How to Write a Nursing Essay Introduction

NRS 430 Topic 1 DQ 1 Discuss why you have decided to complete your BSN at this time, and the concerns you have about completing your baccalaureate degree

Writing an essay starts with making a good introduction. The introduction helps grab the reader’s attention and explains what the essay will be about. In nursing, it’s important to make your introduction clear, interesting, and related to healthcare. This article will guide you on how to write a nursing essay introduction step by step, making it easier to create a good start to your essay.

Through simple tips and explanations, you’ll learn how to catch your reader’s interest and prepare them for what you will discuss in your essay.

Introductory Paragraph Definition

The introductory paragraph is the first part of your essay that readers see. It’s like a door to your essay. When readers go through it, they get to know what topic you’ll be talking about. This paragraph helps catch readers’ attention and gives them a reason to keep reading. It often starts with something interesting, like a surprising fact or a short story.

Then, it briefly explains the topic of your essay. Finally, it states your main point or argument, a thesis statement. The introductory paragraph sets the ground for everything else in your essay, making it crucial for getting your readers interested and understanding what to expect as they read on.

How Long Should an Introduction Be?

When you write an essay, the introduction is the starting point where you tell your readers what the essay is about. Now, how long should this introduction be? A good rule is to make it about 8% to 9% of your essay’s total words. So, if your essay is 1000 words, the introduction would be around 80 to 90 words long.

Why this length? Well, it’s long enough to give your readers a clear idea about your topic and get them interested, but not too long that it gets boring or gives away too much information. It’s just the right length to introduce your topic, grab the reader’s attention, and tell them your main argument, the thesis statement, without diving into the main points you’ll discuss in the rest of the essay.

What Makes a Good Introduction

A good introduction acts like a map that guides your readers into the main part of your essay. Here’s what makes an introduction good:

  • Catches Attention: A good introduction starts with something interesting to catch your reader’s attention, like a surprising fact, a question, or a short story.
  • Introduces the Topic: It tells your readers what the essay is about clearly and simply.
  • Has a Thesis Statement: A good introduction includes a thesis statement and a clear and strong point or argument you will make in your essay. It tells the reader what to expect as they read on.
  • Not Too Long or Short: It should be just the right essay length, not too long to lose interest, and not too short to miss important information.
  • Engaging: It should make your readers want to read more. It’s like inviting them into your essay, making them curious about what comes next.
  • Clear and to the Point: It should be clear, straightforward, and concise so readers can easily understand what the essay will discuss.
  • Previews What’s Coming: A good introduction previews what topics or points will be covered in the essay without giving away too much.

What Are the 3 Parts of an Introduction Paragraph?

The introduction paragraph is important as it helps the reader understand what your essay will be about. It’s made up of three main parts:

Part 1: Essay Hook

The essay hook in the introduction of a nursing essay acts as a catalyst to ignite the reader’s curiosity and ensure they continue reading. In nursing, this initial hook carries a particular significance as it provides a window into a field that is as emotionally charged as it is technical. 

For instance, in a nursing essay focused on patient care, the hook might take the form of a compelling narrative of a nurse’s experience on a hectic night shift. The activities in a ward, the emotions of patients and their families, and amidst it all, the steadfast presence of a nurse could be the scene set as the hook. This imagery captures the essence of nursing and resonates with the reader, drawing them into the narrative.

Similarly, if the essay is geared towards exploring the evolving role of nurses in modern healthcare, the hook could present a stark statistic highlighting the growing responsibilities shouldered by nurses. Through the hook, the readers are not merely observers but become emotionally invested, making the subsequent exploration of the nursing profession deeply engaging and insightful.

The 5 Types of Hooks for Writing

Here are some simple ways to create a hook in your essay:

  • A Common Misconception: This is about sharing many people’s false beliefs or misunderstandings and correcting them. Example: “Many believe that nurses only follow doctors’ orders, but they make crucial decisions that impact patient care daily.”
  • Statistics: Sharing a surprising or interesting number or data related to your topic. Example: “Research shows that nurses spend up to 60% of their time on paperwork, taking them away from patient care.”
  • Personal Story: Telling a brief story from real life or your own experience that connects to your essay topic. Example: “My sister’s caring nature as a nurse brought comfort to fearful patients, making me realize the emotional impact nurses have.”
  • Scenes: Painting a picture with words about a certain scene or situation related to your topic. Example: “Imagine a busy hospital ward, nurses swiftly moving from one patient to another, showcasing their ability to multitask and provide personalized care.”
  • Thesis Statement: Stating the main point or argument of your essay in a clear and precise way. Example: “This essay will delve into the indispensable role of nurses in improving the patient experience and healthcare outcomes.”

Part 2: Connections

“Connections” in an introduction represent the bridge between the initial hook and the main topic or thesis of the essay. This section further draws the reader into the central theme by establishing context, relevance, and the importance of the subject. It ensures the reader isn’t left hanging after the hook, making the transition smoother.

In nursing essays, connections might explore why a particular misconception, statistic, or story (from the hook) is significant to the broader world of nursing or healthcare.

For example, suppose the hook was a statistic about the number of hours nurses spend with patients. In that case, the connection might discuss the significance of nurse-patient interactions, how they are at the heart of patient care, or how they can significantly influence a patient’s recovery and overall hospital experience.

In essence, the “connections” part links the specific instance or fact from the hook to the broader implications or themes you’re about to explore in your essay, ensuring the reader understands why what they’re about to read matters.

Part 3: The Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the most important part of an introduction paragraph. It is usually the last sentence of the introduction. The thesis statement clearly states the main idea or argument of the entire essay in one concise sentence. It answers the prompt or question asked in the assignment. 

The thesis sets up the entire essay by establishing the focus and purpose of the writing. A good thesis statement is clear, focused, take a stand or position, and can be supported by evidence. The rest of the essay will provide details, facts, arguments, and evidence that support the thesis statement. 

The thesis gives the essay direction and focus. The thesis statement must be narrow enough to fully cover the essay but broad enough for analysis and discussion. The reader should finish the introduction paragraph understanding exactly what the essay will be about based on the thesis statement.

Steps to Write an Essay Introduction

Here are the steps to write an effective nursing essay introduction:

Step 1. Engage Your Reader

The opening sentence or “hook” of an introduction paragraph grabs the reader’s attention. A strong hook makes the reader interested and want to keep reading. Here are some tips for engaging the reader right from the start:

  • Ask a thought-provoking question
  • Use an interesting, shocking, or intriguing statistic
  • Open with a relevant quotation, anecdote, fact, news story, vivid description, or definition
  • Create a conversation, scenario, or narrative to draw the reader in
  • Use humor, irony, or an unusual perspective to surprise the reader

The goal is to create curiosity, emotion, and connection immediately so the reader feels invested. An engaging hook gives a reason to care about the topic and hooks the reader into wanting to read more. After an attention-grabbing beginning sentence, the introduction can provide context and background to transition smoothly into the essay’s main argument. But a strong, thoughtful hook comes first to capture interest and attention.

Step 2. Give Background Information

After grabbing the reader’s attention with an opening hook, the next step is to give some context and background information about the essay’s topic. The background should be brief but informative, helping the reader understand the topic and its significance. 

The background information should be connected to and help frame the essay’s main argument. It allows the writer to define key terms, frame the scope, provide historical context, or share social/political background before transitioning to the essay’s thesis. 

The goal is to orient the reader without overloading them with too many details at the start. A few concise but meaningful sentences of background can set the stage before delivering the essay’s central argument in the thesis statement.

Step 3. Expose Your Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the most integral part of an introduction. It comes at the end of the intro paragraph and establishes the essay’s central argument or main point. The thesis directly responds to the prompt or question posed in the assignment. It lays out the essay’s key position and focus in one concise, declarative statement. All the background information should lead up to and frame this thesis.

This thesis takes a clear stand while summarizing the main argument. The rest of the essay will provide evidence and analysis to support and develop this position. The thesis statement gives the reader insight into the essay’s purpose and direction.

It must be argumentative, focused, and thoughtful – a signpost for the essay’s content. With an engaging hook, informative background, and clear thesis statement, an introduction orients readers and sets an essay up for success.

Step 4. Draft Your Essay Structure

After writing a solid thesis statement, the next step is to map out the main points supporting and developing that central argument throughout the essay. Planning the basic structure gives the writer a logical progression and flow for the essay’s body paragraphs. For example, each body paragraph could contain a major reason why the thesis is true.

Drafting a basic outline ensures the essay will thoroughly explain the thesis. The structure provides organization and direction. While the outline may change as the essay develops, having a planned structure guides the writer.

The introduction doesn’t need to preview the full outline, but the thesis should directly lead to the topics of the body paragraphs. This continuity reinforces the central argument and establishes the logical support and analysis to validate the essay’s claim.

Step 5. Revise

After drafting the introduction paragraph, including an opening hook, background information, thesis statement, and outline, the next step is to revise. Revising allows the writer to strengthen and refine the introduction. Here are tips for revising an essay introduction:

  • Make sure the hook immediately draws in the reader.
  • Check that background info is brief but informative. Cut unimportant details.
  • Read the thesis statement carefully. Is it clear, focused, arguable, and well-written?
  • Ensure the thesis directly answers the prompt or assignment question.
  • Review that the essay outline logically flows from the thesis.
  • Check for varied sentence structure and smooth transitions between sentences.
  • Ensure the introduction is written in the student’s original, unique voice.
  • Ask – does this intro give the reader essential context and clearly state the essay’s central argument?

Revising the introduction allows the writer to catch any underdeveloped, awkward, or unclear areas. Refining the intro before writing the full essay ensures the foundation is established to convince readers of the thesis logically.

Catchy Introductions for Different Essay Types

Here are some examples of writing catchy introductions tailored to different essay types:

Narrative Introduction

The lights were bright and the room was freezing. I could hear the muffled cries of the two-day-old infant in the incubator beside me as I carefully calculated the dosage. This was my first time administering medication on the job as a nursing student in the NICU. I knew neonatal nursing would be challenging, but I realized in that moment it would also reshape my perspective.   The fragility of life was tangible, yet amidst wires and monitors, there was hope. This experience taught me that something as small as an injection has the power to heal and comfort. My nursing journey began with that first nervous med pass late one night in the NICU, starting me on a path I could not yet fully envision.

This introduction establishes the narrative scene while hinting at the insights explored in the essay. The hook places the reader in the story while introducing the reflective tone and theme. The background about starting nursing school and working in the intensive care unit provides context. The thesis hints at a transformative experience that led to a new understanding, setting up the reflective narrative about this memory’s significance. The introduction draws readers into the moment while establishing the personal growth narrative to come.

Analytical Introduction

The current nursing shortage in the United States has reached critical levels, with the deficit of registered nurses projected to exceed 500,000 by 2025. This shortage impacts healthcare facilities nationwide, diminishing the quality of care and patient outcomes. While an aging workforce and increased healthcare demands contribute to the problem, the root causes are unsatisfactory working environments, leading to high turnover rates.   Inadequate staffing ratios, lack of leadership support, workplace violence, and burnout exacerbate nurse shortages. However, developing effective retention strategies to improve modifiable workplace factors could help healthcare organizations recruit and retain qualified nurses. Targeted interventions to empower nurses and cultivate supportive, collaborative environments will be essential to overcoming the nursing shortage crisis.

This introduction establishes the nursing shortage problem and notes some surface-level contributing factors. The thesis then points to underlying workplace environment issues as the root causes. This analytical stance sets the essay to examine these modifiable factors and the solutions they highlight rather than just describing the problem. The introduction primes readers for an analytical discussion on empowering nursing workplace improvements.

Persuasive Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed cracks in the foundation of the United States healthcare system. Addressing the longstanding nurse staffing crisis has become urgent as nurses comprise the largest segment of the health workforce. For decades, research has shown inadequate nurse staffing increases patient and nurse risks. However, hospitals and legislators have delayed mandating minimum nurse-to-patient ratios. With recent data revealing up to 20% of nurses plan to leave their positions, safe staffing levels are imperative.   Implementing minimum staffing ratios in every unit, improving work environments, and increasing wages can retain experienced nurses, attract new nurses, and ensure safe patient care. Now is the time to persuade lawmakers and healthcare administrators to enact evidence-based nurse staffing ratio legislation. Doing so will strengthen nursing, prevent future gaps in care, and ultimately save lives.

This introduction uses the COVID-19 pandemic context to establish the urgent need for minimum staffing ratios. It references past research and alarming turnover data to highlight the significance of the problem. This leads to the thesis advocating minimum ratio legislation to improve staffing conditions and nurse retention. The intro generates urgency while summarizing the persuasive argument to come – that evidence shows implementing specific nurse staffing reforms will strengthen healthcare.

Personal Introduction

I remember the sterile smell of the hospital hallway as I walked into my patient's room for the first time. As a nursing student, I had prepared extensively for this initial clinical rotation. I had memorized lab values, medications, and procedures. Yet textbook knowledge could not prepare me for the wave of nerves I felt seeing my patient lying in the stark, white hospital bed. She looked weary and frail. This was no rubber dummy I had practiced on. This was a living, breathing human who needed my care.   My textbook training came second to forging a true human connection at that moment. Sitting beside her, I listened as she shared her story, goals, and worries. The beeping monitors faded, and I saw her as so much more than a diagnosis. My first clinical rotation taught me that treating patients extends beyond treating their illnesses. In nursing, empathy and compassion for humanity manifest as acts of care.

This personal nursing essay introduction draws readers into a poignant clinical scene. It sets up the student’s transition from textbook knowledge to human understanding. The vivid details and reflections establish the introspective tone and theme focused on compassion in nursing care.

Tips for Writing a Winning Introduction Paragraph

Here are some tips for writing an effective introduction paragraph that grabs attention and sets the stage for the essay:

  • Start with a strong, thought-provoking hook. Open with an interesting fact, statistic, question, an essay quote, anecdote, vivid description, etc.
  • Provide brief but valuable context and background on the topic. Define key terms and give relevant historical or social framing.
  • Build a smooth transition from the background to the specific focus of the essay. Use transitional phrases like “In light of this…”
  • State the thesis clearly and directly. Present the central argument or position in a concise, one-sentence statement.
  • Ensure the thesis responds to the prompt and launches the essay’s body.
  • Structure the introduction logically, moving from a broad to an increasingly narrow focus.
  • Engage the reader’s interest while also communicating the essay’s purpose.
  • Revise thoroughly to refine language, improve flow, and bolster impact.

An effective introduction grabs attention, provides a framework, presents a compelling thesis, and primes readers for future discussion. Crafting a thoughtful, polished introduction can get any essay off to a winning start.

Final Thoughts

The introduction of your nursing essay is your chance to grab the reader’s attention, provide insight into your chosen topic, and set the stage for the following discussion. It’s crucial to nail this part to make a compelling first impression. However, it’s a common struggle for many nursing students to pen down an engaging introduction amidst demanding academic and practical schedules.

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