AWL Words on this page from the academic word list

Show AWL words on this page.

Show sorted lists of these words.

  Twitter Facebook Linkedin
YouTube youku RSS iTunes Spotify Google Podcast PodoMatic Patreon Pinterest
Dictionary Look it up

Any words you don't know? Look them up in the website's built-in dictionary.


Choose a dictionary.

The Nursing Collocation List (NCL)Common collocations in nursing journal articles

This page describes the Nursing Collocation List (NCL), explaining what it is, how it differs from the Academic Collocation List (ACL), plus a full list of collocations in the NCL.

What is the NCL?

The Nursing Collocation List (NCL) is a list of 488 collocations which occur frequently in nursing journal articles. It was developed in 2020 by Kaja Mandić and Izabela Dankić using the nursing scientific article corpus (NSAC), which consisted of 1.1 million words drawn from 262 nursing articles, from ten prominent nursing journals, all published in 2017 or 2018.

Mandić and Dankić focused only on two word collocations, since these were the most common in the ACL. While originally considering all lexical collocations, they narrowed their search down to noun-adjective and noun-noun collocations, since these were the most common in nursing articles. The 488 collocations identified by their study comprise 254 adjective-noun collocations (52.1% of the total), and 234 noun-noun collocations (47.9%).

Differences to the ACL

The NCL contrasts with the Academic Collocation List (ACL) in a number of ways. First, while the adjective-noun collocations are the most frequent type in both lists, the noun-noun collocations are far more frequent in the Nursing Collocation List, comprising 47.9% of the total, compared with only 2.5% of the ACL. Despite the smaller size of the NCL compared to the ACL (488 collocations vs. 2,469), the noun-noun collocations are also greater in number in the NCL (234 vs. 60).

Additionally, while 123 collocations in the NCL (25.2%) overlap with the ACL, the majority (365 or 74.8%) do not.

While Mandić and Dankić acknowledge the value of the ACL as a general resource for learning academic collocations, they question the usefulness for those studying nursing, since only 2.5% of ACL collocations appear frequently in the nursing articles in their corpus. They suggest that nursing students would be better served studying the much smaller list of 488 collocations in the NCL.


Mandić, K. and Dankić, I. (2020). 'Collocations of high frequency words in nursing research articles and The Academic Collocation List: Similarities and differences', ExELL. 8(1):1-13. DOI:10.2478/exell-2020-0011.

The Nursing Collocation List

The 488 collocations in the NCL are listed below. The list has been adapted for this website by collecting collocations under headwords, in the same way that words in the ACL have been categorised for this site (which in turn is similar to how words in the AWL are categorised).

The collocations have been listed under both of the headwords they contain in order to make them easier to find. This means, for example, that the collocation social activity appears both under the headword act and the headword social. This means each collocation appears twice in the list, once for each headword. Where words occur in the AWL, the AWL headword has been used. For example, the collocation foetal abnormalities can be found under the headword normal, since this is the AWL headword for abnormal.

There is another section which lists the collocations in the NCL alphabetically.

Headword   Collocations   
abusealcohol abuse
accessopen access
actaction research, care activities, collective action, daily activities, nursing activities, physical activity, sexual activity, social activity
acuteacute care
adherencemedication adherence
administratechemotherapy administration
admissionhospital admission
adverseadverse effect
ageage group, age range, median age
alcoholalcohol abuse, alcohol consumption
amountsignificant amount
analysecomparative analysis, critical analysis, data analysis, final analysis, phenomenological analysis, qualitative analysis, statistical analysis
annualannual review
anxietyanxiety levels
appraisalquality appraisal
approachqualitative approach
approvalethical approval
aspectimportant aspects
assessassessment tools, nurse assessment, nursing assessment, pain assessment, quality assessment, risk assessment
assistnurse assistant, research assistant
associationnurse association
attitudenegative attitude, positive attitude
audiencetarget audience
availableavailable data
averageaverage score
backgroundcultural background
behaviorbehavior pattern, sleep behaviors
bipolarbipolar disorder
bloodblood pressure, blood sugar
bodybody composition, body image, body language, body weight, professional body
BPABPA concentrations
breastbreast cancer
briefbrief review
broadbroad range
burnoutnurse burnout
cancerbreast cancer, cancer care, cancer centers, cancer diagnosis, cancer nurse, cancer nursing, cancer patients, cancer screening, cancer survivor, cancer treatment, cervical cancer, elderly cancer, gynecological cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, parental cancer, prostate cancer
cardiovascularcardiovascular disease
careacute care, cancer care, care activities, care environment, care facility, care homes, care management, care plans, care providers, care provision, care recipient, care services, care staff, care systems, care team, care units, clinical care, community care, continence care, dementia care, direct care, family care, family caregivers, foot care, health care, home care, hospital care, informal caregivers, intensive care, male caregivers, medical care, nurse care, nursing care, patient care, pediatric care, personal care, physical care, postoperative care, prenatal care, preoperative care, primary care, professional care, residential care, secondary care, social care, usual care
casecase study
categorymain category
causeleading cause, major cause
cellsstem cells
centercancer centers, medical centers
cervicalcervical cancer
changemajor change
characteristicdemographic characteristics, patient characteristics
chemotherapychemotherapy administration
chestchest injuries
childrenchildren's hospice
chronicchronic condition, chronic diseases, chronic illness, chronic pain, chronic wounds
clinicrehabilitation clinic
clinicalclinical care, clinical community, clinical decision-making, clinical education, clinical experience, clinical nurses, clinical nursing, clinical outcomes, clinical placement, clinical practice, clinical reasoning, clinical staff, clinical trials
cognitivecognitive deficits, cognitive function, cognitive impairments, cognitive performance
collaborationinterdisciplinary collaboration
collectcollective action, data collection
committeeethics committee
communicatecommunication strategies, poor communication, verbal communication
communityclinical community, community care, community nurses, community settings
comorbiditymedical comorbidity
comparativecomparative analysis
competencemanagerial competence, nurse competence
compositionbody composition
concentrateBPA concentrations
conceptconceptual framework, key concept
conditionchronic condition, health condition, medical condition, sleep conditions, working conditions
conflictinternal conflict
consultconsultation models
consumealcohol consumption
contacteye contact, social contact
continencecontinence care
controlcontrol group
copecoping strategy
correlationsignificant correlation
costhealthcare costs
coursetraining course
coworkercoworker support
criteriaeligibility criteria, exclusion criteria, inclusion criteria
criticalcritical analysis, critical thinking
culturecultural background, cultural differences
currentcurrent research
curriculumnursing curriculum
dailydaily activities
dataavailable data, data analysis, data collection, data extraction, data saturation, demographic data, primary data, qualitative data, quantitative data, secondary data
decisionclinical decision-making, shared decision
deficitcognitive deficits
deliveryservice delivery, vaginal delivery
dementiadementia care
demographicdemographic characteristics, demographic data
departmentemergency department
dependentdependent variable
depressdepression scale, postpartum depression
descriptivedescriptive statistics
designexperimental design, qualitative design, study design
developmentprofessional development
deviatestandard deviations
diabetesdiabetes patients
diagnosiscancer diagnosis
differencecultural differences, gender differences, significant difference
directdirect care
disabilityintellectual disability
diseasecardiovascular disease, chronic diseases, heart disease, pulmonary disease
disorderbipolar disorder, eating disorders, mental disorder, sleep disorder
distressemotional distress, psychological distress
disturbancesleep disturbance
DNADNA sampling
durationsleep duration
dysfunctionerectile dysfunction
eatingeating disorders
educationclinical education, education level, educational programme, educational qualification, health education, nurse educator, nursing education, patient education
effectadverse effect, negative effect, positive effect, side effects, significant effect
elderlyelderly cancer, elderly patients
eligibilityeligibility criteria
emergencyemergency department, emergency room
emotionalemotional distress, emotional exhaustion, emotional intelligence, emotional support
empiricalempirical research, empirical study
empowermentpsychological empowerment
encounterhealthcare encounters
environmentcare environment, healthcare environment, hospital environment, learning environments, physical environment, working environment
erectileerectile dysfunction
essentialessential role
ethicethical approval, ethics committee, research ethics
ethnicethnic group
evidentresearch evidence
excludeexclusion criteria
exercisephysical exercise
exhaustionemotional exhaustion
experienceclinical experience, patient experiences, positive experience, professional experience, shared experience, work experience
experimentalexperimental design
expertexpert nurse
expressionfacial expressions
extractdata extraction
eyeeye contact
facialfacial expressions
facilitatecare facility
factorrelevant factors, risk factors
failureheart failure
familyfamily care, family caregivers, family members, family support
fellowresearch fellow
finalfinal analysis
findingskey findings, report findings, research findings, study findings
flushhot flushes
focusfocus groups
foetalfoetal abnormalities
footfoot care
frameconceptual framework, theoretical framework, time frame
frequencylower frequency
functioncognitive function, social function
futurefuture research, future study
gainweight gain
gendergender differences
generalgeneral health, general hospital, general population, general practitioners
generationyounger generation
graduategraduate nurse
greatgreat impact
groupage group, control group, ethnic group, focus groups
gynecologicalgynecological cancer
healthgeneral health, health care, health condition, health education, health information, health insurance, health issues, health organization, health outcomes, health policy, health problems, health promotion, health research, health sciences, health service, health status, health systems, health wards, mental health, physical health, public health, sexual health
healthcarehealthcare costs, healthcare encounters, healthcare environment, healthcare organizations, healthcare personnel, healthcare professional, healthcare providers, healthcare services, healthcare settings, healthcare staff, healthcare system, healthcare team, mental healthcare, primary healthcare
heartheart disease, heart failure, heart rate
homecare homes, home care, nursing homes
hospicechildren's hospice
hospitalgeneral hospital, hospital admission, hospital care, hospital environment, hospital nurses, hospital setting, hospital staff, hospital stay, university hospital
hothot flushes
humanhuman research, human resource
ICUICU nurse, ICU patient
illnesschronic illness, mental illness
imagebody image
impactgreat impact, negative impact, positive impact, significant impact
impaircognitive impairments
importantimportant aspects
improvementsignificant improvement
inclusioninclusion criteria
incometotal income
incontinenceurinary incontinence
independentindependent variable
indicatequality indicators
individualindividual level, individual needs
infantpreterm infants
informalinformal caregivers
informationhealth information, information sharing, information sheet, limited information
injurechest injuries
insertinsertion pain
insurancehealth insurance
intellectualintellectual disability
intelligentemotional intelligence
intenseintensive care
interactsocial interaction
interdisciplinaryinterdisciplinary collaboration
internalinternal conflict
internationalinternational journal, international study
intervenenurse intervention, nursing interventions, pharmacological interventions
issuehealth issues
jointjoint pain
journalinternational journal, nursing journals
keykey concept, key findings, key role
languagebody language
leadleading cause, learning environments, learning strategy, nurse leaders
leavematernity leave
levelanxiety levels, education level, individual level, low level, stress level
limitlimited information, study limitations
literatureliterature review
lossweight loss
lowlow level, low score, lower frequency, lower rates
lunglung cancer
mainmain category
majormajor cause, major change
malemale caregivers
managecare management, management strategies, managerial competence, nurse managers, nursing management, pain management
manualmanual restraint
maritalmarital status
maternitymaternity leave
meanmean score
measureoutcome measures
medianmedian age
medicalmedical care, medical centers, medical comorbidity, medical condition, medical record, medical research, medical staff, medical student, medical treatment, medical units
medicationmedication adherence, medication preparation, medication safety
memberfamily members, staff members
mentalmental disorder, mental health, mental healthcare, mental illness
methodqualitative method, qualitative methodologies, research method, research methodology, sampling methods, study methods
modelconsultation models, role models
mortalitymortality rate
multidisciplinarymultidisciplinary team
needsindividual needs, patient needs
negatenegative attitude, negative effect, negative impact
normalfoetal abnormalities
numbernumerous studies, total number, vast number
nursecancer nurse, cancer nursing, clinical nurses, clinical nursing, community nurses, expert nurse, graduate nurse, hospital nurses, ICU nurse, nurse assessment, nurse assistant, nurse association, nurse burnout, nurse care, nurse competence, nurse educator, nurse intervention, nurse leaders, nurse managers, nurse practitioner, nurse report, nurse research, nurse specialists, nursing activities, nursing assessment, nursing care, nursing curriculum, nursing education, nursing homes, nursing interventions, nursing journals, nursing management, nursing practice, nursing profession, nursing research, nursing roles, nursing schools, nursing staff, nursing student, oncology nurse, oncology nursing, preoperative nurse, student nurse, undergraduate nurse
occasionaloccasional tiredness
oncologyoncology nurse, oncology nursing, oncology patients
onlineonline version
openopen access
optiontreatment options
organizationhealth organization, healthcare organizations, social organization
orientsexual orientation
originaloriginal work
outcomeclinical outcomes, health outcomes, outcome measures, patient outcomes, positive outcome, quality outcomes
outpatientoutpatient service, outpatient utilization
ovarianovarian cancer
painchronic pain, insertion pain, joint pain, pain assessment, pain management, pain rehabilitation
palliativepalliative treatment
pancreaticpancreatic cancer
parentalparental cancer, parental role
participatestudy participants
patientcancer patients, diabetes patients, elderly patients, ICU patient, oncology patients, patient care, patient characteristics, patient education, patient experiences, patient needs, patient outcomes, patient population, patient safety, patient satisfaction, stroke patient, surgical patients
patternbehavior pattern, sleep patterns
pediatricpediatric care
peerpeer support
percentsmall percentage
performancecognitive performance
periodstudy period, time period
personalpersonal care
personnelhealthcare personnel
pharmacologicalpharmacological interventions
phenomenologicalphenomenological analysis
physicalphysical activity, physical care, physical environment, physical exercise, physical health, physical restraints, physical symptom
pilotpilot study
placementclinical placement
plancare plans
policyhealth policy
poorpoor communication
populationgeneral population, patient population
positivepositive attitude, positive effect, positive experience, positive impact, positive outcome
postoperativepostoperative care
postpartumpostpartum depression
potentialpotential risk
practiceclinical practice, nursing practice, professional practice, work practice
practitionergeneral practitioners, nurse practitioner
prenatalprenatal care
preoperativepreoperative care, preoperative nurse, preoperative protocol
preparationmedication preparation
presentpresent study
pressureblood pressure
pretermpreterm infants
previousprevious research, previous study
primaryprimary care, primary data, primary healthcare
problemhealth problems
professionhealthcare professional, nursing profession, professional body, professional care, professional development, professional experience, professional practice, professional status, professional support, professional work
programmeeducational programme, support programme, training programme
projectresearch project
promotehealth promotion
prostateprostate cancer
protocolpreoperative protocol
providecare providers, care provision, healthcare providers, service providers
psychologypsychological distress, psychological empowerment, psychological symptoms
publicpublic health
pulmonarypulmonary disease
qualificationeducational qualification
qualityqualitative analysis, qualitative approach, qualitative data, qualitative design, qualitative method, qualitative methodologies, qualitative research, qualitative study, quality appraisal, quality assessment, quality indicators, quality outcomes, sleep quality
quantityquantitative data
randomrandom sample
rangeage range, broad range, wide range
rapidrapid response
rateheart rate, lower rates, mortality rate, rating scale, respiratory rate
reasonclinical reasoning
recentrecent study
recipientcare recipient
recordmedical record
rehabilitationpain rehabilitation, rehabilitation clinic
relationshipsignificant relationship
relevantrelevant factors
reportnurse report, report findings
researchaction research, current research, empirical research, future research, health research, human research, medical research, nurse research, nursing research, previous research, qualitative research, research assistant, research ethics, research evidence, research fellow, research findings, research method, research methodology, research project, research topic, scientific research
resideresidential care
resourcehuman resource
respiratoryrespiratory rate
respondrapid response
restrainmanual restraint, physical restraints
reviewannual review, brief review, literature review
riskpotential risk, risk assessment, risk factors
roleessential role, key role, nursing roles, parental role, role models
roomemergency room
safetymedication safety, patient safety, safety vests
sampleDNA sampling, random sample, sampling methods, study sample
satisfactionpatient satisfaction
saturationdata saturation
scaledepression scale, rating scale
schoolnursing schools
sciencehealth sciences, scientific research
scoreaverage score, low score, mean score, total score
screencancer screening
secondarysecondary care, secondary data
sectionalsectional study
servicecare services, health service, healthcare services, outpatient service, service delivery, service providers, service user
sessiontraining sessions
settingcommunity settings, healthcare settings, hospital setting
sexsexual activity, sexual health, sexual orientation
shareinformation sharing, shared decision, shared experience
sheetinformation sheet
shiftshift work
sideside effects
signvital signs
significantsignificant amount, significant correlation, significant difference, significant effect, significant impact, significant improvement, significant relationship, statistical significance
sleepsleep behaviors, sleep conditions, sleep disorder, sleep disturbance, sleep duration, sleep patterns, sleep quality
smallsmall percentage
socialsocial activity, social care, social contact, social function, social interaction, social organization, social status, social welfare, social worker
socioeconomicsocioeconomic status
specialistnurse specialists
staffcare staff, clinical staff, healthcare staff, hospital staff, medical staff, nursing staff, staff members, staff training
standardstandard deviations
statisticdescriptive statistics, statistical analysis, statistical significance
statushealth status, marital status, professional status, social status, socioeconomic status
stayhospital stay
stemstem cells
strategycommunication strategies, coping strategy, learning strategy, management strategies
stressstress level, traumatic stress
strokestroke patient
studycase study, empirical study, future study, international study, medical student, numerous studies, nursing student, pilot study, present study, previous study, qualitative study, recent study, sectional study, student nurse, study design, study findings, study limitations, study methods, study participants, study period, study sample, systematic study
sugarblood sugar
supportcoworker support, emotional support, family support, peer support, professional support, support programme
surgicalsurgical patients
survivecancer survivor
symptomphysical symptom, psychological symptoms
systemcare systems, health systems, healthcare system, systematic study
targettarget audience
teamcare team, healthcare team, multidisciplinary team
theorytheoretical framework
thinkcritical thinking
timetime frame, time period
tiredoccasional tiredness
toolassessment tools
topicresearch topic
totaltotal income, total number, total score
tracturinary tract
trainstaff training, training course, training programme, training sessions
traumatictraumatic stress
treatmentcancer treatment, medical treatment, palliative treatment, treatment options
trialclinical trials
undergraduateundergraduate nurse
unitcare units, medical units
universityuniversity hospital
urinaryurinary incontinence, urinary tract
userservice user
usualusual care
utiliseoutpatient utilization
vaginalvaginal delivery
varydependent variable, independent variable, wide variation
vastvast number
verbalverbal communication
versiononline version
vestsafety vests
violenceworkplace violence
vitalvital signs
wardhealth wards
weightbody weight, weight gain, weight loss
welfaresocial welfare
widewide range, wide variation
workoriginal work, professional work, shift work, social worker, work experience, work practice, working conditions, working environment, workplace violence
woundchronic wounds
youngyounger generation


Sheldon Smith

Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 29 May 2021.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Popular pages in the vocab sectionMost viewed pages