The Writing Genres in My Career in Nursing

Categories: Nursing

My whole life, I’ve dreamed of becoming someone who people turn to when they’re in pain and need help. As I grew up, I realized that nursing may be my calling in life. I’d never really thought about what kind of writing genres I’d need to adapt to in order to pursue my dream but as I did my research for this paper I learned that in the nursing field, the genres of writing you’re expected to use include reports, charts and other note-type writing.

All of which generally are written for the patient or doctor, this makes it important that you are stating clear reports. Looking back at my paper one, I wrote about my writing landscape which did not include any of these genres of writing. The field of nursing may come as a bit of a challenge and may cause me to feel nervous or uneasy regarding the written aspect of it, causing me to second-think my life long dream.

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In paper one, I wrote that my writing landscape incudes lists, persuasive essays, and analytical writing. And in paper two, I talked about how what my high school teachers taught me is paying off in college. Well now I’m hoping that what my college professors are going to teach me will pay off in a future job. Through my research I came across an article titled, “Communication is Key: The Importance of Effective Hand-off Reporting”. I learned that stating clear reports are vital because this genre of writing is used the most.

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Making sure that the communication between RN and doctor is clear is important because miscommunication is “(the) leading cause of medical errors such as gaps in health care, incomplete or missing information, and medication errors”. I am able to notice that if this genre of writing is used incorrectly, a patient’s life can be on the line. Being well prepared and knowing how to communicate through clear writing will help me to properly use this writing genre and will calm my nervousness about writing in this field.

As I continued on with my research I uncovered McCurdy and Lang’s “Writing in the Field of Nursing Basic Genres” which was written by the two nursing students as they analyzed different types of genres used by nurses. I particularly looked at the paragraph titled “The Professional RN”, as this is the job I am interested in. I found that this short article contained a list of many genres of writing used by professional RN’s. Two of the genres that caught my eye as being the “most important” were charting and reporting. The article describes charting as what “(how) the patient (was) when the nurse saw them. It may be accomplished through a phrase or a few adjectives. Charting may be completed in a sentence fragment.” I feel that charting is one of the most important genres stated in this passage because it is a large aspect of what it means to be a nurse. The next genre I found as being very important was reporting. The passage describes reporting as “document(s) to determine liability for accident or other unusual happening, (the) report must be accurate and objective, include: precision, clarity, coherence, completeness”. Reporting is important because nurses write reports every day, many times, if the reports aren’t clear and complete they can come across as confusing to the doctor. These pieces of evidence with the two main genres, gives me a clear understanding about each type of writing which helps me become prepared for the writing in the nursing field.

As I continued to read the article, “The Professional RN”, I found that the nursing students referenced the “Nurses Writing Handbook”. The nursing students gave multiple examples from the handbook of reporting and how it should be used. One example said that the patient fell and he/she “should not have been out of bed”, the handbooks state that this report is incorrect because it does not describe the incident. The next example gives a shorter worded example, but “lacks completeness which may suggest negligence”. With the first two examples being incorrect, the nursing students provided an example from the nursing handbook that was correct, “Patient Kevin Reilly found on floor next to his bed by aide, Edna Lowery, who heard call for help. Floor dry and clean. Patient was ambulating without permission; complained, “I had to pee but got dizzy.” Call light was not used but was tested and found in working order. No apparent injury; physician notified. Correct: Objective and complete, the best example to report the incident” These examples show how they connect with Wagner’s article I talked about above, if the reports are not clear and correct, the report can be confusing and hard to interpret, this is why it is so important to understand the writing genres used in nursing. The Nurses Writing Handbook is a tool that can be used to prepare me for the challenge of writing in the nursing field.

Continuing on with my research, I came across the owl.english.purdue website which contained a passage called, Writing as a Professional Nurse by J. Case Tompkins, Eden Tompkins, Elizabeth Angeli. Within the passage I found this, “The field of nursing requires a great deal of swift, accurate writing. You will need to fill out reports and charts correctly and completely and record your interactions with doctors and patients fairly. In addition, you must always be prepared to defend the information you record.”

There is something very important in this quotation and that is the passage specifically says the word “defend”. This is significant because I mentioned earlier my written landscape contains the use of persuasive writing. Well, defending you information is just like writing persuasive essays. This aspect of writing in nursing will be an advantage to me because I am actually familiar with this genre.

As I have mentioned, I view the nursing field as a bit of a challenge to me because of the written genres I have found: reports, charts and note-type. None of these genres of writing show up in my paper one, talking about my written landscape. So, at the beginning of the process of writing this paper, I was nervous and unsure that I would not be able to go forward with my career goal, but now, with all of the research I have done, and the resources I have found, I feel more confident in pursuing my life-long childhood dream of becoming a nurse.

Works Cited

Case Tompkins, J., Eden Tompkins, and Elizabeth Angeli. “Welcome to the Purdue OWL.”

Purdue OWL. Purdue University, n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2016.

Gandolfo, Anita, and Judy Romano. The Nurse’s Writing Handbook. Norwalk, CT: Appleton Century-Crofts, 1984. Print.

McCurdy, Sarah, and Angela Lang. “Basic Genres.” Basic Genres. Dawn Budzyn, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.

Wagner, Ashley. “Communication Is Key: The Importance of Effective Hand-off Reporting.” Minority Nurse. N.p., 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 02 Nov. 2016.


Throughout writing this paper, I feel that I have grown as a person and my confidence level has dramatically increased. When I read the discussion board last week, I thought about making something up, I thought there was no way I was going to be able to find any evidence of writing in the nursing field. But I decided to go with my gut and be truthful and I am very pleased with what I have found. I feel that now I am more educated in the writing genres of the nursing field, and am able to continue pursuing my dream! Thank you for helping me find my confidence!

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The Writing Genres in My Career in Nursing. (2021, Oct 11). Retrieved from

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