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A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Effective Hospice Nursing Notes
Hospice nursing notes play a crucial role in providing comprehensive care for patients nearing the end of their lives. These notes serve as a vital communication tool amongst healthcare professionals and help ensure continuity of care. In this article, we will explore the importance of well-written hospice nursing notes and provide tips on how to write them effectively.
Understanding the Purpose of Hospice Nursing Notes
Hospice nursing notes serve multiple purposes, including documenting patient assessments, interventions, and outcomes. They provide a detailed account of the patient’s condition and progress, enabling healthcare professionals to make informed decisions about their care. Additionally, these notes serve as legal documents that can be used for billing purposes or in legal proceedings.
When writing hospice nursing notes, it is essential to be concise yet thorough. Include relevant information such as vital signs, symptoms, medication administration, wound care, emotional support provided, and any changes observed in the patient’s condition. Clear and accurate documentation is crucial not only for providing quality care but also for maintaining regulatory compliance.
Tips for Writing Effective Hospice Nursing Notes
Use objective language: When documenting observations or assessments, use neutral language that focuses on facts rather than personal opinions or assumptions. This ensures that the information remains unbiased and can be easily understood by other healthcare professionals.
Be specific: Avoid vague statements and provide specific details whenever possible. Instead of stating “Patient appears uncomfortable,” describe specific behaviors observed such as grimacing or restlessness. Specificity helps paint a clearer picture of the patient’s condition.
Use standardized terminology: It is important to use standardized terminology when documenting hospice nursing notes to ensure consistency across healthcare settings. This facilitates effective communication between different members of the healthcare team and reduces any ambiguity in documentation.
Document changes accurately: Whenever there is a change in the patient’s condition or treatment plan, it is crucial to document it accurately. This includes any new symptoms, changes in medication dosages, or modifications to the care plan. Timely and accurate documentation helps prevent errors and ensures that everyone involved in the patient’s care is up-to-date with the latest information.
The Importance of Collaboration in Hospice Nursing Notes
Collaboration amongst healthcare professionals is essential when writing hospice nursing notes. A multidisciplinary approach ensures that all aspects of the patient’s care are considered and documented accurately. Collaboration also helps identify any gaps in care, allows for shared decision-making, and promotes a holistic approach to patient care.
When collaborating on hospice nursing notes, it is important to communicate effectively with other healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care. This includes nurses, physicians, social workers, and any other team members providing support to the patient. Regular communication helps ensure that all relevant information is included in the nursing notes and contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s condition.
Ensuring Privacy and Confidentiality
Maintaining privacy and confidentiality is paramount when documenting hospice nursing notes. Patient confidentiality should always be respected, following guidelines outlined by healthcare regulations such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
To ensure privacy:
Store nursing notes securely: Keep physical copies of nursing notes locked away when not in use. If using electronic health records (EHR), make sure they are password-protected and accessible only by authorized personnel.
Limit access: Only allow individuals directly involved in the patient’s care access to their nursing notes. This helps protect sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure.
Use secure communication channels: When sharing or discussing sensitive information about patients through electronic means, use secure channels that encrypt data transmission to prevent unauthorized access.
In conclusion, effective hospice nursing notes are vital for providing quality end-of-life care. By understanding their purpose and following best practices, healthcare professionals can ensure accurate documentation, facilitate collaboration, and maintain patient privacy and confidentiality. Well-written nursing notes contribute to improved patient outcomes and enhance the overall quality of care provided in hospice settings.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Writing as a Professional Nurse
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These resources will help you write on the job and in the classes you will take to become a nurse.
"Writing as a Professional Nurse" provides three general, though important, rules working nurses should keep in mind while writing reports and charts and while communicating with doctors and patients.
"Writing in the Field" discusses three examples of writing tasks nurses perform: flowcharts, careplans, and narratives.
"List of Nursing Resources" provides links to Purdue OWL resources that both nurses and nursing students might find helpful while writing for work or school. Each link provides a brief description of the resource and how and why it will help nurses and students with their writing tasks.
The field of nursing requires a great deal of swift, accurate writing. You will need to fill out reports and charts correctly and completely and record your interactions with doctors and patients fairly. In addition, you must always be prepared to defend the information you record. The material below is intended to help you get used to this type of writing both in school and in the field of nursing.
Three General Rules
This may seem to go without saying, but you should remember that accuracy is important even beyond the obvious areas like medication administration and treatment procedure. Accurately reporting sequences of events, doctor’s orders, and patient concerns will protect you from scrutiny. Example : “Did dressing change.” If this is the entire record of you performing a dressing change for a patient, then exactly what you did is up to interpretation. A more precise version would be:
“Performed dressing change, cleaned wound with NS and gauze, applied calcium alginate, covered with ABD, secured with silk tape. Patient tolerated well.” This revision provides a clear picture of every step of the procedure and explains use of all materials. (Note: even further explanation may be necessary to describe wound status and any changes or doctor notifications.)
Always try to remove personal emotions and opinions from the writing you do. Place yourself in a dispassionate mindset and record information, not feelings, hunches, or viewpoints.
Example : “Patient acting crazy.” This statement relies on the nurse’s subjective opinion of the patient’s mental state. A better version would be: “Patient pacing back and forth, breathing fast, clenching fists, yelling ‘Don’t touch me!’ repeatedly.”
This provides a clear picture of what actually happened during the incident, allowing the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.
Remember Your Critical Audience
Litigation and auditing are a fact of life in the medical field, and chances are good that readers of your writing will be actively looking for mistakes or inconsistencies. Scrupulous charting and reporting is the best way to satisfy such readers. Examples : “Did dressing change.” “Patient acting crazy.” Both of the examples in the above points could be used by a critical audience to have cause for correction or could be used negatively against you in court. The phrase “Did dressing change” details no necessity for specific materials, leaves room for doubt as to compliance with doctor-ordered treatments, and can provide space for accusations from expert witnesses. Writing “Patient acting crazy,” without quantifying statements and description of your actions, can be grounds for charges of negligence. Either one of these cases, in an extreme scenario, could be grounds for you to lose your license.
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- Professional Writing for Nurses
Professional Writing for Nurses: Interview With Nurse Educator Elaina Mahlan
Good writing skills are important in any professional context, but for nurses, they are especially important. You must be a skilled communicator if you wish to progress in your nursing career. This is true whether you are a nursing student, relatively new in the field, or an established nurse with years of experience.
We spoke with Elaina Mahlan , MSN, RN, CNE, and faculty member in the RN-to-BSN program at Purdue Global, about why good writing is so important in nursing and the types of writing you’ll do as you grow in your career.
Good Writing Is Vital in Charting, Updating EMRs, and Creating Care Plans
Good writing can help allow for better patient care and safety.
“Nurses at the associate’s level are writing for a very specific kind of audience, one that would connect with a chart,” Mahlan said. Nurses must be detailed and accurate, and it’s important to take emotion and subjectivity out of this type of writing. These factors also play an important role in the event that the chart becomes part of an audit or lawsuit.
It’s also important to remember that you are writing for multiple stakeholders. Consider the care plan, where the nurse frames the broad scope of a patient's care. When a nurse is writing a care plan, he or she must write at a level that is suitable to many people with varied individual interests.
“A nurse may create a written care plan that is not only for interaction with the nurse, but also with the patient, with a significant other who may be involved in the patient’s health journey, the physician, and various other members of the health care team,” Mahlan said. “Of course, it must also be written in a way that is appropriate for the patient, who is the focus of the plan in the first place.”
When charting, updating electronic medical records, and creating care plans, aim to be consistent, detailed, comprehensive, and accurate. Critics (auditors, lawyers) are looking for mistakes and inconsistencies.
Good Writing Skills Become Increasingly Important as Nurses Progress in Their Career
“When nurses come into education programs that are beyond initial nurses' training and licensure, their writing needs to target the particular audience and purpose that they're writing for, one that goes beyond the chart,” Mahlan said.As nurses advance in their career, the types of writing they do become more varied and the need for solid writing skills remains central.
For example, nurses at the BSN level will commonly interact on a community level more so than they would on an associate’s level. You may find yourself creating communication materials, information about where to go to get assistance, or educational materials about disease processes or health management.
“You're going to have to create those for the public in a way that takes into account what people's reading levels might be,” Mahlan explained. “How do I appeal to a broad audience? How can I be pithy in my writing, so that people will actually read what it is I'm trying to communicate to them? Can I speak to their interests and their needs in a way that's clear and complete but also concise?”
The inclusion of human emotion in writing becomes more appropriate as nurses move into policy-making.
“Nurses at this level want to influence public policy,” Mahlan explained. “When we're making the case for a change in legislation, that doesn’t just involve raw statistical data, we need to be able to convey a human story in a way that moves people to action—and nobody sees those human stories like a nurse does.”
Accrediting Bodies Emphasize the Need for Strong Communication Skills
“Nurses are communicators, and certainly written communication is an essential form of communication in general,” Mahlan said. “But beyond that common-sense level, the relevant accreditors tell us this is key. For example, the American Association for Colleges of Nursing accredits nursing programs all around the country, and they emphasize the ability to communicate effectively throughout the national accreditation standards.”
Similarly, the Joint Commission, which provides accreditation to myriad health care facilities, emphasizes communication skills in their National Patient Safety Goals . The commission lauds good communication for its ability to protect patient safety and the safety of the entire health care team..
“So beyond our common sense, we recognize from an accreditor's standpoint that the ability to communicate effectively is a drumbeat theme,” Mahlan said.
Nurses Must Be Able to Convey Outcomes to Different Audiences
Nurses are often in the position of having to measure outcomes and communicate those outcomes to decision-makers in a meaningful way. “If you can’t do so,” Mahlan said, “then you're not going to have support for your work on an ongoing basis.”
What kinds of outcomes? Maybe it's a technological innovation. Maybe it's a change in practice to implement evidence-based practice. Nurses often write reports for different stakeholders within their own institutions to convey what worked, to what extent, and what didn't work. “Who better to do that than the nurse who is at the point of care and in the best position to see what's working, what's not working, and why that might be happening?” Mahlan said.
“If you haven't clearly communicated the way something should be done, the rationale why it's done that way, and your policies and procedures aren't clear, we're in trouble before we ever get to the lawsuit phase,” Mahlan continued. “When we're not clear, folks at the point of service are going to fill in the blanks for themselves, and they may do that in a way that's very different than what was intended in the first place.”
Become a Better Writer: 10 Free Writing Tools and Resources
The need for nurses to be skilled written communicators is clear. If writing isn’t your strong point, take advantage of these free tools and resources that help improve your writing:
- The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University − writing resources and instructional material
- Excelsior College OWL − multimedia support for writing and reading
- Writing Commons − peer-reviewed, open-education resource for college students
- ReadWriteThink − professional development strategy guides
- Grammar Girl − comprehensive site and podcast with featuring grammar and writing tips
- Grammarly − writing enhancement platform and grammar checker
- Hemingway Editor − online tool that highlights common writing errors
- Readability Test Tool − readability software
- Cliche Finder − tool that highlights clichés in copy
- ProWritingAid − grammar and editing tool
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If your career goals include earning a nursing degree, learn more about our online nursing degree programs . We offer an RN-to-BSN program, master’s and DNP programs, graduate certificates, and more. If you’d like more information, contact us today .
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Professional Writing for Nurses
Nurses working in the complex health-care system require clear, concise, and accurate writing. Good writing supports strong verbal skills, promoting effective communication among health-care teams. The content below shows ways to develop good writing not only in school but also in your professional career.
According to Johnson and Rulo (2019), good writers remain essential for the future of the nursing profession. Learning to write well is a skill, and like any skill, it requires practice and commitment. This skill helps you to excel in your profession by promoting efficiency of information in collaborative care, developing business plans to sustain health-care efforts, and creating programs to address the health of populations. This commitment involves using critical thinking to learn the writing process, to master rules of grammar and writing mechanics, and to take the time to write.
The writing process includes pre-writing, drafting, and revision.
- Organize articles, notes, and thoughts (provides frame or angle for paper).
- Write the objective or thesis statement at the top of the paper (everything you write should support this statement).
- Review documents, and write down the main ideas. Make sure what you use supports the statement at the top of the paper.
- Begin with the weakest point moving to the strongest.
- Compare and contrast.
- Give information chronologically, showing evolution.
- Show relationship or cause-effect, opposites, or consequence.
- Outline the process.
- Define issue and components.
- Give testimony of experts and show data.
- Keep presentation method consistent throughout the paper.
Use the following steps and examples to assist you in your writing.
1. Write cohesive paragraphs.
Review your outline and choose the ideas to cover in your content. Each idea should be the first sentence in the paragraph, and all the content should relate to the first sentence.
2. Maintain continuity and flow in your writing by connecting your thoughts.
Connect thoughts by using a word in the preceding sentence..
Correct: The program focuses on approaches that promote active living. Schools have adopted this program to encourage students to become physically active.
Incorrect: The program focuses on approaches that promote active living. Students are encouraged to become physically active.
Connect thoughts by using transitional words.
Correct: Particles inhaled through vaporized nicotine are linked to asthma, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. In addition, nicotine is dissolved in solvents that is linked to carinogenic activity.
Incorrect: Particles inhaled through vaporized nicotine are linked to asthma, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Nicotine is dissolved in solvents that is linked to carinogenic activity.
Examples of Flow
Example of good flow.
Workplace civility is tied to employee satisfaction. Work environments infused with positivity, teamwork, empowerment, and supportive leaders result in job satisfaction and positive consumer experiences. To promote teamwork and a positive practice work environment, all entities must be actively involved including support personnel, employees, team leaders, and management. Education of all those working in an organization is vital to understand and identify workplace incivility.
Example of poor flow
Conflict is inevitable in varying degree when two or more individuals work together. Incivility in the workplace can occur in a variety of ways and is often tolerated and too frequently goes unrecognized. Methods of communication are often affected by diversity within the workplace. Education and tolerance empower employees to value diversity. Work environments infused with positivity, teamwork, empowerment, and supportive leaders result in job satisfaction and positive consumer experiences. To promote teamwork and a positive practice work environment all must be actively involved including support personnel, employees, team leaders, and management. Education of all those working in an organization is vital to understand and identify workplace incivility.
Speedily release your creative ideas by forgetting sentence structures and grammar using the Race Car Driver technique.
Design content by selecting and organizing chunks of information using the architect technique.
Nail the sentence structure to ensure continuity and flow using the carpenter technique.
Examine the details of your content using the judge technique.
This is an example of a student’s paper showing the completed writing process, using the 3-prong approach, which includes the following:
- Tell your audience what you are going to tell them.
- Then tell them what you told them.
Supervisory Support for Nurse Burnout
One in three nurses leaves the nursing profession within the first two years of practice (Blair, 2014). Short-staffed units, both inpatient and outpatient, experience decreased quality patient care, which results in substandard care. Standards for quality of care are at the forefront of research, and hospital organizations are not reimbursed for substandard care. To rectify the increasing number of nurses leaving facilities and the profession, hospital administrators need to focus their efforts on the retention of nurses, which increase staff satisfaction and maintain safer health-care environments (Lartey et al., 2014). Addressing nurse burnout and turnover involves examining the problem, recognizing benefits of the intended recipients, using interdisciplinary teamwork, and sharing ways to advance nursing practice through dissemination of project results.
Introduction: Tell your readers what you are going to tell them.
Show general background statement(s) that grab your readers' attention.
Narrow topic to the thesis statements.
State the intent of the paper, so your readers know what to expect.
Statement of Problem
Lack of transformational managerial support and nurse engagement increases nurse burnout and turnover. According to Bakker and Albrecht (2018), work engagement is often defined as a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption. When these characteristics are lacking, work engagement declines, resulting in turnover. This leads to decreased nursing staff on a unit, which affects health-care costs, job satisfaction, and quality patient care (Lartey et al., 2014). In addition, excessive nursing turnover yields a loss of experience, skill, and knowledge for units, and these strengths can take time to regain (Lartey et al., 2014). Employment and improvement of nurse engagement combats the increasing number of nurses leaving the profession. To increase nurse engagement, nursing managers need to embrace a transformational support system. This master’s project will work to identify and address nurse burnout by improving nurse engagement through nurse manager professional development and training.
Ways Project Contributes to Intended Recipients
This master’s project benefits managers, nurses, and health-care organizations in the outpatient setting. Managers will likely experience accomplishment in their careers as they learn to promote connections and motivation among and with their staff members, as they address burnout and turnover with their nurses. Health-care organizations will likely experience an increase in quality of care, decreasing patient care costs and monies spent on hiring and training replacement nurses.
Rationale for Importance of Project
Nurse burnout has been a topic of nursing research since the 1980s when Maslach and Jackson (1981) identified nurse burnout as a syndrome that consists of three components, including emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a low degree of personal accomplishment. A multitude of research studies and case analyses of nurse burnout have been performed and have identified possible interventions that may combat nurse burnout and turnover. Included in these findings were increased supervisory support and engagement. However, a gap in knowledge remains on how to increase nurse retention (Garcia-Sierra et al., 2016; Gonzales, 2018; Khamisa et al., 2015; Minmin, 2015). This master’s project will fill in that gap by identifying how nurse manager education and training can improve nurse satisfaction and decrease nurse turnover.
In the past decade, health care has experienced significant changes and has undergone a surfeit of transformations turning health-care organizations into more interdisciplinary collaborations (Bogaert et al., 2018). Such changes have led to complex processes between multiple disciplines and increases the number of stakeholders when patient care is affected (Bogaert et al., 2018). This master’s project will include nursing, medicine, health-care administration, staff education department, and human resources.
Significance to advance nursing practice
The significance of this project is to discover evidence-based practices that reduce nurse burnout and to put them into practice. The aim of this project involves implementing interventions identified throughout recent research and trial it. Increasing nurse engagement and transformational supervisory support will potentially decrease nurse burnout and increase nurse retention.
Body: Tell them.
Nurses are leaving the nursing profession within the first few years of training completion and furthering the short-staffing present in outpatient departments throughout the United States. Lack of nurses leads to poor quality of care for patients and further increases health-care costs and nurse burnout. By initiating a nurse manager professional training program, nurse managers will be capable of providing transformational support to their nursing staff. With this support, nurses will potentially have fewer burnout symptoms and higher engagement, increasing nurse retention in outpatient hospital organizations.
Then tell them what you told them.
Identifying your rhetorical situation strengthens your message and helps to organize your writing.
- Reduce the number of nurses leaving the profession.
- Health-care management
- Hospital administrators need to focus their efforts on the retention of nurses, which increase staff satisfaction and maintain safer health-care environments.
- Nurses experiencing burnout in the outpatient setting of health care.
For clear and concise writing, use the active voice as much as possible. Active or passive voice depends on the verb, subject, and object relationship.
The format of the active voice includes the following order: subject, verb, and object. The format of the passive voice includes the following order: object, verb, and subject.
Example of Active Voice : Several factors link cancer and obesity. (subject, verb, and object)
Example of Passive Voice : Cancer and obesity are linked to several factors. (object, verb, subject)
Avoid beginning sentences with “there” or “it,” which helps promote the active voice. Avoid using “be” words whenever possible to promote the active voice, such as is, am, are, was, were, be, being, been, has, have, had, do, does, did, shall, should, will, would, may, might, must, can, could.
These structures include nouns with nouns, verbs with verbs, adjectives with adjectives, prepositional phrases with prepositional phrases, and so on.
1. Example: Items in a series
Correct: Huddles on the unit improve communication, increase productivity, and promote nurse satisfaction . (Verb required for parallel construction.)
Correct: Single-checking promotes accountability, adherence to medication administration procedures, and appraisal of one’s knowledge of drugs. (Noun required for parallel construction.)
Incorrect: Huddles on the unit improve communication, increase productivity, and nurse satisfaction .
Incorrect: Single-checking promotes accountability, adherence to medication administration procedures, and updating one’s knowledge of drugs.
2. Example: Vertical list
Boxes outline vertical lists
Correct: Post-Assessment Education
- Performed by the discharge nurse
- Used to assess education given throughout stay
- Completed to customize discharge education for patients
Incorrect: Post-Assessment Education
- Help in customizing discharge education for patients
3. Example: Coordinate Ideas
Coordinate ideas when using conjunctions (such as for, and, nor, but, or, yet) by ensuring they are paired in similar grammatical form. Use the same format for comparisons created by than or as.
Correct: Administrators benefit from this educational process by ensuring quality care and by decreasing readmissions.
Incorrect: Administrators benefit from this educational process by ensuring quality care and decreasing readmissions.
4. Example: Two-part connectives
Two-part connectives include either/or, neither/nor, not only/but also, both/and. After the first word, make sure to insert the second word.
Example: The palliative care team can treat the symptoms that result not only from the disease but also from treatment for the disease.
Learn when to use “that” or “which.” Use “that” for essential information to understand the main idea. Use “which” for nonessential information, meaning the information is not required to understand the main idea. A guideline to remember includes the following: “that defines, which describes.”
Example: Palliative care medicine is a subspecialty of medicine that focuses on managing symptoms of chronic and terminal illnesses.
Example: Approach of palliative care remains centered on both the patient and family, which improves quality of life for all involved.
Correct: The data estimate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in this population. ( Data is plural , so the verb needs to agree–estimate.)
Correct: Patient and family benefit from hospice care. ( Subject is plural (patient and family), so verb needs to agree–benefit.)
Incorrect: The data estimates the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in this population.
Incorrect: Patient and family benefits from hospice care.
Framing is also described as “finding an angle for a story” and involves ways information is organized, simplified, interpreted, and perceived. The term angle was introduced in the pre-writing process of creating an outline. The frame for your content reflects the “big picture.” How you frame your content can influence your readers’ perceptions, help them to connect with new information by what they already know, elicit questions about complex issues, and provide different types of perspectives. Some ideas for framing your writing include the following:
- Begin with the weakest point moving to strongest.
- Define the issue and components.
Write an effective introduction by grabbing the reader’s attention, stating your thesis statement, and telling your readers what to expect. (Tip: Write your beginning at the end.)
The introduction is the first paragraph of your paper (or presentation to your staff). This paragraph should get the readers' attention and convey what to expect in the remainder of the paper. The structure of the introduction reflects a funnel-shaped format: (a) show general background statement, (b) narrow the topic to the thesis statement, and (c) state the purpose/intent of the paper.
Example of an introductory paragraph: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2017a), chlamydia is the most frequently reported communicable disease. Incidence rates of chlamydia have been increasing in recent years, raising concerns with community health nurses. These rates are examined by reviewing the most recent local and national chlamydia statistics, potential barriers to accurate reporting, and health disparities related to the disease.
Creating the conclusion reflects the last statement in the 3-prong approach of “then tell them what you told them.” In the conclusion, you synthesize the thesis statement with the main ideas. Think of the conclusion as the last words to your readers. What do you want them to remember? Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion.
Use bias-free language by avoiding “demeaning attitudes” in your writing related to “age, disability, gender, participation in research, racial or ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, . . . other personal factors” ( APA, 2020, p. 131 ). (https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/bias-free-language/#:~:text=The%20American%20Psychological%20Association%20emphasizes,demeaning%20attitudes%20in%20their%20writing.)
Correct: Patients receiving chemotherapy experience side effects.
Incorrect: Chemotherapy patients experience side effects.
Correct: The nurses will participate in these exercises for six weeks to expose each nurse to multiple exercises. (Deleted “in an effort.”)
Correct: The results will be compared to decide on the effectiveness of the exercises. (Deleted “to make a determination.”)
Incorrect: The nurses will participate in these exercises for six weeks in an effort to expose each nurse to multiple exercises.
Incorrect: The results will be compared to make a determination to decide on the effectiveness of the exercises.
Avoid using extra words in your writing, such as in light of, in order, in fact, very.
Slang or jargon includes terminology used by a specific group.
Correct: The nurse checked the results of the complete blood count (CBC).
Incorrect: The nurse checked the results of the CBC.
Colloquialisms include informal expressions.
Correct: Smith and Jones (2020) indicate the rise of obesity in children remains a problem.
Incorrect: Everyone knows that obesity is a problem in children.
Correct: The current average length of stay does not allow for the full benefits of hospice services.
Incorrect: The current average length of stay doesn’t allow for the full benefits of hospice services.
Avoid attributing human actions to nonhuman sources.
Correct: The nurses on the unit plan to educate the patients about the treatment plan.
Incorrect: The unit plans to educate the patients about the treatment plan. (The unit is not human.)
Correct: This assessment shows the questions.
Incorrect: This assessment asks the questions. (The assessment is not human.)
Correct: The improper association of palliative care with strictly end-of-life care is a barrier to referral. This barrier highlights the need for education directed at overcoming that stigma and expanding the meaning of palliative care.
Incorrect: The improper association of palliative care with strictly end-of-life care is a barrier to referral. This highlights the need for education directed at overcoming that stigma and expanding the meaning of palliative care.
Eliminate ambiguity by telling the reader what the pronoun refers to, such as that report, these symptoms, and those patients.
1. Insert a comma between two complete sentences with a conjunction (and).
Correct: JUULs are e-cigarettes that look like USB ports, and they have a high level of nicotine.
Incorrect: JUULs are e-cigarettes that look like USB ports and they have a high level of nicotine.
2. Insert commas between elements.
Correct: Typical conditions include gastroesophageal reflux disease, gallstones, ulcerative colitis, and hepatitis.
Incorrect: Typical conditions include gastroesophageal reflux disease, gallstones, ulcerative colitis and hepatitis.
3. Insert a comma after an introductory phrase.
Correct: At each grade level, teachers plan to implement the new program.
Incorrect: At each grade level teachers plan to implement the new program.
4. Insert commas to set off nonessential clauses.
Nonessential clauses: The clause adds further information, but when the clause is removed, the meaning and structure of the sentence remain intact.
Correct: Behavior interventions, such as teaching new coping skills, were also helpful in reducing the caregiver’s level of stress.
Correct: National obesity rates for adolescents are considerably higher than Utah’s rates, which is attributed to several factors.
Correct: Specific health districts have higher rates of children with obesity, including Tooele, Weber-Morgan, Salt Lake Central, and Bear River.
Incorrect: Behavior interventions such as teaching new coping skills were also helpful in reducing the caregiver’s level of stress.
Incorrect: National obesity rates for adolescents are considerably higher than Utah’s rates which is attributed to several factors.
Incorrect: Specific health districts have higher rates of children with obesity including Tooele, Weber-Morgan, Salt Lake Central, and Bear River.
As you progress in writing, you move through different stages from roughly sketching out your ideas to ultimately attending to the final details. These stages or techniques, race car driver, architect, carpenter, and judge , support you in the writing process. Notice each technique concludes with “take a break,” and you decide on the length of the break. However, after creating your draft (race car driver technique), one suggestion is taking a break from the writing process for a day. This action allows you to see your content with a new perspective. If you feel stuck with your writing, then write the easy sections first. Remember learning to write well is a skill, and like any skill, it requires practice and commitment. This skill will help you excel in your professional career.
When you write, use your own words.
Familiarize yourself with the WSU Annie Taylor Dee SON plagiarism policy below. In addition, make sure you understand what constitutes plagiarism. See activity below.
- The WSU Annie Taylor Dee SON has a no-tolerance plagiarism policy. All student work is expected to be referenced correctly.
- Based on course/assignment details, the student may take the opportunity to read the plagiarism report and rewrite the assignment in order to lower the plagiarism percentage; or
- Based on results of the internet-based plagiarism tool, faculty or instructor may proceed with the Academic Integrity Policy on violations and sanctions.
Professional writers need to know how to paraphrase effectively. See the quoted sentence: “Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection in which a person develops extremely itchy blisters all over the body” (Kaneshiro, 2013, para. 1).
When paraphrasing, notice how the sentence and word structures change: Varicella remains an infectious viral illness with a blister-like rash on the body, causing severe itching (Kaneshiro, 2013).
Activity: Evaluate each sentence for plagiarism.
- Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection in which a person develops extremely itchy blisters all over the body (Kaneshiro, 2013, para. 1). No quotation marks
- Chickenpox is a contagious viral infection with extremely itchy blisters all over the body (Kaneshiro, 2013, para. 1). Too many words from the original sentence
- “Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection in which a person develops extremely itchy blisters all over the body.” No reference
- Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection in which a person develops extremely itchy blisters all over the body. No quotation marks and no reference
- “Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection in which a person develops extremely itchy blisters all over the body” (Kaneshiro, 2013, para. 1). Correct Example
Kaneshiro, N. K. (2013). Chickenpox. Medline plus medical encyclopedia . Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001592.htm
As you progress in writing, you move through different stages from roughly sketching out your ideas to ultimately attending to the final details.
Racecar Driver Technique
Speedily release your creative ideas by forgetting sentence structures and grammar using the racecar driver technique.
- Insert the main points from your outline on your paper with spaces in between. (Tip: Ensure main points reflect assignment directions and rubric.)
- Give yourself a time limit for writing your draft. Get ready and go!
- Go for quantity!
- Don't stop to design, build, or judge your content
- Write quickly!
- Start on any main point.
- Keep going!
- Take a break from the writing process.
- Delete irrelevant information
- Insert the main idea in the first sentence of the paragraph.
- Relate all content in the paragraph to the main idea.
- Show general background statement(s).
- Narrow the topic to the thesis statement.
- State the purpose/intent of the paper.
- Include a summary of the main points and thesis statement in the concluding paragraph.
- Review each sentence to ensure it reflects conciseness and clarity, leads to the next sentence, and contributes to the overall paper.
- Read the paper aloud, and listen to how well the sentences flow.
- Inspect spelling. Spelling should conform to the Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary per APA guidelines.
- Read aloud and listen to the grammar and tone of your paper.
- Check punctuation using the APA Manual, 7th edition.
- Check the APA format using the 7th edition.
- Ask yourself—if the audience is unfamiliar with the topic, have I demonstrated clarity and depth so that the audience will easily understand the content?
Flowers, B. S. (2014). Madman, architect, carpenter, judge: Roles and the writing process. Intellectual Entrepreneurship . Retrieved from http://www.ut-ie.com/b/b_flowers.html
See also: The Stages and Techniques of the Writing Process (https://www.weber.edu/wsuimages/ProfessionalWritingForNurses/Stages-and-Techniques-of-the-Writing-Process.pdf)
Good writing requires revisions, which includes soliciting feedback from faculty, peers, and content experts. Learning to feel comfortable with receiving and giving feedback remains essential for improving your writing. Another means of soliciting feedback is through the Writing Center (https://www.weber.edu/WritingCenter/default.html) at Weber State University, which provides online tutoring.
References and Resources
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American psychological association (7th ed.).
Johnson, J. E., & Rulo, K. (2019). Problem in the profession: How and why writing skills in nursing must be improved. Journal of Professional Nursing, 35 (2019), 57-64.
Preferred Spelling use the Merriam-Weber Dictionary (https://www.merriam-webster.com) APA page 61
Psychological terms use the APA Dictionary of Psychology (https://dictionary.apa.org)
WSU Online APA 7th Edition Training (https://elearning.weber.edu/interactives/apa/apa7Tutorial/story.html)
Grammarly-free Program (https://www.grammarly.com/)
Proofing Tools on a PC: Some of you may have a proofing tool on your computer. On a PC computer, in your Word Program, go to "File" and select "Options." The Word Options menu shows up. Next, select "Proofing." See the Writing Style box towards the bottom, select "Grammar & Style," and click OK. (If you have used this tool previously for the paper, then select "Recheck Document," select yes, and click OK at the bottom. You will see your paper on the Home page. Next, select "Review" and select "Spelling & Grammar." On the right side of the screen, the program will review your paper with your help.
Proofing Tools on a Mac: On a Mac computer, in your Word Program, go to "Preferences" and click on "Spelling and Grammar". Make sure the checkbox for checking Grammer is checked. Check your other tools in Word for writing helps.
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The Importance of Professional Writing in Nursing
Professional writing is an essential skill for nurses, as it allows them to effectively communicate with their colleagues, patients, and other healthcare professionals. Good writing skills are crucial for effective communication, which is vital in the healthcare industry. As a nurse, writing skills can help you convey important information about patient care, document patient information accurately and precisely, and maintain effective communication with other healthcare professionals. In this article, we will discuss the importance of professional writing in nursing and how it can help nurses in their practice.
Documenting patient care
One of the most important aspects of nursing is documentation. Nurses are responsible for keeping accurate and detailed records of patient care, including medications, treatments, and vital signs. Professional writing skills are crucial when documenting patient care, as they help ensure that the information is clear, concise, and accurate. Poor writing skills can lead to errors in documentation, which can have serious consequences for patients. Nurses must be able to effectively communicate their observations and care plans in writing to ensure that all healthcare providers involved in the patient's care are informed and can provide appropriate treatment.
Effective communication with other healthcare professionals
Nurses work closely with other healthcare professionals, including physicians, pharmacists, and other nurses. Effective communication is crucial in ensuring that all healthcare professionals are on the same page and can provide the best possible care for patients. Professional writing skills can help nurses effectively communicate with other healthcare professionals through written reports, emails, and other forms of written communication. Good writing skills can help ensure that information is clear, concise, and accurate, which can prevent misunderstandings and errors in patient care.
Patient education is a critical component of nursing practice. Nurses are responsible for educating patients and their families about their health conditions, medications, and treatments. Professional writing skills can help nurses effectively communicate this information through written materials such as patient education brochures, discharge instructions, and medication guides. Clear and concise writing can help patients understand complex medical information and make informed decisions about their healthcare.
Research and publication
Nurses play a critical role in conducting research and advancing the field of nursing. Professional writing skills are essential for nurses who want to publish their research findings in academic journals or present their work at conferences. Clear and concise writing can help nurses effectively communicate their research findings to a wider audience and contribute to the advancement of nursing science.
Good writing skills are also important for demonstrating professionalism in nursing. Nurses who can write well can convey a professional image and build trust with their colleagues and patients. Clear and concise writing can help nurses convey their ideas and thoughts in a professional manner, which can enhance their credibility and reputation as healthcare professionals.
In A Nutshell
here are 10 key points about the importance of professional writing in nursing:
- Professional writing is essential for nurses to document patient care accurately and clearly.
- Good writing skills help nurses communicate effectively with other healthcare professionals.
- Writing is an important part of patient education, helping patients understand their health conditions and treatments.
- Professional writing skills are necessary for nurses to conduct research and advance the field of nursing.
- Good writing skills can help nurses convey a professional image and build trust with colleagues and patients.
- Practicing effective communication techniques can help nurses develop their writing skills.
- Understanding the context in which the writing is taking place is important for effective communication.
- Ethical considerations are important in professional writing, including protecting patient confidentiality and ensuring accuracy and truthfulness.
- There are various resources available to help nurses develop their writing skills.
- Developing professional writing skills can improve nursing practice and make a positive impact on patient care.
NursingWritingServices.com is a reputable online platform that provides top-notch nursing writing services to students and professionals in the healthcare industry. The website is dedicated to offering high-quality academic and professional writing services to meet the unique needs of individuals seeking nursing-related help.
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Disciplinary Approaches to Composing Texts
Writing in Nursing
by Dr. Nancyruth Leibold
Writing is a core element of nursing because it is a major form of communication. Writing in clinical records creates a record of the patient scenario. It provides information for future health care workers to access in the provision of care. Published scholarly writing allows a medium of ideas, evidence, knowledge, and experiences to share with others in nursing (Holland & Watson, 2012). For example, a women’s health department in a hospital setting implements a practice program that advocates the use of complementary holistic approaches, such as essential oils and Reiki. The nurses in the unit develop formal procedures, policies, staff education programs, network with other health professionals and the community, and collect research evidence on the effectiveness of the holistic approaches. The results are that patients use less narcotics, report less pain, and report increased satisfaction with the health services they received. By sharing this project with others, it can serve as a solid starting point for other nurses wanting to start a similar project at their facility. By publishing an article about this project, the information is in circulation for others. This benefits the nurses, patients/families, and society as a whole to share knowledge and experiences.
Types of writing in the field
Nurses do a variety of different types of writing. The types of writing a nurse commonly completes are dependent on the role of the nurse and setting of practice. For example, a nurse who works in the hospital will for the most part write in an electronic health record. However, a nurse who works in clinical research will predominantly write research proposals, grants, institutional review board applications, and research reports. For this reason, nurses receive education about a wide variety of types of writing.
For nursing—the types of writing depend on the area the nurse is working. For example if the nurse is a clinical nurse in patient care, the dominant writing will be quite different from if the nurse is the Nurse Manager of a unit, or if the nurse is a Faculty Member. Since nurses have a lot of mobility in their careers—a nurse could very easily have all of these roles during their career. Therefore, literacy in all the types of writing is very helpful preparation! I have provided some labels but these are quite limited in their meaning and real life application. The following is a list of specific types of writings by nurses (labeled as most dominant, daily impact, and emerging as the field evolves):
- Scholarly journal articles (theory articles, practice articles) Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Research manuscripts Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Blogs Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Videos Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Virtual Simulations Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Grants for Funding
- Annual Reports Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Quality Improvement Reports Most Dominant
- Patient Documentation (graphics, charts, tables, narrative notes) Most Dominant; Daily Impact
- Websites Daily Impact
- Instructions Daily Impact
- Patient/family Education Materials Most Dominant; Daily Impact
- White Papers Daily Impact
- Political Letters to Legislators Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Patient Care Plans Most Dominant; Daily Impact
- Infographics/Infograms Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Electronic Posters Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Posters Emerging as the Field Evolves
- PowerPoint Presentations Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Prezi Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Glogsters Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Resume/Curriculum Vitae
- Cover letters for resume/curriculum vitae
- Abstracts Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Social media (facebook, textblasts, TV monitors) Emerging as the Field Evolves
- Smart Objectives
Writing in the classroom
Nurses work in numerous settings and roles during their career, so a baccalaureate education includes the types of writing that they may need in the workplace. During nursing school, students write to complete a number of assignments such as papers, journal writings, nursing care plans, letters to legislators, posters, and evidence-based projects. Beyond nursing school, writing is important in all settings of nursing. In clinical nursing, nurses document patient care in the health care record. Nurses also write reports and documents in committee work such as health care policies and procedures. Clinical nurses write book chapters, books, and journal articles for publication. Written communication is one way that information about the practice of nursing is disseminated with others. Nurses in management write reports, proposals, reference letters, human resource reports, and staff performance appraisals. Since nurses work in a variety of areas in society, it is important they develop various writing skills.
Advanced nursing roles required solid writing skills for success that are cultivated over time. Nurses who continue their education in graduate school will need a solid foundation in writing skills, as graduate nursing education is heavy in scholarly writing. Those who practice in nursing education will be required to acquire graduate degrees in nursing and lead others in scholarly writing. Learning how to write in the discipline of nursing involves lifelong learning. It takes time and commitment to develop effective writing skills.
Tips for writing in the classroom
An introduction that introduces the topic and previews the main points of the writing is included in quality nursing writing. The introduction should capture the reader’s attention with an interesting aspect, such as a quote or statistic. A statistic is one technique that can signal the importance of the topic for the reader. At the end of the introductory paragraph, a thesis statement should be included. At the end of the paper, double-check the introduction with the paper to make sure the main points in the introduction match the main points in the paper.
The last section in the writing should be a summary or conclusion. The writer should review the main points of the paper without presenting any new information. This is the last chance to make a lasting impact on the reader. After completing the conclusion, the writer should check that the main points of the paper are reviewed and whether the reader will be left with a strong impression of the key ideas or not.
Other aspects of writing in nursing include correct grammar, spelling, and organized paragraphs. The use of grammar and spelling checks can be a great check of writing. Word processors, such as the Word program have the ability to custom set the grammar checks at a higher level. There are videos at youtube.com that demonstrate how to do this, so that learners can custom set their word processor. This is a helpful strategy, as the computer program will coach the writer for development related to writing. Nurses sometimes struggle with satisfactory paragraphs because clinical patient documentation does not use paragraph format. Writers can use a recipe to help write paragraphs. In scholarly, academic nursing papers, a fully developed paragraph is a minimum of five sentences. The "PIE" method is one easy way to write developed paragraphs (Roger Williams University, 2016). "P" is for point, which means to start the paragraph by identifying the main point of the paragraph. In other words, it is important to write a topic sentence of the overall topic and point. "I" is for illustrate, meaning that one should illustrate the point with evidence, such as a research study description, or specific examples. Be sure to cite any sources using APA format. This part of the paragraph may be 3 or more sentences in length. Next is "E" which stands for explain. You should explain to the reader how the evidence or examples support the point of the paragraph. You should always end the paragraph with a summary sentence that points out the “so what” of the paragraph. By using correct grammar, spelling, and organized paragraphs, the nursing writer can communicate the essence in writing!
Writing Resources for Nursing Students
There are a great deal of very helpful resources for nursing students to use that can help learners develop their writing! Some valuable sources are shared here:
- APA Format Lesson (Leibold, 2015): https://www.softchalkcloud.com/lesson/serve/iwd87TEScX3r42/html
- A Guide to Scholarly Writing in Nursing (Hallas & Feldman, 2006) at https://www.mnsu.edu/success/tutoring/nursing_writing.pdf
- Purdue Owl APA Formatting and Style Guide (Purdue University, 2016) at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
- List of Nursing Resources at the Purdue Owl (Purdue University, 2016) at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/1012/03/
- Writing as a Professional Nurse (Purdue University, 2016) at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/owlprint/922/
Nursing: Disciplinary Perspective
Documentation in Nursing
Research in Nursing
Reading in Nursing
- Introduction to the Text
- Writing is Important in your Major
- Advice from Students
- Making Your Writing Work: Ethos & Commonplaces
- Professional Associations
- Scholarship as Conversation
- Genres and Finding Sources
- Genres, Metagenres, and the Rhetorical Situation
- Analyzing Scholarly, Trade, and Popular Sources
- Library Research Overview
- Introduction To Research
- Research Process
- Choosing a Topic
- Determining Genres
- Trouble Finding Sources
- Videos Overview
- Special Education
- Annotated Writing Samples
- Agricultural Education Overview
- Scholarly Writing Sample
- Business Administration Overview
- Communication Studies Overview
- Student Writing Sample
- Computer Science Overview
- Education Overview
- Environmental Science Overview
- Exercise Science Overview
- History Overview
- Justice Administration Overview
- Literary Studies Overview
- Marketing Overview
- Math Overview
- Nursing Overview
- Philosophy Overview
- Professional Writing and Communication Overview
- Videos (English)
- Social Work Overview
- Special Education Overview
Nursing program: Research skills: Professional writing
- Evaluating sources: C.A.R.S.
- Searching PubMed
- Reading articles
- Health statistics
- Advanced Google use
- Avoiding plagiarism
- The hamburger technique of writing
- What is evidence-based practice?
- Finding EBP resources
You will write with different styles and voices, depending on your purpose and audience. When you send an e-mail to an instructor, you write differently than when you post to Facebook; your intent and audience are not the same.
Your Nursing program writing should have a professional tone. What does that mean?
Professional writing is intended for a professional audience - nurses and other stakeholders who have an interest in what you are writing. Of course, you have another audience, your instructors, but when you write keep your mind focused on colleagues.
Do these things
Here are a few best practices in professional writing
- Use present tense
- Avoid 1st person (I, me, my, mine, we, our, ourselves) and 2nd person (you, your).
- Be precise--"78% of patients" rather than "a lot of patients"
- Choose professional/technical terminology over casual language
- Spell out acronyms the first time they are used--for example, peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Capitalize the acronym whether the full name is capitalized or not
Here are a few documents created to help TCC Nursing students with their writing.
- Academic writing tips
- Academic & professional writing
- Thesis statements
Avoid these mistakes
Here is a brief list of common things to avoid in your writing:
- I, we, you, us, they, we, one - "personal intrusion" can be a challenge to avoid, but with a little practice it will feel more natural.
- "really, "very", "a lot" --these are imprecise
- "in regards to" - this is an awkward phrase that new professional writers seem to be drawn to
- exclamation points (!) are NEVER appropriate unless they are part of something you are quoting directly
- digits under 10. Write out whole numbers under 10 as in, two, four, nine
- "The authors say" --since you are describing writing, not speaking, you'll want to use phrases like: "the authors write", "Johnson and Chu claim," "Achebe and Nyguen assert", etc.
- "The article states", "The article presents",... Articles don't "do" anything. It is the authors that "do" as above
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- Last Updated: Nov 16, 2023 11:51 AM
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