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The Insanity That Is APA in Nursing School

Students Article   (17,257 Views | 41 Replies | 477 Words)

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As with most things in life, there are rules to be followed or there would be chaos! In Nursing, APA format is one such rule and we welcome it; what we detest is the inflexibility of it as wielded by most instructors. And against this, I am advocating content before format! You are reading page 3 of The Insanity That Is APA in Nursing School. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

2 Articles; 11,114 Posts; 15,134 Profile Views

After 18 replies I noticed not a single nurse said they needed APA to do their job. Nursing schools need to focus more on the important "need to know" stuff and not the "good to know" stuff. Teach me what I need so I will be somewhat competent my first day on the job, not what I may need several years down the road if I get burnt out and go into research. Who's to say APA will not be outdated by then? Who's to say we will still remember that 5+ years from now?

Ho, hum, sorry to burst that bubble. I have to cite references all the time in my work (legal nurse consulting, life care planning), and I use APA format to do it. There are those who appreciate it, and they pay me.

 

(And I swore I would never go to grad school...and I got older and wiser, and did.)

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AlaBro2010 has 3 years experience and specializes in Public Health, Women's Health.

265 Posts; 6,326 Profile Views

some instructors get more caught up in the style and ignore the content....that is really frustrating when you are writing about a theory to save the world and one of your APA references are misspelled. I get it.

This! I don't like APA. I don't need APA formatting to express myself well. Many of my professors have a PhD, they tend to nitpick every single APA citation. It gets old. I had to write APA papers in my ADN program and now RN to BSN program. I'll be thrilled when its over :)

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4 Articles; 176 Posts; 16,309 Profile Views

I do not think you will be using APA style in your everyday practice. Not all 2 year school are considered "trade schools" and inferior to bachelor programs ....but then that ugly argument rears it's ugly head.....again...:banghead:

I do how ever believe that in order to conduct oneself professionally and keep professionally current you must know how to write and understand clinical and research articles ....so as to conduct yourself as an educated professional it is important to know how research and communicate with other professionals.

Not every piece of your education will be directly applicable to your bedside "career" .......they are however necessary to communicate and interact with other professionals on a professional level. So your charting will not be in APA style but the professional articles you use to keep current will be.

 

I also see the OP's point...some instructors get more caught up in the style and ignore the content....that is really frustrating when you are writing about a theory to save the world and one of your APA references are misspelled. I get it.

At bolded part. Well rounded is all well and good, but when the formatting gets more critique then the content, that might be problematic,no?

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32 Posts; 1,909 Profile Views

I know APA is a pain (especially in comparison to MLA) but it serves a purpose. There's definitely a learning curve and you have to pay special attention to all the little rules but after some practice I'm sure you'll get the hang of it!

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kgh31386 has 4 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN.

815 Posts; 9,591 Profile Views

APA wasn't bad at all when I went through undergrad. In the MSN program it's still not bad. I understand some people have no interest in continuing education, but many people do. So why not educate nurses at the undergrad level? What's hard about APA? What's hard about MLA, or any other way to cite sources? They won't fail you based on APA, they would fail you basd on content. Most teachers say APA counts a small portion of the paper grade. Be taught how to write, be happy that you have the skill....stop complaining about doing work haha

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LisalaRN99 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Addictions/Mental Health, Telemetry.

158 Posts; 4,364 Profile Views

I don't disagree that the APA style of writing and citing in "professional writing", which we should all learn to do in nursing, isn't an important skill to learn and retain. I just think it is silly to not have some sort of formatting software to help you out. I still review the rules when I encounter a new aspect of a paper I have not used before, such as an abstract, or seriation. Yes, we should all learn the rules.

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462 Posts; 5,481 Profile Views

I'm not sure how expensive it is, but End Note (software) is very popular for entering your references and then citing them in your paper. If you do go on to do research it is very helpful because you have a database at hand of commonly used articles.

I actually think APA is more useful than MLA because you have quick access to the published date of an article or book, which is important to critically analyzing EBP and critiquing older assumptions. It does take a little getting used to but I actually found it easier to use...no pesky page numbers unless it's a direct quote! This can save a ton of time when writing a research paper, as long as you are comfortable with your skills in avoiding plagiarism.

Try googling Purdue Owl + APA, they have a quick and dirty reference guide which can make your citation and reference pages easier to construct. And once you have the format down, just save a blank template on your computer for each new assignment :)

Getting used to anything new is always stressful. It never hurts to have extra skills under your belt though! Please feel free to PM me if you need help with the format as I've worked with APA a lot into previous Psychology research career :)

Edited by oceanblue52
Clarification

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CraigB-RN has 40 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, Emergency, Education, Informatics.

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The other curve with this is if you plan on publishing? Guess what, unless your a psych nurse, no one uses APA. Again another waste of time in nursing school.

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I am a nursing student and recently lost a great deal of points on a concept map due to incorrect APA format. My disease process and all information to it was good but received a not passing grade due to APA errors. I thought my lesson was the disease and what as a nurse I am watching for. My question is if I know what the disease process is and what to look for as a nurse does APA format really matter?

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Jory has 10 years experience as a MSN, APRN, CNM.

1 Follower; 1,447 Posts; 13,805 Profile Views

I'm in my early 40's and I was taught APA format in high school back in 1983, before it even became the standard in colleges. I completely disagree that APA is confusing or even a waste of time. We cannot hold our profession to a high standard without using the most accepted standard in professional healthcare writing.

Too many students take shortcuts, buy programs, instead of LEARNING how APA works. Once you learn it, you find out, it's no different than any other format. It doesn't take me any more than two minutes to flip through my APA book to find out how to cite a new source. I have never understood what the confusion is.

As nurses, we are also responsible to engage in evidenced based practice...keyword being evidence. If we don't cite where we got the information, then we would set our profession back 30 years.

We have come too far along.

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139 Posts; 3,227 Profile Views

I dont understand the confusion or difficulty either.....

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rubato is a ASN, RN and specializes in Oncology/hematology.

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I may spend, at most, 5 extra minutes due to APA formatting. This is not a big deal people. I am in my college's honors program, and due to that, I get to write anywhere from 2-8 extra papers per semester, all with profession, peer reviewed sources and in APA format. It is funny to me when people talk about how hard it is to do this. It just isn't as big a thing as people make it out to be.

We, as professionals, need to be able to write professionally.

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