Writing Effective Personal Narrative Essay Conclusions

Concluding a personal narrative nursing essay is more than just summarizing the events or reiterating the main points. It’s about encapsulating the essence of the narrative, tying together emotional arcs, reflections, and experiences, and leaving the reader with a lasting impression or insight. Given nursing essays’ personal and emotional weight, crafting an effective personal narrative essay conclusion is vital.

Understanding the Role of Conclusions in Personal Narrative Essays

Nursing is a field interwoven with stories of human connection, perseverance, empathy, and growth. Each nursing story carries lessons, both for the writer and the reader. The conclusion of such essays serves multiple purposes:

  • It synthesizes the narrative journey, drawing attention to its significance.
  • It offers reflections, drawing from both nursing knowledge and personal growth.
  • It leaves readers with a thought or emotion to ponder, ensuring the narrative’s lasting impact.

Key Elements of a Compelling Conclusion

  • Reflection on the Journey: Unlike other essays where the conclusion might restate facts or arguments, personal narrative nursing essays require introspection. Reflect on your journey, the challenges faced, the emotional highs and lows, and how it changed or reaffirmed your perspective on nursing.
  • Linking Back to the Beginning: A well-crafted conclusion often circles back to the introduction of the essay. If you start with an anecdote, narrative hook, patient story, or personal revelation, referring back to it can offer a sense of closure and completion.
  • Highlighting Personal Growth: Nursing narratives often revolve around growth — be it professional competence, emotional resilience, or ethical clarity. Highlighting this growth demonstrates self-awareness and underscores the narrative’s transformative power.
  • Projecting Forward: While the narrative may conclude at the end of the essay, its implications often extend into the future. Offering insights into how this experience will shape future interactions, decisions, or aspirations can lend depth to the conclusion.
  • Evoking Emotion: Given nursing essays’ deeply personal and often emotional content, it’s effective to evoke emotions in the conclusion. This doesn’t mean overdramatizing events but honestly expressing feelings, be it hope gratitude, determination, or even sorrow.
  • Ending with a Memorable Thought: A compelling conclusion often ends with a memorable line or thought that resonates with readers and encapsulates the essence of the essay.

Steps for Crafting A Personal Narrative Conclusion

Crafting a conclusion that does justice to the entire narrative while resonating with the reader can be a challenging endeavor.

Revisit the Narrative’s Core

As thoughts flow and memories resurface, the narrative evolves, sometimes deviating from the initial intention or emotion with which the writer began. By the time one reaches the essay’s end, the narrative’s beginning may feel distant or disconnected.

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It’s in these instances that revisiting the narrative’s core throughout the essay body becomes essential. When writing, it’s easy to get lost in the details, or the emotions that surface. By revisiting the essay’s core, writers can ensure that their conclusion doesn’t just echo the narrative’s central theme but amplifies it.

Stepping back and reviewing the narrative from a distance, as a whole, offers perspective. Similarly, by revisiting the narrative’s core, writers can see their story in its entirety, recognizing its peaks, troughs, and turning points. This holistic view can guide the crafting of a conclusion that not just ends the essay but elevates it.

Draft Multiple Versions

When you draft the initial conclusion, you are often still submerged in the narrative’s depths. This immersion, while essential for genuine and emotional storytelling, can sometimes cloud the broader perspective needed to craft a fitting end. The first draft, thus, is a starting point, a preliminary attempt to wrap up the narrative. 

Drafting multiple versions is essential. With each version, you refine your thoughts, sharpen your insights, and get a step closer to that perfect blend of summary, reflection, and emotional resonance. Each iteration forces you to reconsider what is truly essential to the narrative’s core and what best encapsulates its essence.

With each new draft, your understanding of your own narrative deepens. You begin to see mistakes you might have missed initially, connections between different parts of the story, or even entirely new insights that only become apparent after stepping back and revisiting the narrative multiple times.

Seek Feedback

Writers, especially when engrossed in penning down personal experiences, are intimately connected to their narratives. They might overemphasize certain aspects, or assume that certain connections are obvious when they might not be for a fresh reader. 

In narrative writing, every individual brings a unique perspective, shaped by their experiences, beliefs, and emotional landscapes. When peers, mentors, or friends read an essay, they do so without the baggage of the writer’s internal thought process. They approach the narrative fresh, unbiased, and open. Their feedback, thus, offers invaluable insights into the essay’s flow and  the impact and clarity of its conclusion.

Mentors, with their academic or professional background, can provide guidance on the essay structure, coherence, and the alignment of the conclusion with the narrative’s broader themes. Peers, particularly those in similar fields or life stages, can resonate with the story’s emotional core, offering insights into its relatability and authenticity.

As writers receive and process this feedback, they find themselves revisiting their narrative with a broader perspective. They begin to see their story not just as an isolated personal experience. This realization can guide them in reshaping their conclusion, ensuring it doesn’t just end the essay but elevates it.

Rest and Revisit

Immersion in one’s own writing can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it ensures a flow, a continuity of thought and emotion that’s vital for authentic storytelling. When crafting a conclusion under such intense immersion, there’s a risk that the writer might lean too heavily on one aspect of the narrative, missing out on a holistic closure.

Or they might feel that they’ve perfectly encapsulated the story’s essence, only to realize upon revisitation that the conclusion lacks depth or resonance.

When writers step away from their work, they’re not just taking a break from the act of writing; they’re allowing their minds to reset, to clear the clutter of immediate emotions and thoughts. This pause ensures that when they return to the essay, they do so with fresh eyes.

Resting can also lead to subconscious reflections. The narrative, its emotions, and its lessons simmer in the background of the writer’s mind, often leading to unexpected insights, connections, or reflections. 

Final Thoughts

The conclusion of a personal narrative nursing essay echoes a story from the heart, reverberating in readers’ minds long after the narrative ends. Given its weight, dedicating time and thought to crafting an impactful conclusion is beneficial and essential. In nursing, where stories touch the very core of humanity, a well-written conclusion ensures that these narratives, in their depth and honesty, find a lasting place in the reader’s heart.

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