As a nursing student, you will likely need to write argumentative essays to demonstrate your critical thinking skills and ability to persuade others on important topics in the field. Argumentative nursing essays require you to make a strong, evidence-based case for your position on a debatable nursing issue. Follow this easy guide to learn how to craft compelling argumentative nursing essays.

What Is an Argumentative Nursing Essay

An argumentative nursing essay presents an arguable thesis statement about a controversial issue in nursing practice or healthcare policy. You must support your thesis with credible evidence from nursing research and literature. The goal is to logically convince readers to agree with your perspective on the nursing problem or issue.

Unlike a persuasive essay, argumentative essays do not rely on emotional appeals. You must use sound reasoning backed by hard facts to construct a strong argument. Address counterarguments fairly and rebut them systematically. The conclusion should restate your thesis and summarize key supporting points. A good argumentative nursing essay demonstrates critical thinking and the ability to argue objectively for your position.

Elements of an Argumentative Nursing Essay

Here are the key elements that comprise an effective argumentative nursing essay:

  • Introduction with a clear, concise thesis statement presenting your view on the issue
  • Background context establishing the nursing problem or controversy
  • Balanced presentation of both sides of the argument
  • Your perspective with strong evidence supporting your thesis
  • Addressing potential counterarguments and rebutting them
  • Conclusion reiterating your thesis and main points

How to Write an Argumentative Nursing Essay with Steps

Follow these steps to write a compelling argumentative nursing essay:

Choose Your Research Sources for Your Argumentative Nursing Essay

  • Find 5-10 high-quality sources that provide evidence to support your position. Use peer-reviewed nursing journals, credible websites, academic books, etc.
  • Take notes and record citations as you research to reference sources in your essay easily.

Consider the Argumentative Nursing Essay Outline

  • Craft an introduction with your thesis statement on the issue. Provide necessary background context.
  • Outline 2-3 body paragraphs presenting key points that support your thesis. Include evidence from research in each paragraph.
  • Add a paragraph with the opposing view and effective rebuttals citing your evidence.
  • Conclude by restating your thesis and summarizing the main arguments.

Add Transitions within Argumentative Nursing Essay Paragraphs

  • Use transition words and phrases (e.g., however, although, consequently) between sentences and paragraphs to connect ideas and show relationships. This improves flow.

Add Bibliography to Your Argumentative Nursing Essay

  • Format citations and references in APA, MLA, or specified style. credit sources appropriately.

Revise Your Final Argumentative Nursing Essay

  • Check for proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Ensure clear, formal language.
  • Verify the logical flow of ideas and smooth transitions between paragraphs.
  • Confirm you made a cohesive, persuasive case supporting your nursing thesis with evidence.

3 Ways to Approach Argumentative Nursing Essay Writing

You can take different approaches to craft an effective argumentative nursing essay, depending on the assignment specifics. Here are three common ways to tackle these essays:

  1. Evaluate a nursing practice or policy – Assess the efficacy of a current standard, protocol, or policy. Argue to modify or uphold it using evidence.
  2. Propose a nursing practice change – Identify a problem in current nursing practice. Suggest and justify a new approach using research.
  3. Compare viewpoints – Present perspectives on a nursing issue (e.g., mandated ratios). Contrast them and argue which position is stronger or more correct.

Good Argumentative Nursing Essay Topics

Here are some possible argumentative nursing essay topics on pressing issues in nursing:

  • Nurse staffing ratios and patient safety
  • Pain management and the opioid epidemic
  • Workplace violence against nurses
  • Nursing scope of practice expansion
  • Ethical dilemmas in end-of-life care
  • Impact of technology on nursing care
  • Nurse fatigue and burnout

Choose a focused topic that interests you, with established pro and con positions you can argue. Do some preliminary research to ensure sufficient evidence to support your thesis before selecting your final essay topic.

Argumentative Essay Nursing Examples

Here are two short excerpt examples from sample argumentative nursing essays:

Example 1

"While nurse-patient ratios aim to protect patients, mandated minimum ratios restrict nurses' and administrators' flexibility in staffing based on unit needs. Evidence shows nurse staffing based on patient acuity optimizes outcomes. Instead of arbitrary number requirements, hospitals should implement validated acuity tools to determine and adjust unit staffing levels."

Example 2:

"Although palliative sedation eases suffering, it raises ethical concerns about dehydrating patients until death. Guidelines requiring palliative teams to approve sedation would uphold ethical principles of nonmaleficence and autonomy while still allowing this intervention for severe pain unresponsive to other treatments."

These examples demonstrate clear, arguable thesis statements on nursing issues, laying the foundation for compelling essays. Note the opinionated stances taken and the emphasis on supporting evidence to advocate the writer's position.

Final Thoughts on Writing Argumentative Nursing Essays

Argumentative essays enable nursing students to hone vital skills in critical analysis, logical reasoning, and persuasive writing on key topics and issues in the field. By following the steps in this guide, doing thorough research, and crafting a well-organized, evidence-backed argument, you can write effective argumentative nursing essays to demonstrate your knowledge and perspective. Use the tips and examples provided to guide your approach. With practice, you will master the art of persuasive, research-driven argumentation in your nursing writing.

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