Creating a writing course to improve the writing self-efficacy of graduate nursing students

Lisa B. Robinson, Mary Bishop


Objective: Contemporary advanced professional nursing requires the ability to communicate effectively in written and oral forms. Many registered nurses enter graduate nursing school with experience writing in medical records but with no experience writing scholarly papers or writing for publication. This article describes the development, implementation and evaluation of a writing course developed in an online graduate nursing program in the southeastern United States. The goal of this research was to determine if graduate nursing students’ writing self-efficacy increased after the completion of a newly developed one-credit online writing course.
Methods: Fifty-three first-semester graduate nursing students participated in a 16-week online asynchronous writing course developed at a school of nursing. The course instructors designed writing experiences with the goal of increasing writing competency. The faculty defined writing competence as achieving mastery of the necessary writing skills to produce an organized, logical, understandable message containing the effective use of language, grammar, and punctuation.
Results: The students’ writing self-efficacy increased significantly from pretest and posttest. The results revealed a significant increase in self efficacy scores with the second administration of the tool. The mean of the 20-question Likert scale pretest was 70.59. Results obtained after the conclusion of the course resulted in a mean of 80.12. The finding of a mean increase of 9.529 was found to be statistically significant.
Conclusions: The information from this research can be used to develop effective strategies to support online graduate students with their writing skills. This experience highlights the fact that we cannot leave the development of academic writing to chance. Achieving academic writing success requires structured instruction, practice and frequent feedback from faculty who have the passion for and expertise in scholarly writing.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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