  100. The Impact of Nurse Leadership on Organizational Culture
  101. The impacts of needle-exchange programs on the number of discarded needles
  102. Syringe service programs and the rates of HIV infections among people who inject drugs (PWID).
  103. The Impacts of longer nursing work shifts on nurse Burnout
  104. Ethical dilemma nurses face with assisted suicide
  105. Impacts of compassion fatigue on nurses
  106. Should nurse-to-patient ratios be mandated?
  107. Impacts of lateral violence in clinical settings
  108. Should all RNs have BSN?
  109. Impacts of Stress and Schedules on the Well-being of Nurses
  110. Should nurses have weekly paid rest days?
  111. The impacts of using Medication Aides in clinical settings
  112. Impacts of using medical tarbads on medical errors

Related Readings:

If you want a unique topic tailored to your coursework, class readings, and preferences, you can talk to our customer reps or place a ONE-PAGE order and get 3-4 suggestions with relevant peer-reviewed nursing journals published in the last 5 years.

Final Words

If you got this far, you now understand how to write an effective nursing issue paper. The writing process is the same as writing a nursing research paper. The seven steps we discussed are the surest way to get everything done as it should and score the best grades.

If you are struggling with writing an issue paper, you can delegate the process to our writers. NurseMyGrade has dedicated, resilient, and eloquent nursing research writers who can turn your ideas into excellent nursing issue papers.

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