Writing guidelines

Guidelines for writing articles for Kaitiaki Nursing New Zealand

We welcome articles on subjects relevant to nurses and nursing, midwives and midwifery. These guidelines are designed to help you write an article which is accurate, clear, easily read and interesting.

The main reason you want an article published in Kaitiaki Nursing New Zealand is so other nurses/midwives will read it and hopefully learn something valuable. Therefore the subject must interest nurses/midwives and be written in a way that will appeal to them.

The essence of good writing is simple, effective communication – a good story well told. Even the most complicated nursing/midwifery care scenario, theory of nursing/midwifery practice or research study can presented in a straightforward, logical fashion.

This list should help you construct an article that will be read, understood and appreciated.

Always remember who your reader is

Your readers are nurses/midwives, so what you write must be relevant to and understood by nurses/midwives. The focus of your article must be what the nurse/midwife does, how the nurse/midwife behaves, what affects the nurse/midwife. If you are writing about a new technique in your practice area, explain how it changes nursing/midwifery practice and its advantages and disadvantages to the nurse/midwife and patient/client. If you are discussing a theory of nursing/midwifery practice, link this to concrete examples of working nurses/midwives.

Avoid using big words, complicated sentences and technical jargon

They don’t make you smarter or your article better. Writing clearly and plainly is your goal. Widely used nursing/midwifery terms are acceptable, but avoid overly technical jargon. American writer, editor and teacher William Zinsser stresses the need for simplicity in writing: “We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon.”1

These questions will help you pull together all the relevant information needed for your article: Who? What? Why? When? Where? How?

Don’t assume all other nurses/midwives know the ins and outs of your particular area of practice. If you are unsure about how to express a particular idea or technique, think how you would explain it to a student nurse/midwife.

Maximum length is 2500 words

With illustrations, this fills three pages of Kaitiaki Nursing New Zealand. Longer articles need to be discussed with the co-editors.

Present references in the APA style, 7th edition.

Here are some examples:

Articles: Sampson, M. (2013). Seeking consistency when managing patients’ pain. Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand, 19(5), 26-28.
Bryant R. (2012). Nurses addressing access disparities in primary health care. International Nursing Review, 59(152). doi:10.1111/j.14667657.2012.01003.x

Books: O’Connor, M. E. (2010). Freed to Care, Proud to Nurse: 100 years of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation. Wellington: Steele Roberts.

Websites: Ministry of Health. (2020). New Zealand Cancer Action Plan 2019–2029

Submit your article via email

Send it to coeditors@nzno.org.nz. Type with double-spacing and wide margins and include your name, address, phone number/s, current position and nursing qualifications.

Photographs and illustrations are welcome

They need to be high-resolution, at 300dpi, and at least 200kb or more. We prefer jpeg format; send them as attachments to an email rather than in the email itself. Cartoons and diagrams are also welcome, and we can also use black and white or colour prints.

Article review

Most clinical articles are reviewed by Kaitiaki Nursing New Zealand co-editors and two clinicians with expertise in the subject the article explores. Authors will be informed of the outcome of the review and the reasons why their article was accepted, rejected, or requires more work.

Contributors assign copyright to NZNO

If an article is accepted for publication, copyright is automatically assigned to NZNO. Permission to republish material elsewhere is usually given to authors on request, but manuscripts must not be submitted simultaneously to other journals.



1) Zinsser, W. (2001). On Writing Well. The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction (25th anniversary edition). New York: Harper Collins.