How to Write a Scholarly Paper in Nursing: A Comprehensive Guide


A scholarly paper is a written document that presents original research or analysis on a particular topic. Scholarly papers are typically published in academic journals, and they are used to advance knowledge in a particular field.

Writing a scholarly paper in nursing can be a challenging task, but it is also a rewarding one. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can write a scholarly paper that is informative, engaging, and well-written.

Why is it important to write scholarly papers in nursing?

There are several reasons why it is important to write scholarly papers in nursing. First, scholarly papers help to advance nursing knowledge and practice. By sharing your research findings or insights with other nurses, you can help to improve the care that patients receive.

Second, scholarly papers can help you to establish yourself as an expert in your field. By publishing your work in peer-reviewed journals, you demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to other nurses and healthcare professionals.

Finally, scholarly papers can be used to support promotions and other career advancement opportunities. Many employers value nurses who have a strong track record of scholarship.

What are the benefits of writing scholarly papers in nursing?

There are many benefits to writing scholarly papers in nursing. For one, scholarly papers can help you to develop your critical thinking and research skills. When you write a scholarly paper, you must carefully consider the evidence and develop your own well-reasoned arguments.

Second, scholarly papers can help you to improve your writing skills. When you write a scholarly paper, you must communicate your ideas in a clear and concise manner. You must also be able to cite your sources correctly and follow the appropriate academic style guide.

Finally, scholarly papers can help you to network with other nurses and healthcare professionals. When you publish your work in peer-reviewed journals, you have the opportunity to connect with other nurses who are interested in the same topic.

Who reads scholarly papers in nursing?

Scholarly papers in nursing are read by a variety of people, including:

  • Other nurses
  • Healthcare professionals such as doctors, pharmacists, and physical therapists
  • Nursing students
  • Nursing researchers
  • Nursing educators
  • Healthcare policy makers

What are some common scholarly paper topics in nursing?

Some common scholarly paper topics in nursing include:

  • Patient-centered care
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Cultural competency
  • Social justice
  • Professional development
  • Teamwork
  • Advocacy
  • Ethics
  • Cultural humility
  • Resilience
  • Leadership
  • Caring

You can also choose a topic that is more specific to your nursing specialty or area of interest. For example, a nurse who works in oncology might write a scholarly paper on the topic of compassionate care for patients with cancer.


Step 1: Choose a topic

The first step in writing a scholarly paper in nursing is to choose a topic. When choosing a topic, it is important to consider your interests and expertise. You should also identify a gap in the literature. This means choosing a topic that has not been well-researched or that needs to be updated.

It is also important to choose a topic that is feasible to research and write about. Make sure that you have access to the necessary resources, and that you have enough time to complete the project.

Step 2: Conduct a literature review

Once you have chosen a topic, you need to conduct a literature review. This means reading and summarizing the relevant research on your topic. You can find relevant research in academic journals, books, and other scholarly sources.

As you conduct your literature review, be sure to take notes and keep track of your sources. This will help you to write your paper and to cite your sources correctly.

Step 3: Develop a thesis statement

Your thesis statement is the main argument or point of your paper. It should be a clear and concise statement that is supported by the evidence that you will present in your paper.

Once you have developed a thesis statement, you can start to create an outline for your paper. Your outline will help you to organize your thoughts and ideas, and to ensure that your paper is well-structured and flows well.

Step 4: Create an outline

An outline is a plan for your paper. It should include all of the main points that you want to make in your paper, as well as the supporting evidence for each point

Step 5: Write your paper

Once you have created an outline, you can start writing your paper. Start by writing a strong introduction that grabs the reader’s attention and introduces your thesis statement.

In the body of your paper, present the evidence that supports your thesis statement. Be sure to cite your sources correctly.

Finally, conclude your paper by summarizing your main points and reiterating your thesis statement.

Step 6: Edit and proofread your paper

Once you have finished writing your paper, be sure to edit and proofread it carefully. Check for any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors. You should also ask a trusted colleague or mentor to review your paper and provide feedback.

Here are some additional tips for writing a scholarly paper in nursing:

  • Be clear and concise. Avoid using jargon or technical language that your reader may not understand.
  • Be objective. Avoid using personal pronouns such as “I” or “we.” Instead, focus on the evidence and the research findings.
  • Be respectful. Avoid making any discriminatory or offensive statements.
  • Be ethical. Cite your sources correctly and avoid plagiarism.


Writing a scholarly paper in nursing can be a challenging task, but it is also a rewarding one. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can write a scholarly paper that is informative, engaging, and well-written.


What are the different types of scholarly papers in nursing?

There are many different types of scholarly papers in nursing, including:

  • Research papers: Research papers report the findings of original research.
  • Literature reviews: Literature reviews summarize the existing research on a particular topic.
  • Theoretical papers: Theoretical papers develop or test new theories in nursing.
  • Case studies: Case studies present in-depth analyses of individual cases.
  • Clinical practice guidelines: Clinical practice guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations for nursing practice.

What are the essential elements of a scholarly paper in nursing?

A well-written scholarly paper in nursing should include the following elements:

  • A clear and concise thesis statement
  • A literature review that summarizes the relevant research on the topic
  • Well-organized body paragraphs that support the thesis statement with evidence from the literature
  • A strong conclusion that summarizes the main points of the paper and reiterates the thesis statement
  • Proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation

Where can I find resources to help me write a scholarly paper in nursing?

There are many resources available to help you write a scholarly paper in nursing. These resources include:

  • The library at your school or university
  • Online databases such as PubMed and CINAHL
  • Nursing textbooks and journals
  • Nursing organizations such as the American Nurses Association

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