Why Nurses Make Exceptional Health Writers
By Nurse Writer Dow
January 31, 2021
Elizabeth Hanes, RN, author, business owner and writing coach endorses nurses as the ultimate writers for the health care communication field. Why? In her eBook, “Designing Your Dream Career as a Nurse Writer,” she highlights that nurses not only possess the “ability to consistently produce accurate, high-quality work, thanks to (their) conscientiousness and attention to detail,” but also “insider knowledge of how health care works” (pp. 43-44).
Below are three additional reasons to hire a nurse writer to produce outstanding articles and other health care content.
One. When it comes to researching health topics, nurses are tireless.
I don’t recall how many papers I produced during my master’s program; it felt like I was always working on a draft! I also invented numerous PowerPoint presentations and even scripted video programs as part of my clinical assessment courses. For my final project I researched the impact of specific modes of exercise on mood disorders, specifically anxiety and depression. I captured the evidence in a 30-page document employing American Psychological Association (APA) formatting.
Additionally, an advanced practice nurse like myself knows how to properly investigate and interpret complicated medical text. It is also valuable to understand where to look for authoritative, unbiased sources. This proficiency comes not only from my time in academia but also thanks to searching for answers on behalf of patients.
Two. Nurses know how to translate yards of medical jargon into comprehensible bits.
Regarding adapting medical information for the general public, this too is an art form and a tool I am fortunate to have at my disposal. I draw from over 20 years’ experience working with patients and families to know how to convey crucial things more simply like:
- Medication indications, side effects and red flag symptoms
- Patient priorities and using them to plan care collaboratively
- How to maintain or restore health in the face of injury or new disease
- When to impart a terminal prognosis and make a referral to palliative care or hospice
- What social determinants of health needs are and how to identify and address them
Another side to this attribute is incorporating complex but essential clinical information into a prescribed space. I mastered it over many years of charting in electronic medical records. Getting paid for medical services requires knowing what details must be documented, down to the exact phrase. This skill translates well into receiving writing assignments and returning the deliverable in the desired format with little need for edits.
Three. Nurses’ success at work traditionally depends on meeting standards and deadlines.
Nurses follow schedules and methods as part of everyday duties. Examples of assignments may be for patient care at the hospital, case management of a workforce’s comp claim or vaccine administration in a public health clinic. Regardless, these tasks are often based on professional standards of care and determined by supervising entities. Completing these assignments in a timely, safe and effective manner is quintessential to nursing practice and second nature to a seasoned nurse like me. I know the importance of getting the right product to the right client, which may mean a medication to a patient or an article to an editor. Promptness and accuracy are essential to ensure excellence in both health care outcomes and health content creation.
Stay tuned for my next blog post in which I’ll reveal another compelling reason for hiring a nurse as your next health writer. Hint: Online posts from a clinician such as a nurse rank higher in searches thanks to automated rubrics that recognize credentials.
Hanes, Elizabeth. “Design Your Dream Career as a Nurse Writer.” https://go.rn2writer.com/dydc-a. 30 July 2022.