1. McGrath, Jacqueline M. PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN
  2. Co-Editor in Chief
  3. Brandon, Debra PhD, RN, CNS, FAAN
  4. Co-Editor in Chief

Article Content

Thanks to all of you, Advances in Neonatal Care is thriving! Our impact factor has been rising steadily over the past 5 years. We are quite pleased that our content is being noticed and cited in the neonatal world and beyond. Our readership both inside and outside neonatal nursing is also thriving, as is the growing number of manuscript submissions. Manuscripts are currently being authored by nurses, physicians, and other interdisciplinary collaborators who work together to optimize care for infants and their families in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). We are also seeing an increasing number of submissions from international authors. This increased participation is all good news; we are grateful to our readership and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses for their support.


However, recently, we noticed that an increasing number of our submissions are coming to us without nurse authors. We had a spirited discussion in our Editorial Board meeting about how best to address this issue. Advances in Neonatal Care is the official journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. As such, we believe it is the premiere journal for neonatal nursing. In addition, we believe Advances in Neonatal Care takes a unique and dynamic approach to the original research and clinical practice articles it publishes. Our focus is on addressing nursing practice issues and sharing research findings that will assist neonatal nurses caring for low birth-weight infants in level II and level III NICUs around the globe. The journal promotes evidence-based care and improved outcomes for the tiniest patients and their families. Our vision is that Advances in Neonatal Care is the FIRST place neonatal nurses and neonatal care providers go to for the best evidence to support caregiving of NICU infants and families. Thus, our guiding purpose for Advances in Neonatal Care is to provide content that supports a foundation and direction for neonatal nurses in Increased Awareness, Education/Professional Development, Setting the Standard of Care, and Leadership, as well as the basis for an interface to the greater Community that supports neonatal intensive care.


To that end, our author guidelines have been updated and beginning in 2022 we will no longer accept manuscript submissions for review where there is not at least one nurse author. The nurse author could be from a variety of practice roles such as bedside nurse, clinical nurse specialist, neonatal nurse practitioner, or nurse researcher. Manuscripts already under review or in the revisions process will not be affected by this change in our editorial practice. We do realize this decision could decrease our submissions or could lead to some "tokenism" where a nurse author is included on the draft manuscript just for the sake of being able to submit to our journal.


Tokenism occurs when an individual is included as author even when their role might not meet the true definition for authorship. According to COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics;, authors of manuscripts must meet several criteria. Specifically, all authors must make substantial contributions to the work including conception or design of the work; or acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data; as well as drafting the manuscript and critically reviewing the work before submission. This includes review and final approval of the manuscript submission by all authors. In short, all authors should be able to defend and answer questions about all aspects and sections of the manuscript with accuracy and integrity. We do ask all authors of manuscripts submitted to Advances in Neonatal Care to answer questions about authorship and conflict of interest during the submission process. While we don't yet publish how authors contribute as a note within the manuscript, some journals are beginning to include this information with the publication of an article.


In summary, we believe that inclusion of a nurse as an author has the potential for many good outcomes. First and foremost, we believe this change in journal practices promotes neonatal nurses and our national association. It also promotes the importance of the role of neonatal nursing in optimizing outcomes for infants and families who must traverse the NICU. We already ask for nursing implications to be addressed in all manuscripts; this change in our editorial practices will strengthen the application of those nursing implications. Again, we thank you to our readership and for your submissions to Advances in Neonatal Care.


Jacqueline M. McGrath, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN


Co-Editor in Chief; Advances in Neonatal Care


Debra Brandon, PhD, RN, CNS, FAAN


Co-Editor in Chief; Advances in Neonatal Care