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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • Text is single spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, and contains no unnecessary formatting (such as text in boxes, except for Tables). The manuscript must be free of track changes. 
  • Tables and figures are included in the manuscript file where mentioned and as supplementary files.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines.

Author Guidelines

Submitted manuscripts that are not in the correct format and without the required supporting documentation specified in these guidelines will be returned to the author(s) for correction and will delay publication. 


Articles are published under the following headings:

  1. Editorial
  2. Letters
  3. Leadership/Management/Professional Practice (ethical, legal)
  4. Awareness: articles on one of the upcoming health day topics according to the national health calendar. NGO news.
  5. Open Forum: typically the opinion articles that do not fit in anywhere else
  6. General Nursing
  7. Oncology Nursing
  8. Psychiatric nursing/ mental health
  9. Community Health/Primary health care/Occupational health
    1. Chronic disease management
    2. Minor ailments
    3. Other clinical conditions
    4. Palliative Nursing/Home care
    5. Women’s health
    6. Adolescent health
    7. Men’s health
  10. Mother and Child Health
    1. Midwifery/Antenatal care/Child Birth Educators
    2. Paediatrics – Neonatology, Immunisation, Breastfeeding, Infant nutrition
  11. Infection Control communicable diseases
  12. Critical Care and trauma nursing.
  13. Theatre Nursing/Surgical disciplines
  14. Wound care/stoma care
  15. Conference Report/News from nursing organisations
  16. Case study
  17. Press releases



Named authors must consent to publication by signing a covering letter which should be submitted as a supplementary file. Authorship should be based on substantial contribution to:

(i) conception, design, analysis and interpretation of data;

(ii) drafting or critical revision for important intellectual content; and

(iii) approval of the version to be published. These conditions must all be met (uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals; refer to www.icmje.org); and

(iv) exact contribution of each author must be stated.



Authors must declare all sources of support for the research and any association with a product or subject that may constitute a conflict of interest. If there is no conflict of interest to declare please include the following: The authors declare no conflict of interest.



All sources of funding should be declared. Also define the involvement of study sponsors in the study design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data; the writing of the manuscript; the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. If the study sponsors had no such involvement, this should be stated as follows: No funding source to be declared.



The submitting author must provide written confirmation of Research Ethics Committee approval for all studies including case reports. The ethics committee as well as the approval number should be included.



Authors are advised to involve medical statisticians at the protocol stage of their research project: to plan sample size, and the selection of appropriate statistical tests for analysis and presentation.    



Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives informed written consent for publication. The patient should be shown the manuscript to be published. Refer to www.icmje.org



The rationale for analysis based on racio-ethnic-cultural categorisation should be indicated.



Shorter items are more likely to be accepted for publication, owing to space constraints and reader preferences. 

Research Articles

Research articles relevant to nursing should not exceed 3 000 words, no more than 30 references, with up to 6 tables or figures. A structured abstract under the following headings, Background, Methods, Results, and Conclusions is a requirement and should not exceed 250 words.

Case reports

Case reports should not exceed 1 200 words with no more than 10 references. Figures are limited to 2 figures and may include images or photographs. The case report should have three headings: Summary (not exceeding 100 words), Case report (with no introduction) and Discussion. Case reports will be published online only.  The summary and the URL will appear in the printed version.


Opinions, etc. should not exceed 1 000 words and are welcome, but unless invited, will be subjected to the PNT peer review process. 

Review articles

Review articles relevant to nursing should not exceed 3 000 words, with a maximum of 25 references and no more than 4 tables or figures. A summary of 250 words or less is required.

Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor should be 400 words or less with only one image or table.

Leadership/Management/Professional Practice, Open Forum, Awareness:

Should not exceed 1800 words



Refer to articles in recent issues for the presentation of headings and subheadings. If in doubt, refer to 'uniform requirements' - www.icmje.org. Manuscripts must be provided in UK English

Qualification, affiliation and contact details

This information must be provided for ALL authors and must be submitted as a supplementary file. 

Email addresses of all author must be provided.

ORCID number of ALL authors must be provided – if authors do not have ORCID, please register at https://orcid.org/


All abbreviations should be spelt out when first used and thereafter used consistently, e.g. 'intravenous (IV)' or 'Department of Health (DoH)'. 

Scientific measurements

Scientific measurements must be expressed in SI units except blood pressure (mmHg) and haemoglobin (g/dl). Litres is denoted with a lowercase 'l' e.g. 'ml' for millilitres). Units should be preceded by a space (except for %), e.g. '40 kg' and '20 cm' but '50%'. Greater/smaller than signs (> and 40 years of age) should also be preceded by a space e.g. > 20 years. No spaces should precede ± and °, i.e. '35±6' and '19°C'. 

Numbers should be written as grouped per thousand-units, i.e. 4 000, 22 160... 

Quotes should be placed in single quotation marks: i.e. The respondent stated: '...' Round brackets (parentheses) should be used, as opposed to square brackets, which are reserved for denoting concentrations or insertions in direct quotes. 

General formatting

The manuscript must be in Microsoft Word. Text must be single spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, and contain no unnecessary formatting (such as text in boxes, except for Tables). The manuscript must be free of track changes. 

Disclaimers should follow the Conclusion and it should be in the following order: Acknowledgements, Declaration of interest, Funding declaration, Ethics declaration and ORCID.



If tables or illustrations submitted have been published elsewhere, the author(s) should provide consent to republication obtained from the copyright holder. 

Tables may be included in the manuscript file where mentioned and provided as 'supplementary files'. They must be numbered in Arabic numerals (1,2,3...) and referred to consecutively in the text (e.g. 'Table 1'). Tables should be constructed carefully and simply for intelligible data representation. Unnecessarily complicated tables are strongly discouraged. Tables must be cell-based (i.e. not constructed with text boxes, tabs or enters) and accompanied by a concise title and column headings.

Figures must be numbered in Arabic numerals and referred to in the text e.g. '(Figure 1)'. Figure legends: Figure 1: 'Title...'. All illustrations/figures/graphs must be of high resolution/quality: 300 dpi or more is preferable, but images must not be resized to increase resolution. Unformatted and uncompressed images must be attached as 'supplementary files' upon submission (not embedded in the accompanying manuscript). TIFF and PNG formats are preferable; JPEG and PDF formats are accepted, but authors must be wary of image compression. Illustrations and graphs prepared in Microsoft PowerPoint or Excel must be accompanied by the original workbook. 



Authors must verify references from the original sources. Only complete, correctly formatted reference lists will be accepted. Reference lists may be generated with the use of reference manager software, but the final document must be delinked from the reference database or otherwise generated manually. Citations should be inserted in the text as superscript, e.g. These regulations are endorsed by the World Health Organization,2 and others.3,4-6 The superscript reference number should come after the punctuation mark.

All references should be listed at the end of the article in numerical order of appearance in the Vancouver style (not alphabetical order). Approved abbreviations of journal titles must be used; see the List of Journals in Index Medicus. Names and initials of all authors should be given; if there are more than six authors, the first three names should be given followed by et al. First and last page, volume and issue numbers should be given. Wherever possible, references must be accompanied by a digital object identifier (DOI) link and PubMed ID (PMID)/PubMed Central ID (PMCID). Authors are encouraged to use the DOI lookup service offered by CrossRef. Crossref DOIs should always be displayed as a full URL link in the form https://doi.org/10.xxxx/xxxxx

Journal references: Price NC, Jacobs NN, Roberts DA, et al. Importance of asking about glaucoma. Stat Med 1998;289(1):350-355. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1000/hgjr.182] [PMID: 2764753] 

Book references: Jeffcoate N. Principles of Gynaecology. 4th ed. London: Butterworth, 1975:96-101. Chapter/section in a book: Weinstein L, Swartz MN. Pathogenic Properties of Invading Microorganisms. In: Sodeman WA jun, Sodeman WA, eds. Pathologic Physiology: Mechanisms of Disease. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 1974:457-472. 

Internet references: World Health Organization. The World Health Report 2002 - Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2002. http://www.who.int/whr/2002 (accessed 16 January 2010). 

Other references (e.g. reports) should follow the same format: Author(s). Title. Publisher place: publisher name, year; pages. Cited manuscripts that have been accepted but not yet published can be included as references followed by '(in press)'. Unpublished observations and personal communications in the text must not appear in the reference list. The full name of the source person must be provided for personal communications e.g. '...(Prof. Michael Jones, personal communication)'. 



A covering letter to the editor is mandatory and must include statements that the manuscript has not been published previously and is not under review elsewhere. It should state details of any prior publication of the research in abstract form or in Congress proceedings. The letter must declare if any of the authors have a conflict of interest and that the requirements for submission, including ethics approval and patient permission for case reports have been fulfilled. All authors must sign the covering letter.

Please provide the names and email addresses of three possible reviewers for this manuscript.



Manuscripts, after vetting by the editorial team, are assigned for peer-review to 3 reviewers, conversant with the particular field of research. The reviewers and the authors are blinded to each other’s identity. The turn-around time for review and initial editorial decision notification aims to be within 6 weeks of submission.  



A PDF proof of an article may be sent to the corresponding author before publication to resolve remaining queries. At that stage, only typographical changes are permitted; the corresponding author is required, having conferred with his/her co-authors, to reply within 2 working days in order for the article to be published in the issue for which it has been scheduled. 



Please notify the editorial department of any contact detail changes, including email, to facilitate communication. 



There is no charge for the publication of manuscripts.



Professional Nursing Today (PNT) reserves copyright of the material published. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial Works 4.0 South Africa License. Material submitted for publication in PNT is accepted provided it has not been published elsewhere. PNT does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.


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