Author Guidelines

Download the Author Guidelines (Acrobat)

Editorial Style
Advice to Authors

  • The purpose of this journal is to reflect trends, policies, practice, and research in pediatric nursing. Topics should be timely and relevant to pediatric nursing.
  • A query letter is requested, including an abstract of the manuscript and the anticipated date of submission.
  • Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome, provided that they are for the exclusive use of Pediatric Nursing and have not been previously published, accepted for publication, or are under consideration elsewhere, nor will they be once submitted to the journal.
  • Authors are encouraged to use clear, concise, nondiscriminatory language, and to make readability a priority. Eliminate all discriminatory language by making the preceding referent plural (i.e. nurses...they/their, etc.) -- unless the reference is to a specific person.
  • Our manuscript and reference style is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), (7th ed., 2020).
  • Manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced (including abstracts, block quotations, and reference lists), on 8-1/2 x 11" white paper and should not exceed 20 pages.

Submission Guidelines

  • Submit via e-mail one electronic copy (MS Word format only) to Do not submit your manuscript as separate files (i.e., Title Page, Author Information, Abstract, etc.); combine all portions where able. Submission of hard copy is no longer required.
  • Keep codes to a minimum. Please do not use automatic paragraph style codes. Type in numbers, letters, or bullets for lists manually. Avoid complex font attributes and use only one font size (10-12 points).
  • Do not use rules or paragraph/page borders.
  • All figures must be submitted in a reproducible form, or presented precisely the way they should look in print. Graphics must be in EPS or TIFF format. Please call the journal office if you have any questions.


  • Manuscript titles should be concise, specific, and clear. Generally, they should not be any longer than 7-9 words.
  • Avoid unnecessary phrases such as: "the role of...", "use of...", "report of...", "implications of...", etc.
  • Choose a title that will be accurately indexed (indexers should not have to read the article's abstract to discover what the content is really about).
  • Avoid "cutesy" titles, but make the title interesting enough to attract the reader's attention.


  • Author names should appear only on the title page, since manuscripts are reviewed blind (authors are anonymous to reviewers).
  • Biographic information about the author(s) should appear on the title page of the manuscript. That information should include: first name, middle name or initial, and last name; credentials, with highest degree first (MSN, RN not RN, MSN), and do not list multiple degrees unless there is a compelling reason to do so — for example: PhD, MSN, MBA; and complete information on the primary affiliation of the author(s), but do not include additional background information unless it is necessary to explain the author's interest or expertise in the content area.
    Sample: Jane Rowland Doe, MSN, RN, is Vice President of Nursing, Mercy Hospital Corporation, Doeville, MA.


  • The abstract should appear on the first page after the title page and should be limited to about 250 words.
  • The information in the abstract should be substantive, not descriptive. Do not actually refer to the article in the abstract. For instance, do not say "this article discusses...", "this article describes", "the authors provide recommendations...", etc.
  • Different types of articles have different abstract requirements.

    Original/Research article abstracts should include: (a) the question(s) addressed by the article; (b) the basic design of the study; (c) the location and level of clinical care; (d) the manner of selection and number of participants who entered and completed the study; (e) the treatment or intervention, if any; (f) the primary study outcome measure as planned before data collection began; (g) the key findings; and (h) key conclusions, including direct clinical/nursing applications.

    Review article abstracts usually include: (a) the primary objective/identified problem; (b) a succinct summary of data sources; (c) the number of studies selected for review, and how they were selected; (d) rules used for abstracting data, and how they were applied; (e) the methods or data synthesis and key results; and (f) key conclusions, including potential nursing applications and research needs.

  • Include four or five key words within the abstract to facilitate appropriate indexing of the article for literature search purposes.

Manuscript Organization

  • There should be no heading in the manuscript called "Introduction," "Conclusion," or "Summary." The introductory information should be no more than two paragraphs in length, and should include a general introduction of the subject and an outline of what will be covered by the article.
  • The manuscript should be organized in logical subdivisions, according to the outline used to develop it. The journal uses two types of subheadings: major subheads are typed flush with the left margin and are bold; while minor subheads within the major subheads are indented at the beginning of a paragraph and bold. Like titles, all subheads should be short and to the point.
    Sample: Major Subhead
    Minor subhead. Accompanying text continues paragraph...

  • Check to see that your manuscript develops the subject logically, and that the subdivisions of the manuscript are approximately the same length. That is, if you find that one subdivision is particularly long, yet another is only a paragraph in length, something is wrong with your organization. Perhaps the two subdivisions need to be subsumed under a more general major subhead, with minor subheads to reflect different content areas.
  • A listing within a paragraph should appear in sentence form and be designated (a), (b), (c), etc. If major points are made that will be discussed further, each major point should be set off as a paragraph and numbered.
    Sample: "The following list of actions is recommended:"

    1. Minor subhead #1. Elaboration...

    2. Minor subhead #2. Elaboration...


  • All references should follow guidelines set by the APA Publication Manual, 7th edition (2020).
  • In text citations, use the author-date method. For example: (Doe, 2020), or "Doe (2020) states that...

    Use page numbers in text citations only when you are quoting directly from a source.

    When a work has two authors, always cite both names every time the reference occurs in text. For example: (Doe & Brown, 2020).

    When a work has three or more, include only the surname of the first author followed by "et al." and the year even in the first citation. For example: Doe et al. (2020)

    References to statutes should list the full name of the statute and the date of its enactment, such as (National Environmental Policy Act, 1969).

    If the citation has a corporate author, the author should be spelled out the first time it is cited, but may be abbreviated in subsequent citations. For example: first use (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 1993); later use (NIMH, 1993).

    When there is no author, the first few words of the title of the reference should be given. For example - (Study Cites Evidence..., 1993).

    When more than one source is cited within a sentence or paragraph, references should be listed alphabetically. For example - (Doe, 1993; NIMH, 1993).

References List

  • The reference list should appear on a separate page (or pages) at the end of the manuscript, should be double-spaced within as well as between references, and should include only those sources cited in the text. Complete information should be given for each source so it may be easily located by others.
    Sample: Doe, J.R. (1993). Study cites evidence of problems. Pediatric Nursing, 19(2), 34-56.
  • Do not use hard returns or tabs within a reference.
  • Do not use abbreviated journal titles (i.e., N Engl J of Med as opposed to New England Journal of Medicine).
  • If there are 20 or more authors, list the first 19, then ellipses, then the last author.
    • Author, A.A., Author, B.B., Author, C.C., Author, D.D., Author, E.E., Author, F.F., Author, G.G., Author, H.H., Author, I.I., Author, J.J., Author, K.K., Author, L.L., Author, M.M., Author, N.N., Author, O.O., Author, P.P., Author, Q.Q., Author, R.R., Author, S.S., Ö Author, Z.Z. (2020). Title of article. Journal Name, 10(2), 101-110.


  • We strongly encourage the use of graphics to supplement or complement the textual discussion. Your article is more likely to be read if the text is broken up with tables, figures, or photographs.
  • Photographs should be black-and-white (occasionally we can use color photos), glossy, 8" x 10" or 5" x 7", and of clear, crisp quality. All photos should be accompanied by a caption typed at the end of the manuscript that describes the content/context or lists the names of the people in the photo. Appropriate written reprint permission or copyright release should accompany the photos.
  • Figures are those graphics that present nonverbal information, such as graphs, charts, etc. Each figure should appear on a separate page, should include a number that is referred to in the text (for example - Figure 1), should have a title, and should be black-and-white, camera-ready (for laser printers, that means 1200 dpi or higher, but 600 dpi may be acceptable in some instances).
  • Tables present either numerical data or verbal information. Each table should be typed/printed on a separate page (two short tables may be placed on the same page), should include a title and a number (the number should be referred to in the textual discussion), and should cite the source of the information if it is not original material. The reference source should be placed at the bottom of the table as a note.
    Sample: Table 1. Cost Containment Data
    ...body of table...
    Note: From Betz, Hunsberger, & Wright (1994)
  • Other graphics may include illustrations that highlight a particular point of the text, or represent the general subject area of the article.
  • The author is responsible for securing permission/releases for all photographs, as well as for any graphics that have been borrowed/adapted from other sources. The author should contact the original publisher and ask for permission to use the material. If you wish, you may contact the journal office for a sample request form.

Copyright and Author Disclosure

  • Copyright on all published articles will be held by Pediatric Nursing. Each author of a submitted manuscript must sign a statement expressly transferring copyright in the event that the paper is published (certain exceptions apply for federal employees). These forms are sent to the authors when receipt of the manuscript is acknowledged.
    > Download the Transfer of Copyright in Adobe Acrobat format.
  • Author Disclosure forms must be signed by each author of the manuscript in order to call to attention any potential conflict of interest between an author and an institution, sponsor, or other source of funding.
    > Download the Author Disclosure Form in Adobe Acrobat format.
  • Published articles may not be reprinted without the written permission of Pediatric Nursing.

Review Process

  • Receipt of your manuscript at the journal office in Pitman, New Jersey is acknowledged by the editorial coordinator. Pediatric Nursing is a refereed journal; therefore, each manuscript is reviewed by at least two members of the manuscript review panel (with expertise in the particular content area) as well as the editor and associate editor(s).
  • The manuscript review panel reviews the submission and makes a recommendation regarding the manuscript. That recommendation may be any one of the following: accept without revisions, accept with revisions, revise and resubmit, or decline. The editor then makes a final decision based on this recommendation and the author is notified of that decision. This process is generally completed within 12 weeks of the manuscript's receipt.
  • If the manuscript is accepted with revisions, the author is given a deadline for completion of the requested revisions and is expected to notify the office if this deadline is not satisfactory. The revised manuscript is reevaluated upon receipt by the same process as was the original.
  • Editing: Pediatric Nursing reserves the right to edit all manuscripts according to editorial style, space requirements/limitations, and to clarify content.

Production Process

  • Once the manuscript has been edited, a "final copy" will be sent to the author for corrections or approval only if the edits/changes are considered intensive (editorís discretion). Response to this edited copy is required within 48 hours of receipt by the author.
  • After the final copy edit and approval by the author, a page proof (PDF format) will be sent to the author. Again, response is required within 48 hours of receipt.
  • Approval of the page proof is followed by final layout of the journal (blueline). The authors will not be involved in this stage of production, which is the responsibility of the editors.

Miscellaneous Information Regarding Style

  • Do not use contractions, except in a direct quotation.
  • Avoid jargon and "buzz-words" such as: health care delivery system, nursing profession, impacted, interfaced, public and private sector. These words and phrases are overused and should be avoided where possible.
  • American versus British — Often there will be two acceptable spellings for a word, such as: acknowledgment and acknowledgement, or judgment and judgement. When in doubt, use the American version (bolded above), not the British version of the word.
  • When you submit a manuscript, the responsibility for accuracy is yours, not the typist's, and not the editor's. Please check your manuscript carefully.
  • Abbreviations may mean more than one thing to different people. Do not assume the reader knows what you mean. The first use of the abbreviation in your article must be preceded by the complete term that it stands for. For example - Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). After that, the abbreviation may be used alone.
  • The terminal -al tends to create some confusion. Is it psychological or psychologic? A general rule to follow is to drop the -al unless this changes the meaning of the word. Historical cannot be changed to historic, but physiological can be changed to physiologic. Another rule that works well is to drop the -al only on words of five syllables or more. This means words like surgical and statistical keep the -al, while anatomic, urologic, and neurologic do not.
  • Avoid the following types of leads, as they are generally not effective in introducing a manuscript:
    - personal
    - apologetic
    - anecdotal
    - philosophic
  • When speaking of pharmaceutical products, the generic name is traditionally used. If you wish to note a brand name, place it in parentheses after the generic name and be sure to use the ® symbol.
    Sample: ...treated with 250 mg cephalexin (Keflex®), administered orally...

Conflict of Interest

Pediatric Nursing requires authors, editorial board members, and reviewers to disclose any conflicts of interest related to their submission and involvement with the journal. Pediatric Nursing endorses and subscribes to the definition of Conflict of Interest by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2006), “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals,” which states:

Public trust in the peer review process and the credibility of published articles depend in part on how well conflict of interest is handled during writing, peer review, and editorial decision making. Conflict of interest exists when an author (or the author’s institution), reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that inappropriately influence (bias) his or her actions (such relationships are also known as dual commitments, competing interests, or competing loyalties). These relationships vary from those with negligible potential to those with great potential to influence judgment, and not all relationships represent true conflict of interest. The potential for conflict of interest can exist whether or not an individual believes that the relationship affects his or her scientific judgment. Financial relationships (such as employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony) are the most easily identifiable conflicts of interest and the most likely to undermine the credibility of the journal, the authors, and of science itself. However, conflicts can occur for other reasons, such as personal relationships, academic competition, and intellectual passion. Authors should identify individuals who provide writing assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance.

Informed Consent

Pediatric Nursing requires authors to assure patients’ and subjects’ privacy, if applicable, related to their research and manuscript. Pediatric Nursing endorses and subscribes to the definition of Human and Animal Rights by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2006), “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals,” which states:

Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published. Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the published article.

Human and Animal Rights

Pediatric Nursing requires authors to disclose Institutional Review Board consent, if applicable, related to their research and manuscript. Pediatric Nursing endorses and subscribes to the definition of Human and Animal Rights by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2006), “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals,” which states:

When reporting experiments on human subjects, authors should indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, the authors must explain the rationale for their approach, and demonstrate that the institutional review body explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should be asked to indicate whether the institutional and national guide for the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.