Nursing: NURS 3041: Becoming a Registered Nurse


This workshop will get you started finding resources and writing Assessment 1&2. You should use a range of quality sources to support the argument that you are presenting in your essay. 

Read all information related to your assessment to understand what your lecturers and tutors are looking for when they are marking your assessments!!

This will help you gain an overall understanding of the assessment and will help you plan the structure and the content of your assignment based on assessment marking criteria.

This workshop consists of 6 sections:

  1. Understanding the question
  2. Develop your Search Strategy                    
  3. Searching for information
  4. Evaluate and selecting resources
  5. Writing your essay
  6. Referencing reminder

Follow the above sections in order and attempt the tasks in each section to get maximum benefit from this assignment help!

Assignment 1: Critical Analysis Paper (2000 words) (40%) (Graded)

Due date for submission is Friday September 8th, 2017, by 5pm

You will write a 2,000-word formal, academic essay in response to the following question:

What are the advantages of both ONE, nursing informatics and TWO, online social media systems (e.g. EPAS or the use of electronic health records, a Cystic Fibrosis site on Facebook) with regard to the delivery of quality in nursing practice and effecting person-centred health care? Discuss with reference to ONE Australian nursing informatics system and ONE online social media system.

In your appraisal, you must make explicit reference to the academic literature and regulatory standards relevant to the topic.

Assignment 2 Reflective Paper (2500 words) (60%) (Graded)

Due date for submission is Friday, 5pm, October 6th, 2017.

This assessment has two parts.

In Part A, you will describe and evaluate the leadership approaches (employed by both senior and/or junior Registered Nurses) you have experienced in your clinical placements, in light of the theories and examples you have covered in the course.

In Part B, you will reflect on the development of your professional skills and knowledge to support a career plan. Following an exploration of leadership styles, you should identify ways in which you can develop skills and knowledge in the first 12 to 24 months of your career.

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1. Understanding the question

In order to understand what is being asked in your assignment question, consider the following factors;

  1. Task word(s) - these words tell you what you need to do address in your assignment (e.g. critically compare, evaluate, compare, discuss, describe, outline, explain). For example: What does the word 'evaluate' mean?  This is not just about listing the similarities and differences. You need to analyse the information and discuss in depth.
  2. Find the content words in the task.  These words indicate the 'what' - the content area that you will be thinking about. You can identify the content words in a task by taking the task word & adding the question “What?”
  3. Find the limits e.g.
    • Limiting words: Compare TWO leadership approaches - What are different leadership theories? As you are reading about your literature, notice how the theories are mentioned or researched in the literature in terms of senior and/or junior registered nurses.
    • Time limit:  Check your due date - How much time do you have to research, think, plan and write the assignment?
    • Word count limit: How much detail and analysis will you be able to include into your paper?
    • Limits on resources: Do you have to use academic, scholarly resources - How will you find these?
    • Percentage limit: How much time and energy should you put into the assignment?
Your task: Make a 'guesstimate plan' of how much research you need to do considering 1, 2, 3 above.

2. Develop your search strategy

Complex assessment questions need to be broken down into subtopics.

To search effectively in the Library Catalogue, databases, and the internet, first break the question down into manageable subtopics. This video shows you how to this.

Your task: Now apply what you learnt from the video into your assignment and break it into individual components

Follow the steps in the next 3 tabs for each subtopic that you identified.

Identify key concepts in each subtopic that you identified from your assessment question.

To develop an effective search strategy you need to break each subtopic into concepts (or parts) and choose the important keywords (or topic words) from each concept.

Watch this video to learn how to break the each subtopic into concepts.

Lets apply what we learnt from the video to this example assignment subtopic: Is it ethical for a doctor to refuse treating a patient?

  Concept 1 Concept 2 Concept 3
From the assignment Doctors refusal to treat ethics
Your task: Identify key concepts for each subtopic in your assessment question

Now you need to identify synonyms for the key concepts that you identified

The next step in the search process it to see whether there are alternative words or spellings for each concept that you identified.

Watch this video to learn how to do this:

Lets apply what we learnt from the video to this example assignment subtopic: The Impact of Electronic Health Records on Time Efficiency of Nurses.

  Concept 1 Concept 2

Concept 3

From the assignment Doctors Refusal to treat ethics


medical practitioner


Refusal of treatment

Refuse to treat



Your task: Now see whether you can identify synonyms for the key concepts that you selected

Here is how you combine the search terms that you identified before you start searching in databases.

First watch this video to learn how to connect and combine search terms

Lets apply what we learnt from the video to this example assignment subtopic: The Impact of Electronic Health Records on Time Efficiency of Nurses.

Doctors OR physician OR healthcare professional


refusal of treatment OR refusal of care OR Refusal to treat


ethic* OR moral OR morality

Your task: Develop a search strategy by combining the concepts and keywords that you identified
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3. Searching for Information

Fast facts about Library databases:

  • databases can have a general or subject specific focus
  • they may index the details about journal articles, reports and news stories
  • many databases provide the full text of the articles

Usefull databases to search

Watch the following video to help you plan your search strategy and search for information.

Here’s an example of a search in Academic Search Premier, an EbscoHost database.

Refining the results

A useful option at the results list is to Refine Results to show only Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals), and to limit to a Publication Date range, eg 2012 - 2017.

Finding full text

  • Where possible, links to the full text will appear as PDF attachments.
  • When there is no immediate access to the PDF, use the Find it link. This will automatically search the Library Catalogue for your reference, and may provide some access options, eg Read this article, or Browse this journal.
  • For more information, read the Find a full text article using Find it guide.
Your task: Use the key concepts, synonyms and the search plan that you developed to search in the databases recommended for you. 

The Library Catalogue can be a useful starting point in locating information. It is like a search engine which searches across the Library’s collection of print and electronic books, DVDs, journals and theses, together with journal and newspaper articles from numerous databases.

Use the Library Catalogue:

  • to find a book or ebook by its title
  • to find a journal article by its title, or use a combination of article title and author
  • to find information in books, journals and other materials on a topic
  • Use the down arrow next to the search box to select All fields, Title, Author or Subject. All fields is similar to doing a keyword search, and is the default search option.

Our example topic:

  Is it ethical for a doctor to refuse treating a patient?

To do a search on this topic, try using

  • double quotes for phrases
  • truncation * to find the plural and other forms of a word

At the results list you can:

  • Limit to articles from Peer Reviewed publications 
  • Limit by Date eg 2012 to 2017
  • Limit by Subject - this will make sure that the article has a major focus on your subject, eg ethics, doctors, patients

See the full text for many items by selecting the title, then look for the Online link. There may be several options to choose from. This is because we may have access through more than one publisher or database

The internet can be a useful source of information for this assessment. Use the key concepts and synonyms that you identified in step 2 above to search.

Useful internet sources include:

  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
    The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government under the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
  • Department of Health
    Australia’s health system is world class, supporting universal and affordable access to high quality medical, pharmaceutical and hospital services, while helping people to stay healthy through health promotion and disease prevention activities
  • Health Direct Australia - A-Z topic list
  • SA Health
  • World Health Organization
    Check the Health Topics tab to get some ideas about a topic, then see the Data tab for some statistical information.
  • Health on the Net Foundation
    Promotes access to reliable online health information
  • Virtual Medical Centre
  • Google Scholar

Tips when searching in Google Scholar

Try Google Scholar to find more scholarly material than is usually found in search engines, for example from educational and government web sites. An advantage of Google Scholar is that it provides access to the full text of many scholarly/academic articles if you connect to it via the link above, or from the Library home page.

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4. Evaluating and selecting resources

You need to use academic literature for assessment 1&2. The terms scholarly and academic are sometimes used to indicate quality journals. Academic literature are articles from Peer reviewed journals that are of high quality and can be used to support arguments that you are presenting. Articles in peer reviewed journals must go through an evaluation process with experts in the field before being published. The term refereed is also used.

Watch the Scholarly sources explained video  - it takes under 3 minutes.

Watch the below video Peer Review in 3 minutes by NCSU Libraries. Published under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license.

Your task: Apply what you learnt from the video to ensure that references that you selected are academic/peer reviewed.

It is important that you evaluate a web site to ensure that the information is reliable. Consider:

  • Authority
    • who wrote it?
    • what are their qualifications/credentials?
    • is it from an authoritative source?
  • Timeliness
    • when was the information published?
    • is it updated regularly?
  • Bias
    • is it fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Relevance
    • is the information relevant to the assignment topic?
    • does the information actually cover your topic?
Your task: Apply what you learnt from the video to ensure that references that you selected are reliable
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5. Writing your essay/report

Use the information gathered and your knowledge of the assessment to plan the structure and content of the report.


    • Provide general background to the topic
    • Outline the focus and structure of your essay


    • Divide into one topic/area of analysis per paragraph.


    • Summarise the main points discussed throughout your essay

       Reference list

  • Credible references to support your essay arguments

NOTE:  Some students like to start writing their essays by drafting an introduction first to get the structure clear.  Others like to draft the Body paragraphs to get a clearer understanding of their content and then write the introduction and conclusion.  Do what suits you best!

More tips to complete your assignments are available on Study help: Online resources hub page

6. Referencing reminders

In assignment 1&2  you MUST acknowledge the writings and ideas of other people by using the Harvard UniSA referencing system.

The referencing in your assignment shows two things:

§  the range of ideas and approaches to a topic that you have found and thought about

§  your acknowledgement of where these ideas came from.

Three main rules

 Each reference must appear in two places i.e. the Harvard referencing system is a TWO part system:

 1. shown in the text of your assignment each time it is used (the in-text reference)

 2. listed once in the reference list at the end of the assignment. This listing has full details so that your reader can find the reference. 

 3. A reference must be included every time you use someone else’s ideas or information. When you:

  • paraphrase (express someone else's idea in your own words)
  • summarise (express someone else's idea in a reduced form in your own words
  • quote (express someone else's idea in their exact words) or
  • copy (reproduce a diagram, graph or table from someone else's work).

Harvard UniSA referencing resources and guides

Use the Harvard UniSA referencing system as explained in the UniSA resources. See:

Your task: make sure that your references are formatted correctly