This is a guide for GRC's nursing students.

Explore Topic Ideas

Exploring Topics

There are a myriad of nursing topics to explore. You may wish to browse through these websites for ideas:

FIRST, choose a mental health topics below

THEN, find some background info ("Gale eBooks" is highly recommended!) on that topic.  This is crucial to help you understand:

  • the solid basics of your topic
  • specialized terminology about your topic (which you can use for later searches)
  • ways to narrow your large topic (for example, "stress" is a huge topic...background info helps you focus on which aspect of stress might you want to focus on)

Possible Ways to Narrow and Focus to Different ASPECTS of Your Topic



(you can also use these as search words to narrow and focus your results)

WHO  is involved or affected
  • Focus by characteristics
    (age, gender, ethnicity, occupation, disability, health status...etc.)

example topic: stress
example answers:                                                

children, elderly, college students, veterans, pregnant mothers, caregivers

WHAT is the health issue?
  • Focus by specific type, name or aspect
    (example: Aspartame as a specific type of sugar additive, Mediterranean Diet as a type of diet, cutting as a type of self-harm, aggression as one aspect of Borderline Personality Disorder)
  • Focus by risk factors or symptoms
    (physical, psychological, chemical/hormonal, neurological)

example topic: stress
example answers:

type: acute, chronic

risk factors: job loss, death of family member

symptoms: heart racing, jaw clenching, insomnia

WHERE in body or mind?
  • Focus by Body Systems
    (vascular, digestive, excretory, endocrine, lymphatic, muscular, nervous, urinary, reproductive, respiratory, skeletal..etc.)
  • Focus by Mind
    (area of brain, type of brain activity, disease of brain)

example topic: stress
example answers:

body: hypertension, rash breakouts, weight gain/loss, stomach acid, migraines, immune system

mind: depression, nervous breakdown, social anxiety

WHY is this happening?
  • Focus by cause or etiology
    (physical/mechanical, pharmacological, chemical/hormonal, neurological, genetic, psychological, cultural, situational, environmental, age...etc.)

example topic: stress
example answers:

relationship issues, job loss, start of new job, death of family member, change in medications, pandemic, war

HOW should this be solved?
  • Focus by prevention techniques OR intervention, therapy, treatment OR nursing tasks
    (physical/mechanical, psychological, neurological, surgical, pharmacological, chemical/hormonal, genetic, cultural, situational, environmental, lifestyle change, nursing intervention..etc.)

example topic: stress
example answers:

prevention: meditation, yoga, social support, good sleep habits

treatment: music therapy, massage, Xanax, good nutrition, exercise

nursing tasks: Nursing intervention, Nursing diagnosis, Nursing assessment, Nursing Screening, Nursing Patient Education


Nursing: A Long Tradition of Dedication


Read your assignment carefully:
  • Understand the requirements, limitations or freedom of your topic choices.
If you have a choice, select a topic that interests you personally:
  • have you recently come across a video, news report, interview or photograph that made you angry, excited, upset, hopeful or stirred your curiosity? 
  • do you have a strong opinion about a current social or medical issue, an injustice, a new cultural or technological phenomenon?
  • do you or a family member or a friend have a problem or a unique experience that you would like to dig deeper to understand?
  • what perplexes, fascinates, worries or gives you hope about the future?
  • what events or trends or people from history are most unfamiliar to you?
  • is there a topic from your textbook or class lecture that you want to further explore?

Is your topic....
  • Debatable? (are there likely other points of views that exist?)

  • Plausible? (there is likely valid evidence to support it)

  • Consequential? (the outcome or conversation about this topic is worthwhile or significant)