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Purpose- This study set to present a general overview of the International Journal of Nursing Studies (IJNS) from 1963 to 2018 using bibliometric indicators to assess its performance.

Design/methodology/approach- This study is a bibliometric analysis. The articles of the IJNS were analyzed. Scopus database was used for collecting articles. Excel software was used to analyze the process of publishing journal articles, identify top countries, institutes, and authors and extract highly cited articles in the journal. The visualization of the keywords in the articles published in the journal was done using the VOSviewer software.

Findings- The results of the bibliometric analysis showed that the United Kingdom with 966 papers, King's College London with 130 papers and Bergman R with 25 papers were the most productive and influential countries, universities, and authors contributing to the IJNS. The paper of Keeney S. (2001), entitled "A critical review of the Delphi technique as a research methodology for nursing", was the most highly cited article in the IJNS from the beginning of 1963 to the end of 2018. The clustering of published keywords suggests that psychometric and nursing care issues are emerging journal clusters added to the journal in the last two decades.

Conclusion- The evolution process of the IJNS is positive and growing. This Journal has attracted much attention from researchers and authors around the world as a pioneer and leading journalist in the field of nursing.

Originality/value- This is the first comprehensive study offering a bibliometric overview of the leading trends of the IJNS over its history.