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!
In our journal, The Journal of the Gastroenterological Nurses College of Australia, I have started running a column every 2 or 3 editions (we publish 4 per year) called “A Nurse’s Story”. It is only a small journal of between 36-44 pages and we only have approximately 1200 copies per quarter. I would say it is more magazine style than a peer review academic journal however, we do publish peer reviewed articles (when I get them 🙁 ) The Nurse’s Story is usually 1500 words with a few pictures. For example one story has captured the experiences of a nurse’s volunteer work in Asia.
I am a very novice editor myself and constantly struggle for articles. The experiences of some of our members over 20+ years are fascinating and feedback has been they are more interesting to read than the “academic” articles which our members are increasingly sourcing on line from EBP organisations etc. I look forward to hearing how other people capture this essential knowledge. In Australia our average nurse is aged 54 and in a few years we will “lose” many to retirement so many stories and so much rich history.
Hi Nancy, Thanks for writing this – my sentiments exactly. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience out there that we are not reading about because many clinicians don’t know there are journals that welcome articles about practical and useful clinical knowledge/experiences.