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Instructions for Authors

Author Guidelines for AACN Advanced Critical Care
Authorship, Financial Disclosure, Copyright Transfer, and Acknowledgment Form
Permission Letter
English Language Editing Services

Author Guidelines for AACN Advanced Critical Care

AACN Advanced Critical Care is an official publication of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. It is a quarterly, peer-reviewed series of informative volumes of particular interest to experienced critical care, acute care, and progressive care clinicians at the bedside, advanced practice nurses, and clinical and academic educators. Each issue contains a topic-based symposium of 4 to 5 articles and individual articles that focus on topics of current clinical and professional interest. Articles contain concisely written information that can be put to immediate use in practice and be readily available for future reference. Continuing education units are available for selected articles in each volume. Both solicited and unsolicited articles are accepted for publication.


Manuscripts focus on in-depth, state-of-the-science, and evidence-based content of relevance to experienced clinicians and advanced practice nurses working in critical care, acute care, or progressive care areas. The goal is for each journal issue to include articles related to pathophysiology, pharmacology, advanced assessment, disease management, innovative approaches to care, and professional role topics. Manuscripts also include discussion of how to integrate the article’s information into clinical practice. Where appropriate, manuscripts include discussion of differences and similarities for patients across the lifespan (neonate through geriatrics). Manuscripts are to be reference-based and reflect the most current and seminal references on the topic, including clinical research studies.


AACN adheres to the ethical guidelines published by COPE, the Committee on Publication Ethics(, and takes allegations of misconduct, such as plagiarism or falsification of data, with the utmost seriousness. If you believe content in this journal may have been falsified, please contact the editorial office:

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
27071 Aliso Creek Road
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Phone: (800) 394-5995, ext. 532, (949) 362-2000
Email: [email protected]


Authors wishing to submit a complaint may do so by contacting us by phone or email:
Phone: (800) 394-5995, ext. 532, (949) 362-2000
Email: [email protected]


Letters to the editor raising points of current interest or commenting on articles previously published in the journal are welcome. Letters should be 500 words or less with no more than 7 references and are subject to editing for length and clarity. Address letters to [email protected].


Authors must prepare manuscripts according to the American Medical Association's Manual of Style (JAMA Network Editors, eds. AMA Manual of Style. 11th ed. Oxford University Press; 2020).


The following guidelines should be followed when preparing a manuscript for publication.
Only electronic files compatible with MS Word will be accepted for manuscript submission. Format of Word document:

  • Double-space the entire document (including tables)
  • Use 1-inch margins
  • Use a font size of 12 throughout the manuscript, including the title page, and table and figure legends
  • Include page numbers, as well as a 2- or 3-word short title (running head) as a header and/or footer on each page
  • Limit the manuscript length to less than 25 pages, excluding references, figures, and tables
  • Do not use a reference program (eg, EndNote)
  • Follow AMA Manual of Style. 11th ed

Title page

Include the title of the manuscript and list name, credentials (per AMA style, please do not include US fellowship designations or honorary designations), position title, address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address of each author. Clearly identify the corresponding author. The title should be concise, specific and informative. Titles should emphasize the main point of the manuscript and be no more than 70 characters (including spaces). Also, include a running head title (abbreviated title that appears in the header/footer of the published article).

List any acknowledgments, disclaimers, study support, or potential conflicts of interest on the title page. Examples:

Acknowledgments: Special thanks to May Jones, PhD, for statistical consultation and data review and to John Cary for manuscript review.

Acknowledgment: Presented in part at American Association of Critical-Care Nurses National Teaching Institute, New Orleans, May 8, 2005.

Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US Air Force or the Department of Defense.

Financial Support: This study was funded by Zoll, Chelmsford, MA, and by a grant from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, Aliso Viejo, CA.


Include an abstract that summarizes the main points of the manuscript (limited to 150 words). List 3 to 5 keywords at the end of the abstract for indexing purposes. Keywords should follow MeSH headings. Example: Keywords: cardiac output, quality of life, coping skills

Body of the manuscript

  • Use clear, concise subtitles within the manuscript to improve readability.
  • Do not use footnotes within the body of the manuscript. Use the AMA reference style throughout the manuscript. This style includes the use of superscript and sequential numbers for references at the end of each sentence. Once a reference has been cited, continue to use the same number for that reference throughout the manuscript. Example: Recent national guidelines on the prevention of VAP include the use of an endotracheal tube with an additional lumen for continuous aspiration of supraglottic secretions in all patients anticipated to require mechanical ventilation greater than 48 hours.1,5-7
  • APA format is unacceptable and manuscripts will be returned to the author for correction.
  • Abbreviations are recommended for words that are used more than 3 times in the text. Spell out all abbreviations the first time they appear in the manuscript, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses.Example: ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).
  • The standard abbreviation for electrocardiogram is ECG. The unit of measure for liquids and gases is milliliters (mL). Avoid using abbreviations that may lead to medication errors and are not recommended for use in hospitals.
  • Use generic names for drugs throughout the manuscript. Cite device manufacturers in parentheses after mentioning a branded device.
  • Each reference should be cited in the text, tables, or figures in consecutive numerical order. A reference can be cited in a table or figure legend and not in the text if it is in sequence with references cited in the text. 
  • List of references: Include current and seminal references on the topic, including clinical research studies if relevant. In general, limit references to 30 or 40 key citations (exception: review of the literature or evidence-based practice manuscripts). Sequentially number the references in the reference list based on the order of their appearance in the text. Use the AMA reference style for each citation. Abbreviate journal names as used in MEDLINE/PubMed. Limit the number of authors included in the reference to 3 followed by “et al” when there are more than 6 authors. For 6 or fewer authors, list all authors. Examples:
  1. Hauptman PJ, Jimenez-Navarro M, Molero ET, et al. Left ventricular assist device. N Engl J Med. 2002;346:1023-1025.
  2. Cohen L, Athaid V, Wichman ME, Doyle-Waters MM, Rose NG, Hohl CM. The effect of ketamine on intracranial and cerebral perfusion pressure and health outcomes: a systematic review. Ann Emerg Med. 2015;65(1):43-51.
  3. Weiss M. Biomedical Instrumentation. Chilton Book Company, 1973.
  4. Rozenfeld M. How persuasive technology can change your habits. Published January 1, 2018. Accessed October 5, 2021.


  • Create a separate page with all table titles and figure legends and double-space these titles and legends.
  • Double-space all content in tables.
  • Define all abbreviations used in tables in either the legend or at the bottom of the table.
  • If the table is from or adapted from another source, list that information at the end of the legend. Sequentially cite all tables in the text of the manuscript.  Example: Table 1: Criteria for risk assessment (Used with permission from Jones ML. Falls risk assessment. J Nurs Qual. 2004;24:11).
  • Sequentially cite all tables in the text of the manuscript.


  • Use the first author's name and the figure number as the file title.
  • Submit scanned black-and-white or color images at a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Crop out any white or black space surrounding the image.
  • Photographs and radiographs with text must be saved as Adobe PostScript or at a resolution of at least 300 dpi.
  • Do not send files downloaded from the Internet, as these are low-resolution and will reproduce poorly in print.
  • The preferred file formats are TIFF and EPS. JPG and BMP are accepted but not preferred, as these are also low resolution.
  • Do not submit any art in Microsoft applications. For printing purposes, the original art that was placed into these applications is required.
  • Include signed consent/release from owner of photo or artist if different from author. Include signed consent/release forms from all identifiable individuals. If permission from subjects is not obtained, photographs will be cropped appropriately.
  • For figures such as graphs, data points should also be provided in a separate text file.
  • Figure legends should be typed double-spaced in consecutive order in which they appear on a new manuscript page. If the figure is from or adapted from another source, list that information at the end of the legend.
  • Sequentially cite all figures in the text of the manuscript.


Data-based articles published in the journal must have been approved by an institutional review board. A statement indicating that approval was granted must be contained in the manuscript.


If you wish to use a previously published table or figure/illustration, or an adapted version of a previously published table or figure/illustration, you must obtain written permission from the copyright holder, usually the original publisher. Use the permission letter available on this site. You must add a credit line to the end of the figure or table legend giving the original source of the material. Permissions must accompany the submitted manuscript. If the copyright holder requests a fee or copies of the journal issue in which the material appears, the author is financially responsible to pay the fee and provide the copies.


Each author must complete and submit the journal's copyright transfer agreement, which includes a section on the disclosure of potential conflicts of interest based on the recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals" (

Each person listed as an author should be thoroughly familiar with the substance of the final manuscript and be able to defend its conclusions. Persons who make subsidiary contributions may be listed in an "Acknowledgments" section at the end of the manuscript.


Authors must state all possible conflicts of interest in the manuscript, including financial, consultant, institutional and other relationships that might lead to bias or a conflict of interest. If there is no conflict of interest, this should also be explicitly stated as none declared. All sources of funding should be acknowledged in the manuscript. All relevant conflicts of interest and sources of funding should be included on the title page of the manuscript with the heading “Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding.” Example:

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: A has received honoraria from Company Z. B is currently receiving a grant (#12345) from Organization Y, and is on the speaker’s bureau for Organization X – the CME organizers for Company A. For the remaining authors none were declared.


Obtain written permission from all individuals named in an Acknowledgment, because readers may infer the individuals’ endorsement of data and conclusions. The corresponding author must certify that all persons who have made substantial contributions to the work reported in this manuscript (eg, data collection, analysis, or writing or editing assistance) but who do not fulfill the authorship criteria are named in an Acknowledgment in the manuscript, and that all persons so named have provided written permission to be named, and that if an Acknowledgment section is not included, no other persons have made substantial contributions to the manuscript.


For those authors whose research was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the editors and publishers acknowledge that the authors retain the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for journal publication for archiving in the PubMed Central database as soon as possible, but no later than 12 months after publication by the journal. (For NIH reporting purposes, AACN Advanced Critical Care defines “acceptance” of a manuscript as occurring at the time the editors have approved the final page proof as accurate and ready for public release.) Please note, however, that submission of the manuscript to PubMed Central is the author’s responsibility.


ACC aligns with the positions of COPE and ICJME (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in publication.

  • Artificial intelligence tools cannot be listed as authors because they cannot take responsibility for the submitted work, one of the requirements for authorship.
  • Authors must disclose the use of AI in the development of their submission (eg, body of manuscript, tables, figures).
  • If authors use AI in the development of the manuscript, they must fact check and cite all information generated by AI.


Authors must use the online Editorial Manager system to submit a manuscript. To access this system go to First-time users: Please click the “REGISTER” option (located on the menu near the top of the web page) and enter the requested information. On successful registration, you will be sent an e-mail with your assigned user name and password. Note: If you already received an e-mail with a user name and password, or if you are a repeat user, do not register again. Just log in. Once you receive an assigned name and password, you need not re-register, even if your status changes (eg, from author to reviewer). Authors: Please click the “LOGIN” option (located on the menu near the top of the web page) and log in to the system as an author. Submit your manuscript according to the instructions for authors. You will be able to track the progress of your manuscript through the system.

For help submitting a manuscript online, visit and click on "Author Tutorial." For technical help or questions not addressed by the Author Tutorial, please contact Betty Schiefelbein, the peer review coordinator: [email protected].

Items to submit online:

  • Manuscript in an electronic file in MS Word or MS Word-compatible file format.
  • An individual electronic file for each figure in the manuscript. Original artwork may be submitted in lieu of an electronic file and original documents will be returned to the you. Figure files must be in a TIFF or EPS file format, with a minimum of 300 dpi. Figure files that are embedded in the manuscript document do not meet this requirement. Please prepare separate electronic TIFF files of each figure for uploading during the submission process. Upload figures consecutively on the website and number figures consecutively. 
  • Authorship, Financial Disclosure, Copyright Transfer, and Acknowledgment Form signed by each author. After signing the form, please scan and save it as a PDF file. This file can then be uploaded during the manuscript submission process. 
  • Permission letter for each table and/or figure that are from another source. (A permission letter is available on this site.) After signing the form, please scan and save it as a PDF file. This file can then be uploaded during the manuscript submission process.

Please retain copies of all files that you submit using the Editorial Manager system.


Mary Fran Tracy, PhD, RN, CCNS, FAAN

E-mail: [email protected]

English Language Editing Services

Articles submitted to AACN Advanced Critical Care need to be written with excellent command of the English language. If you need assistance in this area, you can choose to use an editorial service, at your own cost. Listed below are a few editing resources available online. Please note: Use of an editorial service will not guarantee acceptance for publication in the journal..

American Journal Experts

BioScience Writers



SPi Global


The Medical Editor

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