1500-2000 words – this means the maximum you can write is 2200 words (10% above) – this figure does NOT include in-text referencesThe minimum you should write is 1350 words (10% below) – this figure does NOT include in-text referencesIf you write less than 1350 words it is likely that you have not provided enough details in your answers and will be at risk of failing this assessment taskI have provided a guide to word counts per section based on the marks allocated for each section – however this is up to you
Due date: Sunday 15 April 2359 hoursExtensions: All requests for extensions must be made using the special consideration process and include supporting documentation e.g. medical certificateNB: All requests should be made prior to the due date of the assessmentChoose ONE professional nursing issue from the list below:
Violence from patients towards nursesBullying in nursingMedication safetyNursing Workloads
NB: If you choose something that is not on this list you will receive ZERO marks for this assessmentDefine the professional issue (5 marks)
Approximately 150-250 words
This will set the scene for your essay so make sure you have an explicit and specific definitionDon’t just talk around the issue e.g. giving facts about violence – tell me what constitutes violenceLook at all the key words and make sure you address them in your definition – e.g. bullying in nursing – so don’t just define bullying in general – make the link to nursingUse evidence to back up your definition – if you don’t you will fail this sectionLook beyond a dictionary for your definition – the professional issues have been chosen because they are significant to nursing – so you should be using a source that reflects thisAn example is always a good way to provide some extra detail to your definitionIf you choose medication safety – make sure you define what this means and not medication errors – these are not the same thing
NB: This is only worth 5 marks so don’t waste too many words on itDiscuss the significance of your chosen professional issue to nursing. (20 marks)
Approximately 500-700 wordsHow does the issue impact on nursing?Why is it a professional issue?What is the impact on nurses (individually) and the nursing profession?You can include facts and figures in here e.g. how common is violence?
NB: Use evidence to back up your discussion – if you don’t you will fail this sectionDiscuss how your chosen professional issue impacts on patient safety (20 marks)
Approximately 500 – 700 words.This should follow on from your discussion above – if the issue impacts on nurses then there must be a flow on effect to patientsLook at the key words here – “patient safety” – make sure you are discussing this and not just patient care in general – you could define what is meant by patient safety to focus your discussionYou can use facts and figure here e.g. how many adverse events are there each year as a result of medication errors?What are the consequences of these adverse events to patients?
NB: Use evidence to back up your discussion – if you don’t you will fail this section
Discuss the strategies that can be utilised to minimise the impact of your chosen professional issue on nursing practice and patient safety. (15 marks)
Approximately 350 – 550 wordsThis is essentially asking what we can do to fix the problemThis should follow on logically from your discussion in the previous 2 sectionsWhat strategies or approaches currently exist? E.g. policies, protocols, trainingYou need to include at least TWO strategies in this section or you will fail this sectionIt is a good idea to number these and discuss separately – that way you can ensure that you have identified the correct number and provided sufficient detail for eachThere are 2 elements here that you are being asked to consider – so make sure you use this explicit language – nursing practice and patient safety – i.e.: if we use training how will this minimise the impact of violence on nursing practice and patient safety
NB: Use evidence to back up your discussion – if you don’t you will fail this sectionEvidence used (10 marks)
As a rule of thumb in academic writing you should have 1 reference per 150 words – so for a 1500 word assignment this should be 10 sourcesThe marking guide asks for 8 sources (more than this if you want to earn a HD for this section)The more time you take on your research & the more widely you read – the better your essay will be. You will develop a better understanding of the topic and this will come through in your writingNursing journals – this is a discussion of a professional issue that impacts on nursing so it follows that you should use nursing sources – the marking guide specifies at least 4 nursing journalsYou can include Australian and international literature here – however the emphasis should be on the Australian experience as these issues were sourced from the NSW Nurses’ and Midwives AssociationWhere can you find this evidence?Library databases – e.g. CINAHL – use your key words to find relevant articlesGoogle ScholarLook at the reference lists of articles that you find that are useful to help you broaden your searchProfessional nursing bodies e.g. NSWNMA, Emergency Nurses’ Association,Government websites e.g. Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in healthcare (particularly relevant if you are looking at medication safety)Health Department websites e.g. good for finding policies, protocolsText books – probably not that useful for this essay – however you might use them as a starting point – remember that chapters from the same book count as 1 sourceMake sure you are looking current evidence – so from the last 5-10 yearsNB: don’t just do a google search – you will not find the best evidence this wayDon’t use Wikipedia – this is not an academic source – the reason being that anyone can go in and amend or add information at any time so you can’t rely on the validity/truth of this source
Academic integrity and literacy (10 marks)
This is a final semester 3rd year assessment so the quality of your writing and referencing should be at this levelFormal writing – use formal words and avoid slang or personal termsWrite in the 3rd personWrite in the past tense – make sure your tense stays consistent throughout – this is a common errorSpelling – this should be Australian spelling – so make sure your spellcheck is set for this and not US spellingParagraphs – don’t make these too short – e.g. they should be at least 3 sentences longOR too long – they should not cover a whole page – break your writing up into manageable chunksSentences – these should not be too short or they read as dot points – but they also shouldn’t be so long that they take up a whole paragraphDon’t forget to use in-text references to back up your discussionIf you don’t include a reference – your discussion will read as your opinion and this does not hold weight in an academic piece of writingSo when you write something ask yourself how you know this – then add the appropriate referenceThe aim is for an objective discussion based on the evidence – not a subjective piece based on opinionHeadings – you can use headings to structure your essay to line up with the 4 sections (definition, significance, patient safety, strategies) if you would like – however remember your essay should still flow and these should not be presented as discrete answers – they must link togetherProof read – it is always a good idea to print out your paper and read it – that way you often pick up errors you miss when looking at a computer screen for too long. You can also pick up spelling errors that spellcheck doesn’t e.g. I once marked a whole essay on bowel cancer where the student had written “bowl” instead – this is really distracting to the reader and also speaks to a lack of attention to detailTick off your references – make sure each reference in-text is in your reference list and vice versaHarvard referencing – you should all be familiar with this by now – but if not have the library guide handy to help – referencing is one of those things that can take longer than expected so it is a good idea to do it as you go alongAvoid cutting & pasting from online sources in to your essay – if you do then highlight it in red – that way it is reminder that you need to paraphrase itCheck your turnitin report – we are looking for chunks of text that match – so make sure if you identify this in your paper that you go back and paraphrase – I will allow multiple submission attempts prior to the due date
If you have any questions please post on discussion board or check with me or your tutor


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