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Author Guidelines

Click here to download the Author Guidelines.

Click here to download the author agreement (must be submitted with your article).                                                                               

American Nurse Todaythe 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 Today 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 Today 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 Today 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 Today offers compelling feature articles on clinical and professional topics, plus continuing nursing education (CNE) articles. Regular departments include:

  • Strictly Clinical
  • Practice Matters
  • Life at Work
  • Healthy Nurse
  • Leading the Way.

We are especially interested in articles for our Rapid Response and Healthy Nurse departments.

Topics: We’re highly interested in 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 new 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 health care
  • 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.


Please send a brief email query to csaver@healthcommedia.com. In the email:

  • Describe the topic of your proposed article, including why it would be of interest to readers of American Nurse Today.
  • 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.



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, using short sentences whenever possible.
  • Provide examples and practical points.
  • Address readers directly, as if you’re speaking to them. For example:
    “After turning on the power, connect the tube….”
  • Use active—not passive—verbs. Active verbs engage the reader and make the writing simpler, clearer, and more interesting.


  1. Sentence with passive verb: Heart rhythm should be monitored closely. Avoid this type of sentence.
  2. Sentence with active verb: Monitor heart rhythm closely. Use this type of sentence instead
  • 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 (a sidebar) for points you’d like to emphasize, clarify, or elaborate on. Also consider putting appropriate information in tables (in MS Word format).

Resources for new authors:

Saver C. Anatomy of Writing for Publication for Nurses. 3rd ed. Indianapolis: Sigma Theta Tau International; 2017.

Nurse Author & Editor (naepub.com, free registration).

Article length

Use the following as a rough guide (references are not included in the word count, but tables are):

  • Continuing education article: about 3,500 words
  • Regular feature article: about 1,600 to 2,000 words
  • Department article: 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. 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:

Item                                     Example


Pittas AG, Dawson-Hughes B, Sheehan P, et al. Vitamin D supplementation and prevention of type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2019;381(6):520-30

Book Saver C. Anatomy of Writing for Publication for Nurses. 3rd ed. Indianapolis: Sigma Theta Tau International; 2017.
Chapter in a book Fredrickson BL. Positive emotions broaden and build. In: Devine P, Plant A, eds. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Vol. 47. San Diego, CA: Academic Press; 2013;1-54.
Online Reference  Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Part 1: Results of the pediatric medication safety initiative: More is needed to protect hospitalized children from medication errors. June 4, 2015. ismp.org/newsletters/acutecare/showarticle.aspx?id=110


Please limit the number of references to no more than 12 (20 for a CNE article). 



We encourage you to submit tables, photographs, and illustrations for your article (although we can’t guarantee we’ll publish them).


  • Submit each figure in a separate electronic file, labeled with the number and brief name of the figure. For example: “figure 1, venous thromboembolism.”

  • In the text of your article, note where the figure should appear. For example, “Insert figure 1 here.”

  • Place the names of the figures at the end of the article, and include a brief caption and the source for each. For example, “figure 1: venous thrombo embolism. From American Cardiovascular Association, 2017.”

  • Submit images that go with figures as JPG files, with resolution 300 dpi at 4.5 inches wide.

  • Save files of diagrams, drawings, graphs, and other line art at a resolution of at least 1200 dpi. If these were created in a Microsoft Office program, please send the native (DOC, PPT, XLS) file.


  • Put tables at the end of the document.
  • Number each table and include a name and a brief introductory statement. For example, Table 1. Risk factors for venous thromboembolism
    Early identification of risk factors is crucial in preventing venous thromboembolism
  • 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 images and tables. 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:
    • Name
    • Credentials
    • Email
    • At least two telephone contact numbers
    • Employer name, city,  and state
    • Position title.
  • 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 at https://americannursetoday.com/author-agreement/.
  • Each author must sign separate agreements and forms.
  • Verify you have all the information you need by completing the checklist below for your files.



Manuscript in Microsoft Word ________________
Cover letter ________________
Tables (in main article) and figures (as separate files) ________________
Permission email or letter for copyright material ________________
Signed author agreement/ conflict of interest statement (one for each author) ________________



  • 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.
  • In accordance with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, all listed authors for a given article 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.”
  • In most cases, an article should have no more than four authors.


  • 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). Peers reviewers are selected based on their areas of expertise.
  • After peer review, we’ll let 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 consistency with our editorial style. Before it is published, you’ll have the opportunity to review the edited version.


Thank you for considering publishing in American Nurse Today. If you have any questions, please contact Cynthia Saver, MS, RN, editorial director, at csaver@healthcommedia.com.

Copyright © 2019, HealthCom Media. All rights reserved.   8/12/2019

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