Click here to download the author guidelines.

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


Author guidelines

The official journal of the American Nurses Association, American Nurse Today 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, find out how to submit your manuscript, and increase the chance that we’ll accept it for publication. If we publish your article, you’ll receive several copies of the issue in which it’s published.


About the journal

American Nurse Today is a peer-reviewed journal providing a voice for today’s nurses in all specialties and practice settings. Packed with practical information, it keeps nurses up-to-date on best practices, helps them maximize patient outcomes, and helps them enhance their careers. By transforming authoritative research and clinical data into clearly written articles, the journal provides evidence-based information that readers can use daily in their practice. It also serves as a forum for 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.


The journal is sent to 175,000 nurses from a wide variety of settings and specialty areas, including staff nurses, advanced practice nurses, managers, educators, researchers, and administrators. This wide circulation requires a broad range of editorial material.


American Nurse Today is indexed in the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) Database.


Editorial profile

Each issue of American Nurse Today offers compelling feature articles on clinical and professional topics, plus continuing education (CE) articles and regular departments. The main sections of the journal are the following:

• Strictly Clinical
• Practice Matters
• Career Sphere
• Mind/Body/Spirit


Topics to write about

We’re especially interested in timely topics relevant to hands-on nursing care in all settings—hospital, home, or community—as well as current professional issues. In particular, we’re seeking articles that:


• present cutting-edge nursing research that can be translated into practical application
• discuss 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
• provide personal accounts of patient-care experiences
• help nurses influence decision-making in their practice environments and organizations
• discuss future healthcare trends and technologies
• offer advice on enhancing mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.


Before you submit an article...

Please send a brief email query to csaver@healthcommedia.com. In the email, state the topic of your proposed article and briefly describe what the article will include; also, provide a short summary of your background, and explain why you’re qualified to write on this topic. We’ll let you know if we’re interested in the article you have proposed.


Tips on writing for American Nurse Today

Our journal is written in simple, concise language. The tone is informal, and articles are short to medium in length. When writing the manuscript, follow these guidelines:


·       Make sure the information in your article is based on the latest nursing standards and clinical practice guidelines.

·       Be clear and concise. Use short sentences whenever possible.

·       Provide practical points. Preferably, give examples from your own experience.

·       Address readers directly, as if you’re speaking to them. Here are some examples:
“As a med-surg nurse, you’re probably familiar with .....”
“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.
   Sentence with active verb: Monitor heart rhythm closely.
   Sentence expressing the same thought with a passive verb: Heart rhythm should be monitored  

·       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”.

·       When mentioning a specific drug, give the drug’s generic name first, followed by the brand name in parentheses (if relevant).

·       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). DO NOT USE MS Word’s “Insert text box” feature for sidebars. Instead, label the sidebar appropriately and put it at the end of your manuscript, after the article itself.

·       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.


For reference style, 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, include at least the following information for each reference you cite:

For a book: author(s), book title, edition (if appropriate), place of publication, publisher, and publication date
For a print journal article: author(s); article title; journal name; year, volume; inclusive page numbers
For online references: URL (web address) and the date you accessed the website.

Please limit references to no more than five (10 for a CE article). You may provide an additional 5 references (10 for a CE article) to place with the online version of the article.


About tables, photos, and illustrations

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


·      Submit them in a separate electronic file. Identify the source of each table, photo, or illustration and include a brief caption or label (e.g., “Illustration #1: Preventing complications from diabetes. From American Diabetic Association, 2006”). In the body of your article, indicate where the photo or illustration should be placed (e.g., “Insert Illustration #1 here.”) If you believe specific items in the photo or illustration should be identified, tell us this in a note. (Be aware that any person whose image is shown in a photograph must sign a consent form that gives us permission to publish it.)


·      Do not embed tables, figures, or images in the same file as the body of your article. Also, do not submit any text in a box or otherwise put rules around it, above, or below it. Instead, label this copy as a sidebar and submit it in a separate word file or at the end of the main article.

·       You may submit clip art as a guide to indicate an illustration you’d like us to run with your article. However, be sure to identify it as clip art.


·       Authors are responsible for obtaining permission for material with a copyright. That includes figures, tables, and illustrations from other journals. It’s best to obtain permission before you submit the article and include documentation that you’ve received permission and any specific credit line that must be printed with the image. However, in cases where you must pay to use an image, note in the submission that you will obtain permission if the article is accepted for publication.


Important cautions

·      The article must be your own original work. Do not submit material taken verbatim from a published source.

·      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.



Article length

Use the following as a rough guide:

·       CE article: about 3,500 words

·       Regular feature article: about 1,400 to 1,800 words

·       Department article: 700 to 1,200 words. Note: Rapid Response articles should be 600 words long.


How to submit your article

Submit your manuscript electronically as an MS Word file.


·       At the top of the first page of the document, place the article title, your initials (not your
name), and the date.

·       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 your name; credentials; position; address; home, cell, and work telephone numbers; email address; and your employer’s name, city, and state.

·       Send a signed author agreement as a PDF. Each author must sign a separate agreement.

·       Email the article and any other attachments to rbargeron@healthcommedia.com and csaver@healthcommedia.com.


What happens to your manuscript after submittal?


·      We’ll send you an email confirming that we received it.

·      If we’re interested in publishing your manuscript, we’ll send it out for blind clinical peer reviews (neither you nor the reviewers will know who wrote the article). After this review, we’ll let you know whether the manuscript has been accepted, accepted pending revisions, or declined.

·      Your article will go through our in-house editorial process, where professional editors ensure consistency with our editorial style. You will have a chance to review the edited version before it’s published.

·       We will email you if we decide not to publish your manuscript.


Thank you for considering publishing in American Nurse Today, the official publication of the American Nurses Association. If you have any questions, please email: Cynthia Saver, RN, MS at csaver@healthcommedia.com or csaver@clsdevelopment.com.



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