Intended for healthcare professionals
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CPD modules

Guidance for novice authors on writing a journal article

Author: Bob Price

Duration: 2 hours Last updated: 2019 Quality Assurance: Peer-reviewed Level: Qualified nurses Language: English

Course description

The aim of this module is to assist prospective nurse authors in preparing an article for publication in a professional journal, to write with clear purpose and to plan the article carefully using journal guidelines. The module encourages the nurse author to liaise closely with critical readers both before and after submission to the chosen journal. It is important to note that writing for publication is a collaborative process and no journal article is ever the sole product of the author. Each article is crafted, to some degree, by constructive criticism shared informally before submission, for example by colleagues and supervisors (critical readers), and formally after submission by peer reviewers and journal editors.

Don't forget that you do not have to complete our two-hour learning modules all in one go. Tailor your learning to fit into your busy schedule by undertaking one or two sections at a time. You can stop and save your learning at any point and pick up where you left off when you return.

Learning aims and intended outcomes

  • Review your motives for writing for publication
  • Identify why it is important to write for publication
  • Summarise what is involved in planning and preparing an article for publication in a professional journal
  • Describe how to structure a draft article
  • Understand the importance of consulting critical readers before you submit your article for publication
  • Describe the purpose and benefits of the peer-review process


  • Introduction
  • Understanding motives for writing
  • Planning the article
  • The article's purpose
  • Drafting the article
  • Consulting to best effect
  • Conclusions


Bob Price
At the time of writing, Director, postgraduate qualifications in advancing healthcare practice, Faculty of Health and Social Care, The Open University, Milton Keynes.


Please note that information provided by RCNi Learning is not sufficient to ensure competence in the skill. Assessment of competence should take place in line with local practice. Practice should always align with local protocols and procedures, latest guidelines and any regulatory code. All modules should currently be viewed together with available national and local Covid-19 guidelines. For advice, go to


  • Introduction
  • Understanding motives for writing
  • Planning the article
  • The article's purpose
  • Drafting the article
  • Consulting to best effect
  • Conclusions

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