If you are in college studying to be a nurse, a time will come when one of your instructors will ask you to write a nursing concept analysis paper. The fact that you are reading this means that the time is now. However, it also means that you probably don't know how to come up with such a paper, or your skills are not that polished enough to do a concept analysis paper for nursing. If this is the case, worry not.
Our experienced nursing tutors at NurseMyGrade made this comprehensive guide for students like you. The information should help any nursing student develop an excellent concept analysis paper. This is because it includes everything one needs to know about writing a concept analysis paper, including a format, a template, and a step-by-step guide.
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A nursing concept analysis paper is simply a comprehensive examination of a concept. It specifically involves the review of the literature to clearly, rigorously, and unambiguously explain the meaning of a specific concept.
It uses a framework developed by Kay Coalson Avant and Lorraine Olszewski, published in 2005 in a text titled Strategies for Theory Construction in Nursing.
Concept analysis is fundamental in nursing education. This is because it helps to improve the understanding students have of different nursing concepts. It also helps to remove confusion and ambiguity, particularly in concepts prevalent in the nursing world.
Moreover, concept analysis is critical in helping to clarify nursing terms, especially catchphrases that have lost their meaning over time. And to prepare a concept analysis paper for nursing, you have to conduct an in-depth literature review, identify key aspects or attributes of the concept in question, identify the consequences and antecedents, and apply these aspects to the model case, as we shall see shortly.
Lastly, concept analysis is crucial for constructing measurement tools, research instruments, and guides that are used in nursing research.
The typical concept analysis paper is about eight to ten pages long. Therefore, when one of your professors announces they will give you a concept analysis paper assignment, expect to research, write, and eight a paper that is 8 to 10 pages long.
Sometimes concept analysis papers can be as long as 15 pages long. So make sure you check the requirements closely before you do anything. When checking, note the number of pages or words required.
You should also check the other requirements, such as the style required and the number of references needed.
If you have never written a nursing concept analysis paper before, here is a template. This template shows the standard way of organizing the key parts of a concept analysis paper in nursing.
By organizing your concept analysis paper as detailed above, you will have a paper organized in the manner most professors expect. All the parts of the template above are important and must be included in the final paper.
Now that you know the structure of a concept analysis paper, it is time to discover the steps to follow to write one.
With the structure in the section above at the back of your mind, you must follow the steps below to write an excellent nursing concept analysis paper.
This is the first step in writing a concept analysis paper. You cannot write a concept analysis paper without a concept. So the first thing you need to do is to select a concept. Make sure the concept you select is one that you are interested in or is closely related to your specialization. If you do this, you will gain much knowledge that will interest you or help you in your specialization.
When choosing a concept for your concept analysis paper, there are several rules you must follow. First, you must choose a concept that applies to your course, specialization, or research you are planning. Second, you must choose a concept that is easy to manage. Finally, the concept you choose should not be too advanced or complicated.
Third, you must ensure your chosen concept is not an umbrella term. An umbrella term is a broad term that can mean several things. This can complicate your analysis. Lastly, you must talk to your professor when picking a concept. Doing this will ensure that your choice is neither trivial nor complicated but worthy of a concept analysis paper.
Once you choose a nursing concept for your concept paper analysis, determine the goal of your analysis. Most of the time, the assignment prompt will set the goal of the analysis you are supposed to do. So reread it at this point to check if it clearly shows where to focus your analysis.
If there is nothing in the assignment prompt that outlines the goal of the analysis, do it yourself. Do it by asking yourself what you want to achieve with the analysis. The answer to this question will create a central point of focus to guide you throughout the paper.
In this step, do research to find out all the meanings of the concept. Do not limit your research to meanings within the healthcare field. Simply try as much as you can to find out all the meanings of the concept, including those outside nursing/clinical literature.
Consider all the uses of the concept you are researching. Do this by noting the concept's implicit, explicit, scientific, and ordinary uses. By noting down all the uses or meanings of the concept, you will essentially be defining all the concept's attributes or characteristics. You will also be improving the reader's understanding of the concept.
As you research and note down the meanings of your chosen concept, note down the medical or nursing literature sources with information on your concept. Once you do this, read more about the concept in the important literature you noted down. When reading more, look for information to improve the defining attributes you identified in step three above. And then review the literature.
The literature review will provide more information about the concept to improve the understanding of the concept. It will also provide your concept analysis paper with a solid foundation. Finally, it will help to provide your paper with all the important meanings of the concept.
While it is usually imperative to focus the literature review of analysis on nursing science sources, there is no problem finding and detailing information from sources outside nursing.
After the literature review of texts defining or explaining the selected concept, you should create a subtopic where you identify the critical characteristics of the concept. These are the essential defining elements of the selected concept.
Whatever key characteristics appear often are the ones that show the true or the most frequently used meaning of the concept. They are the ones that are important in the concept's definition in the nursing or medical context.
For example, if the selected concept is a risk, its key characteristics or defining attributes would be:
Many student nurses consider this step the most challenging step in a concept analysis paper. However, while this step is crucial, it is not exactly difficult.
It is in this step that true concept analysis begins. It begins with you selecting a model case. A model case is a case scenario or example that should show how the concept you selected can be used. It is a model that shows the concept's key attributes or characteristics. A good model case should show the definition of the concept, at least two crucial concept attributes, and at least one antecedent and consequence.
Developing a model case is often easier for some concepts than for others. Therefore, when developing a model case, it is vital to be as paradigmatic as possible.
Here is an example of a model case for the concept of risk:
A home health nurse is visiting a seventy-year-old woman for the first time to assist with wound care management. The patient has several conditions, including peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, and osteoporosis, making it difficult for her to walk freely. The nurse identifies several things in the patient's home that could increase her risk of falling, including throwing rugs. She discusses removing these things from home with the patient.
This model case has all the essential defining attributes of risk, including the possibility of loss or harm, a cognitive recognition of danger, and decision-making to prevent loss or harm.
Besides constructing a model case, you will need to build alternative cases. Your professor will expect you to do this to provide more context for the meaning of the selected concept. The alternative cases you should construct include borderline, related, invented, contrary, and illegitimate cases.
A borderline case is an example case with most (but not all) key characteristics or attributes. The typical borderline case will clarify several characteristics of the concept. Still, it will not be entirely consistent with the concept being analyzed.
Here is an example of a borderline case for the concept of risk: A mental health nurse conversing with a depressed middle-aged woman about antidepressant prescription medications she is supposed to take. The nurse helps the patient with the decision-making, as there are different ways to take the medications.
The above is a borderline case because it includes the decision-making attribute of risk and potential harm if the patient decides not to take their medications.
A related case is an example case quite similar to the concept. However, it does not have all its key characteristics or attributes.
Here is an example of a related case for the concept of risk: A woman contacts a nurse practitioner to get information about her liver function test results. She is uncertain whether the results show she needs to reduce or increase her medication.
The above example is a related case to the concept of risk because it has the risk of uncertainty.
A contrary case is an example case opposite the concept and its key attributes.
Here is an example of a contrary case for risk: A young college student is hospitalized for a non-life-threatening procedure. Her parents, experienced medical practitioners, stay with her throughout the procedure.
The above example includes no risk or defining attribute of risk. It is a definite contrary case.
An invented case is an example with all the defining attributes in a fictional scenario.
Here is an example of an invented case for risk: A rugby tackle occurs on the pitch. The tackle results in the tackled player falling dangerously. Since no medical practitioners are around, the players have to decide how to proceed.
This invented case has all the key defining attributes of risk, including the possibility of loss or harm, a cognitive recognition of danger, and decision-making to prevent loss or harm.
Lastly, an illegitimate case is an example case that features the wrong use of the concept.
Here is an example of an illegitimate case for the concept of risk: If I become rich, I run the risk of having too much fun.
This is an illegitimate case because the word risk is misused and does not include the potential for actual harm or loss.
After constructing the alternative cases in your concept analysis paper, continue the analysis by identifying the antecedents and consequences. Unfortunately, many nursing students usually ignore constructing alternative cases and identifying the antecedents and consequences. This often results in poor grades if you do not want a poor grade but a lot of effort in the previous step and this step.
Antecedents and consequences are essential in providing insight and context to the selected concept. Antecedents are incidents or events that occur before a concept. At the same time, consequences are incidents or events that occur after a concept. In other words, consequences are the outcomes of your selected concept.
Examples of antecedents for the concept of risk include cognitive ability and prior knowledge. Without cognitive ability, it is challenging to recognize risk or potential for harm or loss. And without prior knowledge, one cannot easily notice risk and the harm it can cause.
Examples of consequences for the concept of risk include decision-making and actual harm or loss. When the risk is recognized, a decision must be made to avoid it. So it is vital to notice this. On the other hand, the actual harm or loss occurs when a decision is not made to avoid it.
This is the last part of writing a concept analysis paper. The main thing you need to do here is to look at how the concept is used in real-world settings.
Empirical referents are classes or categories of real phenomena that show the existence of a concept. It is essential to understand that empirical referents are not ways to measure a concept; they are ways to measure the key attributes.
Empirical referents are vital because they are associated with the theoretical base of the concept. They help healthcare workers to have a deep and clear understanding of a concept.
If this were a concept analysis paper for the concept of risk, an empirical referent for risk must be a measure of its key attributes of cognitive recognition and decision-making. And it must be cognitive and not behavioral.
You have done all the analysis needed at this stage of writing your concept analysis paper. You need to conclude your analysis. Your analysis should have revealed everything there is to know about the concept. In other words, at this point, you should have a new definition of the concept you were analyzing. You should state it clearly. You should also discuss the concept's significance or your definition, particularly in nursing.
After concluding your essay, add all the references (including in-text citations and a list of references). Doing this will prepare your concept analysis paper for the next step.
At this stage, you have prepared a complete concept analysis paper. You only need to ensure it has the correct grammar, punctuation, and style throughout. And you can only do this by self-editing it.
To edit your paper, start by proofreading it. First, proofread and correct every error you see. Then, proofread your paper again to ensure everything has a good flow when you are done.
And then proofread it one more time using Grammarly.com or a similar grammar editor just to be sure your paper is 100% ready for submission.
Once you proofread and edit your paper as detailed above, it will be ready for submission.
Check out the wonderfully written sample concept analysis paper (External Link) published by Metro State University. This Nurse 600 Assignment concept analysis paper prompt (External Link) can also help you get insights into what is required of you.
As the study by Rodgers and Jacelon (Links to External Site) advises, your concept analysis paper should be done to promote nursing science and improve clinical care.
The list below contains nursing concept analysis paper ideas. Choose any topic below for your concept analysis paper.
This assignment is designed for the student to examine a selected concept's antecedents, attributes, and consequences. The student will explore a concept and then analyze the concept using Steps from Wilson’s Concept Analysis Walker & Avant, 2019, p.170).
The body of the paper should not exceed 10 pages. Points will be deducted for exceeding the page limit. A succinct expression of ideas is a critical skill.
Grading is according to the Grading Rubric for Written Assignments found in the first content section of the course in D2L. It is posted below for your convince.
Follow these steps while completing the project:
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If you read everything in this post, you will know how to write a proper nursing concept analysis paper. However, nothing can stop you from topping your class if you apply all the knowledge you have learned in the last few minutes.
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