The School of Nursing, a college within the Academic Health Center system, enrolls nearly 500 undergraduates in its BSN degree program in courses taught on the University's Twin Cities and Rochester campuses. Because BSN students interact with patients and also make contributions to scholarship in the field, they must be able to produce writing that communicates medical information accurately, humanely, and professionally in a variety of genres.
Over the course of its WEC Program involvement, faculty members in the BSN program have increasingly incorporated peer response workshops into their courses. In addition, the department revised its Senior Project course, a Writing Intensive capstone that includes a scaffolded scholarly paper assignment as well as clinical reflection.
In its third-edition Writing Plan, the School of Nursing remapped its revised curriculum. For this process, a Research Assistant surveyed faculty members about their course-specific teaching of writing, and gathered and analyzed instructional materials. The goal was to create a comprehensive map showing which departmentally-identified student writing abilities are expected in which courses and assignments, as well as whether and how those abilities are being taught, practiced, and built upon. Senior students were surveyed concerning their confidence levels regarding the school's desired writing abilities.
Revision of the capstone experience now requires nursing students to prepare an initial manuscript based on the format of a target journal. The process of manuscript writing and review prepares students for writing in clinical and research settings. The School of Nursing also continues faculty development activities on reflective writing in nursing and writing and clinical reasoning.