Nursing School Assignments and Tips to Ace All of Them

Written by Brandon L.
August 21, 202318 min read

If you are about to start nursing school or considering enrolling in a nursing program, you would want to know what to expect. You will write many papers in nursing school and do many other assignments. This is true whether you pursue ADN, BSN, MSN, DNP, or PhD in Nursing.

Before we delve into the types of assignments and papers to expect in nursing school, let us begin by dispelling the myth that nursing school is hell; it is NOT. Instead, it is a beautiful and exciting journey into a noble profession. It entails a commitment to life-long continuous learning for you to grow.

Nursing school writing assignments are an excellent way for students to understand concepts taught in the classroom. You might wonder what kinds of assignments nursing students do. These assignments come in various forms and help students build critical thinking, creativity, research, clinical reasoning, and problem-solving skills that are critical in clinical settings.

This blog post looks at the diverse assignments you should expect or will cover in nursing school, including some tips to help you ace them and get better grades.

Common Nursing School Writing Assignments

Classwork forms the core of most nursing programs. You must have high-quality assignment submissions to attain better grades in nursing school. As soon as you decide to become a nursing student, you sign up for a marathon of writing different types of papers.

Whether you love or hate it, you will write papers before graduating from nursing school; that is the norm. Although not so many, you will encounter a few homework and assignments where you must submit a well-researched, formatted, and organized nursing paper.

The typical nursing school assignments include essays, research papers, term papers, and case studies. Others are article critiques/reviews, critical appraisal, evidence synthesis tables (synthesis matrix), PowerPoint Presentations, posters, discussion posts/ responses, and policy analysis papers. Other advanced papers include nursing care plans, SBAR template papers, evidence-based papers, capstone projects, theses, dissertations, proposals, etc.

These assignments are submitted either individually or as a group. Let us expound on this so you have a clear picture.


Essays for nursing classes come in various forms, including admission essays, scholarship essays, descriptive essays, persuasive essays, speech essays, expository essays, and narrative essays.

Notably, nursing essays focus on a single perspective, argument, or idea, which constantly forms the thesis of the paper.

Nursing essays focus on various topics relating to nursing practice and the broader healthcare field. You can write an essay examining a nursing theory or non-nursing theory or discuss a nursing issue.

Some essays, such as reflective nursing essays, use reflective models to reflect, analyze, and understand personal and professional encounters during clinical practice.

Each nursing essay should demonstrate your understanding of the topic, critical analysis, and organization skills. Besides, you should use evidence from peer-reviewed scholarly sources to support your arguments and ideas.

Discussion Board Posts

If you pursue a hybrid or exclusively online nursing program, you will be assigned to write weekly discussion forum posts and responses. Discussion board posts are short essay-like assignments posted in a threaded format so students can discuss nursing and healthcare topics.

You will write an original discussion post, between 200 and 300 words long, and post it on the forum. You are also expected to write a peer-response post in response to or to comment on an original post done by your peers.

Discussion boards help nursing students advance theoretical concepts, learn from one another, share ideas, and get feedback that can help them advance their knowledge in clinical reasoning and practice.

Research Papers

Nursing practice is evidence-driven, translating evidence into practice to ensure quality, accessible, and affordable healthcare. As such, nursing research takes precedence during studies and when practicing.

Nursing professors assign nursing students to write research papers on various evidence-based practice topics. The students must prove their worth by researching, analyzing, and organizing facts.

Related Writing Guides:

Research papers help student nurses to review literature, conduct research, implement solutions, and draw evidence-based conclusions.

Research papers are critical in developing research and writing skills, maintaining good communication, and fostering creativity and clinical reasoning.

Potential nursing research paper topics can be quality improvement, healthcare/nursing informatics, healthcare policies, practice privileges, nursing ethics, ethical dilemmas, pathophysiology, and epidemiology.

Term Papers

In nursing school, a term paper is a type of assignment completed and submitted toward the end of the semester.

Usually, a professor can assign you a specific term paper topic, or they can let you choose a topic and consult with them for approval.

Term papers can be done individually or as a group project. A term paper has an impact on your final grade.

You should use credible scholarly sources published within the last five years for recent information.

Besides, also ensure that you plan your time well, do everything as per the instructions, and submit the nursing term paper before the deadline.

A term paper can also be a nursing process change report that is expected to address an area that needs change.

Case Studies

Nursing school case study assignments are an essential learning tool.

Most professors assign hypothetical clinical case studies or case scenarios (snippets) to test your clinical reasoning skills.

As a nursing educational tool, nursing case studies help you to develop practical, theoretical knowledge by simulating real-world experiences.

When analyzing a case study, you must use concepts and knowledge from class and class text to assess a patient, plan and implement care, and evaluate the outcomes.

Sometimes, you encounter simulated or digital clinical experience case studies such as iHuman and Shadow Health.

You should be very keen when analyzing a case study and when writing the analysis report.

Case studies help you get beyond books and use your creativity, clinical reasoning, problem-solving, and analytical skills to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world problems.

Your professor can give you a case study of a patient presenting with a given condition and expect you to take them through the care planning process, including admission and discharge, as you would in a real healthcare setting.

Other times, you can be asked to develop a hypothetical case study of a patient presenting with a chronic disease or a disorder and then use the case study guidelines, including head-to-toe assessment, diagnosis, nursing care planning, and discharge planning.

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Nursing Care Plans and SOAP Notes

A nursing care plan can be part of a case study or a stand-alone assignment. Nursing care plans are essential in nursing education as they help students develop effective nursing care planning. Formulating a nursing care plan for a patient scenario or case helps treat them as you define the guidelines and roles of nurses in caring for the patient.

You also develop solid action plans for focused and patient-centred care by documenting the patient's needs. When they are part of an assignment, you can tabulate the nursing care plan using columns so that you explore every aspect independently.

Remember to use evidence from peer-reviewed scholarly sources when giving rationale.

The SOAP notes are a clinical tool healthcare professionals use to organize patient information to minimize confusion and assess, diagnose, and treat patients. Check our comprehensive guide on developing good SOAP Notes in nursing school.

Concept Maps

Another common nursing school assignment is concept maps. Concept mapping helps you visually organize, compartmentalize, and categorize information about nursing care planning, medical diagnosis, pathophysiology, SBAR, nursing responsibilities, etc.

A nursing concept map assignment equips you with strong critical thinking, analytical, and problem-solving skills. You also hone your clinical reasoning skills in the process.

Whether it is part of an assignment or a stand-alone, learn how to write great concept maps to score the best grades.

Concept Analysis Papers

If you are taking BSN, MSN, or DNP, you will likely be assigned to write a concept analysis paper. Make sure to distinguish this from a concept paper that is a proposal. A concept analysis paper examines the structure and function of a nursing concept.

The process entails a review of the literature and creativity in coming up with borderline, related, contrast, inverted, and illegitimate cases.

You also explore the antecedents and consequences of the concept before finalizing with empirical referents.

If you need to learn about the structure of a good concept analysis paper, check out our nursing concept analysis guide. We have listed concepts you can analyze depending on your speciality, instructions, and passion.

Capstone Projects

At an advanced stage in nursing school, students are expected to submit longer research papers; capstone project papers. A nursing capstone project is a final project that allows students to demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and concepts gained throughout the nursing program.

In nursing education, the capstone project typically covers an evidence-based practice issue or problem. You can write a nursing change paper, look into a clinical process, problem, or issue, and then develop recommendations based on a study.

Most of the MSN and DNP capstone projects focus on clinical change or quality improvement. You will be expected to develop a PICOT question and formulate a research study to examine the issue, implement a change process using evidence-based models, and make recommendations.

Nursing capstone projects are individual research projects based on nursing topics either of your professional or personal interest. You have to demonstrate competency and commitment to improve health outcomes.

Apart from capstone projects, you will also write a nursing thesis and dissertation papers, which depend on the program requirements and your professor's preferences.

Check out these specific writing guides for advanced papers:

Group Assignments

In nursing school and practice, collaboration and teamwork are highly recommended. You will encounter collaborative group assignments such as presentations (PowerPoint slides, Prezi, or other platforms), simulation assignments, writing nursing reports, and group research projects.

Group projects allow you to research, learn, and organize ideas together so that you can understand concepts better. It is essential to avoid social loafing in a group to gain more. Besides, plan your time well and avoid excuses.

You can also be assigned to work on simulation exercises as a group of nursing students. The aim of such exercises is to build a collaborative, teamwork, and decision-making spirit among the team.

When in such groups, expect to work with your peers to assess the hypothetical patient, communicate with your peers, formulate a care plan, and manage any arising issues as you would in clinical settings. Do not take such activities for granted; they contribute significantly to your grade.


Your professor can assign you to design a PowerPoint Slide accompanied by speaker notes and send it for grading or present it online or in class. Under presentations, you will also be requested to design flyers, posters, and other visual documents to disseminate information.

It could be about a disease, health promotion, or nursing research. You must also make PowerPoint slides when presenting a thesis, dissertation, or capstone for assessments. Remember, this is the chance to bring out your creativity.

Expect other assignments such as dosage calculations, HESI test exams, skills checkoffs, electronic medical record documentation, nursing student portfolio, online quizzes, drug write-ups, process recordings, group drug presentations, etc.

In most cases, you will be given a template to use wisely and make it as appealing as possible.

Tips to Help You Ace Nursing Assignments

A lot goes into getting the best grades in nursing school. One of the main determinants of your nursing school grades is the assignments, which you are required to do and complete within set deadlines.

Even though many nursing students perform better on clinical, that needs to reflect in written assignments. Most students fear research and writing or do not take writing assignments seriously. Regardless of the assignment, here are some practical and effective tips to help you ace your nursing school writing assignments and surprise everyone, including yourself.

1. Plan your Time

The number one challenge for nursing students that inhibits them from completing assignments is the need for more time management.

Most students are juggling studies and work to make ends meet. It worsens when you have a massive workload from more than one class and a family to look after.

The simple trick to beat this is to manage your time well. You can schedule your assignments for periods when you are free and when you can concentrate and cover more. Assignments have deadlines ranging from hours to days or a few weeks.

To succeed, keep track of your assignments and other academic activities, such as mid-term and final examinations, so that you can plan your study periods. You can use online time management tools and apps to allocate your nursing school homework time.

With proper planning, you should be reassured about the last-minute rush to complete your assignment, which is responsible for the colossal failure we are experiencing in nursing schools.

2. Follow the Course Guidelines to the T

Guidelines, prompts, and reading materials accompany each writing assignment and homework. Sometimes a professor can be generous enough also to give you access to the Rubric, which breaks down how they will assess assignments. Ensure you read everything and note what is required before working on any paper.

Pay attention to these, read, and familiarize yourself with the course guidelines. Understand the formatting requirements preferred by your school, such as Vancouver, APA, or Harvard. Most nursing schools will specify this in the course documents. Also, check the databases and journal articles you can use when writing your nursing assignments.

Preparing in advance by reading the course materials to identify the recommended study materials. You will have a deeper understanding, knowledge, and skills to handle every nursing assignment correctly.

3. Have an Active Study Buddy

A nursing study buddy can be one of your classmates whom you study with. Study buddies offer mutual support, which comes in handy when completing assignments.

Select a bright and committed person with something to offer so you are not only giving. Set the study hours and have accountability follow-ups to ensure you cover much of the syllabus and concepts in time.

A study buddy can help you understand nursing concepts, theories, models, and frameworks. They can also help you review your written papers and give valuable feedback when editing and proofreading your nursing papers.

A knowledgeable, accountable, committed study partner can help you revamp your grades by submitting high-quality assignments.

4. Join a Study Group

A study group is a tried and tested means of completing nursing assignments. Apart from building your teamwork and collaborative skills, you can brainstorm ideas, critique one another, and learn more about the class assignments. With diversity in thoughts, you can get valuable insights and inputs for personal-level work.

Besides, you are also guaranteed to ace the nursing group assignments with ease. When doing group work, try to rotate into new groups so that you can appreciate the diversity of thoughts and reasoning. You can also identify individuals from your groups, those that are active, as your study buddies.

When you have accountability partners within the group, you commit to given tasks and make necessary follow-ups. If you are a part-time student, consider having students whose free time is similar to yours to benefit everyone.

5. Get Writing Assignment Help

As with other subjects in college and university, nursing students face challenges such as time management, complexity of assignments, too many assignments, and writer's block. When you feel overwhelmed with completing your nursing class assignments, you can always pay someone to handle the class for you or at least do your coursework or assignments.

One sure way to get assistance without drawing too much attention is by trusting assignment help websites like with your papers. Many students do not have time to complete assignments or find them challenging. Consequently, many hire nursing assignment helpers from nursing paper writing platforms.

If you feel like hiring the right professionals, use NurseMyGrade. We offer customized writing solutions to nursing students at different academic levels. Our nursing experts can complete short and lengthy assignments. You will have a well-researched and formatted paper written in Vancouver, APA, MLA, ASA, AMA, Harvard, or any citation style you choose.

You can use the tips and insights above to master nursing school assignments. We wish you all the best as you strive towards excellence. Don't worry about the many assignments. Instead, be grateful that they will equip you with knowledge, skills, and experience to make you the best nurse.

How Many Papers to Write in Nursing School

We have so far covered the general aspects of the types of assignments to expect in nursing school. Under the assignments, you may ask yourself if you must write many papers in nursing school.

While the answer depends on your professor, institutional curriculum requirements, and nursing level, you will undoubtedly write a couple of academic papers before graduating from nursing school. You will write research papers, essays, proposals, white papers, policy analysis papers, capstone project papers, case studies, scholarship essays, personal statements, quality improvement reports, etc.

LPN Level

Suppose you are pursuing a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program. In that case, you will likely write between 13 and 15 papers during the LPN program, including short and long essays, reflective journals, essays, patient-based case studies, and others as your professor pleases.

ADN Level

If you are in a 2-year ADN program, expect to complete about 20 to 30 papers, including care plans, SBAR reports, essays, case studies analyses, research papers, reports, and other assignments.

BSN Level

For a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, you will write between 35 and 50 papers. If you are taking the online class program options, like the WGU BSN program, you might write more papers because they form the basis for your assessment.

BSN-level papers are demanding because you must strictly adhere to the formatting styles and be critical and organized in your presentation.

MSN Level

If you are taking a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, an advanced-level study for registered nurses (RNs), you will do about 20-50 papers, given that it offers the foundation for nursing research. Again, at an advanced level, the MSN writing assignments are complex.

You need to plan well, research widely, and analyze facts thoroughly before drawing conclusions. During this level, expect to write papers such as MSN essays, discussion posts and responses, specialized case studies, research papers, clinical reports, advanced SOAP notes, nursing care plans, policy papers, position papers (white papers), dissertations, theses, capstone papers, project papers, and change project papers.

DNP Level

You are expected to show exquisite research skills for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, considered the highest level or terminal degree in nursing practice. At this level, you have specialized, advanced your knowledge, and have adequate experience.

Mostly, DNP papers are a little longer. You will write between 20-30 papers; depending on your nursing school curriculum and supervisor's preference, it could be less or more.

If you opt for the research route, you will write many research papers, technical papers, policy analysis papers, white papers, reflection papers, nursing dissertations, PICOT-based change project papers (DNP change project papers), and other assignments.

PhD Level

Finally, for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in nursing programs, you should expect to write between 10 and 15 papers covering research-oriented topics.

Attaining this degree makes you the epitome of success in the field. You can advance into a nursing researcher, educator, leader, or manager.

We have writers that can help you handle all these types of papers regardless of the academic level. Our Online Nursing Writing pros are available for hire anytime and any day.

Having worked successfully with many nursing clients/students, we are confident to help you achieve your dreams.

Before you go …

There are many assignments and papers to complete in nursing school, including written assignments, quizzes, exams (oral and written), reflective journals, journal entries, e-Portfolio, integrative reviews, teaching plans, presentations, etc. Whether taking an LPN program or advancing your career by pursuing a Ph.D. in Nursing, you will do many nursing school assignments.

Do not take assignments as a punishment. Instead, consider them as tools to equip and shape you into a desirable nurse practitioner.

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