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Nursing School Essay Writing

There are numerous guidelines and requirements that graduate students need to be mindful of while preparing an application for a nursing program. Of these requirements, the nursing school essay - or personal statement - allows applicants to tell their own unique stories, so they are of the utmost importance.

Crafting a nursing school essay for an MSN degree program or an FNP (Family Nursing Practitioner) program is time-consuming, and some candidates find it challenging. In the same way that success can be hindered by a badly-prepared essay, an excellent one can distinguish a candidate. The three simple steps below will ensure your essay makes a good impression on an admissions board.

1. Create a Story Plan

When it comes to writing a nursing school essay, there are not many people who can immediately write a perfect essay or personal statement without first preparing. Figuring out how best to tell your life story can even take a number of weeks, so it is prudent to allow sufficient time for planning, writing thoughts down, and putting ideas into outline form. Below are some tips to help you collect the ideas and information needed to write a great essay.

  • Begin your nursing essay by reflecting on how your goals/objectives for the future have been shaped and influenced by any experience you have as an RN (registered nurse). In what way might advanced training in nursing help you grow and fit into a FNP role?
  • Examine some existing nursing essay examples to see why you should not confine your thinking to your existing resume. Think about accomplishments, traits, and strengths that your resume does not cover. Have you interests that might help you succeed on a nursing program? Include examples of leadership qualities, mentorships, growth, or goals that you have experienced or achieved. Make a note of these to use when you start writing.
  • Select a suitable essay topic. Issues of the soapbox variety and preaching should be avoided. This approach can appear condescending and cause key points to become obscured.
  • Check out the nursing program you are applying for.Use research to understand the nursing school's reputation and values. Do these match your values, and how?

2. Write a Draft

  • When writing, try not to over-think the project. Find a voice that is natural. Write fearlessly and as though you were speaking to your friend - your work can be edited and polished during the next draft.
  • Clichés and general statements should be avoided. Look at an existing nursing school essay sample or a few samples to understand how over-used generic words e.g. 'compassionate,' 'caring,' 'people-focused,' no longer impress members of admissions committees. They additionally do not address the writer's personal nursing experience. Starting with such phrases as 'For some time past' can cause readers to stop reading.
  • The next of our nursing school essay tips concerns showing rather than telling. The essence of good storytelling involves providing details that show the real you, as both a person and a potential nurse. Describe your experience of managing patients (give numbers), why a supervisor commended your clinical skills and professionalism, what helped you get promoted, and so on. The following examples explain how showing and telling differ:

'I do my best work under intense pressure' is to tell something.

'Even though the patient reported a particular illness, I believed the symptoms he described pointed to acute infection. Consequently, my diagnosis prevented further harm' is to show something.

  • When describing experience of directly caring for patients, use particular examples and evidence. Use details to show how you used clinical knowledge to communicate, lead, maintain confidence, or advocate for patients.
  • Say how an MSN fits your future career objectives and your reasons for pursing a FNP career. Admission board members should know the exact reasons for your application to their nursing program and why you think that program is best. Refer to the research you did on the program and school and reflect on your findings.

3. Edit Your Essay to Make It Perfect

Having discussed how to start a nursing school essay and what to include, it is time to think about editing - even the work of the most experienced writers needs to be edited and polished. Review your work and revise it to ensure it is well-organized, clear, and error-free.

  • After completing your first or initial draft, rest and put a distance between you and your text. Then, with fresh eyes, undertake an objective review to identify possible errors and other issues.
  • Read your work out loud. How does it sound? Have your strongest and best points been adequately reflected?
  • Ensure your statement is free of grammatical and spelling errors. Even small errors can suggest carelessness. Excessive errors can suggest that you lack organization or are not really serious about your application. Check out the following tips and tools for achieving perfection in a written piece:
  • Get a member of your family or friend to read your essay. This is an excellent method of identifying awkward wording and errors.
  • Use a spellchecker - always - but remember these will not identify every error.
  • Use Grammarly or some other external grammar-checking tool.

Referring to a good nursing school essay sample will demonstrate how these essays should offer an insight into the writer's life. Be specific about any experience that has contributed to your decision to become a nurse. Sticking to accepted standards, being professional, and showing yourself in an open, honest and positive manner will enable readers to determine your suitability for their program and to see whether you have a future as a family nursing practitioner.


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