How to Write a Nursing Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide

Why write a nursing paper?

There are many reasons why a nurse might choose to write a nursing paper. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • To teach students about nursing practice. Nursing papers can be used to illustrate key concepts in nursing, such as the nursing process, critical thinking, and evidence-based practice.
  • To inform research and practice. Nursing papers can be used to identify new or unusual findings, to generate hypotheses for further research, and to share best practices with other nurses.
  • To share the patient’s story. Nursing papers can be used to share the story of a patient who has overcome a significant challenge, or to share the story of a patient who has taught the nurse something important.
  • To advance one’s career. Nursing papers can be published in peer-reviewed journals, which can help nurses to establish themselves as experts in their field.

Who should read a nursing paper?

Nursing papers can be read by a variety of audiences, including:

  • Nursing students
  • Practicing nurses
  • Nurse educators
  • Nurse researchers
  • Other healthcare professionals
  • Patients and their families

How to use this guide

This guide will walk you through the steps of writing a nursing paper. It will cover everything from choosing a topic to submitting your paper.

Step 1: Choose a topic

The first step in writing a nursing paper is to choose a topic. When choosing a topic, it is important to consider your interests and expertise, as well as the relevance of the topic to nursing practice or education. It is also important to make sure that the topic is narrow enough to be covered in a single paper.

Here are a few tips for choosing a topic for a nursing paper:

  • Consider your interests and expertise. What are you passionate about? What are you good at?
  • Choose a topic that is relevant to nursing practice or education. What have you learned recently that you would like to share with others? What do you want to learn more about?
  • Make sure the topic is narrow enough to be covered in a single paper. Don’t try to cram too much information into one paper.

Step 2: Conduct research

Once you have chosen a topic, you need to conduct research on the topic. This involves reading books, articles, and other sources of information on the topic. You can also interview experts on the topic.

Here are a few tips for conducting research for a nursing paper:

  • Be organized. Keep track of all of the information you gather, including where you got the information from.
  • Be thorough. Make sure you have a good understanding of your topic.
  • Be critical. Don’t accept everything you read as true. Evaluate the information you gather and draw your own conclusions.

Step 3: Develop a thesis statement

A thesis statement is a clear and concise statement of your main argument or point of view. It should be specific enough to be supported by the evidence you have gathered, but broad enough to allow for a meaningful discussion of the topic.

Here are a few tips for developing a thesis statement:

  • Start by brainstorming a list of possible thesis statements.
  • Once you have a list of possible thesis statements, choose the one that best reflects your main argument or point of view.
  • Make sure your thesis statement is specific enough to be supported by the evidence you have gathered, but broad enough to allow for a meaningful discussion of the topic.

Step 4: Create an outline

An outline will help you to organize your thoughts and to ensure that your paper has a logical flow.

Here are a few tips for creating an outline:

  • Start by brainstorming a list of all of the main points you want to make in your paper.
  • Once you have a list of main points, organize them into a logical order.
  • Add subheadings to your outline to support your main points.

Step 5: Write your paper

Once you have an outline, you can start writing your paper.

Here are a few tips for writing a nursing paper:

  • Be clear and concise in your writing. Avoid jargon and overly complex language.
  • Use evidence from the literature to support your claims.
  • Be objective and unbiased in your analysis.
  • Proofread your paper carefully before submitting it.

Writing your introduction

The introduction of your paper should introduce your topic and state your thesis statement. It should also provide a brief overview of the paper and explain why the topic is important.

Writing your body paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your paper should each focus on a main point. Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence that states the main point of the paragraph. The rest of the paragraph should provide evidence to support the topic sentence.

Writing your conclusion

The conclusion of your paper should summarize your main points and restate your thesis statement. It should also leave the reader with something to think about.

Citing your sources

It is important to cite your sources properly to avoid plagiarism. There are a variety of different citation styles, such as APA, MLA, and Chicago. Be sure to follow the citation style required by your instructor or institution.

Tips for writing a successful nursing paper

Here are a few additional tips for writing a successful nursing paper:

  • Start early. Don’t wait until the last minute to start working on your paper. Give yourself plenty of time to research your topic, develop your thesis statement, and write your paper.
  • Be organized. Keep track of all of your research notes and sources. This will make it easier to write your paper and to cite your sources correctly.
  • Get feedback. Ask a friend, classmate, or instructor to read your paper and give you feedback. This can help you to identify any areas that need improvement.
  • Proofread carefully. Before submitting your paper, proofread it carefully to catch any errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation.


Writing a nursing paper can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following the tips in this guide, you can write a nursing paper that is informative, well-organized, and engaging.


Q: What is the difference between a nursing paper and a nursing research paper?

A: A nursing paper is a general term for any written work on a nursing topic. It could be a research paper, an essay, a case study, or a literature review. A nursing research paper is a specific type of nursing paper that reports on the findings of a research study.

Q: What are some common challenges that students face when writing nursing papers?

A: Some common challenges that students face when writing nursing papers include:

  • Choosing a topic that is narrow enough to be covered in a single paper.
  • Conducting a thorough literature review.
  • Developing a clear and concise thesis statement.
  • Creating a logical outline.
  • Writing in a clear and concise style.
  • Citing sources properly.

Q: Where can I find help with writing a nursing paper?

A: There are many resources available to help students with writing nursing papers. These resources include:

  • Nursing textbooks and articles
  • Online tutorials and guides
  • Writing centers at colleges and universities
  • Librarians and other research professionals
  • Nursing instructors and mentors

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