This article describes learning strategies used with RN to BSN students in their 1st nursing course to successfully learn how to write formal papers using the American Psychological Association (APA) format. This 1st nursing course, a writing intensive, requires 4 short papers with self, peer, and teacher critiques and opportunities to rewrite. Students learn the style of professional nursing discourse, mastery of APA format, and development of additional skills in following directions and in critiquing their own work. An additional benefit is to enhance learning about professional nursing topics. By mastering writing skills in this initial course, students are able to successfully complete writing assignments in future courses and, in some cases, move on to publication.