A recent report from the Institute of Medicine recommends that 80 percent of the country’s nurses should have a baccalaureate degree by the year 2024. Research shows that RNs prepared at the baccalaureate-degree level and higher are linked to lower mortality rates, fewer medication errors and overall positive outcomes. Studies indicate that nearly 40 percent of U.S. nurses in the workforce hold either a hospital diploma or associate’s degree in nursing.
As part of many RN-BSN degree programs, which requires 126 credits, most nursing students are also expected to write an essay on nursing ethics.
Let’s take a look below at what makes a good nursing ethics essay.
What Makes an Essay on Nursing Ethics Effective?
- Effective essays explain the reasons for your interest in the specific organization and identify your most relevant skills or experiences.
- The essay should express your knowledge about an ethical position.
- It should contain no more than 10 paragraphs. The objective is to make it easily readable while still demonstrating a professional, thoughtful manner.
- Good essays present both sides of the topic. You want to communicate that this is not another boilerplate essay, but is the result of careful examination of a certain topic in nursing ethics.
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What is the Content of an Effective Nursing Essay?
Understand your Assignment
Before you begin your essay on nursing ethics, be sure you understand your assignment thoroughly. Take some extra time to carefully read through the assignment guidelines you were given. Ask questions about the assignment if you are unsure about something. Also, you want to think through what you need to do in this essay. Write an outline. Plan on how you will write the essay.
Be sure you know:
—The main objective of your essay and its due date.
—The specific things you will need to do in the essay in order to obtain a good grade
—How much time will you need to complete the essay
Pick a good topic
For some class assignments on nursing essays, the professor may give you the topic to focus on—which makes it a little easier and saves you some time on limiting the amount of research to do. If not, you will have to select a topic that you will find interesting and that you may have some knowledge about already.
Take some time and do some research on good topics related to nursing ethics. Remember that an ethics essay is not about your personal point of view. Rather, it should take a topic and presenting the pros and cons to both sides. Be sure to find supporting information on both the arguments and counterarguments of your chosen topic.
The thesis, or the first paragraph, of the essay is the central position you will be arguing for.
Your first sentence and first paragraph should be interesting and draw the reader into the essay. Be direct and to the point. This section is also your chance to show your knowledge of the topic you will be presenting to the reader. You also need to describe the ethical situation you will be presenting. This is where you should take a specific stance on the ethical issue you are presenting. While you will be presenting both sides further into the essay, you should present what your stance is first.
You may want to just write out a tentative thesis statement and use it to help focus your argument as you begin to write your essay. You can always go back and tweak your thesis as you delve into the writing.
In the middle paragraphs, you will be developing the thesis and your approach to the pros and cons. It’s best to do this in a step-by-step structure. When presenting either the pros and cons, don’t combine them all in one paragraph. This will become to confusing to the readers. Separate the individual points into shorter paragraphs to make it easier to digest.
As you conclude your essay, restate the ethical position from the opening paragraph. The final paragraph is your summary so don’t come up with anything new. Point out why this topic is important. End this with mentioning what your viewpoint is and why you believe that you are correct.
When you have completed your first draft, before you go back and revise your essay, take a break. It could be a couple hours or even a day. Give your eyes and your mind a little break.
Essay Letter Checklist
Finally, be sure to follow these “musts” of essay writing.
- Double check the spelling and grammar.
- Present an equal amount of arguments and counterarguments.
- Write clearly and concisely.
- Avoid complex words meant to impress your professor.
- Add citations.
- Remove any ambiguous language. Make sure your exact position is clear to the readers.