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The Insanity That Is APA in Nursing School

Students Article   (17,262 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 4 of The Insanity That Is APA in Nursing School. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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I don't think that I've used anything but APA format in college so far. I was a Microbiology major beforehand and any research papers were in APA format. It's definitely not exclusive to nursing school.

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hikernurse has 8 years experience and specializes in NICU.

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I don't even write in full sentences in my charting narrative, lol. But I do currently use APA format in my MSN program and did through nursing school as well. With the proper software (PERRLA) it's a breeze. You can focus on your writing instead of the format. The downside to APA, I've found, is that the capitalization of every word in a title now looks all kinds of wrong ;).

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

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I don't even write in full sentences in my charting narrative, lol. But I do currently use APA format in my MSN program and did through nursing school as well. With the proper software (PERRLA) it's a breeze. You can focus on your writing instead of the format. The downside to APA, I've found, is that the capitalization of every word in a title now looks all kinds of wrong ;).

One of my professors is a research and APA expert. She says that she has never reviewed a paper that used an APA formatting program that was ever formatted correctly.

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hikernurse has 8 years experience and specializes in NICU.

1,302 Posts; 10,152 Profile Views

One of my professors is a research and APA expert. She says that she has never reviewed a paper that used an APA formatting program that was ever formatted correctly.

I wouldn't argue with you ;). You do need a working knowledge of APA because the headings/content, etc., can't really be formatted by even the best software. The real benefit is the "edges" of the paper. Being able to click on an icon and get automatic headers and a citation builder is well worth the little bit of money the software cost.

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The APA Style Guide 2nd printing is incredibly un-user friendly. It's nearly impossible to look anything up. It needs more examples. Just give us a really long Reference List with lots of varied examples and I'm good.

Also, OWL is not always correct and the teachers who grade students on APA are themselves not always properly schooled or are using an older Style Guide. PERLLA is really messed up, too. And don't even get me started on EBSCO's "Citation" tool. You can bet the homestead what you'll get back will be totally messed up when you use that tool.

That's my rant after spending five hours trying to cite a huge simulation lab prep work assignment that needed to be in APA. I learned next to nothing about the sim patients I might end up having to take care of, but I have become much more proficient in the past 24 hours on APA.

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classicdame is a MSN, EdD and specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

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APA format is used by professional scientific research. If nursing decided to use another format we would present as less professional. Also, if you are familiar with the format you can read, decipher and apply other people's research. Just do it.

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