How to Write a Nursing Case Study Paper (A Guide)

Written by Brandon L.
August 17, 202315 min read

Most nursing students dread writing a nursing case study analysis paper, yet it is a mandatory assignment; call it a rite of passage in nursing school. This is because it is a somewhat tricky process that is often overwhelming for nursing students. Nevertheless, by reading this guide prepared by our best nursing students, you should be able to easily and quickly write a nursing case study that can get you an excellent grade.

How different is this guide from similar guides all over the internet? Very different!

This guide provides all the pieces of information that one would need to write an A-grade nursing case study. These include the format for a nursing case study, a step-by-step guide on how to write a nursing case study, and all the important tips to follow when writing a nursing case study.

This comprehensive guide was developed by the top nursing essay writers at NurseMyGrade, so you can trust that the information herein is a gem that will catapult your grades to the next level. Expect updates as we unravel further information about writing a nursing case study.

Now that you know you’ve discovered a gold mine, let’s get right into it.

What Is a Nursing Case Study?

A nursing case study is a natural or imagined patient scenario designed to test the knowledge and skills of student nurses. Nursing case study assignments usually focus on testing knowledge and skills in areas of nursing study related to daily nursing practice.

As a nursing student, you must expect a nursing case study assignment at some point in your academic life. The fact that you are reading this post means that point is now.

While there is no standard structure for writing a nursing case study assignment, some things or elements must be present in your nursing assignment for your professor to consider it complete.

In the next section, you will discover what your instructor n expects in your nursing case study analysis. Remember, these are assignments where you are given a case study and are expected to write a case analysis report explaining how to handle such scenarios in real-life settings.

The Nursing Case Study Template

The typical nursing case study has nine sections. These are:

The Structure of a Nursing Case Study Analysis

You now know what nursing professors expect in a nursing case study analysis. In this section, we will explain what to include in each section of your nursing case study analysis to make it an excellent one.

1. Title page

The title page is essential in all types of academic writing. You must include it in your nursing case study analysis or any other essay or paper. And you must include it in the format recommended by your college.

If your college has no specific title page format, use the title page format of the style requested in the assignment prompt. In nursing college, virtually all assignments should be written in Harvard or APA format.

So, check your assignment prompt and create your title page correctly. The typical title page should include the topic of your paper, your name, the name of your professor, the course name, the date you are submitting the paper, and the name of your college.

2. Abstract

Most nursing professors require you to include an abstract in your nursing case study analysis. And even when you are not explicitly required to write one, it is good to do so. Of course, you should consult with your professor before doing so.

When writing an abstract for your paper, make sure it is about 200 words long. The abstract should include a brief summary of the case study, including all the essential information in the patient presentation, such as the history, age, and current diagnosis.

The summary should also include the nursing assessment, the current interventions, and recommendations.

3. Introduction

After writing the title page and the abstract, start writing the introduction. The introduction of a nursing case study analysis must briefly include the patient’s presentation, current diagnosis and medication, and recommendations. It must also include a strong thesis statement that shows what the paper is all about.

You shouldn’t just write an introduction for the sake of it. If you do so, your introduction will be bland. You need to put in good effort when writing your introduction. The best way to do this is to use your introduction to show you understand the case study perfectly and that you will analyze it right.

You can always write your introduction last. Many students do this because they believe writing an introduction last makes it more precise and accurate.

4. Case Presentation (Status of the Patient)

After introducing your nursing case study analysis, you should present the case where you outline the patient's status. It is usually straightforward to present a case.

You must paraphrase the patient scenario in the assignment prompt or brief. Focus on the demographic data of the patient (who they are, age, race, height, skin tone, occupation, relationships, marital status, appearance, etc.), why they are in the case study or scenario, reasons they sought medical attention, chief complaint, and current diagnosis and treatment. You should also discuss the actions performed on the patient, such as admission to the ICU, taking vital signs, recommending tests, etc.

In short, everything necessary in the patient scenario should be in your case presentation. You only need to avoid copying the patient scenario or case study word-for-word when writing your case presentation.

5. Diagnosis and Assessment

After the case presentation, you should explain the diagnosis. In other words, you should explain the condition, disease, or medical situation highlighted in the case presentation. For example, if the patient is a heavy smoker and he has COPD, it is at this point that you explain how COPD is linked to heavy smoking.

This is the section where you thoroughly discuss the disease process (pathophysiology) by highlighting the causes, symptoms, observations, and treatment methods. You should relate these to the patient’s status and give concrete evidence. You should describe the progression of the disease from when the client was admitted to a few hours or days after they were stabilized. Consider the first indication of the disease that prompted the patient to seek further medical assistance.  

Your paper should also elucidate the diagnostic tests that should be conducted and the differential diagnosis. Ensure that each is given a well-founded rationale.

When explaining the condition, go deep into the pathophysiology. Focus specifically on the patient’s risk factors. Ensure you get your explanation from recent nursing literature (peer-reviewed scholarly journals published in the last 5 years). And do not forget to cite all the literature you get your facts from.

In short, this section should explain the patient’s condition or suffering.

6. Nursing Intervention

After the diagnosis and nursing assessment section, your nursing case study analysis should have an intervention section. This section is also known as the nursing care planning section. What you are supposed to do in this section is to present a nursing care plan for the patient presented in the patient scenario. You should describe the nursing care plan and goals for the patient. Record all the anticipated positive changes and assess whether the care plan addresses the patient's condition.

A good nursing care plan details the patient’s chief complaints or critical problems. It then describes the causes of these problems using evidence from recent medical or nursing literature. It then details the potential intervention for each problem. Lastly, it includes goals and evaluation strategies for the measures. Most professors, predominantly Australian and UK professors, prefer if this section is in table format.

Some nursing professors regard the intervention section (or nursing care plan section) as the most critical part of a nursing case study. This is because this part details precisely how the student nurse will react to the patient scenario (which is what the nursing professors want to know). So, ensure you make a reasonable effort when developing this section to get an excellent grade.

7. Discussion and Recommendations

The intervention section in a nursing case study is followed by a discussion and recommendations section. In this section, you are supposed to expound on the patient scenario, the diagnosis, and the nursing care plan. You should also expound on the potential outcomes if the care plan is followed correctly. The discussion should also explain the rationale for the care plan or its significant bits.

Recommendations should follow the discussion. Recommendations usually involve everything necessary that can be done or changed to manage a patient’s condition or prevent its reoccurrence. Anything that enhances the patient’s well-being can be a recommendation. Just make sure your key recommendations are supported by evidence.

8. Conclusion

This is the second last section of a typical nursing case study. What you need here is to summarize the entire case study. Ensure your summary has at least the case presentation, the nursing assessment/diagnosis, the intervention, and the key recommendations.

At the very end of your conclusion, add a closing statement. The statement should wrap up the whole thing nicely. Try to make it as impressive as possible.

9. References

This is the last section of a nursing case study. No nursing case study is complete without a references section. You should ensure your case study has in-text citations and a references page.

And you should make sure both are written as recommended in the assignment. The style section is usually Harvard or APA. Follow the recommended style to get a good grade on your essay.

Step-By-Step Guide to Writing a Nursing Case Study

You know all the key sections you must include in a nursing case study. You also know what exactly you need to do in each section. It is time to learn how to write a nursing case study. The process detailed below should be easy to follow because you know the typical nursing case study structure.

1. Understand the Assignment

When given a nursing case study assignment, the first thing you need to do is to read. You need to read two pieces of information slowly and carefully.

First, you need to read the prompt itself slowly and carefully. This is important because the prompt will have essential bits of information you need to know, including the style, the format, the word count, and the number of references needed. All these bits of information are essential to ensure your writing is correct.

Second, you need to read the patient scenario slowly and carefully. You should do this to understand it clearly so that you do not make any mistakes in your analysis.

2. Create a Rough Outline

Failure to plan is a plan to fail. That is not what you are in it for anyway! In other words, do not fail to create an outline for your case study analysis. Use the template provided in this essay to create a rough outline for your nursing case study analysis.

Ensure your outline is as detailed as it can be at this stage. You can do light research to achieve this aim. However, this is not exactly necessary because this is just a rough outline.

3. Conduct thorough research

After creating a rough outline, you should conduct thorough research. Your research should especially focus on providing a credible and evidence-based nursing assessment of the patient problem(s). You should only use evidence from recent nursing or medical literature.

You must also conduct thorough research to develop an effective intervention or nursing care plan. So when researching the patient’s problem and its diagnosis, you should also research the most suitable intervention or do it right after.

When conducting research, you should always note down your sources. So for every piece of information you find, and what to use, you should have its reference.

After conducting thorough research, you should enhance your rough outline using the new information you have discovered. Make sure it is as comprehensive as possible.

4. Write your nursing case study

You must follow your comprehensive outline to write your case study analysis at this stage. If you created a good outline, you should find it very easy to write your nursing case study analysis.

If you did not, writing your nursing case study will be challenging. Whenever you are stuck writing your case study analysis paper, you should re-read the part where we explain what to include in every section of your analysis. Doing so will help you know what to write to continue your essay. Writing a nursing case study analysis usually takes only a few hours.

5. Reference your case study

After writing your case study, ensure you add all in-text citations if you have not already. And when adding them, you should follow the style/format recommended in the assignment prompt (usually APA or Harvard style).

After adding in-text citations exactly where they need to be and in the correct format, add all the references you have used in a references page. And you should add them correctly as per the rules of the style you were asked to use.

Do not forget to organize your references alphabetically after creating your references page.

6. Thoroughly edit your case study

After STEP 5 above, you need to edit your case study. You should edit it slowly and carefully. Do this by proofreading it twice. Proofread it slowly each time to discover all the grammar, style, and punctuation errors. Remove all the errors you find.

After proofreading your essay twice, recheck it to ensure every sentence is straightforward. This will transform your ordinary case study into an A-grade one. Of course, it must also have all the standard sections expected in a case study.

Recheck your case study using a or a similar computer grammar checker to ensure it is perfect. Doing this will help you catch and eliminate all the remaining errors in your work.

7. Submit your case study analysis

After proofreading and editing your case study analysis, it will be 100% ready for submission. Just convert it into the format it is required in and submit it.

 Nursing Case Study Tips and Tricks

The guide above and other information in this article should help you develop a good nursing case study analysis. Note that this guide focuses entirely on nursing case scenario-based papers, not research study-based nursing case studies. The tips and tricks in this section should help you ensure that the nursing case study analysis you create is excellent.

1. Begin early

The moment you see a nursing case study assignment prompt, identify a date to start writing it and create your own deadline to beat before the deadline stated in the prompt.

Do this and start writing your case study analysis early before your deadline. You will have plenty of time to do excellent research, develop an excellent paper, and edit your final paper as thoroughly as you want.

Most student nurses combine work and study. Therefore, if you decide to leave a nursing case study assignment until late to complete it, something could come up, and you could end up failing to submit it or submitting a rushed case study analysis.

2. Use the proper terminology

When writing an essay or any other academic paper, you are always encouraged to use the most straightforward language to make your work easy to understand. However, this is not true when writing a nursing case study analysis. While your work should certainly be easy to understand, you must use the right nursing terminology at every point where it is necessary. Failure to do this could damage your work or make it look less professional or convincing.

3. Avoid copying and pasting

If you are a serious nursing student, you know that copying and pasting are prohibited in assignments. However, sometimes copying and pasting can seem okay in nursing case studies. For example, it can seem okay to copy-paste the patient presentation. However, this is not okay. You are supposed to paraphrase the verbatim when presenting the patient presentation in your essay. You should also avoid copy-pasting information or texts directly. Every fact or evidence you research and find should be paraphrased to appear in your work. And it should be cited correctly.

4. Always ask for help if stuck

This is very important. Students are usually overwhelmed with academic work, especially a month or two to the end of the semester. If you are overwhelmed and think you will not have the time to complete your nursing case study analysis or submit a quality one, ask for help. Ask for help from a nursing assignment-help website like ours, and you will soon have a paper ready that you can use as you please. If you choose to get help from us, you will get a well-researched, well-planned, well-developed, and fully edited nursing case study.

5. Format your paper correctly

Many students forget to do proper formatting after writing their nursing case study analyses. Before you submit your paper, make sure you format it correctly. If you do not format your paper correctly, you will lose marks because of poor formatting. If you feel you are not very confident with your APA or Harvard formatting skills, send your paper to us to get it correctly formatted and ready for submission.

Now that you are all set up …

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