Top 10 nursing journals

4 min read
First Published: 
Feb 2021

Staying up-to-date with research is important for all nurses. For frontline nurses, providing evidence-based practice is key to improved patient care. For nurses involved in other areas of healthcare such as policy, leadership and management, understanding emerging research helps inform decision making.

But finding the time to have a proper meal break or even go to the bathroom can be a challenge for busy nurses. Who then has the time to wade through the myriad of new articles published each month?

So, we’ve done some of the work for you. We’ve collated a list of top 10 nursing journals in 2021. We’ve also included journal metrics used for journal ranking. While there’s plenty of debate about the pros and cons of journal metrics, they can be helpful as an indication of a journal’s impact on research and to compare journals in similar .

Journals whose target audience include other health professions, with nurses only a smaller subgroup, are not included in our list.


Impact factor: is based on Web of Science data and only includes documents such as articles and reviews. It measures the average number of times an article is cited by other journal articles and documents. An impact factor of 3 or more is considered good, 1 is average.

CiteScore: is based on Scopus data for all indexed documents, including articles, letters and editorials. Like impact factor, it measures the average citations received per document published in a journal over a 4-year time period.

Impact factor and CiteScore have the most meaning when used to compare journals within the same therapeutic area of subject. Many academics value a journal’s impact factor over its Citescore; therefore they will use the impact factor to rank other journals in the same field.

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR): measures the citations received from a journal but it also considers the importance of the journal where the citations have come from. This measurement can be helpful to rank journals within the same field and category.

Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): measures citations weighted by subject field. A SNIP over 1.0 means a journal has more citations than average.

International Journal of Nursing Studies

CiteScore: 6.3

Impact factor: 3.783

SJR: 1.409

SNIP: 2.271

The International Journal of Nursing Studies is published monthly. It includes peer-reviewed research and review articles covering a range of nursing specific topics.

The journal supports open access and recent articles include transitioning of care from paediatrics to adults, mindfulness-based therapy and palliative care.

Nurse Education Today

CiteScore: 4.6

Impact factor: 2.490

SJR: 1.178

SNIP: 1.810

As its name suggests, Nurse Education Today publishes articles about educational theory and how it supports evidence-based practice for nurses. The editorials, research and review articles aim to stimulate discussions for educators and other health professionals engaged with healthcare education.

The journal is published monthly and many of the articles have full text open access.

Journal of Nursing Scholarship

CiteScore: 4.4

Impact factor: 2.655

SJR: 1.074

SNIP: 1.773

The Journal of Nursing Scholarship is the official journal of Sigma Theta Tau International (Sigma) and provides peer-reviewed articles from nurse researchers worldwide.

Recent issues include research and editorials that focus on digital health, leadership and career development and the experiences of primary healthcare nurses during COVID-19.

The Patient

CiteScore: 4.4

Impact factor 3.226

SJR: 1.040

SNIP: 1.156

The Patient is a person-centric journal, which focuses on enhancing the patient experience and has one of the highest impact factors of our top 10 journals.

Each article is peer-reviewed and provides key points for decision makers. Some articles include plain English summaries. The journal is published bi-monthly and offers some open access articles.

Nursing in Critical Care

CiteScore: 4.3

Impact factor: 2.205

SJR: 0.686

SNIP: 1.198

This international peer-reviewed journal is particularly relevant for nurses working within critical care, including paediatrics. Literature reviews, research and reflections on practice published in each issue will interest critical care nurses working in both hospital and community settings.

Some of the articles published in the bi-monthly issues are free access.

Journal of Advanced Nursing

CiteScore: 3.9

Impact factor 2.561

SJR: 1.027

SNIP: 1.543

The Journal of Advanced Nursing (JAN) is an international journal that publishes peer-reviewed papers predominately authored by nurses and midwives.

The diverse range of topics covered in each monthly issue will interest nurses working in a range of specialties. Each issue includes research and review papers; many are open access.

Nursing Outlook

CiteScore: 3.8

Impact factor: 2.833

SJR: 0.931

SNIP: 1.648

This well-regarded journal is the official journal of the American Academy of Nursing and the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science.

A bi-monthly journal, it aims to improve health policy and practice and share emerging nursing knowledge.

European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing

CiteScore: 3.7

Impact factor 2.296

SJR: 0.708

SNIP: 1.063

This international journal publishes peer-reviewed content to improve the knowledge and evidence-based practice of nurses who care for people with cardiovascular disease.

The niche journal offers comprehensive guidelines for nurses interested in publishing, and each issue offers some open access material.

Journal of Nursing Management

CiteScore: 3.5

Impact factor: 2.243

SJR: 0.914

SNIP: 1.459

The Journal of Nursing Management aims to help develop best practice and lead innovation in nursing management and leadership.

Each monthly issue features papers, articles and editorials relevant to managers and other professions involved in healthcare leadership.

Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing

CiteScore: 3.4

Impact factor: 1.947

SJR: 0.618

SNIP: 0.943

Mental health nurses and researchers will be interested in the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. The international journal focuses on a wide-range of topics in each bi-monthly issue, and articles include accessible summaries to help people easily understand the implications of the.

As a global medical communications agency, we know that an evidence-based approach is crucial to inform and improve decision making and healthcare. Whether its publication planning, creating patient information or developing medical education solutions, we use our knowledge of journal prestige and rank to ensure we use the most valuable research as our foundation.


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Sarah Cahill
Sarah Cahill is a freelance medical writer. Sarah worked as a nurse for 14 years before a career shift into writing, first working for a medical communications company and then founding Sayline Writing Solutions in 2018. She specialises in plain English medical and health writing.
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