American Nurse Journal, the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Nurses Association, is dedicated to integrating the art and science of nursing. If you’re considering writing for us, use these guidelines to help choose an appropriate topic, learn how to submit your manuscript, and improve the likelihood that we’ll accept your article for publication. Our goal is for you to have a positive publishing experience. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being very satisfied, our authors rate their experience 4.74.
Overview: American Nurse Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that provides a voice for today’s nurses in all specialties, all practice settings, and all organizational levels. Packed with practical information, it keeps nurses up-to-date on best practices, helps them maximize patient outcomes, and enhances their careers.
Distribution: The journal is sent to 200,000 nurses from a wide variety of settings and specialty areas, including staff nurses, advanced practice nurses, managers, educators, researchers, and administrators.
Indexing: American Nurse Journal is indexed in the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) Database.
Overview: By transforming authoritative research and clinical data into clearly written prose, American Nurse Journal provides evidence-based information that readers can apply daily in their practice. It also serves as a forum for the discussion of professional development and career management issues.
As part of our commitment to enhancing readers’ professional and personal growth and fulfillment, we also publish articles that guide nurses toward living healthier lifestyles, managing stress effectively, and bringing mind, body, and spirit into closer alignment.
In each issue: Every issue of American Nurse Journal offers compelling feature articles on clinical and professional topics, plus continuing nursing education (CNE) articles. Regular departments include:
- Healthy Nurse
- Leading the Way
- Life at Work
- Practice Matters
- Strictly Clinical
- Rapid Response
Topics: Our readers appreciate timely topics relevant to hands-on nursing care in all settings—hospital, home, or community—as well as current professional and leadership issues. In particular, we’re seeking articles that:
- present evidence-based clinical information
- discuss recent developments, such as new treatments, procedures, or diagnostic techniques
- provide step-by-step descriptions of new or difficult clinical procedures
- discuss new drugs or new drug regimens
- explore the legal and ethical issues that nurses face
- address important professional and career issues
- share strategies to improve patient safety and the quality of nursing care through best practices
- explore controversies in nursing and healthcare
- help nurses influence decision-making in their practice environments and organizations
- discuss how to better leverage technology to improve patient outcomes
- offer advice on enhancing mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being to help nurses reach their full potential in every aspect of life.
Before you submit an article
Please send a brief email query to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the email:
- Describe the topic of your proposed article, including why it would be of interest to readers of American Nurse Journal.
- Outline key components of the article.
- Briefly explain why you’re qualified to write on this topic.
- Provide your name, position title, employer, and phone number.
We’ll let you know if we’re interested in the article you’ve proposed and can advise you on how to focus it.
Tips on writing for American Nurse Journal
Articles for our journal are written in informal, concise language. When writing the manuscript, follow these guidelines:
- Base your information on the latest nursing standards and clinical practice guidelines.
- Be clear and concise; avoid convoluted sentences.
- Provide examples and practical points that can be readily applied to practice.
- Address readers directly, as if you’re speaking to them. For example: “After turning on the power, connect the tube….”
- In general, use active—not passive—verbs. Active verbs engage the reader and make the writing simpler, clearer, and more interesting.
- Clearly explain theoretical or complex terms in everyday language. Avoid medical and nursing jargon.
- Don’t use acronyms or abbreviations, except those you’re sure every reader is familiar with (such as “I.V.”). Instead, spell out the full term.
- As appropriate, use trailing zeroes for diagnostic test results, as in “urine pH 5.0.” However, Do NOT use trailing zeroes for drug dosages; for example, use “15 mg,” NOT “15.0 mg.”
- Use generic names for medications.
- Consider using boxed copy (sidebar) for points you’d like to emphasize, clarify, or elaborate on. Also consider putting appropriate information in tables (in Microsoft Word format).
Resources for new authors:
- Saver C. Anatomy of Writing for Publication for Nurses. 4th ed. Indianapolis: Sigma Theta Tau International; 2021.
- Nurse Author & Editor.
Use the following as a rough guide (word count include tables, but not references):
- Continuing education article: about 3,300 words
- Feature article: about 1,600 to 2,000 words
- Department article: about 1,000 to 1,500 words.
- Note: Rapid Response articles should be no more than 600 words.
List all references at the end of your manuscript. Do NOT cite them within the text unless you are citing statistics or discussing a single study. In that case, use a format such as:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths annually.
- A study by Jones and colleagues found that …
You only need to provide sufficient information for readers to identify which reference matches with the information in the main text. References must be from professionally reliable sources and should be no more than 5 years old unless they are “classics.”
To format the references in your list, use the American Medical Association Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (10th ed). If you don’t have access to this book, simply follow these examples:
Please limit the number of references to no more than 12 (20 for a CNE article).
- Put tables at the end of the document.
- Number each table and include a name and a brief introductory statement. For example
- In the text of your article, note where the table should appear. For example, “Insert table 1 here.”
Note: The author is responsible for obtaining permission for reprinting tables and figures from another source. If there is a fee, the payment can wait until after the article is accepted; simply note that you will obtain permission. If you have already obtained permission, please submit verification with your article.
Submit in Microsoft Word. Other formats will NOT be accepted.
- Put the article title, your initials (not your name), and the date at the top of the first page of your article.
- Do NOT include extra hard returns between lines or paragraphs, extra spaces between words, or any special coding.
- Send a separate cover letter that includes the following for each author:
At least two telephone contact numbers
Employer name, city, and state
- Identify who will be the corresponding author (primary contact).
- Send a signed author agreement and conflict of interest form as a PDF, which is available here. (Each author must sign separate agreements and forms.)
- Verify you have all the submission information by completing the checklist below.
- The article must be your own original work. Do not submit material taken verbatim from a published source, except for brief passages, which you should put in quotes and attribute to the source.
American Nurse Journal follows International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations and Committee on Publication Ethics core practices.
- In accordance with the ICMJE, all listed authors must have made substantive intellectual contributions to the manuscript “without which the work, or an important part of the work, could not have been completed or the manuscript could not have been written and submitted for publication.”
Research shows many patients exhibit signs and symptoms of increasing instability for several hours prior to a cardiac arrest. A Rapid Response Team, generally critical care specialists, intervene before a potential code situation, based on the bedside nurse’s sensitivity to a patient’s deteriorating condition and call to action. A Rapid Response article is designed to give the nurse the assessment, critical thinking, intervention and communication skills needed to respond appropriately and effectively.
Below is the format for Rapid Response Address each point below, with the total word count around 600 to 650 words, not including reference. Typically, the scenario will take place in a non-acute care setting, such as a med-surg unit, labor & delivery, orthopedic unit, and the like.
- Describe the series of events/assessments from the nurse’s perspective (include diagnosis, hospitalization status, and any significant history issues), beginning with the first encounter until the call for a rapid response. Be sure to start with vague complaints, including a valuable assessment finding, if possible, that makes the nurse more concerned and warrants a closer follow-up (nurse’s intuition).
- As the patient’s condition worsens, describe the nurse’s actions taken to modify her assessment, increase surveillance, (intervene or treatment steps until team arrives) touch base with the PCP, and other measures demonstrating critical thinking and communication skills.
- Include detailed step by step intervention/treatment steps that were taken by you or the RRT to derail further deterioration including drugs, doses, routes, etc.
- Provide an outcome/explanation for the scenario with the patient either stabilizing or being transferred to the appropriate acute care setting (ICU, CCU, OR).
- Give a brief overview of the issue that threatened, e.g.. as in anaphylaxis – what it is – how it occurs, etc.—what could have happened if you did not foresee, treat, etc. Please keep explanation short to paragraph or so.
- Offer patient/family education–or even for the reader (such as clues to assessment findings or lab values)
Again, the scenario doesn’t always have to be about a nurse calling the Rapid Response Team, but it should demonstrate how the nurse’s assessment skills, intervention, critical thinking abilities and effective communication contribute to positive patient outcomes.
- We will confirm receipt via email.
- If we’re interested in publishing your manuscript, we’ll send it for double-blind peer review (authors and reviewers do not know each other’s identity). Peer reviewers are selected based on their areas of expertise.
- After peer review, we’ll notify you know whether the manuscript has been accepted, rejected, or accepted pending revisions.
- If accepted for publication, your article will go through our standard in-house editorial process to ensure adherence to our editorial style. Before it’s published (in print and/or online), you’ll have the opportunity to review the edited version.
Thank you for considering publishing in American Nurse Journal. If you have any questions, please contact Cheryl Mee, MSN, MBA, RN, FAAN, Executive Editorial Director, at email@example.com.
For more writing tips and advice on becoming a published author, visit our blog, The Writing Mind, authored by editor emeritus Cynthia Saver, MS, RN.