Aims and Scope

Journal of Nursing Regulation (JNR), the official journal of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN®), is an interdisciplinary, quarterly, peer-reviewed, scholarly, and professional journal. It publishes original research articles that advance the science of nursing regulation along with literature reviews, analyses, criticisms, "innovation" research reports, continuing education articles, and case studies that enhance international communication and collaboration among nurse regulators, academics, clinicians, and policy makers.


Nursing regulation is the governmental oversight of the nursing profession. The goal of the rules and laws is to protect the public's health and welfare by ensuring that nurses practice safely and competently within their scopes. Because regulation influences everything from nursing curricula to the uses of technologies in clinical settings, the journal welcomes submissions that address a variety of topics. Examples include, but are not limited to:
  • Board of nursing operations, initiatives, and programs
  • Continued competence
  • Discipline, including investigations of reported practice violations
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Education, including distance learning
  • Emerging technologies
  • Ethics
  • Evidence-based regulation
  • Healthcare law
  • Healthcare policy
  • Legislation
  • Licensure and certification
  • Nursing practice
  • Patient safety
  • Public protection
  • Substance use disorders within the nursing profession
  • Workforce issues, including delegation and retention

Types of Submissions

Original Research Articles (Approximately 5,000-8,000 words)

Original research manuscripts are written by scholars or professionals who are experts in their fields and who examine phenomena using established techniques or methods. Original quantitative and/or qualitative research manuscripts are subject to blind peer review. Original research manuscripts are expected to include: (a) a title page without any author details (see Author Details), (b) a 250-word (maximum) abstract in structured format that is comprised of the context, aims, methods, results, and conclusion, (c) three to six keywords, (d) an introduction, (e) a review of literature, (f) a method(s) section, (g) a results and/or discussion section, (h) a conclusion, and (i) an APA reference list. Please see General Submission Guidelines and Additional Submission Guidelines as well. Please keep in mind that JNR is an interdisciplinary journal, which means authors should define terms, explain theories, and detail methods for a readership that extends beyond the authors' academic discipline.

Before submitting a qualitative research study, it might be helpful to read the following article:

Squires, A., & Dorsen, C. (2018). Qualitative research in nursing and health professions regulation. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 9(3), 15-26.

Literature Reviews, Analyses, and Criticisms (Approximately 5,000-8,000 words)

Literature reviews such as argumentative reviews and historiographies as well as analyses (e.g., meta-analyses) and criticisms (e.g., rhetorical criticisms) are written by scholars or professionals who are experts in their fields and who examine phenomena or artifacts using established methods. Although these types of submissions may not include every section one would find in a scientific or social scientific paper, they must adhere to the conventions of their disciplines and must be logically organized with (a) a clear introduction; (b) a distinct body, including a review of literature that discusses the criteria for article inclusion; and (c) a conclusion. Literature reviews, analyses, and criticisms are subject to blind peer review and must also include the following: (d) a title page without any author details (see Author Details), (e) an abstract of 250 words (maximum), (f) three to six keywords, and (g) a reference list in APA Style. Please see General Submission Guidelines and the Additional Submission Guidelines as well. Please keep in mind that JNR is an interdisciplinary journal, which means authors should define terms, explain theories, and detail methods for a readership that extends beyond the authors' academic discipline.

Innovation Research Reports (Approximately 3,000-3,500 words)

"Innovation" research reports describe original approaches to issues that would be of interest to regulators. Unlike case studies (see Case Studies), these reports are contextualized within the corpus of scholarly research and include original data, which means they either relay quantitative results or provide qualitative thick descriptions. Innovation submissions will be expected to have (a) an introduction, (b) a review of literature that describes how the issue has been approached in the past, (c) a methods section that details how the data were gathered, (d) a results section that details outcomes, (e) a discussion section that discusses the impact of the innovation, (f) a conclusion, and (g) a reference list in APA Style. Please keep in mind that JNR is an interdisciplinary journal, which means authors should define terms, explain theories, and detail methods for a readership that extends beyond the authors' academic discipline.

Book Reviews (Approximately 600-800 words)

Book reviews should be thoughtful engagements that are set within scholarly traditions and that take readers through a work's major argument(s) with a critical eye, scrutinizing the volume's subject matter, organization, research, and overall writing. Book reviews should also address a work's contribution to the field. Submissions must include (a) an APA-styled reference of the reviewed book at the top of the page, followed by (b) the book's ISBN-13 number, (c) the reviewer's name, (d) the reviewer's credentials (e.g., PhD candidate), and (e) the reviewer's organizational affiliation.

Before submitting a book review, it might be helpful to read the following articles:

Brienza, C. (2015, March 27). Writing academic book reviews. Inside Higher Ed.

Deller, R. (2019, June 25). How to write a book review of an edited collection. LSE Impact Blog.

Continuing Education Articles (Approximately 4,000-5,500 words)

Continuing education articles explain regulatory processes to practicing nurses, nurse educators, nurse leaders, and nurse regulators. Submissions should begin with (a) a brief overview followed by (b) an in-depth discussion of the topic, (c) an explanation of how the learning objectives were met, and (d) the implications for nursing regulation. If any information from articles, books, websites, etc., is used, please also include (e) a reference list in APA Style. The test questions, answers, and rationales will be developed by JNR staff.

Case Studies (Approximately 1,500-3,000 words)

Case studies (sometimes referred to as "Case-in-Point" case studies) are broadly defined, but they should be procedural narratives about how a nursing regulatory body, a nursing education program, or a governmental institution approached a specific situation that has regulatory implications.

When submitting a discipline-related case study, discuss the investigational, deliberative, or regulatory process to highlight the regulatory issue at hand. Be sure to describe and detail the exact rule or law of the nurse practice act that was violated. First, (a) detail the complaint. Next, (b) provide an overview of the aggravating and mitigating factors the board of nursing or other body considered. Finally, relay (c) the resulting decision and (d) the aftereffects of the decision, and provide (e) a discussion of the rationale.

If writing about a best practice, describe (a) the original issue that needed to be addressed, (b) the process of developing a strategy to address the issue, (c) the application of the strategy to a specific situation, and (d) the situation's outcome. Next, (e) explain the aspects of that strategy that were successful and unsuccessful along with what your organization learned from the experience and why your approach should be viewed as a best practice. If any information from articles, books, websites, or other sources are used, (f) a reference list in APA Style must also be included.

Other types of case studies that have taken place in other types of organizations will also be considered as long as cases can be applied to nursing regulation. Submissions must include (a) the author's name, (b) their credentials and/or role (e.g., executive officer), and (c) their organizational affiliation. If any information from articles, books, websites, or other sources are used, (d) a reference list in APA Style must also be included.


JNR is published four times per year. Due to the volume of high-quality submissions JNR receives, accepted articles may not publish in the next available issue. They may be held for an upcoming issue.

January Issue - Deadline: September 15th

April Issue - Deadline: December 15th

July Issue - Deadline: March 15th

October Issue - Deadline: June 15th

General Submission Guidelines
  • Although the journal welcomes submissions that address a variety of topics, all submissions must be explicitly related to nursing regulation.
  • All documents (see Types of Submissions) must be prepared in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Edition (2020).
  • All documents must be submitted as Microsoft Word .doc or .docx files.
  • All file names should contain at least the first few words of the manuscript title—not the title of the journal—along with a descriptor (e.g., Nurse Midwife Competencies Manuscript.doc).

Additional Submission Guidelines

For Original Research Articles, Literature Reviews, Analyses, Criticisms, and Innovation Reports
  • APA reference lists may refer to foundational and historical literature, but submissions are expected to address recent developments in the field as well.
  • If submitting appendices, tables, figures, etc., they must be submitted as separate Microsoft Word files and/or Excel files. These files should be easily understandable without additional context from the manuscript; thus, titles should be descriptive and abbreviations should be expanded.
  • Diagrams should be submitted as scalable vector graphics such as Adobe Illustrator .ai or .eps files, .svg files, or vector .pdf files.
  • Photographic images should be separate high-resolution (300 pixel per inch, RGB) .jpg or .tif files. Do not embed photographic images in Microsoft Word files.
  • Please contact us if you have any questions about how to submit diagrams or images for the best possible resolution. Please note that what may work for online purposes might not work for press.
  • Author identifying information must not appear on manuscripts, appendices, tables, figures, etc.
  • An "Author Details" document must be submitted with each manuscript as a separate Microsoft Word file. Author Details must include (a) the full title of the submitted manuscript; (b) the corresponding author's name, credentials, institutional affiliation, and contact information; (c) the names, credentials, institutional affiliations, and contact information of all co-authors; (d) a word count that is exclusive of the article title and references but is inclusive of the APA in-text citations; (e) if applicable, a statement attesting that human subject research was approved by an institutional review board (IRB); (f) a statement regarding financial support and potential conflicts of interest, which is standard in scholarly publishing; and (g) a statement confirming that the manuscript is not currently under review by another publication, will not be sent to any other publishers while it is under review by JNR, and has not been previously published elsewhere, even in another language.

Reporting sex- and gender-based analyses
Reporting guidance
For research involving or pertaining to humans, animals or eukaryotic cells, investigators should integrate sex and gender-based analyses (SGBA) into their research design according to funder/sponsor requirements and best practices within a field. Authors should address the sex and/or gender dimensions of their research in their article. In cases where they cannot, they should discuss this as a limitation to their research's generalizability. Importantly, authors should explicitly state what definitions of sex and/or gender they are applying to enhance the precision, rigor and reproducibility of their research and to avoid ambiguity or conflation of terms and the constructs to which they refer (see Definitions section below). Authors can refer to the Sex and Gender Equity in Research (SAGER) guidelines and the SAGER guidelines checklist. These offer systematic approaches to the use and editorial review of sex and gender information in study design, data analysis, outcome reporting and research interpretation - however, please note there is no single, universally agreed-upon set of guidelines for defining sex and gender.

Sex generally refers to a set of biological attributes that are associated with physical and physiological features (e.g., chromosomal genotype, hormonal levels, internal and external anatomy). A binary sex categorization (male/female) is usually designated at birth ("sex assigned at birth"), most often based solely on the visible external anatomy of a newborn. Gender generally refers to socially constructed roles, behaviors, and identities of women, men and gender-diverse people that occur in a historical and cultural context and may vary across societies and over time. Gender influences how people view themselves and each other, how they behave and interact and how power is distributed in society. Sex and gender are often incorrectly portrayed as binary (female/male or woman/man) and unchanging whereas these constructs actually exist along a spectrum and include additional sex categorizations and gender identities such as people who are intersex/have differences of sex development (DSD) or identify as non-binary. Moreover, the terms "sex" and "gender" can be ambiguous-thus it is important for authors to define the manner in which they are used. In addition to this definition guidance and the SAGER guidelines, the resources on this page offer further insight around sex and gender in research studies.

Email your manuscript and accompanying document(s) to:

Sherri L. Ter Molen, PhD

Acquisitions Editor

Journal of Nursing Regulation

Review Information
  • Submissions are reviewed by at least two experts in the manuscript's topic area.
  • You will receive a confirmation of receipt generally within 72 hours of submission. Exceptions may occur due to weekends, holiday closures, or other times that JNR staff is out of the office.
  • You will generally receive a publishing decision (accepted, revise and resubmit, or rejected) within 12 weeks.
  • Page layouts are sent to authors during review processes, but page layouts do not signify that submissions have been accepted.
  • Editorial calendars are subject to change to accommodate shifting priorities, including high-priority or time-sensitive content.