Table of Contents
Writing in the Field of Nursing

Through my research I have discovered that different adjectives describe writing in the field of nursing. Writing in the field of nursing is concise, clear, to the point, and accurate. It needs to be objective, make sense and serve as an effective form of communication. The purpose of writing in nursing is for communication and to share ideas as well as knowledge. The purpose of writing as a practicing nurse is to portray the patient. There are different genres in which different educational backgrounds in nursing may write. Although different areas involved in nursing write for different purposes and audiences the characteristics of writing in nursing are the same. Through research in books, web sites, journals, and interviews with case studies I have found that writing in nursing shares common characteristics across the variety of genres.

Overall the case studies described writing in nursing containing similar standards and characteristics. The nursing student and professional shared similar ideas about the role of writing in nursing. The nursing student noted that the nurse must be able to express thoughts of an observation through writing. One of the professional RN's supported this idea through stating that the role of writing in nursing is to "put into words a picture of the patient." The knowledge that nurses often write after every procedure as shared by the professionals is also acknowledged by the students as evidence based nursing. The students were aware that nurse's writing must take the patient into consideration. The need to remember the integrity of the patient was reflected in the professionals sharing how nurses must be more cautious about what they write. This was explained through the discrimination that took place with AIDS patients. Both the students and the professionals noted that technology might change how writing is accomplished in nursing but that the writing will probably stay the same. There were also some differences in opinions among writing between interviewees.

The difference of the definition of writing is present within the nursing field. Charting, which is not publishing and could be written in sentence fragments is often not thought of to be writing. One of the professionals and one of the students thought of charting as an important way of writing for the nurse. The other professional and student at first, did not think of nursing as involving much writing until we discussed that charting could be included as writing. Although each viewed writing differently, the importance of writing in nursing was present in each of the case studies. Each interview stressed a different factor as the most important aspect of writing in nursing.

The students shared the idea that nurses must prove themselves through writing. The students shared that their classes instilled this philosophy of how they view the nurses writing. Classes have addressed the importance of writing to be proof that one did their duties. The professionals did show that writing demonstrates what they are doing as a nurse but they did not express writing to be proof that they performed their duties. The professionals did however focus on the patient aspect of writing. The professionals shared that writing portrays the patient. This was viewed as an important reason why nurses write. They supported this idea through the need for nurse's to avoid discrimination in what they write and the importance of the information written to be pertinent.

The students clearly grasped what writing in nursing entails as both the professionals and students presented similar responses. The professor however, shared different ideas about writing in nursing. His viewpoint on the need to write in nursing was different than that of the other case studies because he writes in a different genre, he writes for publication. The goal in his writing is to write reports or literature reviews in order to publish them. He did note charting as a form of writing for the practicing nurse. Ph.D.'s need to write to publish in nursing, practicing nurses represented by the professional RN's and the student view may not have time to publish. The professor writes reports, having an anecdotal role. In research classes, Corser shared that the student should be able to evaluate and analyze articles in nursing.

There are differences in writing within different educational backgrounds in nursing. The LPN and RN or the practicing nurse writes for documentation, primarily writing to describe the patient. The MSN may write like the practicing nurse or for administrative styles of writing. The Ph.D. writes for publication, sharing research results or their review of literature on a particular topic. Journals are important for communication among the nursing community and others. Non-academic journals provide practicing nurses a chance to share individual cases as well as keeping them informed on new nursing information. Academic journals provide the means for a researcher to share their results and for other Ph.D.'s to stay informed on the information within their area of nursing.

Writing in nursing might be generalized as technical writing. It involves many characteristics and a variety of genres. Applying these insights regarding writing in nursing could be through a reminder of the purpose of writing in the field, samples of how one writes in the field or picking the correct nursing journal that may fit an individuals needs. Writing in nursing has its own characteristics, which are suggested to be used in nursing writing. Viewing the variety of genres and adjectives of writing in nursing can reflect on the many types of writing in general. It is helpful to note that different disciplines require different features in their writing. All writing is not creative writing and all writing is not technical writing, but both of these writings can be found in nurses writing. It is also helpful to note that not all paragraphs are long or involve many sentences. The writing is good when it represents characteristics of writing in the particular genre, the piece is written for a specific audience and the writing satisfies the identified purpose.

Regardless of what adjective is used to describe writing in nursing, the basic characteristics are depicted. Writing in nursing is concise, clear, and to the point. It is accurate, pertinent, and completed. One way to accomplish this type of writing is through abbreviations. Medical terminology or specific vocabulary is used within the writing. Writing is not always in complete sentences as seen through phrases or a few words used in charting. The purpose of writing in nursing is generally the same. For the practicing nurse communication among staff is important and for publication a communication of ideas is important. There are different genres in writing as a nurse, but the same characteristics describe the variety of genres. The repeated adjectives portray writing in nursing. Each case study shared similar adjectives that are reflected in nurses writing. Writing as a nurse must follow these characteristics to effectively fulfill the purposes of its writing.

Publishing in Professional JournalsRecommendations to writing consultants
Table of Contents