How to Write a Case Study in Nursing

How to Write a Case Study in Nursing

Case studies are a form of research that involves collecting and analyzing data from real patients. Case studies aim to identify trends in patient care. Hence, they are highly useful in identifying areas for improvement and developing best practices. In nursing, you can use them to evaluate the effectiveness of new interventions or treatments.

What Is a Nursing Case Study?

A case study is a form of qualitative research focusing on a single patient's in-depth analysis. This study describes the problem, how it was treated and what happened as part of the treatment.

Generally, you will find case studies in nursing journals and other health-related publications. They differ from traditional journal articles in that they are not intended to report new knowledge. Instead, describe specific situations using existing knowledge and data gathered during a case study.

Structure/Format of a Nursing Case Study Analysis

A nursing case study analysis will usually contain a section devoted to the methods, results, and discussion. These sections describe the phenomenon being studied in depth. The methods section explains how you set up your research design, collected data, and any essential statistics about your sample size or population. It should also include information about the instruments or tools used for data collection and analysis.

Below is a simple breakdown of the structure of a nursing case study:

Title page

  • The title page should include the following information:
  • Title of Case Study
  • Author(s) and their institutional affiliation, including department name and address. If you have multiple authors, list them in order of their contribution to the case study. For example: "Morse, D., Diaz-Granados, R., Smith, L."
  • An institution where this course was taught by the faculty member(s) who are not authors of this paper (e.g., "Nursing Department at XYZ University")
  • Date of submission - The date you submit your final manuscript for publication must be included here (i.e., the Deadline for Submission).


The introduction and conclusion focus on the paper's main points and how those points relate to your research question and hypothesis. However, the abstract summarises everything you will cover in your case study. Thus, it should be written in concise and clear language so readers can quickly understand what they are getting into. To make sure your abstract doesn't fall short of this goal, here are some tips:

  • Keep it brief: Most people will likely include enough information for readers to understand what they are reading. However, there is no need to repeat anything you already said in the paper itself. Keep it between 150-200 words (or about 250-300 characters).
  • Include all relevant details: Don't just state who did what; tell us why they did it and how their decision impacted them in terms of results. Not just outcomes but also consequences. Also, why are these results significant from an academic standpoint? Moreover, you can go further by comparing different groups' findings and differences within one group (e.g., age vs gender vs education level).
  • Give credit where credit is due: Who contributed most significantly towards achieving them? Who was involved with collecting data? Did anyone help with the analysis?


How to Write a Case Study in Nursing

Before you start, it is essential to understand what a case study is and isn't. A case study is a brief account of one or more patients treated for a particular condition or disease. It includes diagnosis, treatment, outcome, and relevant information about the patient's healthcare providers. It also includes their role within the healthcare team (e.g., nurse), their qualifications (e.g., registered nurse), and any other pertinent information that may be useful when assessing similar cases in the future.

A good introduction will provide enough detail. Therefore, readers can easily understand the purpose of your case study without having to read through large blocks of text before they reach your main points. 

Readers should know what they are reading immediately upon seeing it—and not feel like they are missing something when they are done reading. It should also help set up what kind of story you will tell throughout your paper.

Case Presentation 

The case presentation is an essential part of your paper. It should include the patient's name, age, gender, and other pertinent information that will help you locate the medical record later. Then you should provide a brief history of the patient's current illness by summarizing their symptoms as they were presented in your unit or clinic.

Next, outline all physical exam findings and laboratory results related to this visit (remember to cite your sources). Afterward comes a description of past medical history. Again, it could be very short if there are no relevant details (e.g., no allergies). Still, it may be longer depending on what is present in their history (e.g., if there were repeated UTIs).


You must be familiar with the pathophysiology of the disease to write an effective case study. You may need to include a brief description of how the patient's condition developed (pathophysiology), or you may choose to discuss this in your conclusion.

To Summarize 

Nursing case studies focus on the individual patient and follow them from their initial presentation through treatment, outcome, and any additional follow-up care required.