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Top Tips for Conducting a Literature Review Nursing

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A nursing literature review is a piece of written work that is used to identify problems, create new ideas or resolve an issue in the field of nursing and medicine. Thus, a literature review on can be informative or critical can also give a synthesis or summary of a particular area by creating a whole background.

A literature review nursing should be able to identify all the areas of a topic that could be debated and could formulate an important question that would be later used as a way to improve certain characteristics of a practice in the field of nursing. However, most literature reviews end up being just literature review outline dissertation that gives an abstract idea that may or not has a solution or importance, creating more questions to answer with further research.

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Purpose of Writing a Literature Review in Nursing Research

The main purpose of this kind of tool is to create a background for further studies or bigger works. And depending on the format that is used in the literature review, the purpose can completely change, given the foundation with its structure to a dissertation, a thesis, a research proposal or just a report of nursing studies.


Regardless of what it is intended for, a good literature review should analyze relevant work on a field to give perfect ideas of a subject or matter in order to be used later by the author or others as a backup for further works. They should summarize previous contents to give a better idea of a topic to be discussed or developed in depth.

Reviews that are good enough can have a big importance in a field, as they can disseminate evidence of a problem or importance of an idea and be used later in bigger works or solutions that could change the complete perspective of methods and problems in any field.

literature review in nursing research writing

A literature review in nursing could be a part of a bigger research manuscript or project that would need a bigger perspective to be completed. However, you will still need to immerse yourself into the content and comprehend all the important parts in order to create and write a good literature review. Depending on the topics for literature review in nursing, the format, the synthesizing, and other aspects of the review can change completely.

Writing a literature review in nursing is a skill that can be learned, that’s why we’ve made a list to help you write a literature review in a better way and make the whole experience a lot easier, creating a guide-like list with steps.

  1. Check the info

One of the first things to do when writing a nursing literature review ideas is to double-check every inch of information that was researched. Before writing anything in the paper, the information that is going to be portrayed has to be checked, depending on the sources, databases or any other area that could make the information be plagiarized or just invalid.

This will also help at referencing, quoting and citing, the more the author knows what he’s writing, the easiest it will be to portray a better idea in the work.

  1. Printing the originals

Printing the originals works that are being studied in the literature review nursing are a good way to know the whole extent of every work. Whether they are correct, important, relevant to the topic or anything else. Printing can also help at proofreading and spotting mistakes in the literature review.

  1. Organize the information by theme or purpose

If the literature review to be made is going to cover lots of topics, the best practice to organize all the content will be to select them by theme or purpose and create a list by importance and relevance, depending on the nursing literature review ideas.

This can be done by organizing work from projects that can help give support to the work, researchers that are the newest, researchers with no background, the ones that have similar results or just by the one that has the most relevance and the ones that do not.

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The main purpose of this is creating order before putting into writing, as having order before writing can be the best way to portray order in the finished work and make it more understandable and easier to read.

  1. Read everything carefully

This is one of the most important steps to take into account. After selecting the right work, organizing and printing the work that is going to be used, reading everything with depth and patience will be the next step to take.

Everything that has even the littlest relevance to what the author is trying to write is always important to take into account. Reading with an order will also help the writer to create better ideas. This can be done by marking or highlighting the important information that has been read, also creating better information and more purpose.

  1. List all important ideas

Creating short list about the key points of every marked idea that could add depth to the work of literature review. All relevant ideas that were read before can be noted now together and create a list of the things that can be later put in the finished work.

  1. Write all relevant information

Now, after listing all the important ideas that the author read before, he can easily summarize and create a whole new idea of what he was writing. However, if the author prefers he can just quote everything that was read and list it as a reference.

The perfect way to do this is by knowing the abstract meaning of what was read and put it in the summary, creating a new idea as a draft for the final literature review.

literature review in nursing research synthesis

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  1. Create topic sentences

Now that every important idea that the author read is already listed and summarize, the author can start working on his project. To do this he will need to create topic sentences about every idea, creating a whole new way to depict and explain the ideas he got from the information that he read before.

  1. Organize all ideas and topics

After creating the topics and having all ideas summarized, the author can start to organize all ideas together in order to create the final work. The author should do this in a way that the text reads smoothly, always using connectors and transition words to connect ideas and create the importance that the main project has.

All the information that is not important will also come out of the paper in this step. If you had a previously designed order, it can also change in this step, as this is when all the writing begins. Depending on the literature review topics in nursing, the work should always follow a format and style, and this is a good thing to take into account when organizing the ideas.

  1. Re-read and re-write everything

After organizing and putting every idea together as the final work, the author will only need to reorganize everything and make it look better. This step consists especially of the wording, structure, grammar and the awkward sounding sentences.

This is to make everything look better and be more understandable, the more time and effort the author puts into this step, the better the final work will be.

  1. Create draft after draft

After all previous steps, the final one looks almost unnecessary. However, this steps is the one that will give birth to the final work. This is the step that creates the final literature review, depending on the nursing topics for literature review, the format used, the style of writing, length and other features, the author will have to create different drafts, especially if the work needs several reviews.

This is the step where the author has to proofread everything, from the introduction to the conclusion and even the references, the drafts will work as an easier way to check everything and finally decide the end of the work in the review.

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Other Important Recommendations on Writing

After creating drafts of every possible literature review that could be the final, there are also other recommendations that should be taken into account when writing a literature review in nursing research. These tips will help the reader to organize everything properly and create a better and more understandable work in the end.

Like always backing up the work before writing the final draft, in case anything disappears or the author loses an idea, backing up will help at not losing the whole content. Also, always creating examples of the ideas or analogs of what could happen will also be a way to recreate this recommendation differently, making it harder to forget in the mind of the author. This also helps at proofreading and editing the text.

Every paragraph should have more than one sentence, and the first one should always create an introduction to an idea, with the following supporting the first one and the final sentences creating the point as giving purpose to the paragraph, as a summary or a transition phrase to the next paragraph.

Quoting and references are a big part of the work, so it is very important to note that every quote should be a mid-part of every paragraph, using as a way to give more depth or just validate a point, never using it as a conclusive or transitional phrase.

The conclusion of the whole work shouldn’t have new ideas about the topics. It just needs to finish the previous ones and conclude with a previously developed idea, giving a solution to a problem or a new question to be answered.

In the references, there should be only cited all the work that quoted or used in the developing of the text. Wikipedia is never a good reference idea to write. If any of the references portray anything that wasn’t on the paper, it could make the author look bad.

The Final Literature Review Nursing

At the end of every literature review, the final work should already have given the whole purpose and importance to the audience or readers. By now, the author must have validated the whole topic of the literature review and created new ideas or questions that could be worked on later.

As this guide is written to properly give an idea of what a literature review in nursing should look like, we recommend everyone in need of help with their work to use our tips and eventually create the best review with ease and efficiently.

Follow our tips and you will be able to write the best literature review in nursing you can think of!