Writing Challenge 1 – What Can You Do?

As you know from class, each week the English Composition classes will be issued several writing challenges geared toward practicing your writing skills.

Sometimes these challenges will contain specific instructions for writing one of the three types of essays we will be covering in class, and sometimes they will be generic assignments that can be responded to as you see fit.

For the first challenge, the goal is for me (the instructor!) to gain an understanding of your current writing skills so that I can adjust class to your current skill level. In this case, I want to see what you can do with nothing but a writing prompt for a topic.

Instructions:

  • Register an user account on the web site so that you can submit your response.
  • Read the question carefully.
  • Pause and think about how you wish to respond to the question.
  • Open up your favorite word processing program (Word, Notepad, etc.)
  • Write your essay! I want to see how you would write if you had to take the test right now.
  • Post your essay as a response to this page. Once you log in, there should be a text box at the bottom of the page under the words “Leave A Reply”. Copy and paste your essay into this section, then click “Submit Comment”. You can choose to leave your name off of this, put a nick name, etc.
  • Watch for a reply! I will try to review and post comments on these essays as quickly as possible. If the essay needs extensive help, I will print the essay, make specific notes on it, and pass it back the next class meeting.

Your First Writing Prompt:
For this challenge I just want to see what you can write. Develop an essay detailing the reasons you decided to return to school and become an RN. Be sure to use paragraph structures and support your reasons through facts or examples.

11 Responses to “Writing Challenge 1 – What Can You Do?”

  • N. Mayo says:

    Reposted for student:

    I never thought I would go back to school at this stage in my life. Here I am at forty-nine years old studying and cramming for exams such as microbiology, humanities, like some nervous freshman just out of high school. But like college freshman, it was time for me to move on and plan now for my future, my career.

    As a single parent I have spent the last twenty years
    caring for and raising my son. Now with him grown it
    was time for me to rethink my life and opportunities
    available to me. Now it was my turn to make a change.

    Now by this time in my life I had been in the nursing
    profession for twenty six years. To say the least
    there was no doubt in my mind I didnt plan a career
    change, I love nursing and this is where I belong.

    My career was really at a standstill, the opportunities
    open to LPNs was very limited, and at times positions
    dwindling if not being totally eliminated. The health-
    care system has in many settings starting to replace
    LPNs with RNs or patient care assistants. This
    played a critical role in my decision to return to
    school.

    Presently I am closing in on what has been a very
    rough road, but have not regreted it for one minute.
    With a great deal of accomplishment behind me I look
    forward in my life with greater choices available to
    me. I love being a nurse and cannot think of any
    better career.

    susan Henthorne

  • Theda says:

    I am a LPN of over twenty years. Any kind of a nurse back then was respected. Now adays the patient will ask are you a real nurse or just a LPN. To me there isn’t a difference. A nurse is a nurse.
    I made the decision to go back to school for my R.N. due to different things happening in the hospital settings. We have trained and oriented R.N.’s to take the jobs we would still like to be doing. In order for me to continue with my job that I like i need to get more education. This way I can still stay in the profession that I’ve enjoy. Even though the classes aren’t easy has they were back when I was younger.
    My family is standing behind me in my decision. I know it gets hard for them at times. Have three sons grown and with children of there own. My husband and I are raising two grandsons most of time. Have six grandkids in all. My husband is wonderful with everything.

  • lee johnson says:

    As a LPN I decided to return to school to obtain my RN degree for many reasons: job security, increase pay, chose my hours or work as a travel nurse, purchase my first home, and provide a better quality of life for my children. The starting hourly wage of a RN in the state of TN is $24.71, midpoint hourly wage $26.60, and annual salary of $54,490.
    Once I have my RN degree the employment is unlimited: hospital, doctors office, school nurse, insurance companies, hospice, and travel nursing. LPNs and RNs share similar job responsibilites for example: providing quality patient care and support to families, sense of knowledge of medical technology, medications, and procedures. RNs are certified to administered IV narcotics via iv push, starting a picc line in a patient, supervising LPNs, and paperwork.
    When I retire I would like to work as a travel nurse because I could travel and work at the same time, volunteer at a clinic for people who cant afford health care. My area of interest would be cardiology, renal failure, and diabetes which affect so many people who are not aware that they may have one or more of these conditions and educate them about treatment, medications, and pair them with a support group.
    The one thing I like the most about my job is medicine and procedures are changing everyday and that no two days are the same. I am employed at a long term care facility where I care for geriatric patients, hip and knee replacements, hospice patients, and patients with dementia. I love my patients because they are so full of life and wisdom the bond that I share with them and their families are special to me. I treat my patients as if they were my mother, father, grandmother, and grandfather because it could I be walking in their shoes. Its like I am the guardian angle.
    As you can see further my education is a very important goal for me.

    ALETHA JOHNSON

  • nmurphy says:

    Susan:

    This is a very good start for the first writing challenge! The only thing I’m noticing is that you have used commas a few times where a conjunction or starting a new sentence would be more appropriate.

    For example, in your first paragraph:
    “I never thought I would go back to school at this stage in my life. Here I am at forty-nine years old studying and cramming for exams such as microbiology, humanities, like some nervous freshman just out of high school. But like college freshman, it was time for me to move on and plan now for my future, my career.”

    The second sentence (“Here I am..”) becomes an incomplete sentence when you add the section “like some nervous…”. We re-worded it to read: “Here I am at forty-nine years old, studying and cramming her exams such as Microbiology and Humanities. I feel like some nervous freshman just out of high school.” This makes it two separate, complete sentences.

    N. Mayo

  • nmurphy says:

    Theda:

    Another good start!!

    My only comment is going to be that we need to watch sentence structure and make sure that we have a complete sentence each time instead of leaving things fragmented. I’ve seen this in many nurses used to short-hand for charting!

    For example, in your last paragraph:
    “Have three sons grown and with children of there own.” This sentence is missing a subject! We could re-phrase this to read “I have three sons grown, and each have children of their own.” (Remember to watch there, their, and they’re too!).

    Also, remember to use quotation marks if someone else is saying something, like “Are you a real nurse?”

    N. Mayo

  • nmurphy says:

    Aletha:

    Another excellent start to English Comp!

    It looks like the main comment for your essay is going to be run-on sentences. These are definitely not too bad, but it’s something to watch for when you’re writing the later essays. Using the colon (:) symbol is one way to break it up, but we might want to just start with separating things out into multiple smaller sentences for now.

    For example, in your first paragraph:
    “As a LPN I decided to return to school to obtain my RN degree for many reasons: job security, increase pay, chose my hours or work as a travel nurse, purchase my first home, and provide a better quality of life for my children. The starting hourly wage of a RN in the state of TN is $24.71, midpoint hourly wage $26.60, and annual salary of $54,490.”

    We could separate this to read: “As an LPN, I decided to return to school to obtain my RN degree for many reasons. These include job security, increased pay, and the ability to chose my hours or work as a travel nurse.”

    We could also re-arrange things a bit so the final sentence of the first paragraph supports more of your argument. “Also, the starting hourly wage for an RN in the state of TN is $24.71, the midpoint hourly wage is $26,60, and the annual salary is $54,490. This would allow me to purchase my first home and provide a better quality of life for my children.”

    A good rule of thumb to determine if a sentence is getting too long is to read your paragraph out loud. If you have to pause for breath, you need a comma or a separate sentence somewhere in there.

    N.Mayo

  • nmurphy says:

    Susan:

    This was a very good start!

    I noticed a few minor grammar errors, but nothing major.

    Use of Written Language: 4
    Use of Argument and Support: 5
    Understanding Concepts: 5

  • nmurphy says:

    Theda:

    This was a good start to the English class!

    Use of Written Language: 4 – You need to “beef up” your paragraphs.
    Use of Argument and Support: 3.5 to 4 – Some examples would help to strengthen your argument.
    Understanding Concepts: 5

  • nmurphy says:

    Aletha:

    Use of Written Language: 4 – Watch out for run-on sentences and tenses. “RN’s are certified to administered” should be “administer”. Just something to be aware of!
    Use of Argument and Support: 4 – Good arguments, but could be re-arranged (last paragraph earlier) and needs a thesis statement.
    Understanding Concepts: 5

  • Scott says:

    Going back to school for the ASN degree in nursing has appealed to me for many years now. It is a way to earn the respect that a lot of LPNS simply dont receive. It is a way to increase my knowledge and be in a better position to care for patients. The benefits increase with the knowledge obtained through school and experience. The monetary value increases with each degree obtained and the overall experience of nursing is greatly appreciated.

    Respect is lacking in the field of nursing for the LPN. Questions from patients and family members are at times very insensitive. Are you a real nurse is the hardest one to hear. RNs state that the LPN stands for low paid nurse and RN refers to real nurse. Although when you look at the job description of each you see very little difference. Knowledge is power in the field of medicine.

    Knowledge seems to be the key to success in any field of employment. Nursing is no exception. The more education obtained, the more opportunities exist for an individual. Getting back into school is usually the hardest part of the education process. Making the decision to go back to school and actually doing it seems to be the hardest part for many nurses. The benefits seem to be a very strong influence on why LPNS finally do get up the ambition to get back into the education process.

    Benefits for the RN include increased wages, respect, more opportunities for advancement and a greater feel of accomplishment when caring for the patient. It is much easier to care for a patients pain management issue as the RN can administer IV narcotics. Doctors also tend to look at an ID badge and see LPN and treat that nurse as if they were nothing more than a medicine pusher and bandage changer.

    Becoming an RN will certainly increase the moral of the nurse. The respect will be earned. The pay increase will be warranted, and the patient will be better served. Knowledge is truly the best way to benefit all concerned. Becoming actively enrolled in school for this RN program is quite possibly the best thing that could happen to a LPN.

  • laditryker says:

    Many times I have tried to go back to school, but as always “Life Happens”. My children, my job seemed to take priority. But there comes a moment intime when one has to stop and say “Now wait just one minute.” Hence I once again start my pursuit.

    I truley love being an LPN. Being hands on is why I first became a nurse. So much has changed in nursing and if I don’t change with it, i’ll be left behind. So many areas have opened up for nurses, it truley is exciting.

    Being 54 and going back to school can be intimidating. It’s still hard to study, I have a full life, living on a farm, working and helping to raise my grandchildren. I am up for the challenges that it gives to me, as the rewards of my effort will be worth it. I look forward to being an RN as the oppurtuites abound.

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