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Western Journal of Nursing Research

An International Forum for Communicating Nursing Research

University of Missouri, Columbia

The Official Journal of the Midwest Nursing Research Society


Manuscript Requirements

Provide a descriptive manuscript title of no more than 12 words.

Number all pages, beginning with abstract page and including references, tables, and figures. Research reports may be 16 pages, review articles generally may be 20 pages, and grantsmanship papers may be 7 pages. (Title page, abstract, references, tables, and figures do not count towards total.)

Do not use bold or italics in the manuscript for text other than headings, subheadings, and references. Use one inch margins and 12-point typeface. Double space the entire document including tables and references. Do not include line numbers. Use three or fewer abbreviations in the manuscript text. Additional abbreviations may be necessary in some complex tables.

Prepare a blinded manuscript file that does not contain any author information. Do not include a title page in this file. When blinding references, replace the citations and author list with “Authors,” but retain the rest of the reference entry for reviewers.

Include an abstract in paragraph form without citations as the first page of the manuscript file in addition to filling in the required abstract text box on the online system. Abstracts should focus on methods and results, with much less space devoted to background and discussion. Limit the abstract to 150 words. Do not use headings or abbreviations in abstracts. Include four to five keywords at the bottom of your abstract for indexing. Use MeSH terms if possible.

The organization for WJNR research reports is as follows:

  • Use APA style for levels of headings to distinguish main headings (methods, results, and discussion) from subheadings (such as sample, measures, intervention, procedures, data analyses). 
  • Introduction: Do not use a heading. No more than one paragraph about the study topic.
  • Statement of the Problem: Use a substantive, descriptive heading which describes the topic; do not use “Literature Review” or “Statement of the Problem” as the heading. Include rationale for the study, any conceptual framework, and literature review.
  • Purpose: Most manuscripts would benefit from this heading. State specific research questions or hypotheses which name all variables in the study.
  •  Most manuscripts would benefit from this heading. State specific research questions or hypotheses which name all variables in the study.
  • Methods: Specify design, participants/sampling, data collection/measures, interventions, procedures, and/or analysis plans as relevant. Intervention reports are welcome and are allowed 4 additional pages over the 16 page limit for detailed description. Please use the CONSORT guidelines ( when developing intervention manuscripts (flow charts are generally not necessary). Provide extensive details regarding any interventions (see Conn, WJNR 34, 427-433 for intervention details to report).
  • Results: Describe sample attributes then present results by research questions or hypotheses. When statistical tests are performed, provide test statistics and exact p values. Report means and measures of variability for important variables. Report numbers of subjects included in analyses, if this varies.
  • Discussion: The last heading, do not use subheadings in this section. The section should include findings interpreted in the context of other research, conceptual frameworks, or design.
  • References: Use the most recent APA Manual of Style for citations and reference lists. References for research reports are generally limited to 30 citations; reviews may include more citations.
  • Include any acknowledgement statement on the title page file, not the manuscript file. Do not state authors’ names in acknowledgements. Limit to major contributions. Be brief.

Tables and figures are encouraged when they convey information not presented in the text. Tables andfigures should display unique information; do not report the same information in figures and tables. Figures are optional, must be camera-ready, and black and white; WJNR does not publish color figures. No more than one figure per page. APA rules mandate that each table have only one kind of data (e.g., do not place frequencies and continuous data in the same table). Produce tables in word processing programs and eliminate any dividing lines within tables. Group tables and figures at the end of the manuscript file or in a separate file. Avoid tables longer than one page. Research reports should contain no more than 3 tables or figures total, but exceptions are possible. Review articles may contain additional tables.

  • Follow APA format for tables. New authors should work with experienced authors or statisticians to construct tables.
  • Each column in a table must contain only one kind of data (e.g., frequencies and means cannot be in the same column).
  • Tables must have column labels which indicate the kind of data in that column (e.g., means(SD), n(%), r(p)).
  • Do not create small tables with few rows and columns, these data may be better presented in the text.
  • Tables should always contain information about the number of subjects in the analyses. If all subjects are included in all cells, this may be designated parenthetically at the end of the title such as (N = 451) otherwise designate sample sizes in column headings or in a footnote.
  • In tables and text, upper case ‘N’ designates the entire sample. Lower case ‘n’ denotes a subsample.
  • Report exact p values (instead of p less than values) whenever possible in tables and text.
  • Limit information in tables to essential content. Tables over two manuscript pages in length should be rare.

Review papers should address health problems or nursing practice issues with high significance for many patients or nurses. Reviews should synthesize previous findings as well as suggest future research and practice. Review articles should be organized in a manner consistent with the content area and have appropriate headings and subheadings. The extent of previous research determines the number of references and tables.

WJNR is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Submit manuscripts online at 

WJNR Editor Vicki Conn or Assistant Sandra Dearlove may be contacted at 

WJNR Welcomes Outstanding Review Manuscripts

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Frequency: 10 Times/Year eISSN: 1552-8456 ISSN: 0193-9459
Months of Distribution: January , February , March , April , May , July , August , September , October , November Current Volume: 36 Current Issue: 10
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