Contemporary Nursing Issue Paper Outline

Explanation of the Issue (5 elements)

  1. Identify the specific problem/issue
    1. Reveal the issue/problem immediately in the paper
    1. Hook the reader to want to read more
  2. Define the issue
    1. This must be a literature-based definition
    1. You may combine information from more than 1 source to create a definition for your paper
  3. Discuss the prevalence of the issue
    1. This must be literature-based information
    1. Does not need to be a number or percent; what in the literature speaks to the fact that this problem/issue is happening enough to warrant attention
  4. Describe the top 3 causes/reasons for the issue
    1. These must be literature-based too
    1. Be sure these directly cause the issue – only one step away from the problem
    1. Cite from more than one source to develop significance of these causes
  5. Describe the top 3 negative outcomes of the issue
    1. These must be literature-based too
    1. Be sure these are a direct result of the issue – only one step away from the problem
    1. Cite from more than one source to develop significance of these outcomes

Proposed Strategy (4 elements)

  1. Propose a specific strategy/intervention from the nursing profession
  2. Tie it to ONE cause or negative outcome presented in the explanation

This sentence will address both 1 and 2:

“The nursing profession recommends/encourages/demands X (strategy) to reduce/eliminate/improve Y (one cause or outcome) associated with Z (issue).”

  • Briefly explain the strategy; what are the essential components of the strategy?
  • Provide brief rationale why that strategy and cause/outcome should be or can be addressed first.


Evidence to Support Strategy

  • Provide evidence that the proposed strategy will indeed work to reduce, eliminate, or improve that one cause or outcome of the issue
    • Find strong evidence from at least 3 separate sources
    • Do not present more evidence of the problem/issue. For example, do not argue that without the strategy the problem will continue or worsen. Show that the strategy will reduce, eliminate, or improve that one cause or outcome.
    • Logically build the evidence to convince the reader the strategy is effective.
    • If the strategy has not been implemented yet or the exact cause or outcome was not evaluated with that strategy yet – consider a similar strategy or similar cause or outcome and draw a correlation between the two. For example, if B worked to reduce C then X will work to reduce Y because….

Conclusion (3 elements)

  • Take the reader from the beginning to the end to once more connect the dots to convince the reader.
  • Restate the issue
  • Restate the proposed strategy statement
  • Summarize key points in the evidence that supports the strategy’s effectiveness.