Completing a thesis might seem like an expected part of the graduate school experience, but a Master’s thesis for a nursing degree isn’t always required. Many schools now give students the option to complete additional courses or elective work in lieu of a thesis. After completing your undergraduate degree and looking for graduate schools, consider whether you can devote a large amount of time in your last year towards working on a thesis. Picking a topic is only one part of the process.
What is a Thesis?
A thesis is a long paper or project that you complete as part of your studies. Most schools will also refer to the thesis as a capstone project or a final research project. Not all students complete a high amount of research and complete a long paper. Some students will work in a specific area of nursing, including pediatric nursing or critical care nursing. They use their experiences in the field to create a detailed account of how the field operates. Students may also research and develop a new operational method then attempt to implement it with the guidance of a doctor or nurse.
Thesis Topics for Nurses
There are thousands of topics that students can consider when completing a Master’s thesis for a nursing degree. Personal hygiene is a popular topic and may include studying the importance of proper hand washing among medical professionals, new methods of sanitizing equipment or the cleaning of an intensive care unit. Another popular choice is the study of stress and how stress can affect those working in hospitals or clinics.
The non-thesis route gives students the chance to graduate without completing a research project or paper. Some schools give students the option of taking additional courses in the nursing field, while other schools recommend that students take electives to compensate for the lack of a thesis. Many schools will also let students perform an internship or take one or more seminars instead of doing a thesis. Seminars delve deep into one area of nursing and culminate in a research paper that is shorter than a thesis, while an internship awards students course credit for working in the field.
Thesis or Non-Thesis?
Jeremy S. Hyman and Lynn F. Jacobs recommend that students pick a topic they have some familiarity with when writing a thesis. They point out that you can save time on research when you have preexisting knowledge. Even if you have some experience and knowledge, you might find that you can’t dedicate time to researching the topic and pulling together your thoughts in a paper. Other students work full-time jobs, which limit the time they have to implement a new idea in the field. Employers won’t necessarily ask if you did a thesis, but writing a thesis may help you get a leg up in some competitive areas of nursing.
Students often think that they must write a thesis to finish graduate school, but many schools and programs now offer other options. If you are looking for a program that offers options, check out the 20 Most Innovative Nursing Graduate Programs in the U.S.