The field of nursing is dynamic and challenging. Thus, a plethora of journals exists to help your practice stay evidence-based and driven by the latest nursing research. In fact, reading and evaluating research may be one of the most important skills a nurse can develop.
In the field, nurses use research to solve problems and shape the future of health care. Consequently, new insights from clinical studies can illuminate and correct previously believed fallacies. Also, they blaze a trail for new treatment processes and create brand new methodologies. All of these advancements improve patient outcomes.
Research also allows the nursing profession to pivot when adjustments in the healthcare environment call for it. In addition, staying current on clinical findings allows nurses to successfully navigate natural fluctuations in patient populations and government regulations. The practical field of nursing changes with every new clinical discovery. Thus, the information nursing students learn quickly becomes outdated. Being able to stay aware of developments helps professional nurses retain a competitive edge.
The list below is a good start to building your collection of professional resources.
Research Journals on General Healthcare and Nursing
These journals give a holistic view of research in the field of nursing. They do not focus on specialties within nursing, but rather look at larger advances that affect the entire field and all nurses.
American Journal of Nursing
The American Journal of Nursing is the oldest general interest nursing publication in existence. Both evidence-based and peer-reviewed, it is considered by many to be the profession’s finest journal.
AJN'smission is to encourage excellence throughout nursing and health care professions. To that end, it shares peer-reviewed, evidence-based clinical information and fresh new research. In addition, it explores relevant and discussion-worthy workplace challenges. Above all, it promotes standards of journalistic integrity and excellence.
AJN offers a hybrid open access model and is edited by Maureen Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, FAAN.
Journal of Research in Nursing
Journal of Research in Nursing accepts high quality original research papers that explore healthcare issues. Consequently, it targets nurses and other health care professionals through effectively making connections between the theoretical and the practical. The journal’s editorial board is led by editors-in-chief Andree Le May and Ann McMahon.
Journal of Research in Nursing is available by subscription. See more.
Journal of Advanced Nursing
The Journal of Advanced Nursing exists to advance the acceptance and practice of evidence-based nursing, midwifery and health care. Consequently, it promotes rigorous, high-quality research and scholarship that displays current relevance to the field and shows the potential to augment the current body of knowledge for education, practice, management or policy. Roger Watson serves as editor-in-chief.
Furthermore, the Journal of Advanced Nursing offers authors an open access option called OnlineOpen to have their article immediately freely available to everyone, including those who don’t subscribe.
International Journal of Nursing Studies
Furthermore, the IJNS aims to catalyze evidence-based policy and practice by promoting critical discussion, original research, systematic and other scholarly reviews, and academic and professional commentary of the highest standards.
Evidence-Based Nursing methodically audits a wide selection of international health care journals applying its strict criteria for the rigor and validity of research and practical application to best nursing practice. Thus, the editorial board critically evaluates content, and the most salient selections are condensed into succinct expert commentaries, focusing on the papers’ key findings and for its practical application within everyday nursing practice.
Also, individual or institutional subscriptions are available, and Editor-in-Chief Alison Twycross leads the editorial team. Find out more at Evidence-Based Nursing.
Clinical Nursing Research
Clinical Nursing Research is a peer-reviewed, quarterly academic journal that addresses issues of clinical research that are both meaningful and have practical applications for practicing nurses. Consequently, this publication provides an international discussion forum that supports idea exchange among clinical practitioners, improves clinical practice by pinpointing practical applications of the newest academic research, and sharing research findings that are relevant to practicing nurses.
Pamela Z. Cacchione, Ph.D., CRNP, BC, FGSA, FAA, serves as editor-in-chief. The journal is subscription based. Find out more at Clinical Nursing Research.
The Journal for Nurse Practitioners
The Journal for Nurse Practitioners offers high-quality, original research, continuing education, peer-reviewed clinical articles and sections that help practitioners be successful as providers of both primary and acute care. Thus, each issue strives to meet practice needs and supports reader discussion and response through thought-provoking articles that address current, and even controversial, issues and topics that affect the practice of nursing.
JNP, led by Editor-in-Chief Marilyn W. Edmunds, Ph.D., NP,effectively illuminates the critical role that policy plays in delivering positive patient outcomes. In addition, the journal is an official publication of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and also is affiliated with the Australian College of Nurse Practitioners. As such, it offers two choices for authors to publish their research, both open access and subscription. See more.
Western Journal of Nursing Research
Western Journal of Nursing Research is a monthly academic journal that exists to provide a forum in which clinical practitioners, students and nurse researchers can maintain an ongoing scholarly dialogue. To that end, WJNR shares original research reports, methodology papers, systematic reviews, and even invited special papers on various topics of interest to the nursing community. The journal’s editor-in-chief is Vicki S. Conn, RN, PH.D., FAAN.
WJNR is available by subscription; learn more.
Nursing Science Quarterly
Nursing Science Quarterly is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal invested in enhancing and augmenting existing nursing knowledge. The journal tends to publish original submissions that explore nursing theory development, plus guided practice and quantitative and qualitative research around existing nursing frameworks. NSQ also publishes, under the guidance of Editor Rosemarie Rizzo Parse, RN, Ph.D., FANN, innovative ideas centered on the science of nursing and patient-centered models of care.
The publication is available via subscription – learn more.
Journal of Holistic Nursing
Edited by W. Richard Cowling III, RN, PH.D., AHN-BC, FAAN, ANEF, the Journal of Holistic Nursing is a quarterly academic journal that emphasizes marrying holistic health concepts with more traditional Western medicine. JHN allows leading, innovative nurses in research, clinical practice, academia and individual practice to exchange and debate critical insights, share experiences and disseminate research that improves health care, wellness and overall patient outcomes.
The publication is available by subscription – for more information, visit the Journal of Holistic Nursing.
Nursing Inquiry is an international journal directed toward nurses, health policy makers, health care professionals and more. Consequently, the publication exists to explore ideas and challenges applicable directly to nursing and healthcare. Originally established to encourage dialogue on topics of international nursing interest, it exists to advance innovation and challenge existing theories.
In addition, Nursing Inquiry publishes discussion papers, new research, review articles and commentaries. Its editor-in-chief is Sally Thorne of the University of British Columbia, and it is available via subscription.
Nurse Researcher accepts papers on topical issues and research studies related to nursing research. However, the journal, as a practice, does not accept papers directly analyzing research results. Instead, Nurse Researcher focuses on content that addresses diverse and global research concerns related to nursing. In addition, Editor Elizabeth Halcomb leads the editorial team, and the journal is available by subscription. It is an international, peer-reviewed journal.
To learn more, visit Nurse Researcher.
The Nurse Practitioner: The American Journal of Primary Healthcare
The Nurse Practitioner touts itself as the leading source for practical, cutting-edge information for advanced practice nurses and other clinicians. Thus, its typical content includes peer-reviewed articles that range from research and clinical topics to political and practice issues. In addition, under the guidance of Editor-in-Chief Jamesetta A. Newland, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, DPNAP. In addition, the Nurse Practitioner publishes staff development education, regular features, continuing education, columns and more.
In addition, this journal offers open access options. To find out more, visit Nurse Practitioner.
Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners
As a member benefit, AANP members receive a free online subscription to JAANP. Non-member and institutional subscriptions to JAANP are also available.
Dr. Kim Curry serves as editor-in-chief. See more at JAANP.
Nursing Research on Professional Standards and Conduct
It's not only important to know about the medical science in the nursing field. Much of what nurses do relates to their relationships with patients, with one another, and with other staff in their work environments. They need to optimize these relationships by behaving in professional and kind manners. Dealing with patients requires a certain personal touch, while working with coworkers means maintaining composure, organization, and responsibility.
The Journal Nursing Management touts itself as the leading source for practical, educational information for nurse leaders. Thus, each issue, which is available for open access, shares peer-reviewed submissions that cover a broad range. For example, ethical and legal aspects of nursing leadership, recruitment and retention, product selection and budget issues may appear. Furthermore, boasting a circulation of 56,000, Nursing Management promotes continuing education, columns, regular features, staff development education and more. In addition, its editor-in-chief is Rosanne Raso, MS, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.
Nursing Standard is a professional magazine distributed weekly that shares peer-reviewed articles and research, plus important news and actionable career information for the full spectrum of the nursing community. The magazine was founded in 1987 and is currently published by RCNi.
The magazine is abstracted and indexed in in CINAHL and MEDLINE/PubMed; Lynn Eaton serves as editor, and Nursing Standard also is available by subscription.
Research on Nursing Education
Obtaining and maintaining education in the field of nursing can be a daunting task. It's an ongoing process that requires constant vigilance. Researching and reading journals is a great place to start (go you!), and these journals can give you an idea of the other ways to stay on top of the game.
Journal of Nursing Education
For more than 50 years, the Journal of Nursing Education has served as a monthly peer-reviewed journal sharing original articles and innovative ideas for nurse educators. Thus, the Journal seeks to improve the teaching-learning process, encourages effective curriculum development and strives to spur creative innovation and research within nursing education. In addition, Amy J. Barton, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, serves as editor-in-chief.
The Journal allows authors to post accepted manuscripts on their institutional repositories, with the exception of open access repositories, 12 months following publication. Learn more at the Journal of Nursing Education.
Journal of School Nursing
The Journal of School Nursing is a bi-monthly academic journal that focuses on improving the health of school children and the comprehensive school community. Led by Executive Editor Julia Muennich Coell, Ph.D., RNC, FAAN, the JOSN includes original research studies, along with discussions of evidence-based innovations in clinical practice or policy, research reviews and other topics and formats of interest to school nurses.
In addition to nursing scholars, experts from policy analysis, public health, medicine, health services research, epidemiology and education administration also regularly contribute.
The Journal is available via subscription.
Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing
The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing is a monthly academic publication that promotes original content about continuing nursing education. As such, it primarily targets nurse administrators, staff development professionals and nurse educators. Furthermore, it has been in continuous publication for more than 40 years,
The Journal offers an open access publication option to authors of accepted peer-reviewed articles. With this option, articles are made freely available online immediately upon publication. Its editor-in-chief is Patricia S. Yoder-Wise, RN, Ed.D, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN.
Pediatric and Childcare Nursing Research
The youngest members of our society not only hold a special place in our hearts, but they also encounter unique problems deserving of a whole field of nursing. Research in this field looks at the unique problems facing children, infants, and the mothers that bring them into the world.
For more than 30 years, Pediatric Nursing has served the pediatric nursing arena by consistently sharing the newest information on policy, research and practice. Thus, each issue contains detailed, evidence-based clinical content – plus discussions of the latest advances in pediatric nursing education, research, practice and administration, and in-depth analyses from some of the world's leading minds in pediatric nursing. In addition, editor Judy A. Rollins, Ph.D., RN, leads the editorial team, and the journal is available via subscription.
Learn more at Pediatric Nursing.
MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing
The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing serves as a peer-reviewed publication that exists in order to share the most timely and salient content to nurses practicing in neonatal, perinatal, midwifery and pediatric specialties.
MCN supports its mission by promoting clinically relevant practice and research studies aimed at guiding nurses toward more evidence-based practices. Led by Editor-in-Chief Kathleen R. Simpson, PhD, RNC, CNS-BC, FAAN, MCN is laser-focused on current major issues and high-stakes challenges within women's health and family nursing, along with maternal/child nursing. With extensive coverage of approaches to health care issues affecting infants and young children, this journal offers open access publishing options, including a hybrid model.
See more at The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing.
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
The Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing serves as a reference for health care professionals who are invested in the type of clinical scholarship that improves health care for women and newborns. With a keen focus on everyday nursing, JOGNN addresses practice issues, trends, current research and/or policies and opinions salient to the care of women and their families, especially newborns.
Articles published in JOGNN emphasize both research evidence and clinical practice, thus building both theoretical and clinical applications. This journal offers authors two choices to publish their research that include open access, and its editorial team is led by Nancy K. Lowe, Ph.D., RN, CNM, FACNM, FAAN.
Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing
Applicable, timely and sound information from top researchers and practitioners in perinatal and neonatal nursing makes The Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing a reliable academic resource for not only nurses, but also other health care providers. Expounding on topics like neonatal intensive care, obstetrics, critical care and home care, the journal is available by subscription.
In addition, The Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing is published under the editorial leadership of Diane J. Angelini, Ed.D, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, NEA-BC and Susan Bakewell-Sachs PhD, RN, APRN,BC. For more information, visit the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing.
Advances in Neonatal Care
Advances in Neonatal Care addresses practice challenges by sharing evidence-based care and improved outcomes for both neonatal patients and their families. Consequently, peer-reviewed academic content may include detailed visual and teaching aids through specific publication sections such as Cultivating Clinical Expertise, Research to Practice or the Family Teaching Toolbox. In addition, the journal offers several online-only features.
Each issue offers some type of continuing education, and the journal offers open access. Learn more.
Emergency Nursing Research Journals
Certain emergency situations encounter great constraints of time and resources. Nurses working in emergencies need to prepare themselves for the pressures of working in these environments and making the most of what they have available.
Journal of Emergency Nursing
The Journal of Emergency Nursing, the official journal of the Emergency Nurses Association, pursues the dissemination of rigorous, peer-reviewed studies that can practically be applied to all areas of emergency nursing practice. Consequently, typically accepted submissions may comprise integrative or systematic literature reviews, clinical topics, research, and exploration of practice improvement programs that help emergency nurses effectively translate new knowledge into practice.
The Journal also features special editorial sections such as geriatrics, triage, pharmacology/toxicology, case studies, injury prevention, quality and safety, trauma and pediatrics.
In addition, this journal offers authors either an open access or subscription model to publish their research, and Anne Manton, PH.D., PMHNP-BC, FAE, FAAN serves as editor-in-chief. See more at the Journal of Emergency Nursing.
Emergency Nurse touts may be the most widely referenced journal in urgent and pre-hospital nursing in the United Kingdom. As such, it keeps readers up-to-speed on the most applicable, practical and evidence-based information that directly affects the nursing field.
Led by editor Sophie Blakemore, this journal is available by subscription and published by RCNi. For more information, visit Emergency Nurse.
Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal
Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal is an academic publication designed to explore topics of interest to clinical nurse specialists, healthcare professionals, advanced practice clinicians, nurse practitioners, and clinical and academic educators within the emergency nursing field.
Consequently, accepted content includes evidence-based material that is applicable to daily practice. In addition, continuing education opportunities are available in each issue. The editorial team, under the leadership of Editor K. Sue Hoyt, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, ENP-C, CEN, FAEN, FAANP, FAAN, accepts submissions that focus on in-depth, state-of-the-science information.
Research Journals for Mental Health Nursing
While the brain is a physical part of the body, the mind is still somewhat out of reach for physical sciences. Mental health nursing requires some different approaches that take into account the unique ways that the mind works.
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
The Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing is an international academic journal that disseminates both new research and scholarly analyses that support the development of additional research, education, policy and practice across the full spectrum of mental health nursing. Led by Lawrie Elliott as editor-in-chief, the editorial board accepts literature reviews, essays and debates, along with rigorously conducted empirical research and consumer practitioner narratives – all of which serve to augment current knowledge and improve nursing practice across the world.
The Journal is available via subscription.
Issues in Mental Health Nursing
Issues in Mental Health Nursing is a peer-reviewed, academic journal designed to engage its readers in psychiatric and mental health nursing knowledge. Edited by Sandra P. Thomas, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, it promotes original empirical research, along with innovative solutions for client care and rigorous discussion of current issues. In addition, the journal presents evidence-based articles on providing nursing care to patients of all ages across a wide spectrum of institutional and community settings.
The publication is available by subscription – learn more.
Mental Health Practice
Mental Health Practice is a monthly nursing periodical that explores the day-to-day practice of mental health nursing. Under the editorial guidance of Nick Lipley, it is published by RCNiand available by subscription. In addition, the journal helps practitioners stay current on the latest clinical articles that are applicable to their field.
For more information, visit Mental Health Practice.
Cancer Nursing Research Journals
As humans have conquered many other diseases over time, cancer still remains as a big problem. Much of the focus in nursing and other medical research now faces the topic in an attempt to figure out how to stop it, too.
Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing
The Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing is an official journal of the Oncology Nursing Society. Consequently, it targets nurses who specialize in the care of patients with either an existing or potential cancer diagnosis. CJON promotes the mission of ONS, which is to encourage and support excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care. The CJON mission is twofold. First, to provide practical content about caring for patients and their families. And second, to augment existing research and publication skills among oncology nurses.
Publication editor is Ellen Carr, RN, MSN, AOCN, and the journal is available via subscription. Learn more.
Cancer Nursing Practice
Cancer Nursing Practice is a monthly academic nursing publication discussing the day-to-day practice of oncology nursing. In addition, it may publish opinion columns, news and news analysis on matters salient to oncology nurses. Available by subscription, the journal is published by RCNi, and editor-in-chief is Jennifer Sprinks.
For more information, visit Cancer Nursing Practice.
Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing
Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing is a bi-monthly academic publication that offers its readers fresh, original research and salient reviews. Consequently, the full spectrum of nursing care within the arena of childhood cancers is explored. These may include solid tumors and lymphomas, leukemias and hematologic disorders.
Furthermore, Editor Kristin A. Stegenga, Ph.D., RN, CPON, and the editorial board seek content particularly relevant to pediatric oncology, hematology and immunology nurses – those in both clinical practice and research – plus epidemiologists, nursing educators, clinical psychologists, child life specialists and pediatric social workers.
Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing is available by subscription.
Nursing Research Journals on Societal Issues
Apart from medicine, nursing also has a relationship with societal issues such as creating policies and building bridges between diverse cultural backgrounds.
Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice
Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice explores the complex working relationships between nursing and health policy. As a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal, PPNP serves as a consistent source of data-based policy analysis, study and debate of timely, relevant concerns for professional nurses in every type of health care role and setting. Furthermore, the publication also accepts content of interest for others who are invested in nursing-related policy issues.
In addition, the publication is led by Editor-in-Chief Sally S. Cohen, PH.D., RN, FAAN and is available by subscription. See more.
Journal of Transcultural Nursing
The Journal of Transcultural Nursing offers researchers, educators and nurses guidelines and research findings with application to the delivery of health care across diverse cultures. Also, the journal seeks to equip tomorrow’s health care professionals who will be called upon to provide that care.
The Journal of Transcultural Nursing is a peer-reviewed journal. Its editor-in-chief is Norma Graciela Cuellar, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, and the publication offers a subscription model. For more information, see the Journal of Transcultural Nursing.
Journal of Family Nursing
Journal of Family Nursing, edited by Janice M. Bell, RN, PH.D., explores nursing practice, education, research and policy issues, as well as theoretical and empirical academic explorations of family health. Consequently, the journal’s international and collaborative viewpoint allows it to examine diversity and how it affects family health across the globe. This is a peer-reviewed academic journal available by subscription.
For more, see the Journal of Family Nursing.
Nursing Ethics takes a practical approach by directly relating each accepted topic to the practical working environment. Capitalizing on its practical approach, the journal presents articles on legal and ethical issues, for example. The international editorial board, led by Editor-in-Chief Ann Gallagher, ensures a wide range of quality content with international appeal.
Furthermore, the journal is available by subscription – for more information, see Nursing Ethics.
Nursing Research on Body Systems
While some nurses work on range of subjects, others focus on certain systems of body parts and functions.
Journal of Neuroscience Nursing
The Journal of Neuroscience Nursing promotes original articles that explore how neurosurgical and neurological techniques continue to advance, along with how those advances affect and improve nursing theory, research and practical care. It serves as the official publication of the American Association of Neuroscience nurses, making it a great resource for expert commentary. This commentary includes topics such as the roles of the neuroscience nurse as part of the comprehensive health care team.
The journal editor is DaiWai Olson, and the journal offers both fully open access and hybrid open access options. Read more at the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing.
Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
As official journal of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association and the Australasian Cardiovascular Nurses College, the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing seeks to provide comprehensive exploration and analysis of relevant theoretical topics and practical information for the cardiovascular nursing community.
Miscellaneous Nursing Research Journals
Here are a few other specialties in nursing with their own dedicated journals.
Orthopaedic Nursing provides the opportunity for orthopedic nurses to further their education, primarily by focusing its content on various clinical environments. For example, ambulance settings, physician's offices, operating rooms, rehabilitation facilities, hospital units and more may be featured.
As a peer-reviewed academic publication, Orthopaedic Nursing shares research, current events, product and drug information, organizational activities and more. Under the leadership of Editor Mary Faut Rodts, submissions reflect the journal’s investment in professional development. Consequently, content supports administrative, clinical, research and academic areas of the orthopedic specialty.
This journal offers an open access option – visit Orthopaedic Nursing to learn more.
Journal of Addictions Nursing
Journal of Addictions Nursing is the official journal of IntNSA and is a peer-reviewed quarterly academic publication. The Journal focuses on original articles that explore current and relevant research practices, issues and innovations as they practically relate to the treatment of addiction. The editorial team seeks submissions not only from professional nurses, but also from other health care professionals who are professionally invested in the prevention, research, education, treatment and consultation of addiction.
All submissions are reviewed by the editorial board, led by Editor Christine Vourakis, Ph.D., RN, FIANN, FAAN. The Journal offers open access options.
Biological Research for Nursing
Biological Research For Nursing exists to help educators, nurse researchers and practitioners effectively marry concepts across several basic disciplines. For example, those disciplines may include chemistry, communication, biology, business, health policy and more. Carolyn B. Yucha, Ph.D., RN, FAAN serves as publication editor, and the journal is available via subscription.
For more information, visit Biological Research For Nursing.
Further Information on Nursing Research
As you can see, the world of nursing research is huge. There are lifetimes worth of information for you to read, but of course time is limited. If you don't quite have the time to read all of it but still want a rundown of some of the highlights, check out some other articles on Direct Knowledge. They will be easier to digest than academic journals while still getting to the meat of some interesting current events.