Syllabus for NUR-614



This course is designed to help the participant become an effective (and published) writer in his or her professional field. It will hone the writer's skills in two areas: 1) developing the writing skills that will allow one to be published in professional and lay journals, magazines, and newspapers; and 2) refining the writing required in one's workplace. In this course, one learns how to develop a theme that will interest a readership and a publisher. Focus is on effective writing techniques and learning the ropes of getting published from submittal of a work to its acceptance.

Open only to RNs with a BSN degree or higher.



After completing this course, the learner will be able to:

  1. interpret the key elements in the process of writing professional communication;  
  2. evaluate professional writing for evidence of form, content, applicability, and appropriateness;
  3. apply author guidelines to construct an article for publication; and
  4. identify legal issues facing publishers and authors today.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

*If your profession uses an alternate to the APA, you may substitute it for the above.

Strunk, Elements of Style


Professional Writing from the Idea to the Publication (NUR-614) is a three-credit online course, consisting of six modules. Each module includes an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. The assignments within each module include:

The written assignments are divided into two types. Four of the assignments (2, 3, 4, and 6) are all aimed at developing a publishable article by the end of the course. Each of the first three of these will receive feedback in the Writer’s Workshop (GDFs) from classmates and then from the mentor as a graded assignment. Assignments 1 and 5, although related and subject to the same peer feedback process in the Writer’s Workshop (GDFs), are reasonably “stand-alone.”

To facilitate the critiquing of writing samples and the discussion of related topics, there are group discussion forums (GDFs) designated as "Writer's Workshops." In smaller classes all students may be assigned to one Writer's Workshop. In larger classes the students will be assigned in smaller groups to separate Writer's Workshops.

The format of the Writer’s Workshop is for students to post a written document in the GDF and then to receive critiques on the posted document. The written document posted in the GDF will be turned in as a graded, written assignment, after it has been revised once the peer critiques have been posted.

Module titles are listed below.

Course objectives covered in this module include CO1 & CO3

Course objectives covered in this module include CO1 & CO3

Course objectives covered in this module include CO1 & CO3

Course objectives covered in this module include CO1 & CO4

Course objectives covered in this module include CO1 & CO3

Course objectives covered in this module include CO2


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums (individual), online group discussion forums, and complete written assignments. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Please note: (1) Rewriting or resubmitting assignments is not permitted; (2) no assignments may be submitted after the last day of the course without an approved extension; and (3) extension requests must be approved by the mentor and submitted by the student to the Registrar's Office prior to the last day of the course.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete six written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course's modules.

  1. The first written assignment, WA #1, is a paper titled Op-Ed Piece. It is worth 5% of your grade.
  2. The second written assignment, WA #2, is a paper titled Topic Development. It is worth 10% of your grade.
  3. The third written assignment, WA #3, is a paper titled Article Outline. It is worth 8% of your grade.
  4. The fourth written assignment, WA #4, is a paper titled Article Draft. It is worth 10% of your grade.
  5. The fifth written assignment, WA #5, is a paper titled Query Letter. It is worth 5% of your grade.
  6. The sixth written assignment, WA #6, is a paper titled The Article. It is worth 20% of your grade.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site are the written assignment rubrics used to aid in the grading of each written assignment.

Online Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in eleven graded discussion forums. Discussion forums are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules. There is also an ungraded but required Introductions Forum in Module 1 and an ungraded but required Reflection Forum in Week 12.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics folder of the course Web site is the online discussion forum rubric used to aid in the grading of all online discussion assignments.

Online Group Discussion Forums (Writer’s Workshop)

You are required to participate in four graded group discussion forums (GDFs), along with an optional group forum in Module 5. These GDFs are referred to as Writer's Workshops throughout the course. They are conducted in small groups. You will be assigned to one of the Writer's Workshops by the course mentor.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics folder of the course Web site is the online discussion forum rubric used to aid in the grading of all online discussion assignments.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows.

All assignments will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

Course Grade Requirements by Program of Study

For courses taken in  Accelerated 2nd Degree Program  

Students enrolled in the Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN program must earn a grade of B- (80) or better in the nursing courses for the credit to be accepted toward the degree.

For courses taken in BSN programs (RN-BSN)

Students enrolled in the BSN degree program must earn a grade of C (73) or better in the nursing courses for the credit to be accepted toward the degree.

For courses taken in MSN programs

Students enrolled in the MSN degree program must earn a grade of C (73) or better in the nursing courses for the credit to be accepted toward the degree.

For courses taken in Graduate Nursing Certificate Programs

Students enrolled in the graduate nursing certificate programs must earn a grade of B (83) or better for the course to be applied to program requirements.. 


All Website addresses (URLs) in this course were accurate and reflected the stated content at the onset of the course. However URLs change, and great resources may disappear. If you encounter a problem accessing a Web site, post a message in the HELP discussion area of this course.

Lateness Policy

Written assignments should be submitted no later than the due date unless prior arrangements are made with the mentor and a new due date is established. If a student submits an assignment after the due date without having made arrangements with the mentor, a minimum of five points, (based on an assignment grading scale of 100 points), or 5% of the total points, will be deducted for each week, or part thereof, that the assignment is late. Discussion Board assignments must be done in the week they are due, or points will be forfeited.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success.

To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at


Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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