Recipients of the Margaret Comerford Freda Award for Editorial Leadership

Founding Award – 2012: Margaret Comerford Freda, presented in Montreal, Quebec

Dr. Margaret Comerford Freda
Dr. Margaret Comerford Freda

On Thursday, August 2nd at 8:40 am, Dr. Peggy Chinn introduced the Margaret Comerford Freda Award for Editorial Leadership in Nursing Publication and announced the first recipient, Dr. Margaret Comferford Freda. Health issues prevented Margaret from being with us in Montréal to receive the award, but her warm heart and generous spirit filled the room, even in her absence. (Download the 2012 MCF award Presentation)

At the time of the award, Dr. Freda was the Editor-in-Chief of MCN: The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, a position she held for 16 years (1997-2013).

Subsequent awards are shown most recent first:

2022: Roger Watson, presented at INANE in Nashville

At 11 am on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, Dr. Roger Watson became the 10th recipient of the Margaret Comerford Freda Award for Editorial Leadership in Nursing. Dr. Watson is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Nurse Education in Practice, published by Elsevier. He has prior editorships at the Journal of Clinical Nursing (2003-2011) and the Journal of Advanced Nursing (2012-2022). He was also the founding editor of Nursing Open (2014-2020). Dr. Watson’s Wikipedia page has details about his life and career:

“We are delighted to present Dr. Watson with the MCF Award this year,” says Julia Snethen, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chair of the Award Selection Committee. “Dr. Watson is well-known for his contributions to scholarly publishing and his service to the profession of nursing. He is committed to developing and mentoring new and associate editors and serves as a role model for aspiring editors.” Many of his former associate editors have gone on to become editors in their own right of well-known and prestigious nursing journals.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the award, INANE started a new tradition with the Margaret Comerford Leadership Address. Dr. Watson was the inaugural presenter and shared his thoughts on the topic of, “Are we living in Jurassic Park? Thoughts on the future of the 5000 word manuscript.”

2021: Annette Flanagin, presented virtually

A long-time member and contributor to INANE programs on issues related to scientific
publication standards and ethics for authors, editors, and publishers, Annette Flanagin, RN, MA, FAAN, is Executive Managing Editor and Vice President of Editorial Operations, for JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) and the JAMA Network, and Executive Editor, JAMAevidence. She directs the editorial operations, content management, systems, editing, and services and author outreach programs for the JAMA Network. She is also a past president of the Council of Science Editors (CSE), which honored her with its Award for Meritorious Achievement in 2018. 


Annette is a role model for nursing editors in developing quality scholarly publishing. She has consulted with many on their editorial policies to ensure transparency in editorial roles, navigate publisher-editor issues and association-editorial issues. She chair’s AJN’s Journal Oversight Committee, which serves to protect the editorial integrity of the journal. Annette has co-developed  a number of guidelines to guide authors, editors, and publishers in scientific publication and is a coauthor of the AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors.

Annette’s leadership in ground-breaking research on editorial transparency, her contributions in teaching, writing and generous support in helping editors new and old to improve their journals and journal board management has been critical in increasing the quality of nursing publications. Her international networking in both medicine and nursing serves to increase awareness of and the need for standards to protect scientific literature and ensure dissemination of accurate evidence-based content.

Annette has done ground-breaking research on ghost authorship in medical and nursing publishing and on conflict of interest policies among nursing journals. She is a faculty member for the Council of Science Editors (CSE) Short Courses on Publication Ethics and Manuscript Editing.

2020: Thelma Schorr, presented virtually

Thelma Schorr served at the American Journal of Nursing (AJN) company for forty years from 1950-1990, progressing from editorial assistant to editor-in-chief, and then ten years as president and publisher. Early in her career prior to joining the AJN company, launched her illustrious career in journalism by engaging the press to address a health crisis of the time. As a staff nursse at Bellevue Hospital, she was alarmed that the hospital was keeping active TB patients on an open ward. She fought to have them isolated on a separate unit and no one would listen. So she contacted NY CBS reporter Gabe Pressman and he broke the story, forcing NY Health & Hospitals to provide isolation units for active TB patients.

Thelma Schorr (circa 1990)

From that early start, Thelma became a life-long mover and a shaker.  She led the way to establish the role of the journal editor as an independent, autonomous function not to be driven or manipulated by organizational or commercial interests.  With the rise of feminism in the 70s, Thelma’s editorials emphasized that nursing was not to be subsumed under “medicine,” that “healthcare” was the proper umbrella term. Gradually public media followed this lead. She envisioned possibilities for nursing as a significant discipline in its own right (not as assistants to physicians) and shaped all of her actions to reflect and promote nursing’s professional identity.

During her tenure at the AJN company, she she directed the publication of multiple nursing journals and pioneered the inclusion of continuing education articles in nursing journals. Along with Anne Zimmerman, she co-edited Making Choices, Taking Chance: Nurse Leaders Tell Their Stories in 1988, and in 1999, co-wrote with Shawn Kennedy, 100 Years of American Nursing.

Thelma was the de-facto “founder” of INANE, gathering together a small group of editors in 1982 to form a new kind of network dedicated solely to the improvement of nursing literature. Her career at the AJN company spans 40 years, starting as an editorial assistant, becoming the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Nursing, and ultimately the president and Publisher of the AJN Company.  Thelma assured that the journal provided news for & about nursing, often unavailable otherwise, because this content covered labor issues that hospitals would rather suppress

Thelma Schorr at age 93

Thelma is widely known for her dedication to first-time, inexperienced authors to learn to write for publication.  She welcomed creative ideas and encouraged nurses to value their own experience and knowledge.  She pioneered the practice of making  continuing education available in print journals, making it possible for all nurses to pursue life-long learning to improve patient care. For this, AJN received magazine publishing’s highest award – the Ellie (elephant statue) from the American Society of Magazine Editors. She also pioneered programmed instruction, which was a forerunner of computer instruction. These were done in the 1970s, long before personal computers & Internet.

Thelma’s editorial leadership has left an unmatched mark on nursing, one that all nursing editors seek to emulate.

2019: Marion Broome, presented in Reno, Nevada


Dr. Marion Broome is the 2019 winner of the Margaret Comerford Freda Award for Editorial Leadership in Nursing Publication. Congratulations to Marion!

Marion Broome, PhD, RN, FAAN, is well known in the INANE community. She has been an editor since 1993: Capsules and Comments in Pediatric Nursing; Journal of Child and Family Nursing; and since 2003, Nursing Outlook. Dr. Broome is a leader and scholar in nursing, publishing over 121 refereed papers; 21 chapters; and 7 books. Her research in pediatric pain has changed management approaches to acute and chronic pain. Her research in assent and consent is in guidelines for parents found on the NIH, National Cancer Institute website.

Dr. Broome has mentored two new editors formally through INANE mentoring program; and others informally on phone calls and emails. As a leader, Dr. Broome organized and sponsored the INANE 2009 conference held in Chicago. Dr. Broome has effectively mentored multiple associate editors over the years, facilitating their development and expertise. As a role model, Dr. Broome has served on 10 editorial boards. She has a wealth of information that is foundational for mentoring novice editors.

Dr. Broome is Dean and Vice Chancellor for Nursing Affairs at Duke University and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for Nursing at Duke University Health System. Prior to joining Duke, Dr. Broome was dean of the Indiana University School of Nursing, where she was awarded the rank of Distinguished Professor. She was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Researcher Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2012, Dr. Broome was selected as the Outstanding Alumnus for Georgia Health Sciences University-Nursing, Augusta, Georgia, and the University of South Carolina. In 2012, she was given the National League of Nursing Award for Outstanding Leadership in Nursing Education. In May, 2019, Dr. Broome received an honorary doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

2018: Charon Pierson, presented in Boston, Massachusetts

Dr. Pierson has a distinguished track record of achievement in her academic specialty area as well as serving as journal editor. She was the Editor-in-Chief of the monthly Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners for 18 years. In January 2018 she was named Executive Editor.
From 2007 – 2012, she served as Editor-in-Chief of Nurse Author & Editor, a quarterly, online journal for authors, reviewers and editors.

She served as faculty and Director of the Center for Aging at the University of Texas, served as faculty at the University of Hawaii, and worked as a Peace Corp volunteer in El Salvador. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Dr. Pierson has a special interest in publication ethics, including participation in the international Council of Publication Ethics (COPE), for which she has served several terms in Office on Council, and as Secretary (currently). She is a Trustee of COPE and member of the Governing Council for the Committee. This agency transcends disciplinary boundaries.  She is featured in a five-part video series, “Publication Ethics”. These videos have been widely used and disseminated. They are publicly available on YouTube and have been viewed by over 2,000 participants.

2017: Marilyn Oermann, presented in Denver, Colorado


Marilyn H. Oermann, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN is a tireless mentor of students, nurses, and editors, helping to launch many others in leadership, academic, research and editing careers. She interacts with students and practitioners of nursing at all levels with respect, encouragement, and confidence in their abilities. Dr. Oermann’s editorial leadership is evident in her many editorial roles and accomplishments, including her current Editor-in-Chief of Nurse Educator and Journal of Nursing Care Quality. She serves or has served on advisory boards of: Nurse Education Today, From Surviving to Thriving, Nursing Forum, International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, Professional Case Management, ADVANCE for Nurses newsmagazine, Nurse Educator, Review of Research in Nursing Education, and is a peer-reviewer for numerous professional nursing journals. Dr. Oermann is lead Investigator and author on investigations related to predatory publishing in nursing.

2016: Maureen Shawn Kennedy, presented in London


Maureen Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Nursing (AJN). In addition to her role at the helm of AJN, Shawn has an amazing record of leadership and influence through multiple venues and formats. She has organized many grant-funded State of the Science symposia on emerging health issues; authored award-winning news reports and editorials that have increased nurses’ awareness of important issues; spearheaded an award-winning photo exhibit that toured nationwide; completed research on authorship ethics; and took the lead in nursing and medical publishing via online, digital and social media initiatives, with a daily blog that now has over 200,000 followers on Facebook and over 50,000 on Twitter.

2015: Leslie H. Nicoll, presented in Las Vegas, Nevada

Lucy Bradley-Springer congratulating Leslie Nicoll on receiving the award
Lucy Bradley-Springer congratulating Leslie Nicoll on receiving the award

At 8:15 am on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, Dr. Lucy Bradley-Springer, Chair of the MCF Awards Committee, presented the 2015 MCF Award for Editorial Leadership in Nursing Publication to Dr. Leslie H. Nicoll. The Committee had kept the award “top secret” this year and so Leslie was totally surprised (flabbergasted might be a better word) to hear her name announced. Lucy noted that Margaret Freda had been a member of this year’s committee and was able to vote on this year’s award winner, which was especially meaningful to all in attendance.

MCF Award for Editorial Leadership in Nursing Publication - 2015
MCF Award for Editorial Leadership in Nursing Publication

Since Leslie didn’t know she was winning the award (a departure in practice from past years) she did not have any prepared remarks, thus we cannot post them here. She also has very little memory of what she said (effects of shock) but many people told her that she talked about Margaret and that her comments clearly came “from the heart.”

Leslie is the Editor-in-Chief of CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing and Nurse Author & Editor. She was host of INANE 2014 in Portland, ME and is a member of the Planning Committee for the 2015 and 2016 meetings.

2014: Peggy L. Chinn, presented in Portland, Maine

Dr. Peggy Chinn

At 8:15 am on Tuesday, August 5, Shawn Kennedy, Chair of the Committee for the 2014 MCF Award for Editorial Leadership in Nursing Publication introduced Dr. Margaret Comerford Freda. We were thrilled that Margaret could be with us in Portland to present her eponymous award. This year’s recipient was Dr. Peggy L. Chinn, founding editor of Advances in Nursing Science. Peggy graciously accepted the award and dedicated it to our dear colleague, Dr. Suzanne Smith, long-time editor (JONA, Nurse Educator) and true friend of INANE. The presentation was, for all of us, a very emotional moment.

You can read Dr. Freda’s presentation of the award here, and Dr. Chinn’s acceptance remarks here.

2013: Joyce Fitzpatrick and Shirley Smoyak, presented in Cork, Ireland

Dr. Joyce Fitzpatrick and Dr. Shirley Smoyak
Dr. Joyce Fitzpatrick and Dr. Shirley Smoyak

At 2 pm on  Wednesday, July 31st, Dr. Lucy Bradley-Springer presented the 2013 Margaret Comerford Freda Award for Editorial Leadership in Nursing Publication to Dr. Joyce Fitzpatrick and Dr. Shirley Smoyak.

Dr. Fitzpatrick is Editor, Applied Nursing Research (since 1989); Nursing Education Perspectives (since 1997); and Archives in Psychiatric Nursing (since 2005)

Dr. Smoyak is the Editor of  Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services (JPN) since July, 1981.