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33 – Developing Discipline-Specific Writing Support Services in Nursing


  • Kyla Woodward, School of Nursing, UW Seattle
  • Anne Hirsch, School of Nursing, UW Seattle


Topic: The purpose of this presentation is to showcase the tools, strategies, and outcomes pertaining to development of a discipline-specific writing support program in the school of nursing.

Context: The University of Washington School of Nursing (SON) currently houses 433 graduate students in three tracks: a traditional doctor of philosophy (PhD) program, a clinical doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) program, and a master’s program in clinical informatics and patient centered technology (CIPCT). Prior to this year, no formal writing services were offered by the SON. Instead, students needing assistance were directed to campus wide services such as the Odegaard Writing Resource Center (OWRC). Because those services were not able to provide discipline-specific feedback, the brunt of that support fell to course faculty or advisors. In response to this need, the school funded a trial graduate assistantship (RA) position for the 2019-2020 academic year. The RA provides writing support to all graduate students in the SON.

Scholarly basis: The RA drew on her own writing experiences as a PhD student, previous teaching and editing experiences, insight from the director of the OWRC, research reports, and textbooks highlighting successful writing center strategies.

Results: During the first quarter implementing the writing support program, 46 individual appointments and 11 group workshops provided services to 56 students. Results from a needs assessment of students and faculty just prior to the full implementation of the program will be compared with results of a quarterly evaluation.

Application: Faculty and staff can use the process and results presented here to plan and implement discipline-specific writing support within their own departments. Faculty and students both benefit from provision of services within the SON, and the RA has created lasting resources to help graduate students improve writing skills.

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