Tips to Writing a Nursing Issue Paper: A Comprehensive Guide for Nursing Students

Nursing students are often tasked with writing various academic papers as part of their coursework. One common assignment is the nursing issue paper, which requires students to explore and analyze a specific healthcare problem or concern. This type of paper helps students develop their research and writing skills and allows them to delve into critical issues within the nursing field. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of writing a nursing issue paper, from selecting a topic to crafting a compelling conclusion. By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to tackle this assignment effectively.

Understanding the Nursing Issue Paper

What is a Nursing Issue Paper?

A nursing issue paper is an academic document that focuses on a particular healthcare issue or concern. It requires students to conduct research, analyze existing literature, and present their findings and insights in a structured and well-documented manner. This type of paper serves several purposes, including:

  • Promoting Critical Thinking: Writing a nursing issue paper encourages students to think critically about real-world healthcare challenges and potential solutions.
  • Research Skills Development: It provides an opportunity to enhance research skills by exploring peer-reviewed articles, case studies, and other authoritative sources.
  • Communication Skills: Crafting a coherent and persuasive argument in writing is a crucial skill for nurses, and this paper helps students develop it.
  • Contributing to Nursing Knowledge: Nursing issue papers can contribute to the ongoing body of nursing knowledge by shedding light on pertinent issues and suggesting evidence-based solutions.


Selecting a Nursing Issue

1. Choose a Topic You’re Passionate About

Selecting a nursing issue is the first step in the process. To make this choice easier, consider the following:

  • Personal Interest: Opt for a topic that genuinely interests you. Passion can make the research process more engaging and enjoyable.
  • Relevance: Ensure the issue is relevant to nursing and aligns with your academic objectives.
  • Scope: Select a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow. You should be able to explore it thoroughly within the paper’s length.

2. Investigate Current Healthcare Concerns

Nursing is a dynamic field with ever-evolving challenges. Stay updated with current healthcare concerns by:

  • Reading Nursing Journals: Nursing journals frequently highlight emerging issues in the field.
  • Attending Seminars and Conferences: These events provide insights into contemporary healthcare challenges.
  • Talking to Practicing Nurses: Conversations with nurses in the field can help you identify pressing issues.

3. Consult Your Instructor

Don’t hesitate to consult your instructor or advisor for guidance in selecting an appropriate nursing issue. They can offer valuable insights and help you refine your topic.

Conducting Research

1. Use Scholarly Sources

Ensure that your research is based on credible, peer-reviewed sources. Some reputable databases for nursing research include PubMed, CINAHL, and ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source.

2. Review Existing Literature

Before diving into your own research, conduct a thorough literature review to understand what has already been published on your chosen topic. Identify gaps in the existing literature that your paper can address.

3. Develop a Research Question

Formulate a clear and concise research question your paper will seek to answer. This question should guide your research and help you stay focused on your topic.

Organizing Your Nursing Issue Paper

1. Introduction

The introduction is the first section of your paper, where you introduce the nursing issue and its significance. It should include:

  • A Hook: Start with an attention-grabbing statement or anecdote related to your topic.
  • Background Information: Provide context for your issue, including its relevance to nursing practice and patient care.
  • Thesis Statement: Clearly state your research question or the main argument of your paper.

2. Literature Review

In this section, summarize and analyze the existing literature related to your nursing issue. Discuss the key findings, debates, and gaps in the research. Make sure to:

  • Cite Sources: Properly cite all the sources you reference using a consistent citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, or Chicago).
  • Identify Themes: Highlight common themes or trends in the literature.
  • Critique Sources: Evaluate the quality and reliability of the sources you review.

3. Methodology

Describe the research methods you used to investigate your nursing issue. This section should include:

  • Research Design: Explain whether your research is qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods.
  • Data Collection: Detail how you collected data, including any surveys, interviews, or observations.
  • Data Analysis: Describe the techniques you used to analyze your data.

4. Findings

Present the results of your research in a clear and organized manner. Use tables, graphs, or charts to illustrate your findings. Discuss any patterns or trends that emerged from your data.

5. Discussion

In the discussion section, interpret your findings and relate them to the existing literature. Address the implications of your research for nursing practice and healthcare in general. Consider the following:

  • Clinical Implications: How do your findings relate to patient care?
  • Policy Implications: Based on your research, are there policy changes that should be considered?
  • Future Research: Suggest directions for future research in this area.

6. Conclusion

Summarize the main points of your paper and restate your thesis statement. Offer a concise overview of your findings and their significance. Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion.

Organizing Your Nursing Issue Paper

1. Writing Style

Maintain a clear and concise writing style. Use formal language and avoid jargon. Ensure that your writing flows logically from one section to the next.

2. Proofreading and Editing

After completing your initial draft, take the time to proofread and edit your paper. Check for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and formatting issues. Consider asking a peer or instructor to review your paper for feedback.

3. Citation and Referencing

Adhere to the citation style required by your institution (e.g., APA, MLA, or Chicago). Ensure that you properly cite all sources in the text and include a reference list at the end of your paper.


Writing a nursing issue paper is an essential academic skill for nursing students. It enhances your research and writing abilities and deepens your understanding of critical healthcare concerns. By selecting a relevant topic, conducting thorough research, and following a structured format, you can create a compelling and informative nursing issue paper that contributes to the nursing field.

Now that you have a comprehensive guide to writing a nursing issue paper, take action! Choose a topic that resonates with you, conduct in-depth research, and start drafting your paper. Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempt isn’t flawless. Seek feedback from instructors and peers, and continue refining your skills as a nursing student and future healthcare professional. However, do not hesitate to seek our writing services for your academic needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is the structure of a nursing research paper?

A1: A nursing research paper follows a structure that includes an introduction, literature review, methodology, findings, discussion, and conclusion. Each section serves a specific purpose in presenting research on a nursing topic.

Q2: How do you write a nursing practice problem?

A2: First, to write a nursing practice problem, identify a specific healthcare issue or challenge. Then, clearly define the problem, its context, and its significance to nursing practice. This forms the basis for your research and paper.

Q3: What are the 4 major sections of a research paper?

A3: The four major sections of a research paper are the introduction, methodology, results (or findings), and discussion. These sections provide a structured format for presenting research and its implications.

Q4: How do you structure a research paper example?

A4: A research paper example should follow the same structure as a standard research paper. Begin with an introduction, followed by the methodology, results, and discussion sections. Each section should be clearly labeled and logically organized to convey your research effectively.


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