2024 Call for Abstracts
41st Annual Nursing & Healthcare History Conference
Join us in Milwaukee, WI
September 19-21, 2024

We have a new abstract submission process! Details below.

The American Association for the History of Nursing (AAHN) invites abstract submissions for the 41st Annual Nursing and Healthcare History conference, to be held in Milwaukee, WI from September 19-21, 2024. For the first time, AAHN is offering three separate abstract tracks: (1) original research; (2) teaching nursing and healthcare history; or (3) thematic proposals. Submissions should match the criteria in one of the three abstract tracks and, where applicable, must indicate the preferred presentation option, either poster, podium, or panel presentation. The conference call for abstracts opens Friday, January 5, 2024, and closes on Friday, March 1, 2024. The deadline has been extended until Monday, March 11, 2024. Presenters will be notified via email of their acceptance status by Friday, April 19, 2024.

The conference submission process has changed! For the 2024 Nursing and Healthcare History conference, AAHN has partnered with Oxford Abstracts to create an online abstract submission portal. This brings AAHN in line with industry best practices, enables more streamlined submission tracking, and facilitates a rigorous peer review. Please read the new submission guidelines carefully.

Track Descriptions

Track 1: Original Research

As the premier forum for researchers, faculty, and enthusiasts of nursing history to share their scholarship, AAHN welcomes abstracts of original, completed work utilizing historical methodology. The research can address events, issues, and topics in any area of nursing and healthcare history, from any region or time period, as well as those that engage related fields such as women’s labor, technology, economic history, and race and gender studies.

Track 2: Teaching Nursing and Healthcare History

Building on the success of the education-focused pre-conference session at the 40th Annual conference, AAHN welcomes abstract submissions describing completed work in teaching nursing or healthcare history.  Submissions focused on education can describe an entire course, a module or unit, an individual class or seminar, or a specific teaching and learning activity but must include information on planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Track 3: Thematic Proposals

AAHN also welcomes abstracts for thematic proposals. These presentations are intended not for original scholarship, but to address topics of broad interest such as new themes in historiography, teaching, research methods, and advocacy. Though limited to 60 minutes, presenters may utilize a flexible format and structure. They should, however, include several speakers for a more multidimensional perspective.

Guidelines for Submission

Abstracts must arrive on or before Monday, March 11, 2024, and must be submitted via the Oxford Abstracts submission portal. Presenters will be required to select an abstract track and indicate their desired presentation format, either poster, podium, or panel.

Abstracts should be 500 words or less, exclusive of footnoted references and learning objectives. Abstract content must be blinded; all references to the organizations and/or authors by name must be omitted from the title and body of the abstract to ensure a fair, unbiased review process. Failure to comply with this blinded process will result in automatic abstract disqualification. A complete submission will include all of the following elements: Abstract Body, References, and Learning Objectives.

Abstract Body: 500 words max; each section of the abstract should be clearly identified using the 4 following headers:

  1. Purpose and Background:
  • Research and Thematic Tracks: provide an overview of the topic, including the problem identified, the major actors, their interests, and the historical period. Summarize the historical literature on the topic and contextualize your work within the key texts and approaches in the field. Describe how your work is different and what it contributes to the extant body of knowledge.
  • Teaching Track: provide an overview of the learning need by identifying the problem that was addressed through education with historical content. Describe and summarize any background literature utilized in the development of the learning activity.
  1. Methods / Course Design / Implementation Plan:
  • Research and Thematic Tracks: identify and describe the methodology, framework, or theory underpinning the work. Include information on data sources and/or archival collections accessed for primary source material.
  • Teaching Track: identify and describe the theory, philosophy, or framework guiding the development of the learning activity. Provide an overview of the education, including a description of the intended learners and the history content that was incorporated. Discuss the implementation plan and describe any challenges incurred during course planning or execution.
  1. Results / Outcomes:
  • Research and Thematic Tracks: describe key findings from the work, supported by evidence discovered during data collection. Discuss the data analysis methods that informed your findings.
  • Teaching Track: identify and describe the learning assessment and evaluation methods used to determine the impact and effectiveness of the education activity. Summarize outcome data and discuss the data analysis methods that informed your findings.
  1. Conclusions / Implications:
  • Research and Thematic Tracks: summarize your conclusion and discuss the significance of your findings for nursing research and/or practice. Indicate how your work contributes to a more inclusive history of nursing or healthcare and/or addresses a significant gap in nursing scholarship.
  • Teaching Track: discuss any planned changes to the learning activity based on outcome data and experiential feedback from learners and describe plans for continuous evaluation moving forward. Summarize the implications of the education on the learners’ future nursing practice.

References: Any footnoted references from the abstract text should be cited using the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition. References are a separate section and are not considered part of the abstract word count.

Learning Objectives: Please state a minimum of 1 and maximum of 3 learning objectives that you expect participants to meet by attending your session. Learning objectives utilize an action verb and must be congruent with the abstract text. New knowledge must be gained in order to qualify for continuing education (CE) contact hours.

Presenter Requirements and Presentation Options

If accepted for presentation, all abstract presenters must:

  • Be AAHN members in good standing.
  • Submit all required forms to AAHN as directed by the deadlines given, including the biographical information and consent forms referenced below.
  • Register for and attend the conference. Unfortunately, AAHN is unable to discount or waive registration costs for presenters.
  • Assume all costs related to travel, accommodations, and registration.

Poster Presentations: Poster presenters must print and bring their poster(s) to the conference for display. Poster elements should reflect the AAHN guidelines found here. Presenters will be required to be present to answer questions during designated times as part of the conference continuing education program.

Podium Presentations: Podium presenters are required to speak for 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes for questions. All sessions must be 30 minutes in total length to fulfill CNE requirements.

Panel Presentations: A panel consists of 3-5 persons addressing a common topic and are 60 minutes in length. Panels need to submit an abstract describing the overall topic, with each presenter also submitting an individual abstract for their content. Each abstract will be judged on its own merits.  

Abstract Review and Judging Criteria

Abstracts will be selected based on merit and the overall quality of the submission. The Abstract Review Committee will evaluate all abstracts according to the outlined elements for submissions, focusing on the following criteria:

  • The clarity and focus of the abstract;
  • The relevance of the work for nursing history, nursing education, and/or nursing practice;
  • The richness, complexity, and depth of analysis presented;
  • The appropriateness of the conclusions and implications based on data collected;
  • The content is manageable for the intended presentation type; and
  • The originality and/or innovation of the work.

Accepted presenters will be notified via email by Friday, April 19, 2024. 

*By submitting an abstract, you give permission to AAHN to use the work for educational purposes only. This includes, but is not limited to, inclusion in the conference program, posting to the AAHN website before and/or after the conference, and the use of excerpts or themes for conference marketing efforts.

Click Here to Submit Your Abstract!

Tips on Abstract Preparation

The following suggestions for preparing an abstract for submission are derived from the panel presentation, “From Study to Abstract: The Art of Describing the Essence of a Study,” given by Barbara Brodie, Wanda Hiestand, Judith Stanley, and JoAnn Wilderquist at the 35th Annual AAHN Conference in 2018.

  • Follow directions provided in the Call for Abstracts!
  • The abstract must be well written; the clarity of the writing mirrors your thinking.
  • Create an attractive, catchy title that captures the essence of the study.
  • Choose verbs carefully; aim for passionate phrases using concise language.
  • Write a good introductory paragraph which situates the study historically.
  • Provide some concrete details of the study to entice the reader to want to learn more.
  • List primary sources.
  • Historical research emphasizes conclusions.
  • Interweave research into today.
  • Have colleagues read the abstract before submission.

JoAnn Wilderquist, DMin, MA, RN has also compiled the following helpful bibliography on abstract writing:


Case, Donald Owen. The Collection and Use of Information by Some American Historians: a Study of Motives and Methods. Library Quarterly. January, 1991. p. 61-82.

Evans, Jane C. The Art of Writing Successful Research Abstracts. Neonatal Network: The Journal of Neonatal Nursing. 13 (5) August, 1994. p. 49-52.

Ferrell, Betty R. On Writing Abstracts. Oncology Nursing Forum. 15 (4) Jul/Aug, 1988. p. 515-516.

Fidel, Raya. Writing Abstracts for Free-text Searching. Journal of Documentation. 42 (1) March, 1986. p. 11-21.

Fuller, Ellen O. Preparing an Abstract of a Nursing Study. Nursing Research. 32 (8) Sept/Oct., 1983. p. 316-317.

Juhl, Nyla, & Norman, Virginia L. Writing an Effective Abstract. Applied Nursing Research 2 (4) November, 1989. p. 189-193.

Kaplan, Robert B.: Cantor, Selena; Hagstrom, Cynthia; Kamhi-Stein, Lia D.; Shiotani, Yumiko; and Zimmerman, Cheryl Boyd. On Abstract Writing. Text. 14 (3) 1994. p. 401-426.

Lindquist, Ruth. Strategies for Writing a Competitive Research Abstract. Dimensions Critical Care Nursing. 12 (1) Jan/Feb, 1993. p. 46-53.

Mendelson, Michael. Teaching the Abstract as an Introduction to Technical Writing. Technical Writing Teacher. 14 (1) Winter, 1987. p.1-10.

Murdaugh, Carolyn. Writing a Research Abstract. Progress in Cardiovascular Nursing. 3 (3) 1988. p. 29-31.

Oberst, Marilyn. Writing Functional Abstracts. Research in Nursing and Health. 17 (1) Feb., 1994. p.1.

Rogers, Bonnie. Writing Abstracts. AAOHN Journal. 38 (1) 1990. p. 40.

Vaughn, David K. Abstracts and Summaries: Some Clarifying Distinctions. Technical Writing Teacher. 18 (2) Spring, 1991. p. 132-141.

Waller, P.R. and Ropka, M.E. Disseminating Research: Writing Abstracts. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDs Care. 4 (1) Jan/Mar, 1993. p.58-63.

Wheeler, James O. Writing Abstracts. Urban Geography. 17 (4) June, 1996. p. 283-285.


Cremmins, Edward T. The Art of Abstracting. Philadelphia: ISI Press. 1982.

Tibbo, Helen R. Abstracting, Information Retrieval and the Humanities: Providing Access to Historical Literature. Chicago and London: American Library Association. 1993.