Nursing Ethics

Nursing Ethics

2015 Impact Factor: 1.469
2015 Ranking: 31/116 in Nursing (SCI) | 28/114 in Nursing (SSCI)
2016 Release of Journal Citation Reports, Source: 2015 Web of Science Data
An International Journal for Health Care Professionals

Editor-in Chief
Ann Gallagher University of Surrey, UK
Founding Editor
Verena Tschudin University of Surrey, UK

eISSN: 14770989 | ISSN: 09697330 | Current volume: 24 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: 8 Times/Year

Nursing Ethics
takes a practical approach to this complex subject and relates each topic to the working environment. The articles on ethical and legal issues are written in a comprehensible style and official documents are analysed in a user-friendly way. The international Editorial Board ensures the selection of a wide range of high quality articles of global significance.

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).


Nursing Ethics takes a practical approach to this complex subject and relates each topic to the working environment. The articles on ethical and legal issues are written in a comprehensible style and official documents are analysed in a user-friendly way. The international Editorial Board ensures the selection of a wide range of high quality articles of global significance.

Nursing Ethics adheres to a rigorous double-blind reviewing policy in which the identity of reviewers and authors are concealed from both parties. Each manuscript is reviewed by at least two referees. All manucripts are reviewed as rapidly as possible (e.g. 4-6 weeks) of submission.

Current topics of special interest include the accountability of the health profession in the areas of:

  • Management/Inter-Professional Relations
  • Patient Rights/Public Welfare

This extensive journal covers highly relevant issues including:

  • Resuscitation
  • Genetics
  • Current health policies
  • Modes of thought in health care
  • Comparative and cross-cultural studies
  • Ethics in the nursing curriculum
  • Codes of conduct

Nursing Ethics is presented in a practical, well-written and highly readable format.

Associate Editors
Douglas Olsen Michigan State University, USA
Riitta Suhonen University of Turku, Finland
Anthony Tuckett University of Queensland, Australia
Case Studies Editor
Ebin J Arries College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Features Editor
Tiziana Sala Defilippis University of Surrey, UK
Editorial Board
Helen Chan Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Leyla Dinc Haceteppe University, Turkey
Steven Edwards George Washington University , Washington, DC
Chris Gastmans Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
Shigeko Izumi Oregon Health and Science University, USA
Megan-Jane Johnstone Deakin University, Australia
Helen Kohlen University of Vallendar, Germany
Yukiko Kusano International Council of Nurses, Geneva, Switzerland
Joan McCarthy University College Cork (NUI), Republic of Ireland
Settimio Monteverde University of Zurich and Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland
Dagfinn Nåden Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway
Elizabeth Peter University of Toronto, Canada
Leila Toiviainen University of Tasmania, Australia
Carla Ventura University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Daphne Viveka Kurji Holy Family School of Nursing, India
Consultant Editors
Nasser Abu-El-Noor Islamic University of Gaza, Gaza
Lesley Baillie London South Bank University and University College London Hospitals, UK
Sarah Banks Durham University, UK
Gili Benari Henrietta Szold School of Nursing, Israel
Kathy Curtis University of Surrey, UK
Janet Holt Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Emiko Konishi Saku University, Japan
Joan Liaschenko University of Minnesota, USA
Jean V. McHale Birmingham Law School, UK
Ellen Schafheutle University of Manchester, UK
Stephen Smith Edinburgh Napier University, UK
Alessandro Stievano Centre of Excellence for Nursing Scholarhip Ipasvi Rome, Italy
Anthony Tuckett University of Queensland, Australia
  • Academic Search Premier
  • Applied Social Sciences Index & Abstracts (ASSIA)
  • BDLIC Fundacion Index
  • Bibliography of Bioethics
  • British Nursing Index
  • Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature CINAHL
  • Current Awareness Abstracts
  • Current Contents / Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Current Contents/ Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Health Care Database
  • Heath Care Database
  • ISI Discovery Agent
  • Index Medicus
  • Index Medicus (Ceased 2004)
  • International Nursing Index
  • Nursing Abstracts
  • PsycINFO
  • Science Citation Index
  • Scopus
  • The Philosopher's Index
    1. Peer review policy
    2. Article types
    3. Authorship
    4. How to submit your manuscript
    5. Publishing Policies
      5.1 Publication Ethics
      5.1.1 Plagiarism
      5.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      5.3 Open Access and author archiving
    6. Statements and conventions
      6.1 Acknowledgments
      6.2 Declaration of conflicting interests
      6.3 Funding acknowledgement
      6.4 Other statements and conventions
    7. Permissions
    8. Manuscript style
      8.1 File types
      8.2 Journal style
      8.3 Reference style
      8.4 Manuscript preparation
    9. After acceptance
      9.1 Proofs
      9.2 E-Prints
      9.3 SAGE production
      9.4 OnlineFirst publication
    10. Further information

    Nursing Ethics is an international peer reviewed journal that welcomes submissions on the morality, ethics and law of the caring professions.


    1. Peer review policy

    Nursing Ethics adheres to a rigorous double-blind reviewing policy in which the identity of reviewers and authors are concealed from both parties. Each manuscript is reviewed by at least two referees. Suitable manuscripts are reviewed as rapidly as possible, e.g. within 4-6 weeks of submission. Reviewers are directed to the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers.

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    2. Article types

    Nursing Ethics features commissioned and non-commissioned research articles, case studies, opinion pieces, reports, correspondence and notices of meetings, events and conferences.

    Length: Articles should be between 2500 and 6000 words long (including abstract, text and references; excluding tables). Review articles may be up to 8000 words (including tables). Book reviews should be about 500 words. Case studies are normally 500 words (see guidancebelow). Letters are welcome.

    Abstract: Please supply an article abstract of no more than 300 words. Please supply up to six key words. See more detailed guidance below.

    Authors whose first language is not English are requested to have their manuscripts checked carefully for linguistic correctness before submission.

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    3. Authorship

    Papers should only be submitted for consideration once the authorization of all contributing authors has been gathered. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.

    The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:

    1. have made a substantial contribution to the concept and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data
    2. drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content
    3. approved the version to be published.

    Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

    When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.

    Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section.
    Please refer to the ICMJE Authorship guidelines at

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    4. How to submit your manuscript

    Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you carefully read and adhere to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided below. Manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Nursing Ethics is hosted on SAGETRACK: a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Please read the Manuscript Submission guidelines below, and then simply visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    All papers must be submitted via the online system. If you would like to discuss your paper prior to submission, please refer to the contact details below.

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    5. Publishing policies

    5.1 Publication ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway

    5.1.1 Plagiarism

    Nursing Ethics and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of articles published in the journal. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked using duplication-checking software. Where an article is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article (removing it from the journal); taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author’s institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; banning the author from publication in the journal or all SAGE journals, or appropriate legal action.

    5.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    5.3 Open Access and author archiving

    Nursing Ethics offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information please visit the SAGE Choice website. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.


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    6. Statements and conventions

    6.1. Acknowledgements

    Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an ‘Acknowledgements’ section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.

    6.2 Declaration of conflicting interests

    It is the policy of Nursing Ethics to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.
    Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’.

    For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations here

    Please include any declaration at the end of your manuscript after any acknowledgements and prior to the references, under a heading ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’. If no declaration is made the following will be printed under this heading in your article: ‘None Declared’. Alternatively, you may wish to state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. 

    When making a declaration the disclosure information must be specific and include any financial relationship that all authors of the article has with any sponsoring organization and the for-profit interests the organization represents, and with any for-profit product discussed or implied in the text of the article.

    Any commercial or financial involvements that might represent an appearance of a conflict of interest need to be additionally disclosed in the covering letter accompanying your article to assist the Editor in evaluating whether sufficient disclosure has been made within the Declaration of Conflicting Interests provided in the article.

    For more information please visit the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    6.3 Funding Acknowledgement

    To comply with the guidance for Research Funders, Authors and Publishers issued by the Research Information Network (RIN), Nursing Ethics additionally requires all Authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit Funding Acknowledgements on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding or state in your acknowledgments that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

    6.4 Other statements and conventions

    6.4.1 Research ethics
    Please note that if research ethics considerations are not addressed adequately in both the Abstract and in the text of the manuscript, your submission will be unsubmitted or rejected.*

    All papers reporting animal and human studies must include whether written consent was obtained from the local Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee and an Ethics Committee reference number.

    We accept manuscripts that report human for publication only if it is made clear that investigations were carried out to a high ethical standard. Studies in humans which might be interpreted as experimental (e.g. controlled trials) should conform to the Declaration of Helsinki and typescripts must include a statement that the research protocol was approved by the appropriate ethical committee. In line with the Declaration of Helsinki 1975, revised Hong Kong 1989, we encourage authors to register their clinical trials (at or other suitable databases identified by the ICMJE, If your trial has been registered, please state this on the Title Page.

    6.4.2 Research Participants' consent
    Authors are required to ensure the following guidelines are followed, as recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Research Participants have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including particpiants' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions or photographs unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the participant (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a participant who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published.

    Identifying details of individuals or organisations should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the submitted article.

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    7. Permissions

    Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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    8. Manuscript style

    8.1 File types

    Only electronic files conforming to the journal's guidelines will be accepted. Preferred formats for the text and tables of your manuscript are Word DOC, RTF, XLS. LaTeX files are also accepted.  Please also refer to additional guideline on submitting artwork below.

    8.2 Journal Style

    Nursing Ethics conforms to the SAGE house style.  Click here to review guidelines on SAGE UK House Style.

    8.3 Reference Style

    Nursing Ethics adheres to the SAGE Vancouver reference style. Click here to review the guidelines on SAGE Vancouver to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote to manage references, download the SAGE Vancouver output file by following this link and save to the appropriate folder (normally for Windows C:\Program Files\EndNote\Styles and for Mac OS X Harddrive:Applications:EndNote:Styles). Once you’ve done this, open EndNote and choose “Select Another Style...” from the dropdown menu in the menu bar; locate and choose this new style from the following screen.

    8.4 Manuscript Preparation

    The text should be double-spaced throughout and with a minimum of 3cm for left and right hand margins and 5cm at head and foot. Text should be standard 10 or 12 point.

    8.4.1 Your Title, Keywords and Abstracts: Helping readers find your article online

    The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting SAGE’s Journal Author Gateway Guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online. It is recommended that your title is as descriptive and succinct as possible (preferably no more than 10 words).

    8.4.2 Abstract
    Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and contain no references or abbreviations.

    For philosophical or theoretical manuscripts an unstructured descriptive abstract of the work is acceptable.

    For empirical research a structured abstract is preferred and should contain the following headings and information. This also provides the structure for, and summary of, the manuscript: background (what is the problem, what is known and why the topic is important); research question/objectives/hypothesis (as appropriate for the research type); research design (methodology and methods); participants and research context (who were the participants? how many? and where was the research conducted?); ethical considerations (authors must include details of the ethical review process and, in the manuscript text, describe in sufficient detail how ethical aspects of the study were addressed); findings (summary of key findings or results); discussion (how study findings relate to existing international research and theory); and conclusion (making reference to research question/objectives/methodology and identifying the implications of the study for healthcare professionals and researchers in an international context).

    8.4.3 Case study preparation
    Authors who would like to submit a case study to Nursing Ethics are advised to contact Ebin Arries, Case Studies Editor, in the first instance (
    The usual format for a case study can follow one of two option, which is as follows:

    Option 1: Expert supported Case study analysis

    The author submits a succinct summary of a practice situation (approximately 500 words). This should outline a particularly ethically difficult or troubling ‘case’ in the expectation of learned replies from ethics experts.

    Generally two concise expert replies are invited, being not much more than 500 words or so each.

    The original author is given a very brief right of reply (approximately 250 words).

    Very few references are expected from any of the authors; possibly no more than about ten, and usually only from the experts.

    Option 2: Independant Author-led Case study analysis

    Provide a succinct summary of the ethically difficult practice situtation (approx 500 words), including its context, relevant history and background information.

    Provide an unbiased/critical and succinct ethical analysis of the situation (approx 750 words), including identifying pertinent and/or related ethical issue(s); highlighting their significance; identify underlying values and assumption(s) about the issue; cultures, perceptions and/or emotions to be taken into consideration in resolving it; identify relevant stakeholders to the resolution of the issue; the goal(s)/outcome(s) to be accomplished and possible barriers to it.

    Draw a logically reasoned conclusion, including a description of proposed/recommended resolution and practical strategies to address those (approx 500 words)

    8.4.4 Corresponding Author Contact details

    Provide full contact details for the corresponding author including email, mailing address and telephone numbers. Academic affiliations are required for all co-authors. These details should be presented separately to the main text of the article to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    8.4.5 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

    8.4.6 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files

    This journal is able to host approved supplemental materials online, alongside the full-text of articles. Supplemental files will be subjected to peer-review alongside the article.  For more information please refer to SAGE’s Guidelines for Authors on Supplemental Files.

    8.4.7 English Language Editing services

    Non-English speaking authors who would like to refine their use of language in their manuscripts might consider using a professional editing service.  Visit English Language Editing Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    9. After acceptance           

    9.1 Proofs

    We will email a PDF of the proofs to the corresponding author.

    9.2 E-Prints

    SAGE provides authors with access to a PDF of their final article. For further information please visit Offprints and Reprints on our Journal Author Gateway.

    9.3 SAGE Production

    At SAGE we place an extremely strong emphasis on the highest production standards possible. We attach high importance to our quality service levels in copy-editing, typesetting, printing, and online publication ( We also seek to uphold excellent author relations throughout the publication process.

    We value your feedback to ensure we continue to improve our author service levels. On publication all corresponding authors will receive a brief survey questionnaire on your experience of publishing in Nursing Ethics with SAGE. 

    9.4 OnlineFirst Publication

    A large number of journals benefit from OnlineFirst, a feature offered through SAGE’s electronic journal platform, SAGE Journals Online. It allows final revision articles (completed articles in queue for assignment to an upcoming issue) to be hosted online prior to their inclusion in a final print and online journal issue which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. For more information please visit our OnlineFirst Fact Sheet.

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    10. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the Manuscript Submission process should be sent to the Editorial Office as follows:

    Ann Gallagher
    Nursing Ethics
    c/o Interational Care Ethics Observatory

    School of Health Sciences
    Faculty of Health Medical Sciences
    University of Surrey
    GU2 7TE, UK.

    Tel: +44 (0)1483 689462
    Fax: +44 (0)1483 686711

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