I hate writing papers so much. Hate it! Hate it! Hate it! It’s not what I’m good at, and I don’t enjoy the process.

Understandably, someone thinking about becoming a nurse would be wondering if they have to write papers in nursing school.

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Do You Have to Write Papers in Nursing School?

You’re going to be writing papers in nursing school. How much you’ll be writing will depend on your degree track. LPNs will write little to no paper, but once you get to an MSN or a DNP nursing program, you will be writing a lot of papers.

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Writing Papers in Nursing School

nursing student typing on computer

From my experience, there’s a lot of paper writing that happens in the nursing degree track. It’s been surprising to me, but I have come to accept that it’s just part of nursing.

If you’re wondering how many papers and essays you’ll be writing, it’s going to vary. It will depend on what degree track of nursing you’re on and the school you’re going to.

For example, an LPN will get far fewer essay assignments (if any) than a nursing student who’s in a master’s or doctorate program (they’ll be getting a lot of papers to write).

Here’s a better breakdown of it.

Related: How Smart Do I Have to Be for Nursing School?

How Many Papers Will You Write in an LPN Nursing Program?

In an LPN program, you’ll write little to no papers as your coursework will consist primarily of practical nursing work.

How Many Papers Will You Write in a 2 Year ADN Program?

In an ADN program, you’re going to write some papers here and there. But it won’t be anywhere near as much as a BSN program.

How Many Papers Will You Write in a 4 Year BSN Program?

In a BSN program, you’re going to write several big papers along with many other smaller written assignments. From experience, you’ll write more papers as you get into your later years when you’re taking leadership and community nursing classes.

How Many Papers Will You Write in an MSN Degree Program?

There’s a surprising amount of papers you’re going to write in an MSN degree program. When I was in a family nurse practitioner track, I wrote several big research papers on top of several smaller ones. I can only imagine a non-clinical MSN route would have written even more paper.

I also want to add that I wrote more papers in my MSN degree track than when I got my BSN. On top of that, there’s a higher expectation set on papers in an MSN degree program.

How Many Papers Will You Write in a DNP or Ph.D. Degree Program?

You’re going to write a lot of papers in a DNP or Ph.D. nursing program. Writing research papers and dissertations will be the primary way you’ll be graduating from these programs.

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Don’t let the number of papers you’ll be writing in nursing school scare you away from an awesome career path.

Whether you want to go the LPN route or the registered nurse route, becoming a nurse is a great career field to go into.

Go here to start searching for a nursing program that fits your needs (classroom, hybrid, online-only). There are also part-time and full-time programs available.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Academic papers, personal narratives, professional compositions, and big research papers (to name a few) are the type of papers and written assignments you will have in nursing school.

Yes. Some nursing programs will require a personal essay to go along with your application for admission.

Not every nursing program will require a thesis. Some may have a non-thesis option in which a final capstone project is presented. Check with your nursing program of choice to be sure what they require.

Unless you’re a research nurse, clinical nurses don’t typically write research papers. Nursing students will write research papers because it helps them learn nursing principles and concepts.