Tips for Writing Nursing Journal Articles

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A nurse in purple scrubs poses with a nursing journal.
Journal articles have long been an essential part of the nursing profession. Online or in print, these articles are a vital way for nurses to share experiences and expertise with others in the profession. Nursing journal articles also give advanced practice nurses a forum to demonstrate the acumen honed through an advanced nursing degree or a post-master’s certificate. Nurses should familiarize themselves with the process of creating a journal-worthy article before writing.

Benefits of Writing Nursing Journal Articles

It’s exciting for nursing professionals to see their names in print in a reputable nursing journal. Yet the benefits of writing nursing journal articles extend far beyond the thrill of a byline. Journal articles provide critical information that nurses can apply to their own practice. Ultimately, the information may uncover vital insights into health care concepts that could lead to higher-quality care and improved patient outcomes.

Writing nursing journal articles has practical benefits. For instance, these articles can provide extra sources of income, as journals will pay authors for the rights to publish their work. Rates vary from journal to journal, so nurses should research these rates before submitting an article for publication.

Furthermore, publication in a nursing journal gives nurses a potential advantage when applying for a new position. While an advanced degree may demonstrate an applicant’s deep knowledge and refined skill set, a published article can provide prospective employers with a written example of a candidate’s strengths.

Tips for Success

Writing a nursing journal article isn’t as simple as putting ideas on a piece of paper and sending it off to a publication. There are several steps nursing professionals can take to improve their chances of getting published.

Draw on Your Expertise

When writing an article for a nursing journal, adhering to the adage “write what you know” is critical. Journals allow nursing professionals to share their expert knowledge on a subject, which could lead others to develop new strategies, possibly resulting in the more efficient or effective delivery of health care. For example, a nurse practitioner with a specialization in gerontology could write an article on the potential use of artificial intelligence in palliative care, which could inspire other nurses to create innovative end-of-life care strategies. That said, it’s important to make sure that the article avoids plagiarism and adds a unique perspective to what exists in other journals. To this end, professionals can read up on various nursing journals to become familiar with current health care theories and philosophies.

Do Your Research

Extensive research is the backbone of any professional journal article. While it’s common to cite other sources, such citations must support the author’s original research. If the article hinges on physical research, such as lab work or similar testing, the article must contain a detailed description of the methodology, such as the test setup and equipment used; carefully curated analysis; accurately represented results; and a logical, well-constructed discussion that presents the article’s hypothesis in a neutral tone. These elements are unwavering, and no level of writing quality can compensate for inadequate or biased research.

Become Familiar with Nursing Journals

Before writers submit an article to a nursing journal, it’s important that they become familiar with the types of articles that particular journal tends to publish. Some journals focus on a specific health care topic, such as women’s health or oncology. Others may feature theoretical explorations of care concepts, such as an emerging health care technology. It’s key for nurses to develop a thorough understanding of what suits a particular publication. Doing so may prevent authors from spending time and energy on approaching a journal that’s a poor fit for their work.

Choose an Article Type

Authors can explore several kinds of journal articles. Again, an article can focus on original research conducted to prove a hypothesis or test the parameters of a given process or procedure. It can also be a review of an existing piece of care-related literature. Additionally, nursing journal articles can share detailed descriptions of a practice or procedure. Finally, an article can explore the impact of existing and emerging care policies. Each of these article types requires thorough research and evidence to support any proposed theories.

Make a Difference in Health Care

Publishing articles in nursing journals can give nurses a modest extra income and another way to demonstrate their competency to potential employers. Publication can also help nurses impact care. Articles that share carefully researched data and uncover new insights can prompt readers to rethink their approaches to health care, possibly leading to higher-quality care and improved patient outcomes. Learn how Regis College’s post-master’s certificate program can offer you the knowledge needed to write these authoritative, game-changing articles.

Sources:

American Journal of Nursing, “What Types of Articles to Write”
Elsevier, The Journal for Nurse Practitioners
The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, “How to Increase Your Odds of Getting Published”
RCNi, RCNi Guidance on Writing and Submitting Articles for Publication