Argumentative essays require you to make a persuasive case for your position on a debatable nursing-related issue. A well-written thesis statement lays the foundation for your stance and essay. This article provides tips for creating compelling thesis statements for argumentative nursing essays.

Understanding the Purpose of a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement appears at the end of your introductory paragraph and clearly states your central argument or position on the nursing topic. It serves several key purposes:

  • Asserts your main claim regarding the issue to be argued
  • Previews the angle, perspective, or stand you will take
  • Outline your key points/reasons that support your stance
  • Establishes the focus for the rest of the essay

Your thesis statement explains what you aim to demonstrate and should spark interest and debate. Everything in the essay body provides evidence backing your thesis.

Characteristics of Strong Thesis Statements

An effective thesis statement:

  • Is clear, focused, and concise, usually 1-2 sentences long
  • Takes a specific stand or perspective on a debatable nursing issue
  • Asserts a claim that requires evidence and analysis to defend
  • Use assertive language to state your argument directly
  • It avoids overly broad or obvious assertions
  • It is placed at the end of the introductory paragraph

These qualities focus on your thesis, positioning it to drive the rest of your essay.

Developing Your Thesis Statement

Formulating your thesis takes time and a focused analysis of your topic. Consider these steps:

  • Review your prompt and research thoroughly to identify issues and aspects with room for meaningful debate.
  • Choose your perspective on an issue and take a clear side that you can support evidentially.
  • Refine your viewpoint into a focused, definable argument or interpretation rather than a vague opinion.
  • Craft 1-2 sentences asserting your central claim regarding the nursing topic concisely and directly.
  • Ensure your thesis is compelling and debatable, not just a statement of fact.

Revisit and refine your thesis statement while outlining and writing to sharpen it further.

Categories of Thesis Statements

Argumentative nursing essay theses often fall into these categories:


Assesses the value, efficacy, or soundness of a nursing practice, intervention, policy, etc.


“Mandatory nurse-patient ratios implemented in California improved outcomes and should be adopted nationwide.”


Proposes adopting a new policy or practice to address a nursing-related problem.


“Hospitals should utilize acuity-based flexible nurse staffing models rather than fixed minimum ratios.”


Provides a new perspective or interpretation of an issue in nursing.


“Current models overly medicalize dying and negatively impact end-of-life care by nurses.”

Examples of Strong vs. Weak Thesis Statements

Here are examples of both strong and weak thesis statements on a nurse prescribing issue:


"Given proper advanced pharmacology training, registered nurses should be granted limited prescription privileges within their scope of practice to expand patient access to safe, high-quality care."

This takes a direct stance that requires defense, focuses on RNs specifically, and indicates what prescription capabilities they should have.


“The role of nurses related to medication prescriptions is controversial.”

This merely states the issue is debatable without taking a stance, so does not establish an argumentative focus.

Developing a Working Thesis Statement

Your final thesis statement will likely evolve as you research and outline your essay. Initially drafting a working thesis gives you a starting point.

For example, a working thesis could be:

  • “Advanced practice nurses should have expanded rights to prescribe certain medications.”
  • As you examine evidence, your stance may focus further:
  • “Advanced practice nurses specializing in psychiatric care should be granted limited prescription privileges for psychotropic medications.”

Refining Your Thesis During the Writing Process

You may continue refining your thesis statement during the writing process:

  • Review whether your working thesis still reflects your most compelling points and stance after drafting parts of the essay.
  • Revise the wording to be as focused, clear, and concise as possible to guide your essay effectively.
  • Ensure your final thesis statement aligns with the content and flow of your essay.

Putting in the work to craft and refine a strong, defensible thesis statement will lend cohesion and force to your argumentative nursing essay.

Examples of Strong Thesis Statements in Argumentative Nursing Essays

Here are excerpts from argumentative nursing essays in different categories demonstrating clearly worded thesis statements:

Evaluative Thesis

"While adopting a standardized handover protocol poses implementation challenges, the improved continuity of care for patients outweighs the burdens of transitioning from traditional handoff styles."

Proposal Thesis

“Hospitals should employ specialized lift teams and invest in necessary equipment to prevent musculoskeletal injuries among bedside nursing staff.”

Interpretive Thesis

“Despite aims to improve coordination, adoption of team nursing approaches diminishes nurses’ sense of accountability and direct responsibility for individual patients.”

Addressing Counterarguments Thesis

"Although delayed umbilical cord clamping benefits neonates overall, in cases of maternal hemorrhage or other delivery complications it is medically advised to immediately clamp the cord.”

Broader Issue Thesis

“The growing use of AI clinical decision tools warrants increased oversight and regulation to ensure safety and ethical standards in nursing practice.”

Crafting a Convincing Thesis Statement

Here are some steps to help craft a strong, focused thesis statement:

Pick Your Topic

Choose a narrowed nursing issue or practice to focus on. Broad topics lead to weak, unfocused theses.

Research Diligently

Thoroughly research your focused topic and identify aspects that have room for meaningful evidence-based debate.

Take a Stance

Determine a specific, arguable stance to take on the nursing issue based on your research findings. Don’t just state facts.

Turn Your Stance Into 1-2 Sentences

Synthesize your opinion into a direct, concise statement asserting your central argument regarding the nursing issue.

Ensure a Precise Focus

Refine your statement to zero in on a specific, defensible claim regarding the topic, not vague ideas.

State it Assertively

Use assertive language like “should/must” rather than passive phrases like “might/may be.”

Place at the End of Your Intro

Your thesis statement will most impact the conclusion of your opening paragraph, leading into the evidence-based essay body paragraph.

Revise and Refine

Revisit your thesis statement periodically while researching and drafting your essay to refine it. The final version should align perfectly with the flow and focus of your written argument.

Real-World Nursing Essay Thesis Statement Examples

To understand the characteristics of an effective thesis statement, here are argumentative nursing examples from argumentative essays written on current nursing issues:

Nurse Staffing Ratios Essay Thesis

“Instead of imposing statewide mandatory minimum nurse-patient ratios, hospitals should implement informed acuity-based flexible staffing models to optimize patient outcomes, nurses’ workloads, cost-effectiveness, and professional autonomy.”

This thesis stakes a specific position in the nurse ratio debate and establishes the argument to be built.

Nurse Prescribing Rights Essay Thesis

“To address urgent primary care shortages and increase healthcare access, registered nurses with advanced pharmacology training should be granted limited prescribing authority within their scope of practice for common medications like antibiotics and blood pressure medications.”

This provides a focused stance on the specific prescription rights RNs might be granted to make the writer’s central argument.

Workplace Violence Essay Thesis

“Healthcare organizations must take concrete actions like implementing protective policies, providing staff training, increasing security personnel, and collaborating with law enforcement to curb the alarming and unacceptable epidemic of violence against nurses in clinical settings.”

This thesis asserts a strong stance that workplace violence is unacceptable and must be actively addressed through specific solutions.

Tips for a Strong Thesis Statement

  • Assert a specific, focused stance rather than just stating facts
  • Use assertive language like “should/must” rather than passive phrases
  • Place at the end of the introductory paragraph
  • Refine it during your writing process to keep it aligned with your essay content

The thesis statement anchors your argumentative nursing essay. Taking the time to craft a compelling one will give your piece direction and cohesiveness.


American Nurses Association. “Workplace Violence.” 2022.

Ogbolu, Y. “Nurse Prescribing in the United States: Progress and Pitfalls.” Nursing2022. June 2021.

Final thoughts on thesis statements for argumentative nursing essays

In argumentative nursing essays, a precisely worded thesis statement is crucial for establishing your focused stance on a debatable issue and providing direction for your essay.

While thesis statements often get refined during the writing process, taking time to craft a strong, defensible central claim sets you up to persuasively argue your position. Refer frequently to your thesis when researching, outlining, and writing to ensure your evidence and reasoning align. An effective thesis is essential for cohesive, compelling, argumentative essays on nursing topics.

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