Below is an excerpt from our recently published title Proposal Writing for Nursing Capstones and Clinical Projects. The only resource of its kind, this is a practical guide for MSN project students and DNP capstone students who must plan and organize their clinical projects into quality proposals. It provides the requisite guidelines for integrating research and best evidence with clearly communicated professional objectives.
A PLAN FOR SELF-DIRECTED WRITING: PREWRITING AND THE BROAD WRITING PLAN
Why should you care about the writing plan? Because a limited plan typically means a limited product. Because you have limited hours, you have to maximize your use of those hours. The writing plan is important because it helps outline the important points and makes writing a central tool. Just as planning in nursing is central to patient care, the larger clinical project can be considered to take a similar “care plan” approach in assessing project need, clearly stating the problem, outlining possible approaches, and then selecting best for the situation. This includes evaluation to determine how the project plan is working.
Prewriting occurs before official proposal writing starts. This is when you get organized and ready to write. It can include getting yourself to your writing place; sticking to the time you allotted; having a beverage in hand; and getting sufficient reading, thinking, and exploring done to lead your writing down the right path (putting together reading notes in a way that can later be cited is also useful).
Prewriting also provides an opportunity for early organization of thoughts or to clarify problems, as well as to help identify what your project is not about (Wolcott, 2008). Because this prewriting helps focus your ideas, the project becomes more reasonable and then becomes a more do-able project. Your actual problem can become clearer through this process. It provides opportunities to consider other phases of the work.
Sometimes reflecting on broad questions serves as a good prewriting tool. For example, why is this topic interesting to me? Specific writing tools such as project decision trails or reflective journals help you document your work, reflecting and journaling to help assess what is working or not with your project plans. Writing and critical thinking make a good connection. Getting-started tips for organizing a writing plan, including your writing time and space, consist of:
- When to write? When thinking about your time organization, does your plan involve a calendar/a clock? Are you a morning or night person? What’s compatible with your personal and family life?
- Where to write? Your writing space counts too. Do you require a quiet, peaceful place to write or can you write anywhere? Often selecting one central writing area, with organized supplies and resources, helps writing efficiency. An added bonus is finding a spot where you can spread out and not have to pick up every time after you have finished working.
- What to write? Anything; just start to get something on paper. Then work into the specific proposal components you are addressing.
Proposal Writing for Nursing Capstones and Clinical Projects published this month. Get your copy today!