A nursing dissertation writing is a large-scale academic work based on original research, sometimes presented as part of a doctoral, master’s, or bachelor’s work. This article will help you understand exactly what you should include in your work.

Defining the Structure of Your Dissertation

Not all dissertations are structured the same – the form in which you conduct your research will depend on your discipline, topic, and approach.

For example, dissertations in the humanities are often structured as long essays, providing a general argument in support of a central thesis, with chapters organized around different topics or case studies.

But if you are doing empirical research in the field of science, your dissertation should usually contain all of the following elements. In many cases, there will be a separate chapter for each of them, but sometimes you can combine them. The order of the sections can also vary.

If you are in doubt about how your thesis or dissertation should be structured, always check the recommendations and consult with your supervisor, or seek professional help, to help you draw up a work plan correctly. will provide comprehensive assistance and advice on other issues of writing a dissertation.

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Nursing Dissertation Front Page

The very first page of your document contains the title of your dissertation, your name, department, institution, program of study, and date of submission. Sometimes it also includes your supervisor’s name and the university logo. Many programs have strict requirements for the formatting of the dissertation title page.

Nursing Dissertation Acknowledgments

The thank you section is usually optional and gives you the opportunity to thank everyone who helped you write your dissertation. This could be your supervisors, your research participants, friends, or family members who have supported you.

Nursing Dissertation Annotation

An abstract is a summary of your dissertation, usually about 150-300 words.

Nursing Dissertation Content

In the table of contents, list all of your chapters and subheadings and page numbers. The content of the dissertation gives the reader an overview of your structure and helps to easily navigate the document. Every part of your dissertation should be included in the table of contents, including the appendices. You can create a table of contents automatically in Word if you use heading styles.

List of Figures and Tables in Nursing Dissertation

If you have used many tables and figures in your dissertation, you should list them in a numbered list. You can automatically create this list using the insert title feature in Word.

List of Abbreviations in Nursing Dissertation

If you have used many abbreviations in your dissertation, you can include them in an alphabetical list of abbreviations so that the reader can easily find their meanings.

Nursing Dissertation Glossary

If you have used a lot of highly specialized terms that your reader may not be familiar with, it might be a good idea to add a glossary. List the terms in alphabetical order and explain each term with a brief description or definition.


In the introduction, you set the topic, purpose, and relevance of the dissertation and tell the reader what to expect in the remainder of the dissertation. In the introduction:

  • Define your research topic by providing the necessary background information to contextualize your work.
  • Narrow your focus and define the scope of your research
  • Discuss the state of existing research on the topic, showing the relevance of your work to a broader issue or debate
  • Be clear about your research questions and goals
  • Provide an overview of the structure of your dissertation

Everything in the introduction should be clear, engaging, and relevant to your research. By the end, the reader should understand what, why, and how you researched.

Literature Review / Theoretical Foundations

Before starting your research, you should conduct a literature review to get a complete picture of the academic work that already exists on your topic. It means:

  • Collecting sources (e.g. books and magazine articles) and selecting the most appropriate
  • Critically evaluate and analyze each source
  • Establish connections between them

In a chapter or section devoted to a dissertation review, you should not only summarize existing research, but develop a coherent structure and reasoning that will lead to a clear basis or rationale for your own research.

The literature review often becomes a theoretical framework in which you identify and analyze the key theories, concepts and models that form the basis of your research.


The chapter or section of the methodology describes how you conducted the research, allowing the reader to assess its validity. Typically, you should include here:

  • General approach and type of research (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, experimental, ethnographic)
  • Your data collection methods (e.g. interviews, polls, archives)
  • Details of where, when and with whom the study was conducted
  • Your data analysis techniques (e.g., statistical analysis, discourse analysis)
  • Tools and materials, you used (e.g. computer programs, laboratory equipment)
  • Discuss any obstacles you encountered in doing your research and how you overcame them.
  • Your goal in methodology is to communicate exactly what you did and to convince the reader that this was the best approach to answering your research questions or objectives.


Next, you report the results of your research. You can structure this section around sub-questions, hypothesis, or topics. Only report results that are consistent with your research objectives and questions. In some disciplines, the results section is strictly separated from discussion, while in others they are combined.

For example, for qualitative methods such as in-depth interviews, data presentation will often be woven together with discussion and analysis, while in quantitative and experimental studies, results must be presented separately before their meaning is discussed. If you are unsure, consult with your academic advisor and see sample dissertations to find the best structure for your research.

It is often useful to include tables, graphs and charts in the results section. Think carefully about how best to present your data, and don’t include tables or figures that simply repeat what you wrote – they should provide additional information or it is helpful to visualize the results in a way that adds value to your text.


Discussion is where you examine the relevance of your findings to the resolution of your research questions. This is where you should interpret the results in detail, discussing whether they met your expectations and how well they fit the structure you built in the previous chapters. If any of the results were unexpected, please offer an explanation as to why this is so. It is recommended that you consider alternative interpretations of your data and discuss any limitations that might affect the results.

The discussion should refer to other scientific work to show how your results fit with existing knowledge. You can also provide recommendations for future research or action.


The dissertation conclusion should briefly answer the main research question, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of your main argument.

In some academic conventions, the conclusion refers to a short section that precedes the discussion: first, you state your general conclusions directly, and then you discuss and interpret their meaning.

In other contexts, however, the conclusion refers to the last chapter, where you completed your dissertation with a final reflection on what you did and how you did it. This type of conclusion also includes research or practice recommendations.

It is important in this section to show how your findings contribute to knowledge in this area and why your research matters. What have you added to what was already known?

List of References

You must include complete details of all sources you cited in your bibliography (sometimes also called a cited work list or bibliography).


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