1. Schmidt, Kari L. MS, RN-BC, ACC

Article Content

I am often asked, "How can I get published?" At other times though, when I hear a great success in nursing professional development (NPD) and I encourage the practitioner to publish, I am met with, "Oh I could not do that." The thought of publishing one's work can certainly be daunting. Yet, sharing practice-based evidence and application of evidence-based practice via publications is essential in enhancing our NPD practice. Publishing provides the opportunity to share your research, successes, and learnings from your practice and to inspire other practitioners in their practice.


Getting started can be a challenge. First, define an idea you have that is unique. Reflect on the relevance of your topic to other NPD practitioners. What unique angle or perspective can you present? Then vet your idea with trusted colleagues. What suggestions do they have on how you present this topic? How did you assess the needs? What outcomes did you achieve? What lessons did you learn? Did you recently complete a poster presentation? Can the story you shared in your poster be written as an article? It is essential to define your target readers and the readers' needs and interests. This process will help you identify the appropriate journal for your manuscript submission. Next, review the author guidelines for the journal; these are often found on the journal's Web site. The guidelines will give you specific information on the mission, format, style, and voice of the journal.


Similar to preparing a presentation, it is essential for authors to prepare for writing. Similar to presenting, decide if you will be authoring the manuscript alone or coauthoring with colleagues. There is an excellent resource for authors on our Journal for Nurses in Professional Development Web site (


Another excellent resource is the International Academy of Nurse Editors. The Web site has numerous resources on writing for publication (


Once your idea is solid and your target reader is clear, start writing! Begin with one paragraph. What is the message you want to share with readers? From the focus of that initial paragraph, you expand to your outline and then to the initial draft of your article. This is another opportunity to ask your trusted colleagues to review your draft and give you candid feedback. After fine tuning your draft, you are ready to submit your manuscript. If writing a 12- to 15-page full-length article seems challenging, you could consider writing a shorter piece. In the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, we have the short feature From the Frontlines to the Back Page, which is composed of four to six paragraphs. The goal of these pieces is to use the collective skills and wisdom of NPD practitioners to inspire, guide, and connect with others who face similar challenges.


Michael Polacek, a nurse educator at Salem Health, Salem, Oregon, describes himself as a slightly more than a novice author. He attended the Association for Nursing Professional Development "Writing for Publication" workshop in 2014 and coauthored an article in the next 12 months. Michael offers advice for new authors: "Envision yourself as published[horizontal ellipsis]write practice articles[horizontal ellipsis]and connect with experienced authors." Excellent advice, Michael!


There are numerous rewards to publishing. Your contribution is certainly advancing our NPD field. You are also enhancing your credibility within and outside your organization. Your work will inform, challenge, and inspire practitioners around the globe.


An important note is a new feature beginning in this issue of the Journal: The Editors' Pick. As co-editors, Susan Bindon and I will select an article that has a unique focus or approaches an established topic in a unique way; is well written, credible, relevant, and highly readable; reflects authentic NPD practice; and incorporates relevant evidence. The Editors' Pick provides another opportunity to feature NPD practice and outcomes. Enjoy!




Polacek M. J. ( 2015). Suggestions for new authors. E-mail, September 18, 2015.