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