Abstract Submission Guidelines

NASN is offering a new submission platform called Catalyst this year so please read these guidelines carefully. The guidelines will help you successfully prepare and submit your abstract in the Catalyst platform.

Additionally, please be familiar with the NASN Style Guide for authors. It includes direction on formatting certain content requested on the submission form including APA formatting, providing and citing evidence-based references, listing your credentials, and more. 

Lastly, you may want to review the committee's rating instructions for details on how submissions are scored.

Before You Begin

Be sure to review the Call for Abstracts Agreement and Conflict of Interest Policy. All authors will be asked to agree to these on the submission form.

As submitters and authors move through each step of the submission process in the Catalyst platform, select the save button after each step. This will prevent the platform from losing content already entered. The form will populate a percentage level based on the amount of information filled out on the submission form. Once submitted and completed, a percentage of 100 will display. Anything less than a 100 percent means the submission was not completed.

Step 1: Choose a Submitter and Draft the Submission

Determine who will create and start the submission process. This is the submitter. Submitters MUST also be a submission author.  

Draft the submission using the detailed outline below.

What if your submission has multiple authors?
Choose one author to be the submitter. The submitter will create and start the submission process. The submitter will enter all of the co-author information if applicable. Co-author(s) will NOT enter their respective information into the submission.  

Once the co-author information has been entered by the submitter, the submitter may grant access to co-author(s) so that he/she can verify information and/or make small edits to the information already supplied by the submitter. 

What if you are not an author but are an assistant submitting on behalf of an author?
Contact Jade Bland-Slaffey at jbland-slaffey@nasn.org for additional details on how to submit an abstract under these circumstances.

The NASN Board of Directors Conference Review Group will review submissions and consider all format requests. Formats are described in the submission type section of these guidelines. There is no guarantee that submissions will be accepted in the format you request. If accepted, the presentation will be scheduled as best suits the needs of the educational session track and overall annual conference program. If the format of the submission needs to change, you will be notified by NASN.

Step 2: Establish an Account on the Submission Platform

This step will guide the submitter in accessing the submission platform. Please read the entire guidelines before going to the submission platform. 

If the submitter shares the submission with co-authors, co-authors will also need to use an existing Catalyst account or create a new account.

If technical support is needed, reach out to the Catalyst team. This is the support link but it is also available on the Catalyst platform

Instructions for individuals who have a Catalyst account.

  1. On the Catalyst platform, enter an email address and password to sign in. 
  2. Select the submissions menu option to view or create a submission.  

Instructions for individual who do not have a Catalyst account.

  1. On the Catalyst platform, select create new account to register an account. 
  2. Enter an email address, a password that meets the platform's requirements, a first name, and a last name. 
  3. Confirm the email address by responding to the email sent by the Catalyst system. 
  4. Sign in using the email address and the password created.
  5. Select the submissions menu option to view or create a submission.

Step 3: Information Overview

Read the information tab in the submission on the Catalyst platform. Select the next button after reading.

Step 4: Submission Information 

This is the information the submitter will be asked to submit on the Catalyst platform.


Enter a title not to exceed 12 words using title case.  Title case is the use of capitalization for all principal words in a title.  All caps or unnecessary punctuation, such as quotation marks around the title or a period at the end is prohibited.

Submission Type

Choose a type from one of the following types.

Breakout Session (75 minutes) 1-hour of didactic and 15-minutes of question and answer time.

Workshop Session (120 minutes) 2-hour interactive workshop that involves sharing skills and/or techniques that the school nurse can learn through application of knowledge during the session. Time for questions and answers is required. 

Roundtable Discussion (20 minutes) A short burst of learning with an interactive conversational approach to the educational experience. This format allows presenters to be more personal with audiences for purposeful dialogue on their topic. It provides an opportunity for active discussion and a stimulating learning environment.  No slide presentations will be shown.
Get more detail about the roundtable discussion format.

e-Poster Presentation (approximately 1.25 hours) An e-poster session is presented on two days during the regular 4-day conference. Poster presenters are required to attend and present their e-poster only on the first day of the poster session.  A presentation time slot will be assigned to poster presenters in June.
Get more detail about the e-poster format.
View a sample e-poster.

If you would like some guidance on how to make an e-Poster that stands out, NASN encourages you to read How to Create a Poster That Attracts an Audience by Dr. Sandra L. Siedlecki, PhD, RN, APRN-CNS. 

General Sessions (approximately 1 hour) If interested in presenting a general or keynote session, please contact NASN.

Preconference Session (1/2 or full day) If interested in presenting a preconference session (June 27, 2019), please contact NASN.

Target Audience

Choose between 1 and 5 options from a pick list. The options include school nursing sub specialty practices and non-nursing practices. These options are used to index the content in NASN's digital document library.

Health Conditions and Professional Issues Topics

Choose appropriate topics from a pick list that help describe the content of your paper or presentation. These topics are used to index the content in NASN's digital document library.

Audio / Visual Requirements

NASN's basic package will be described and is offered at no cost. Additional equipment and the fee to reserve will be listed.  

Step 5: Submission Questions 

This is the information the submitter will be asked to submit on the Catalyst platform.

Additional Authors

Acknowledge that additional authors, if applicable, must be entered by the submitter.  

Learning Tracks

Choose one of the five learning tracks based on the Framework for 21st Century School Nursing PracticeTM that is most appropriate for your session. Consider the practice components that further define each track.

  1. Standards of Practice
  2. Care Coordination 
  3. Leadership 
  4. Quality Improvement 
  5. Community/Public Health 


Enter a detailed description of the session content not to exceed 250 words.

Learning Outcomes

Enter learning outcomes that follow this format:

  • Write each learning outcome so that it completes this statement, As a result of participating in this educational activity, learners will be able to . . .
  • Enter each learning outcome as a statement with a period at the end.
  • Starting learning outcomes with a number, bullet, asterisk or any other special characters is prohibited.
  • Using all caps or unnecessary punctuation such as quotation marks is prohibited.
  • Outcomes are limited to 20 words each.
  • Include a minimum of 2 learning outcomes and a maximum of 3 learning outcomes for e-poster sessions.
  • Include a minimum of 3 learning outcomes and a maximum of 5 learning outcomes for breakout sessions, workshop sessions, and/or roundtable discussions.

Learning outcome examples:

As a result of participating in this educational activity, learners will be able to demonstrate skills in collecting and managing data to increase its usability to bring about change in the school setting.
(This learning outcome supports this conference learning outcome, Incorporate the principles of the Framework for 21st Century School Nursing PracticeTM into daily practice to advance student and population health.)

As a result of participating in this educational activity, learners will be able to describe how school nurses can develop partnerships with hospitals and public health department to provide needed services to students.
(This learning outcome supports this conference learning outcome, Apply evidence-based best practices that promote student health, academic success and healthy school communities.)

Tips for developing desired learning outcome(s) for participants in the target audience.

  • A learning outcome is written as a statement that reflects what the learner will be able to do as a result of participating in the educational activity.
  • A learning outcome must be observable and measurable.
  • A learning outcome addresses the educational needs (knowledge, skills, and/or practices) that contribute to the professional practice gap, and achieving the learning outcome results in narrowing or closing the gap.
  • A learning outcome must clearly support NASN's overall conference learning outcomes.

Evidence-based References

Enter references using APA format. You will have a 200-word limit for this information.

Please reference Purdue University's Online Writing Lab for APA formatting help if needed.

Teaching Methods, Strategies, Materials and Resources

Provide this information and have an 80-word limit.


Enter a purpose that starts with this statement The purpose of this activity is to enable the learner to . . .  You will have an 80-word limit for this information.

Accepted Presentation

Acknowledge that NASN will request a digital copy of the presentation, e-poster and/or handout(s) in May. 

Appropriate Audience 

Choose the appropriate audience. The audience(s) you choose will be listed in the conference program.

Step 6: Submitter 

Submitter Information

Enter submitter information in the Catalyst platform. The submitter will receive all communications regarding the submission.

Step 7: Authors 

Please read this section carefully as it is important to enter authors accurately.

Submitters will enter their information in the author's area of the Catalyst platform.

Submitters will enter co-author(s) in the author's area if applicable. Submitters will need to be sure the order of authors is correct. Submitters can "drag and drop" authors to change the order on the screen.

Authors and organizations are entered separately and then authors are "affiliated" with organizations.

This is the information the submitter will be asked to submit for each author in the Catalyst platform:

  • Role
  • Prefix, Name, Suffix
  • Credentials
  • Title
  • RN status
  • Nursing degree or other degree
  • Email address
  • Experience * (Maximum 250 words)
  • Presenting experience (Maximum 250 words)
  • Current position experience (Maximum 25 words)
  • Educational background (Maximum 250 words)
  • Agreement to NASN's photography/videotaping/audiotaping policy
  • Acknowledgement of the conflict of interest policy
  • Acknowledgement of NASN's honoraria policy
  • Unapproved or investigational devices (Y/N with explanation if Yes)
  • Institutional Review Board (Y/N with request for more information if Yes)
  • Conflict of Interest (Y/N with request for additional information if Yes)
* Experience: Describe the author's expertise and years of training specific to the educational activity described in this abstract submission. This information will be used as a speaker bio should this abstract be selected for presentation. Here is a biography template: [Fullname] received [degree, certifications] in [discipline or field] from [name of university] and is currently working as a [job position] at [name of organization/institution]. A strong advocate for [list core professional beliefs or values], [she/he] involves [her/his] students in [list typical activities or projects that reflect core professional beliefs]. [Her/His] professional interests focus on [list professional or research interest], and [her/his] current projects include [list professional activities and publications]. In addition, [she/he] serves as [name of position] for [name of organization], and is a member of [name of advisory board or professional association]. [She/He] was recently honored with the [name of award] for [her/his] contributions to [field,organization, etc…].

Step 8: Review Before Submitting

Submitters may save, submit, withdraw or print the submission.  It is always a good idea to save and give yourself some time before doing a final review and submitting.  Also, if the submitter is going to share the submission with co-authors, this should be done before the submission is submitted.

NOTE: Submitters may share submissions with co-authors. The share options are can edit and can view. If the submitter wants the co-author(s) to make minor edit, can edit should be selected. If the submitter wants the co-author(s) to view and not edit, can view should be selected.

Step 9: Feedback 

The feedback tab will contain information after the submission has been reviewed and scored. This tab may or may not be visible to submitters and co-authors.

Troubleshooting and FAQ

Please direct technical support requests that involve assistance with the Catalyst platform to the Catalyst support team. Prior to contacting the support team, please review your submission carefully.  

Please direct questions such as the FAQ below to the NASN conference team.

Q. Who reviews the submissions and considers the format requests? 
A. The NASN Board of Directors' Conference Review Group reviews all submissions.

Q. How will I be notified if my submission is accepted? 
A. An email will be sent to all authors listed in the submission.

Q. What if the format of the submission needs to be changed?
A. NASN Conference  team will notify you of the changes that need to be made. 

Q. When will my presentation be scheduled? 
A. If accepted your submission will be scheduled as best suits the needs of the educational session track and overall Annual Conference program. 

Q, What part of the submission will be included in the NASN conference materials?
A. The session purpose.

Q. Will NASN edit the submissions and correct conventions such as grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors?
A. NASN is not responsible for making grammatical, punctuation or spelling corrections or revisions to submitted work. It is essential that you and/or your team proofread your work carefully.