Nurses of all levels use writing to convey information to a wide variety of audiences. Clear written communication is vital for the care of patients as well as for research and staff supervision. Good writing promotes the use of critical thinking and analysis and ensures that different audiences of a nurse's writings will understand what is being said.
Writing for Peers
Nurses may write case studies, lab reports or research findings, depending on what area of nursing they work in. Having technical writing skills, the ability to research and analyze treatments and processes, for example, is important in sharing nursing information with peers. Other staff nurses can benefit from such studies, and research is further advanced when one nurse's ideas and observations are clearly shared with other nurse researchers. Dissemination of research and case studies that are in written form further new ideas in nursing, helping nurses stay on top of the latest developments in their fields.
College nursing faculty find it more and more common to write and publish articles in their discipline. Some undergraduate nursing students are also publishing more. As the Internet becomes more widely available, some journals are going online, providing nurses another area in which to publish. It is vital, therefore, that nurses develop good writing skills that focus on researching, supporting findings and evaluating findings and cases with a critical eye.
Nurses may work in teams to write policy suggestions for health boards or for politicians. Good writing skills are necessary to explain and persuade audience members who do not have nursing backgrounds. Understanding how to convey information to audience members who are not aware of nursing language and issues is important to effectively advocate for positive change in the healthcare field.
Nurse administrators must be able to communicate effectively in writing with their staff members. Staff meetings require clear and succinct agendas. Reports require clear communication of cases and findings, which are often written for supervisors or board members of healthcare facilities. Email communications with staff also necessitate having good writing skills. Writing manuals and policy or procedure documents also means that nurses must be able to coherently put together a paragraph and logically construct a document. Staff nurses who write on charts and document changes in status must also be able to write clearly, even if it is usually in sentence fragments or using abbreviations.
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