Tips for Getting Published in a Nursing Journal
Megan Malugani | Monster Contributing Writer
Getting an article published in a nursing journal may seem daunting to novice writers, but the rewards far outweigh the challenges. RN editors and authors offer these pointers to help aspiring authors convert good ideas into published work.
Recognize the Opportunity
Most nursing journal articles are written by nurse educators required to conduct and publish research. However, staff nurses, nurse managers and nurse administrators have ample opportunity to write about their cases or workplace innovations.
“There are close to 200 nursing journals,” says Elizabeth Poster, PhD, RN, FAAN, editor of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing and dean of the University of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing. “Think about the volume of articles needed to fill those journals.”
Ready for a Career in Nursing?
Choose a Compelling Topic
During her six years as a nurse manager, nurse recruitment and retention captivated novice writer Kristina Ibitayo, MSN, RN. Her article on the subject, “Understand Health Care’s True Cost,” has been accepted for publication by Nursing Management. “You have to write about a topic you’re passionate about and intensely interested in,” says Ibitayo, a certified ambulatory perianesthesia nurse at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, Texas.
Beware the Common Pitfalls
You can overcome writer’s block as well as warm up your writing skills by penning a few smaller pieces, like short columns or book reviews. When you’re ready to tackle a longer journal article, pay attention to organization, Poster says. “Outline your article before you write it, and don’t jump from one topic to another and back again,” she says. “Clarity is very important.”
Before submitting your article, always have a trusted friend or colleague critique it, says Jeanette Daly, PhD, RN, a geriatric nurse researcher in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Iowa. “If you don’t get much feedback from the people proofing it, you don’t have the right people doing the job,” says Daly, who has authored dozens of articles about elder abuse.
Research Potential Publishers
Each nursing publication has its own purpose and audience, so make sure your desired topic lines up with the journal you’re targeting. Also, look at how that journal’s articles are formatted. Paying close attention to issues like headings and subheadings will help you structure your article to the journal’s style.