Nurse’s Guide to writing a Dissertation

Dr. Karen Roush provides answers to aspiring nursing grad students from her latest book.

Furthering an education can be difficult for students enrolled in nursing school, with a rigorous amount of work and studying associated with the courses.

One nurse's goal is to help graduate students plan, organize and write a dissertation, or capstone through her book: A Nurse's Guide to Writing Your Dissertation or Capstone.

In her book, Dr. Karen Roush, Ph.D., APN, highlights ideas that will assist students with balancing nursing school with a straightforward guide on the importance of perseverance and having a community of peers.

"It's all about perseverance, because your advisor may be giving you a hard time about your proposal, or you're having problems collecting your data," said Dr. Roush. "A lot of people can make it through the classwork, but they can't get over the last hurdle."

Bruce Stouvle, an academic advisor at Florida A&M University (FAMU) for pre-nursing students, spoke on the importance of Dr. Roush emphasizing perseverance, setting goals and achieving them.

"Perseverance, I can't say how important that is," said Stroulve. "If you don't have that ability to persevere, you will not make it."

FAMU's nursing graduate program is a limited access program with 50 students admitted per semester. On FAMU’s School of Nursing web page, there is a frequently asked questions section.

One of the questions asked if “one could work full-time while in the program.” In response, school officials advise that there be a sufficient amount of work that will require a lot of time and studying.

Having peers to express frustration, share ideas and to rely on for motivation, are just a few key factors. In addition, the book provides examples of when to use past, present and future tense and comparing, while contrasting writing a dissertation and a capstone.

Considering the demanding amount of studying that nursing students already face, one of Dr. Roushs’ main focus is to give readers a book would be easy enough to get them over the finish line.

"That was very important to me, I really just wanted it to be you do this and do that," expressed Dr. Roush. "I wanted it to be engaging to readers."

During her graduate studies, Dr. Roush was often asked by her professors to help her peers enhance their writing abilities. She would spend hours having a one-on-one session with various colleagues breaking down, talking and collaborating on different writing ideas.

Zhane Asare-Kokou, fourth year pre-nursing student from Miami Fla., plans on attending graduate school. Asare-Kokou expressed that Dr. Roushs' book can help nurses prepare for their dissertation ahead of time.

"It will definitely help others because I know it's challenging," said Asare-Kokou. "When I first arrived at FAMU I struggled a bit, but if I had someone who would have taught me, the road would have been a bit smoother."

While writing is not the focal point in nursing school, Dr. Roush has expressed the importance of being able to write a clear and concise dissertation or capstone.

Through her foundation, Scholar’s Voice, Dr. Roush has helped strengthen the voices of nurses through writing and mentorship.