Letter Writing – Becoming An Active Professional
Letter Writing – Becoming An Active Professional
1 page paper, this is instruction:
This week’s assignment is also related to the ANA Code of Ethics – Provision 9. You might want to review provision 9 again. Advocating for the profession is important. Writing a letter is one of the ways a nurse can positively promote nursing and its causes. The purpose of this assignment is to write a professional letter to address the image of nursing or to promote a cause for nursing.
This assignment is worth 20 points.
· Distinguish the professional responsibilities that accompany the nursing profession.
· Define pressing issues that may arise as a nurse.
Read the letter writing handout. Then construct a professional letter using one of the two options below. Your letter will consist of proper address, correct salutation/greeting, body of the letter, proper closing, and contact information.
Option A: Write a letter on a current economic or political topic related directly to nursing. Address your letter to the appropriate person – You need to write to a person who is in a position to do something about the problem. For example, you should not write to the President to address a healthcare issue that needs to be passed in congress. You would want to address the correct Senator or representative from your state who will be voting on the issue. This is a professional letter, so letter form, grammar and punctuation is graded, too. This could be to a congressman or woman or to other legislators, to big business or corporations. Remember, there must be a close nursing link to write this letter. You might want to look at a professional organization website in order to look for options.
Option B: Write a letter to defend the image of nursing. Most often nursing is portrayed as less than professional in popular media, TV, advertising, greeting cards, etc. Choose an example and write a professional letter to the appropriate person to tell them why you think they have portrayed nursing unprofessionally. Tell them how this affects the image of nursing and provide suggestions to change the situation. Look at popular TV shows, e-greetings, traditional cards advertising etc. to find an example. You can even “Google” to find some ideas.
There are guidelines to writing a professional letter that will assist you in communicating you message more effectively. Today most computers have “letter wizards” that allow you to choose a pre-formatted letter and you fill in the required information. While this, indeed, is helpful you must still know how to craft your words to communicate the meaning to the recipient of the letter. Letter Writing – Becoming An Active Professional
1. Several professional writing sites have suggested that you have only 20-30 seconds to catch the reader and make an impact. If your letter does not make an immediate impact, it is likely to end up in the nearest garbage can.
How do I make an impact in 20-30 seconds?
· Make sure your message is clear in the first sentence. “I am writing to tell you…..” or “I felt compelled to inform you…”
· Your letter should not exceed 1 page in length
· Explain the problem as clearly, briefly, and fairly as possible. In the first and last lines of the letter, clearly state your expectations of the other party
· Include all the important information, including dates and times of the occurrence. Include information on how you can be contacted, such as a phone number and address.
2. Make sure your letter is free from grammatical and spelling errors. How do I make sure my letter is error free?
· Running spell check only does so much….if you use the wrong form of a word, it may not catch the error.
· Reading the letter out loud to yourself is a good way to see if the content makes sense.
· Have someone else read the letter. If it makes sense to them, it is likely the intended recipient will feel the same way. But, make sure the person you have read the letter is honest with you and doesn’t just tell you what you want to hear.
3. Salutation guidelines
How do I address the recipient of the letter?
· Do not use: “To whom is may concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”. These are both impersonal and it will look like a form letter.
· Instead, use: “Dear Mr. Smith”, “Dear Ms. Smith”. Only use “Mrs.” If you are sure that this title applies.
· Following the salutation, you can use either a colon (:) or a comma (,)
2016 Purdue University Northwest
4. There are some descriptors that more effective when writing a letter about a complaint or a letter of concern. The following list of descriptors may be helpful to you as you construct your letter. This is not an exhaustive comprehensive list, but one that can be used with word selection for your letter.
· Compensate, Concerned
· Damage, Defective, Degrading, Disappoint, Disrespect, Disturbed
· Impolite, Incomplete, Inconsiderate, Inconvenient
· Mishandle, Misinterpret, Misrepresent
· Offend, Offensive,
· Reimburse, Repair, Resolve, Restore, Return, Rude,
· Uncooperative, Unhappy, Unprofessional, Upset
Sample Letter Format
Parts of a business letter should include the following:
1. Sender’s Address
3. Inside Address
7. Enclosures – only if it applies
8. Typist Initials – only if it applies