Instructions for Authors
- A message from the Editor (video, 4:01 min)
- Author Guidelines for Critical Care Nurse
- Submission and Publication Agreement
- Third-Party Content Agreement
- Permission request letter
- Case report permission form (CCN will also accept signed forms from other institutions)
- OnlineNOW information
- Editorial on how to prepare a paper for publication
- Editorial on how to write an abstract
- Article on how to revise papers
- AACN Levels of Evidence
- English-language editing services
- CCN Review Form
Author Guidelines for Critical Care Nurse
Critical Care Nurse (CCN) is an official publication of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). Authors are invited to submit manuscripts for consideration and peer review. Clinical topics must meet the mission of CCN and address nursing practice of acute and critically ill patients.
Manuscripts should be submitted via the CCN online manuscript submission and review system at www.editorialmanager.com/ccn.
Authors who desire OnlineNOW (online only) publication can make that choice during the online submission process. The full-text version of OnlineNOW articles appears exclusively on the journal's website at www.ccnonline.org, with only the abstract appearing in the print and digital versions of the journal. OnlineNOW articles may enjoy a faster turnaround time from acceptance to publication than do articles in print. OnlineNOW articles are peer reviewed, copyedited, formatted, indexed (in CINAHL and Medline), and citable just like CCN's print offerings.
Editorial Office Contact Information
Peer Review Coordinator: email, firstname.lastname@example.org
For help submitting your manuscript online, visit www.editorialmanager.com/ccn and click “Author Tutorial.” For technical help or questions not addressed by the Author Tutorial document, email email@example.com.
All manuscripts are subject to double-blind peer review. To ensure a blinded review, do not list the author's name or institution in the running head or anywhere in the manuscript after the title page, including references in the first person to the author's own work. Include a placeholder for any institutional names (most common in IRB or setting sections); for example, "Our project was implemented at XXXXX." Manuscripts that do not meet this requirement will not be reviewed.
Please note, the peer review process often takes 3 or more months and delays may be unavoidable. After the manuscript has been reviewed, the author will be informed whether the manuscript requires revision before publication or has been accepted or rejected. Most manuscript submissions require at least 1 revision followed by another round of review.
At the time of submission, authors will be asked to suggest potential reviewers (optional). Please suggest reviewers for your submission and provide specific reasons for suggesting each person. These potential reviewers should be individuals who were not involved with your project or manuscript and who are not from your institution.
Accepted manuscripts become the property of AACN and may not be published without the written permission of AACN. Accepted manuscripts are subject to editing to conform to the American Medical Association Manual of Style, 11th edition (2020).
The title page of a manuscript should contain the following:
- Title, which should be concise yet informative
- All authors' full names, with degrees, credentials, ranks, affiliations, and mailing addresses (Each author must meet the authorship criteria listed in the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines. Contributors who do not meet these criteria may be listed in the Acknowledgments.)
- Brief (1 to 2 sentences) biography of each author
- Acknowledgments that identify people or places related to the manuscript (The corresponding author must obtain permission from all individuals listed in the Acknowledgments.)
- Funding and financial disclosure
- Three to 5 key words for indexing
Abstracts must be written in the third person. Structured, double-spaced abstracts are preferred; abstracts should use the headings appropriate to the type of article listed below and should include no more than 250 words.
All manuscripts should be double-spaced with size 12 font and 1-inch margins. Number all pages sequentially and add continuous line numbers. Do not include the title page, abstract, tables, or figures in your manuscript file; these components will be submitted as separate files under the appropriate category. Include a "List of Figure Captions" on a separate page after the references. Bullet points should be used judiciously within the text. Use of tables and figures to convey additional information is strongly recommended. These elements should augment, not duplicate, information in the text.
Feature articles should not exceed 3000 words or 15 double-spaced pages, excluding abstract, references, tables, and figures.
Column articles (invitations only) should not exceed 2000 words or 10 double-spaced pages, excluding abstract, references, tables, or figures.
Critical Care Nurse is no longer accepting research articles. Research performed for quality improvement manuscripts is welcome.
Improvement Reports—follow SQUIRE 2.0 guidelines
- Background (include relevance to critical care nurses)
- Local Problem (include purpose/objective of the project and ethical considerations)
- Methods (include sample, procedures, and analysis)
Case Reports—follow CARE guidelines
- Introduction (What was unique about this case? What is your purpose for reporting this case? What does it add to the literature for critical care nurses? Include ethical considerations and consent.)
- Clinical Findings (include patient’s main symptoms and relevant findings)
- Conclusion (What were the main take-away lessons from this case?)
Review Articles—follow guidelines specific to the type of review article
Only reviews using systematized literature search methods will be considered for publication. An integrative review is an example (see methodology suggestions by Torraco RJ and by Whittemore and Knafl). Please note that CCN does not accept systematic reviews.
- Discussion (include clinical practice recommendations and limitations or possible biases)
Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Articles—follow guidelines specific to EBP articles
- Background (include clinical question)
- Review of Evidence (cite evidence table)
Primary references should be used when possible. Current references (within the past 5 years) are desirable; however, older references may be required. References should be double-spaced and located after the last page of text and before any tables and figures. Number references consecutively by their order of appearance in the text and designate reference numbers as superscripts in the text. References in tables and figures are numbered sequentially as if they are cited where the table or figure is first cited in the text. Remove electronic coding from reference management software before submission. If a source lists more than 6 authors, list only the first 3, followed by “et al.” DOI numbers should be provided for all online only articles in the reference list. Follow the American Medical Association Manual of Style, 11th edition, for format and punctuation, shown below.
Create and submit each table as a separate file in Word. Do not paste the table into Word as an image or from another program. Place the table title above each table. Each table must be numbered sequentially (in the order mentioned in the text). Abbreviations appearing in tables must be spelled out directly below the respective table.
Submit scanned black-and-white or color images at a resolution of at least 300 dpi. The preferred file formats are TIFF and EPS. Do not submit files downloaded from the internet, because these are low resolution and will reproduce poorly in print. Include a signed consent/release form from the owner (includes photographs) 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 be provided in a separate text file.
Submit a legend for each figure; include spelled out abbreviations and any reprint permissions pertaining to the figure. All figure legends should be listed in consecutive order on a separate manuscript page following the references.
If any material in the manuscript is from a previously copyrighted publication, include a letter of permission to reproduce the material from the copyright holder.
Patient Descriptions and Photographs
Include a signed statement of informed consent to publish (in print and online) patient descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees from all persons (parents or legal guardians for minors) who can be identified in such written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees. Such persons should be shown the manuscript before its submission.
Use generic names. The trade name of a particular drug may be cited in parentheses the first time it appears.
Units of Measurement
Physiological measurements should be reported in metric units (International System of Units, SI); conventional units may be placed in parentheses after the SI units. Use metric units or decimal multiples for length, height, weight, and volume. Show temperature in degrees Celsius, pressure in millimeters of mercury, and volume (liquid and gas) in milliliters, not cubic centimeters. Laboratory values may be reported in conventional units.
Abbreviations and Symbols
Use the full term for an acronym the first time that it is used, unless it is a standard unit of measure.
Checklist for Authors
Manuscripts should be submitted online via the CCN manuscript submission and review system. Editorial Manager will combine your submission into a single PDF file for purposes of review. Your online manuscript submission should contain the following components (see detailed descriptions):
- Letter to the Editor (describe how your manuscript enhances CCN's mission)
- Title page
- Manuscript including references (be prepared to enter total word count, excluding title, abstract, and references)
- De-identify author and institutional names in the manuscript.
- Table(s) (submit each table as a separate file in Word)
- Figure(s) (submit each figure as a separate file in EPS or TIFF format; submit in Word only if the figure was created in Word)
- Figure legend(s) (as part of the manuscript, following the references)
- Permissions to publish identifiable persons in photographs and names of people in the Acknowledgments, copyrighted materials, and any material not belonging to author. Permission to publish de-identified case study.
- Submission and Publication Agreement. Submit 1 signed form for each author. Electronic digitally verified signatures will be accepted. This step can wait until you have received email confirmation from the journal and been assigned a manuscript number. The completed forms can be submitted as an attachment by email. Fill in the manuscript number and the title of your manuscript in the space provided on the form. All financial disclosures, including disclosures of no financial conflicts, will be published.
Most authors can anticipate at least 1 or more revisions following peer review.
- Please include a detailed "Response to Reviewers" document, summarizing how you addressed each individual comment when you submit your revision. A table or Word file can be used. If you use a Word document, please respond to feedback directly below individual reviewer comments.
- Clearly identify any changes in the revised version of the manuscript by highlighting or using a different color text. Avoid using track changes.
- Adhere to CCN author guidelines during the revision process, such as maximum page limits.
Authors will be asked to review proofs before publication. Critical Care Nurse cannot accept responsibility for lost materials; please keep a copy for your files.
In Our Unit
Allegations of Misconduct
English-Language Editing Services
Articles submitted to Critical Care Nurse 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.