As 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!