Publications » Guidelines for Authors

Guidelines for Authors


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Imprint seeks high quality articles that reflect timely issues in nursing, nursing school, nursing education, global health issues, and health care. Nursing students, faculty, and leading experts are all invited to submit articles, and are encouraged to contact the editor or managing editor about what to submit and when. Manuscripts are considered for the General Articles, Features, Letters to the Editor, or Columns and Department categories. Imprint does not accept academic or clinical school papers, or graduation speeches

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Deadlines and Word Count

For Deadlines, see Editorial Calendar

The length for feature or general articles is 1200-1500 words. The length for columns is 800-1000 words, except for the Write On (letters).

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Query Letters

We  encourage authors to discuss potential manuscript ideas with the editors in order to best tailor them to our readers and to make sure a manuscript on the same topic hasn't been accepted recently.

Query letters should include a paragraph describing the proposed manuscript, its projected length, how the topic will be treated or approached, an outline, and a short biographical sketch indicating the author's credentials and qualifications for writing the manuscript. We do consider completed manuscripts without a prior query. Manuscripts published elsewhere or submitted simultaneously to another journal will not be reviewed.

Submit your query letter here: Query Form   

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Review Process

All materials are subject to review by the editors. Initial review usually takes 6 to 8 weeks, although expedited reviews are provided for manuscripts with time-sensitive data. Authors who believe their manuscripts are time-sensitive should contact the Editorial Assistant before submitting the manuscript. Imprint staff will inform the author of the manuscript's status as soon as possible. A manuscript may be accepted or rejected, or we may ask the author to make revisions before a final decision can be made. Authors who do not receive notice of the decision on a manuscript eight weeks after submission may contact the  Editorial Assistant  for an update on the manuscript's status. 

All authors of accepted manuscripts are asked to sign and return to the Editorial Assistant a copyright release form insuring that: they are the sole author(s) of the manuscript; they are releasing the copyright of the manuscript to NSNA/Imprint; the manuscript has not been published or submitted for publication elsewhere; the manuscript is original.

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Manuscript Preparation and Submission

Manuscripts must be submitted in Word (.doc, .docx). All manuscript can be uploaded online at:


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Style and Editing

We encourage a writing style that is inviting, useful, informative, and lively, with use of headings and subheadings throughout the manuscript. Refer to yourself as "I," rather than "the author" and the reader as "you." Imprint has an informal, easy-to-read style that is conversational in tone, rather than academic. All copy must conform to our editorial style, and this typically involves editing, rewriting, and condensing. We make every effort to retain content, and we send all authors edited copy prior to publication for their review. As time permits, we integrate author’s corrections into the final copy, but this is at the editor’s discretion.

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Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of their references and for correct text citation. All statistics and factual information must be referenced. All direct quotes, including those from government sources, online publications, and publications that are in the public domain, must be presented as such with quotations and appropriate citations. Treating direct quotes otherwise will be considered plagiarism. Plagiarized manuscripts will be rejected.

Imprint uses the American Psychological Association (APA) style for references. (See for general references, and for online references.) With this format, references must be listed alphabetically by author's last name and include all elements of formal citation. The reference format for APA style is described in the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , a large reference book that contains hundreds of guidelines on how to format references, statistics, tables, punctuation, and grammar. It also contains writing tips and instructions about how to format manuscripts. You may also find a copy of the Publication Manual in your school library, at a local bookstore, or online.

In the text, the author's name(s) and date of publication are in parentheses immediately following the reference.

Examples of APA Style:
Journal article:
Fine, M. A., & Kurdek, L. A. (1993). Reflections on determining authorship credit and authorship order on faculty-student collaborations. American Psychologist, 48, 1141-1147.

Nicol, A. A. M., & Pexman, P. M. (1999). Presenting your findings: A practical guide for creating tables. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Book chapter:
O'Neil, J. M., & Egan, J. (1992). Men's and women's gender role journeys: Metaphor for healing, transition, and transformation. In B. R. Wainrib (Ed.),Gender issues across the life cycle (pp. 107-123). New York: Springer.

Online reference
Article in an Internet-only journal:

Fredrickson, B. L. (2000, March 7). Cultivating positive emotions to
optimize health and well-being. Prevention & Treatment, 3, Article 0001a. Retrieved November 20, 2000, from

Please note that there are several reference styles for online references, depending on whether the source in an online journal only, on online article based on a print source, or a stand-alone document with no indicated author or date. Refer to for formatting information.

APA style calls for a list of References at the end of the article instead of a Bibliography. All references cited in the article must be listed alphabetically by author's last name in the list of References. All manuscripts accepted for publication are checked for factual accuracy of content and references. Authors must submit copies of source materials for fact checking during the editing phase. If the article is submitted electronically, the background source material can be sent in hard copy to the attention of the managing editor with a cover note explaining the article it accompanies.

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Photos may be submitted with the manuscript (using the online submission form at

Acceptable file types: jpg (jpeg), gif, png
Resolution: a minimum of 300 dpi is required

Be sure to submit captions for each photo.

Images copied from websites, or images that are 300 dpi or lower, are not acceptable quality and will not be considered. Generally, a high-resolution image will be over 500K as a file size. Please do not send photos embedded in Word or other word processor documents.

Photo Release:
NSNA requires a photo release form before publishing any photos of identifiable individuals, as well as a photographer’s release if the photos are not by the author.

Download photo release form at

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Criteria Used in Accepting Articles

1. Length and word count are within guidelines 
2. The article is accurate, properly documented and conforms to Imprint's Guidelines for Authors.
3. Subject matter is relevant to Imprint readers

Other Considerations
Ideal manuscripts: fit the focus/theme of an upcoming issue; and cover topics not published in Imprint within the last 18 months (unless the topic is of an upcoming focus/theme).

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Columns Open for Submission or Suggestions for Topics

Write On - Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor responding to articles in Imprint or nursing issues.
(Suggested length: between 200-400 words)

State and local chapters report on projects and activities in which they are participating to promote member recognition and networking. Submissions to the "Happenings" reporter through the NSNA office are encouraged, along with photos highlighting student activities. (See photo guidelines re: permission to publish.) Use the online submission form and select "Happenings" or "Both" to be considered for both reporter positions . Give as many details as you can. You will be put in touch with the Happenings reporter.

Up Close
Highlights outstanding NSNA members. Readers are invited to submit names for consideration to the Up Close reporter through the online submission form.
Human interest stories about emotional or life-changing experiences with patients or other nursing school experiences.

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