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A multi-layered approach to developing academic written communication skills for nursing students

  • Loretta Garvey ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Georgina Willetts , Antje Herrmann , Elena Verezub and Elena Sinchenko



Academic literacy in nursing students has historically been poor this research therefore aimed to investigate the effectiveness of an embedded multidisciplinary approach to academic written communication skills for first year Bachelor of Nursing students in Australia.


This initiative consisted of (1) collaboratively embedding academic skills with nursing staff and Learning and Academic Skills Advisors using scaffolded tasks, curriculum/material development, workshops/tutorials on writing skills; and (2) individual support sessions. Data was obtained via questionnaire.


Responses were received from 92 (74% local and 26% international) students. Key findings showed the collaborative approach to embedding skills with added follow up, was beneficial for students’ skills development, including improved academic writing, increased confidence, and recognition of the importance of academic writing.


It is important to equip student to develop academic literacy and an embedded academic literacy program has been determined to assist and may contribute to future professionalisation in nursing.

Corresponding author: Loretta Garvey, Centre for Academic Development, Federation University, Berwick, Australia; and Department of Nursing and Allied Health, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, Phone: +61387805716, E-mail:


Many thanks to our students that took part in the study.

  1. Research funding: None declared.

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.

  4. Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individuals included in this study.

  5. Ethical approval: The research related to human use as complied with the relevant national regulations, institutional policies, and in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, and has been approved by the authors’ institutional Human Research Ethics Committee (R/2016/014-20190512-1757).


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Received: 2022-09-29
Accepted: 2023-02-10
Published Online: 2023-03-01

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