Remembering Margaret Comerford Freda, EdD, RN, CHES, FAAN

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Dr. Jackie Owens (L) and Dr. Margaret Freda (R) at INANE 2014

Dr. Jackie Owens (L) and Dr. Margaret Freda (R) at INANE 2014

To my INANE Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that our good friend and INANE colleague, Dr. Margaret Comerford Freda, Editor Emeritus of MCN, died early this morning (April 27) at her home in New York.

Margaret had been ill for several years, stemming from a diagnosis of giant cell arteritis in the fall of 2011. She faced numerous health complications and setbacks with strength and dignity, always professional and always composed. She is an inspiration!

As the Chair of last year’s INANE conference, it meant more to me than I can say that Margaret was able to make the trek from New York to Maine to join us for our meeting. She fully participated in everything, including the boat trip to the lobster bake on Tuesday night, as you can see in the picture above! It was a joy for me to be able to sit with Margaret for many of the sessions, particularly our closing poet, Richard Blanco. I will freely admit that we both sobbed our way through his presentation!

Margaret was so invigorated by her attendance at INANE–in her words, “I found my professional self again after being a patient for four years,”–that we took on the challenge of revising The Editor’s Handbook, first published by Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins in 2010. Again, as Margaret said to me, “I am not able to walk much, and I don’t breathe very well, and some days I can’t even talk–but I can sit and think and write.” She was fully engaged throughout the revision process, taking the lead on all ten chapters by revising content and updating references. Margaret also reviewed every single page in the first round of page proofs, meticulously noting tiny errors and making sure everything was correct. I knew she had had another health setback in the past two weeks. When I received the second round of pages for review last week I thought she might not be up to taking this on–but in her ever gracious way, she apologized profusely for “dropping the ball…I am so sorry, but my vision is so blurry right now…” Margaret, please know, you did not drop the ball! I am so proud to have your name above mine on this book when it comes out this summer!

Margaret and I first became friends when she was appointed Editor-in-Chief of MCN: The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing in 1997, and my name was suggested as someone who might have some useful advice. I suppose I did have a few tidbits to share, but I think in some ways, I benefited more in learning from Margaret. She has taught me so much! It was a wonderful honor for me last year to have her be my sponsor (with Marilyn Oermann) for my successful application to the American Academy of Nursing. Margaret was so disappointed that she was not able to be present for the Induction Ceremony, but truly, her generous spirit was with me all that weekend.

Margaret’s leadership in INANE is well known, from serving on several planning committees and chairing the conference in 2004 that was held at the Atlantis in the Bahamas. But I think she will always be remembered as the David who took on the Goliath of Impact Factors, paving the way to have nursing journals and nursing knowledge recognized in the Web of Science. When Margaret, along with Dr. Judy Lewis spearheaded this project in 2004, there were 33 nursing journals indexed in this database. Now there are 115. She was so proud of this accomplishment!

The Margaret Comerford Freda Award for Editorial Leadership in Nursing was established in 2011 and awarded to Margaret herself in 2012. Those of us on the committee that year had an easy job–she was the unanimous choice. To be honest, many of us were afraid that she wouldn’t be with us to accept the award that year, but she was–not in person but with us all the same. At INANE last summer, it was a thrill to have Margaret present her eponymous award to the 2014 winner, Dr. Peggy Chinn.

Plans for a memorial and so on have not been finalized; as soon as I have any information I will share with everyone here. In the meantime, I am sure Margaret’s husband John and her children and grandchildren would find great comfort in reading any memories or thoughts people want to share in the comments section of this post.

With sadness,

Leslie

Just six days left for our 2015 regular registration rate!

This post is short and sweet to make sure you do not miss this opportunity!  There are now only six days remaining for regular registration for the INANE 2015 conference in Las Vegas!  Regular registration is $495 – after April 30th the lateregister nowregistration fee of $595 will apply.  So head on over to the registration page now, and save yourself a hundred dollars!!

It is going to be another great conference — so don’t miss it!! Register now!

Regular Registration for INANE 2015 ends on April 30th!

Originally posted on INANE Las Vegas 2015:

There are exactly 3 weeks remaining for regular registration for the INANE 2015 conference in Las Vegas!  Regular registration is $495 – after April 30th the late register nowregistration fee of $595 will apply.  So head on over to the registration page now, and save yourself a hundred dollars!!

If you are still wondering if attending the conference is worth it, take a look at our fabulous program!  It is all organized with a blend of guests and our own INANE colleagues who are ready to share important and interesting insights related to our publishing efforts!  And most important, INANE conferences always feature a lot of opportunities to interact with one another, and with the presenters.

For folks who are not familiar with INANE and how we do things, you might be thinking that our timeline is quite unusual!  Indeed it is, because we do this entirely as a volunteer…

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A message from Suzanne Hall Johnson!

Last week we heard from Suzanne Hall Johnson, who is Editor Emerita and Founding Editor of Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing  in 1981 and Nurse Author & Editor in 1991.  Suzanne was responsible for launching the Nursing Journals Directory hosted by Nurse Author & Editor, which last year became a joint project of INANE and NA&E.  So we were delighted when we received this message and want to share it with everyone!

Charon, Leslie, and Peggy: I love the new nursing journals listing on the INANE web page; INANE is a perfect home for it.  You have a fabulous system to keep it current with wonderful links to author guidelines and editors.  I started the first listing with the launch of  Nurse Author & Editor in 1991. To give that historical perspective for young editors, I wrote it on an MS-DOS based word processor because Windows 1.0 was still fairly new.  Even email was in its infancy, so editors mailed their journal information to me on floppy disc. The whole listing had to be updated manually. What a change in journals, editors, and technology since then. Bravo! Your listing is a great service for nursing editors and authors.

Personal note:  I miss all my editor friends. I still can’t travel much due to a vestibular, inner-ear problem, but I enjoy other things like playing my cello. Still, I love seeing how the editors and journals are developing. Dear Editor Friends, know that I’m cheering from afar.

–Suzanne Hall Johnson, Editor Emerita, Nurse Author & Editor and Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing.

Suzanne Hall Johnson

Why does it take a robot?

NPR just posted an excellent blog post by nurse Kelli Dunham titled “Why Does It Take A big-hero-6_wide-81c8fe593498a408c0004836aabe11fa32e276ce-s800-c85Movie Robot To Show What Nurses Really Do?” Check it out – I think it is a wonderful example of editorial content for a wide lay audience. Kelli uses Baymax, the robot nurse in the movie Big Hero 6 to examine nursing’s media image challenges.

Add your comments in response to Kelli’s post here, and on NPR’s site!

Correlation, Association and Causation…Is It Time for a Review?

correlationWhen I returned to higher education for my Master’s Degree, my end point was to become credentialed so I could begin my dream job as an inpatient nurse practitioner. This was a new role in 1993 and I will admit that as a single woman who  could afford only one year away from the paycheck, I was committed to getting in and out of my Master’s courses at Boston College quickly and efficiently. In particular, I had no aptitude or desire to become a researcher. My mind was clear that I would go through the “hoops” of the beginning research course (mandatory) and then “never do research again.”  I can hear your laughter now….

So, on day one of my Master’s year, I entered Research 101 for Nurses; thoroughly prepared to hate it, pretty sure I might not pass it, and very clear that it was not pertinent to my clinical life. (Yes, one can be quite naïve, even at age 35). Amazingly, I entered a classroom taught by the most wonderful teacher of my entire academic life (I’m including grade school here too). I’ve long forgotten her name but I’ll never forget her. She taught me to love and appreciate the science of science. For 18 rapid weeks, she taught a basic exercise. Each week we were given a nursing research paper to read and then in each class, we reviewed it and discussed the paper’s merits. She, of course, chose increasingly complex papers with a variety of study designs and writing skills. Some papers were good, some terrible, some stated what they did not find, some overstated conclusions….you get the idea. Our class thrived! It sounds so naïve to admit, but we were empowered to realize that just because the researchers said it, it might not be true…because of design flaw, overreaching results, and other errors, glaring and subtle.

Our professor also taught us to appreciate that while we may not be researchers, we were intelligent…and that research should not be sloppy, unreadable, or beyond our understanding. It was up to the writer to tell us what their question was, what was known about it, explain the study design, tell us how they did it, discuss their results against their question and draw some conclusions based on what they found. She demystified the process and actually taught us to critically analyze what we read….or as my Mother said, “Don’t automatically believe everything you read”. The fact that the reader of research had a responsibility in the process changed us from observers to participants. An amazing teacher with an amazing gift.

So, research became very relevant in my clinical role and subsequent professional life….if, for no other reason, than for me to critically read research and analyze its credibility. Since entering the field of obesity care, this analysis has become increasingly important. I’m not sure if is the weight bias/discrimination inherent in the specialty or the infancy of our understanding of the causes and biology of obesity…but often the “studies” that “prove” some aspect of obesity do not pass the rigor that I was taught in Research 101. Popular press articles and studies presented at conferences and professional journals that conclude association or correlation are often misinterpreted as evidence of causation.

With the flood of open access predatory publications, this issue has moved to the forefront in my mind. These journals, with their non-existent or shoddy peer reviews processes, lack of editing and oversight, and an emphasis of meeting the needs of authors, not readers, are publishing flawed articles. On a continuum these papers range from  poorly done, uninspired studies that couldn’t find a legitimate publication home, to deeply deceptive junk science reporting results that have the potential for real patient harm.

So, my thought is that it may be timely to review basic research principles at conferences, journals, and classrooms….sincerely. It has been a long time for many of us since Research 101. With so much information bombarding us daily through so many mediums, it is easy to just skim the headlines or read the conclusion of the paper. An emphasis on critical analysis of research (or what is presented as research) might remind us and our readers to take a moment to read the fine print.

 

Invisible Nurse Redux

Leslie:

This was posted on the HealthCetera blog–I wanted to share with my INANE colleagues. –LHN

Originally posted on HealthCetera - CHMP's Blog:

leslie nicollThis post is written by Leslie H. Nicoll, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN  a passionate nurse, wife, and mother. She lives in Portland, Maine where she owns her own business, Maine Desk LLC. She is the Editor-in-Chief of CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing and Editor of Nurse Author & Editor. Dr. Nicoll is an advocate for the poor and vulnerable in our society and lives this mission by working 2 1/2 days per week as the Coordinator at the Portland Community Free Clinic. Dr. Nicoll was very proud to be inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in October 2014. 

Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was quarantined in a tent in New Jersey for four days, has become a household name—sort of. What isn’t as well publicized are her educational credentials and expertise. Nurse Hickox is presented as “just a nurse” and if one is to believe the comments…

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Mentoring

XLargeThumb.01781601-201407000-00000.CVAs a member of Editorial Board for the Journal of Pediatric Surgical Nursing (JPSN) Editorial Board, my role is to mentor authors who ask for assistance. I enjoy working with colleagues on these projects and find (as always) that I learn much more than I offer. Most of the authors thus far are newer in the profession and have less clinical experience. This brings the challenge of helping them fill in the literature, clinical, and research gaps.

But, my most recent mentoring challenge is an expert clinical nurse who feels that she does not have anything “data driven” to write. This is despite the fact that for over 25 years, she has worked with a specific patient population, collaborated with the leading physician expert, earned two Master’s degrees, and is seen as the clinical expert by colleagues both novice and expert (as they tell me themselves).

When I asked her, “What do you want to say?” she was able to concisely tell me her thoughts on orthopedic pin care, take me through the full circle history of where we were, why it didn’t work, what they found worked, and now, frustratingly, a return to the original method of 25 years ago with little data to support this trend.

We strategized a bit and came up with a plan (any ideas you have are also welcome!)

But my question for the group goes beyond pin care…..my colleague brings up an interesting question in my mind.  How does JPSN capture her history?  Not for pin care (we’re working on that one) but her history of our profession.  In an hour of speaking with her…and then in speaking with another nurse who referred her to me from her institution, it is quite clear that this woman has a great story. She has lived, worked, and exemplified our nursing legacy. I am confident that we will capture what she wants to say about pin care.  I am worried that we will lose her story of a fabulous, devoted career when she retires.

So, my musing for all of you is how do we at JPSN document this era of nursing? And validate these nurses’ contributions? My “mentee” told me that she did not think she had anything she could write since she did not do formal research. Yet she knew her team’s infection rates (or lack thereof) from her infection control colleagues, supports data driven care, and supports nursing’s progress to maintain our place at any management table.

How do you capture these nurses’ special contributions and history at your journal? Thanks for educating me as a mentor!

Nancy