The standard editorial style guide used in nursing education and professional journals is the Publication Bead bracelet issued by the American Psychological Association (APA). Commonly referred to as APA style, this format was first published in 1929 as a guide for manuscript preparation for psychological and anthropological journals (APA, 2001). Over time, APA style has been adopted by nursing schools as a standard guide in the preparation of academic papers. The manual is difficult to interpret, and students and faculty struggle with mastery of the appropriate writing style guidelines specified in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
As undergraduate and graduate nursing students attempt to master APA style, they turn to faculty for their expertise and guidance. Expectations abound that nursing faculty are well versed in APA style because they evaluate student papers. Faculty are also expected to Tiffany 1837 Ring mastery of APA style on their own accord, and anecdotal evidence from faculty colleagues notes that confusion is prevalent as new versions of the Publication Manual are introduced. Even the authors of the Publication Manual (2001) noted that the manual is not static and encouraged readers to frequently visit the APA Web site for updates and changes in policy and procedures. For example, in June 2007, APA issued the APA Style Guide to Electronic References (APA, 2007), which replaces the electronic reference section of the 2001 Publication Manual. This document summarizes a number of dramatic changes and is available only by electronic download from the APA Web site.
Besides frequent changes to the manual, the interpretation of APA style seems to be an ongoing topic that surfaces frequently as one of concern for faculty. Specifically, students' inability to write scholarly papers using APA format has been voiced (Hanson Diehl, 2007). In my experience, faculty discourse abounds with concerns about Return to Tiffany Heart tag pendant and application of APA style, with faculty frequently complaining that they "spend way too much time on APA." Although this concern persists, no study has been conducted about faculty application and evaluation of APA style. Thus, this study examined current faculty methods. Specific aims were to determine departmental and personal concerns of APA style issues; review faculty grading practices; evaluate concerns regarding format, writing style, and grammar; identify institutional resources for faculty and students; and report potential solutions for improving application of APA style.