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Editor-in-Chief’s message


Beth Kelsey, EdD, APRN, WHNP-BC

Dear Colleagues,

I want to take this opportunity to update you on a change in our Guidelines for Authors.

When we first established the guidelines, we decided that we would not consider student manuscripts, primarily for practical reasons. We do not have sufficient editorial staff to review dozens of manuscripts of DNP students who, as a requirement for graduation, must submit a paper to an advanced practice nursing (APN) journal. And even though our journal is published online, we are still limited in terms of the number of pages that each issue can contain. So we decided to limit the pool of prospective authors to APNs who are in practice and to those who are doing research and/or teaching.

However, we realize that we may be missing out on excellent manuscripts written by DNP students or recent DNP graduates that would be worthy contributions to the APN literature. In addition, NPWH, our managing editor Dory Greene, and I want to support doctoral students and recent graduates in becoming authors and in giving them the opportunity to share up-to-date information with a clinical focus that is useful in everyday practice. Therefore, we are now accepting manuscript submissions from master’s-prepared APNs who are enrolled in a program granting a doctoral degree. Students who have previously authored an article in a peer-reviewed journal may submit a manuscript as a solo author (documentation of this previously published work must be provided at the time of manuscript submission). Otherwise, we require that the student’s faculty advisor or another faculty member, as appropriate, serve as second author on the manuscript.

To qualify as a second author, this person must make a substantive intellectual contribution to drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content and must approve the version of the manuscript to be submitted. In addition, if the manuscript is a report on research that has been conducted, all authors must have made a substantive intellectual contribution to the conception and design of the study, or the acquisition of the data, or analysis and interpretation of the data. These requirements are in accordance with those of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. All authors assume responsibility for the content of the manuscript.

Although Dory will know about an author’s status as a doctoral student when a manuscript is submitted to us, our peer reviewers and I receive blinded versions of the manuscript. We do not know the names, credentials, or educational or professional status of any authors until a paper is accepted for publication. Our editorial and peer reviewer decisions are made solely on the merits of the manuscript.

As an alternative to submitting a manuscript in capstone project or dissertation-style, you can disseminate key points or important aspects of your doctoral work using one of these formats:

Case study: This relatively short article (maximum, 3000 words, excluding references and graphics) addresses complex women’s health situations and is present-ed in a way that challenges readers to “solve the case.” The particular challenge may include comorbidities and/or psychosocial, cultural, or ethical dimensions that complicate the situation. Case studies provide an opportunity to include evidence-based information on diagnostic tests, pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic aspects of treatment, and the most up-to-date guidelines.

Assessment & management: This department presents short pieces (1000-1300 words) focusing on health promotion/disease prevention
screening and counseling or on assessment and management of a specific condition or presenting complaint. You can include short case scenarios
to add to the interest, weaving in the assessment and management pieces in a patient-centered manner.

Systematic review: If, in the development of your capstone project or dissertation, you used a systematic search method of relevant studies that included identification of those that met pre-determined eligibility criteria and assessment of validity of findings, you might consider using this format. Systematic reviews require several explicit and reproducible steps. Use the PRISMA statement website as a guideline. This website provides a 27-item checklist and a 4-phase flow diagram for systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies.

Research study: Your original research study, with clinical implications, is eligible for consideration and acceptance.

So, let this be a call for manuscripts to all APN authors, including doctoral students.

Need an idea for a manuscript topic? Members of our Editorial Advisory Board have offered these suggestions: abnormal uterine bleeding, anal neoplasia,
bacterial vaginosis (persistent/recurrent), benign breast diseases, bleeding in early pregnancy, clinical skills (e.g., pessary insertion, simple cystometrography, pelvic floor electromyography, vulvar biopsy), colposcopic evaluation of lower genital tract disease, common adolescent problems (e.g., abnormal menses, dysmenorrhea, teen pregnancy), contraceptive options for women with chronic health conditions, evidence-based pre-conception care, female sexual dysfunction, HPV update, infertility, IUC placement pearls, mammography guidelines, medication effects on lactation and the newborn/infant, management of nongynecologic conditions in pregnancy (e.g., epilepsy, asthma, migraine, lupus, coagulation defects, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease), nonpharmacologic management of perimeno pausal vasomotor symptoms, Pap test guidelines, pelvic floor wellness, oral neoplasia, parental grieving following an unanticipated pregnancy outcome, post-abortion care, sterilization for women and men, STI prevention counseling, and transgender sexual and reproductive health care.

We look forward to learning from all of you! As a reminder, please follow the author guidelines available on our website. For DNP students, recent graduates, and their faculty advisors, a useful resource is an article by Lorraine Steefel and Cynthia Saver,“From Capstone Project to Published Article,” which was published in the May 2013 issue of American Nurse Today.

Beth Kelsey, EdD, APRN, WHNP-BC

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