How to Write Narrative Essays in Nursing


According to, nursing programs have become increasingly competitive in recent years. Many nursing programs and classes require applicants to submit a narrative essay describing their previous experience in health care or what has inspired them to want to be a nurse. These essays describe a narrative timeline of events detailing such aspects of your life as previous work experience, major changes and influences, role models and leaders that have led to your application.

  • Choose the overall topic of your nursing narrative essay. The topic will be what specific event or aspect of your life you want to focus on. Possible topics could include work experience at a nursing home in high school, how a family member's nursing position inspired you, or how the illness of someone you care about challenged you.

  • Make an outline of the important aspects of your topic. Include an introduction to the topic and a timeline of the story you are telling in a logical order, so that someone unfamiliar with your life will be able to understand the greater idea of your narrative. This will make up both the introduction and body of your essay.

  • Flesh out the important details for each part of your outline. You want to include details such as descriptions of the people involved, the setting, your emotional response to events, and any other pertinent information.

  • Write a conclusion for your essay. This conclusion should tie together all the ideas mentioned in the introduction and body of your narrative essay into a larger summary and final point of your story that the reader will internalize.

Tips & Warnings

  • Write multiple drafts of your nursing narrative essay. The first draft of your essay will not be the best possible essay you write, so have friends and colleagues read your work and give suggestions.
  • Read the guidelines of your narrative essay closely to avoid going over the maximum word count.


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