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Author Guidelines

Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care Author Guidelines

The mission of the Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care (OJRNHC) is to be a leading source of information on rural nursing, health care practice, education and research, supporting the health of rural populations. The OJRNHC is the official journal of the Rural Nurse Organization (RNO). The journal is peer-reviewed and addresses US and global rural nursing and health care. There are no author fees or author processing charges for publication; however, at least one author of each manuscript must be a member of the RNO at the time of review and publication. RNO members can be nurses or those that support rural nursing and health care. Details on RNO membership can be found at .

 This journal does use an online submission process. All manuscripts need to be submitted electronically. In order to submit a manuscript for review you must first be registered as a user at the journal URL. This is a separate process from joining the RNO. To access the journal, please go to the following website If you are already registered with the journal click on Login (upper right corner of page). If you need to register please click on the word Register, in the upper right side of the page. Part of registering the journal's Privacy Statement, which assures readers that their name and email address will not be used for other purposes. Being registered on the website does not confirm your RNO membership status.

 Content of Interest and Special Points

Please make sure you identify how you defined rural in your study or work. To be of interest to this journal your work needs to address the rural aspect of the work throughout the paper, having the word rural in the title or briefly mentioned is not sufficient. You will also need to note in the manuscript how you protected the rights of subjects, at a minimum, you should note whether you received permission to conduct research or exemption from an Institutional Review Board (IRB). This information usually goes into the section on sample. This information is not pertinent to non-research papers. Please make sure you have addressed how this work relates to rural nursing or other rural health care providers, rural health care, or policy. Lack of information as specified in these special notes are often reasons for declining submissions of manuscripts. Please note at least one author needs to be a member of the RNO at the time of submission and throughout the review process. Please make sure all of these elements are covered in the work you are submitting for review.

Conflict of Interest

The Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care requires authors, editorial board members, and reviewers to disclose any conflicts of interest related to their submission and involvement with the journal. The Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care endorses and subscribes to the definition of Conflict of Interest by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2006) 

Informed Consent

The Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care requires authors to assure patients’ and subjects’ privacy, if applicable, related to their research and manuscript. The Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care endorses and subscribes to the definition of Human and Animal Rights by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (2006), “Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals.”

 Format and Style

 Each manuscript requires a structured abstract limited to 300 words. Research and literature review manuscripts should be about 20 pages double-spaced, not including title page, abstract, tables or references. Manuscripts that are not research or literature reviews should be limited to 12 pages double-spaced. We seldom accept qualitative studies with fewer than 10 participants, quantitative studies with fewer than 25 subjects, or literature reviews with fewer than 10 articles). You will need a structured abstract that includes a Purpose, Sample, Method, Findings, and Conclusions for research papers. Other types of papers follow the same structure form although the headings may vary.

 Please prepare your manuscript in a word document with Times New Roman 12 font for the majority of the manuscript. Titles should be short, typically no more than 12 words and be on the first page of text (Centered and Bold Level 1 heading) Tables should be single-spaced, in Times New Roman 11 font and included within the document. References should be submitted with a hanging indent of 5 spaces. Please do not use a hard return (enter) at the end of a line of the first line of references; instead use the ruler feature in Word to set your margins. In the manuscript header, page numbers of the article should start on page 1 of text, in the upper right upper corner and with a short running title in the left upper corner. Do not use a header or page number on other elements such as title page and abstract since information from these parts of the documents will be uploaded in the meta-data boxes, separate from the main text, references, tables and figures to ensure double blind review.

 The Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care uses the American Psychological Association (APA) 7th ed. style. Manuscripts not in APA7th ed. style will not be accepted for review. An example of references in APA style would be as follows.


Bennett, K. J., Lin, Y-H., Yuen, M., Leonhirth, D., & Probst, J. C. (2016). Vulnerable rural counties: The changing rural landscape, 2000-2010. South Carolina Rural Health Research Center. 

Bennett, K. J., Yuen, M. W., & Merrell, A., (2018). Community paramedicine applied in a rural community. Journal of Rural Health, 34(S1) s39-s47. 

 n.b. APA 7th edition has a new way to cite works with more than two authors. The first and each time cited use the surname of the first author followed by et al. and the year. The format to cite this reference in text, the first and each time used is as follows: ... In the protocol authors (Bennett, et al., 2019) noted… or The authors Bennett and colleagues, (2019) noted …. The caveat to this manner of citation is if there is more than one article with the same author in the first position regardless of the year that may be cited. In this case, you go to the author position needed to distinguish between the articles. Thus, an article (Bennett, Lin, Yuen, Leonhirth, & Probst, 2016) and another (Bennett, Yuen, & Merrell, 2018) would be cited as Bennett, Lin, et al. (2016) and Bennett, Yuen, et al., (2018). or if cited in the same parenthesis (Bennett, Lin, et al., 2016; Bennett, Yuen, et al., 2018).

 Authors are responsible for securing any permissions needed to reproduce the work of others, especially figures, and citing such work appropriately. Quotes from other sources need to be referenced with page numbers as specified in APA style. All material in this journal is publicly available since it is an open-source journal.

 Preparing for Submission

In preparing for electronic submission, you will need to create two files. A file with only the article text, references, tables, and figures. There should be no author or grant identifying information in this file to ensure blind review. The first page of the text is page 1 and begins with the title as a level one heading. You will also want to have a separate file with metadata as described below (this information will be typed into specific boxes or you may cut and paste from a file with the relevant data).

 File with Article Text

You should have a separate Word document file that includes the body of your paper, tables, figures, and references. There should be no author identifying information in this file, to allow for blind review. You should have a short running head in the header along with the page number. You will see three tabs labeled 1. Upload File, 2. Review Details and 3 Confirm

In tab 1, in the box Article Component, use the pull-down arrow and select Article Text. You may drag and drop your Article Text File into the dotted lined box or click on Upload File and follow those directions. Once the file is in the box, click on the grey box Continue at the bottom of the page. This will take you to Tab 2 Review Details again click on Continue and you will come to Tab 3 Confirm. This offers you the opportunity to add another file (not required) but this is available if you wish to upload another file such as a letter to the editor or some other document. Click on continue and you will be moved to Tab 3 Confirm. Although you again have the opportunity to upload another file, most will click on Complete at the bottom left corner. Once the text file is confirmed you will be asked to enter Metadata. For metadata, you will be asked for each author’s name and affiliation. Once the information is complete on this page you will be asked if you wish to submit. You must click on Submit before the submission is completed. If you have any questions please email the editor-in-chief, Dr. Pamela Stewart Fahs at

 File with Metadata.

The Metadata will actually be entered after the article text only is uploaded. However, it is advisable to have this information ready in a separate file from which you can cut and paste the required information. This file is not uploaded as a document in the system. As you put each piece of information into the system, make sure you click on the SAVE and Continue button at the bottom of the page prior to moving to the next section. Author information should include all author names, email addresses, affiliation (university or employer), and bio information including credentials, position, and department/school or site names. You will be asked to cut and paste or type in the title of the manuscript. Please keep article titles short, APA recommends no more than 12 words. You will be instructed to cut and paste or type a structured abstract. Abstracts should include a Purpose, Sample, Method, Findings, and Conclusions as appropriate to the type of article and be no more than 300 words. You will also need to add up to 6 keywords. When completed you will be moved to the Confirmation Tab. If you are satisfied with your submission, click on Finish Submission on the bottom left side of the submit article box.

 If you have any questions please email me, Dr. Pamela Stewart Fahs, at

Submission Preparation Checklist

All submissions must meet the following requirements.

  • 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).
  • Where available, doi for references have been provided.
  • Title information and abstract with key words are to be submitted separately by typing in or copy and paste into appropriate areas. Manuscript should not have identifying information for blind review. Manuscript may be uploaded in a word document.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.
  • The text is double-spaced; uses a 12-point font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • The submission file is in Microsoft Word file format. There is no identifying information on the manuscript itself. Abstract with Key Words at the bottom is submitted separately in the Metadata file when requested.
  • Disclose any potential conflict of interest which might have influenced the validity of the research. See Conflict of Interest policy in Author Guidelines.


Editorial Board and by invitation.  


Research articles concerning rural nursing and/or rural health care are invited for review.  At least one author on each manuscript must be a member of the Rural Nurse Organization (RNO). Theoretical and opinion articles are also invited for review. 

Articles must adhere to APA's current edition.  Please pay particular attention to referencing using APA style. Footnotes and endnotes are not acceptable in this journal. 

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and the Rural Nurse Organization will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.