Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Meet the Editors: Brenda Roe

Ten things about Brenda


1. Why did you become a nurse?
At school I was passionate about human biology and after studying it as an undergraduate I wanted to become a nurse and apply that knowledge to the care of people. I have always been interested in understanding, identifying and using evidence to inform the care of people, their families and communities. Nursing is an art and science that requires different evidence to inform clinical practice, services and policy.


2. Why did you become an editor?
Becoming an editor was a natural progression from being a researcher, writer and author. Being an editor is a form of scholarship that requires experience, creativity, precision, vision and the ability to encourage others to write well.

3. What is the best thing about being an editor?
That I get to read first hand manuscripts from all over the world on a range of different studies from individual authors to large experienced research teams working across countries. Each has the power to make a difference.

4. What makes JAN unique?
It remains true to its aims and scope, and does what ‘it says on the tin.’ It advances nursing knowledge for policy and practice through research and scholarship.

JAN contributes to the advancement of evidence-based nursing, midwifery and healthcare by disseminating high quality research and scholarship of contemporary relevance and with potential to advance knowledge for practice, education, management or policy.”

5. What is your favourite paper published in JAN this year and why?
My favourite paper in JAN this year is by Moss H & O’Neill D (2013) The aesthetic and cultural interests of patients attending acute hospital – a phenomenological study. It makes an important contribution to the emerging field of arts, health & ageing and is novel as it is in the hospital setting as opposed to the community. I enjoyed and value it so much I was inspired to write an editorial on this very topic - Arts for health initiatives: An emerging international agenda and evidence base for older populations which will accompany it in JAN.

6. What advice would you give to an author?
Write something every day even if it is a small amount of text and work to a plan. Over time the amount of text increases and takes shape and form. Text can then be edited and polished to make it more succinct and sharp with a clear message, flow and argument. Ask critical friends to comment on your work and make suggestions to polish it. Submit your work for publication and peer review.

7. What advice would you give to aspiring editors?
Perfect your craft as an author, then edit a book, become a peer reviewer for a range of journals and then apply to be on an editorial board of a journal that you most admire.

8. What annoys you most about poor manuscripts?
Authors who do not follow the journal’s guide to authors and that they do not cite and critique a range of international sources on their topic which would clearly demonstrate their knowledge, justify their study and advance evidence.

9. What are the main challenges for nursing in the next decade?
The main challenges for nursing in the next decade are increasing populations, people living longer with a range of long term conditions requiring support and care in the community, economic constraints on health and social services with a shortage of qualified nurses, particularly in communities. Having to work differently across teams of staff with a range of skills and using new technologies to deliver effective evidence based care will also be both a challenge and opportunity.

10. Who do you recommend to follow on Twitter?
Well, JAN of course!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Nightingale versus Seacole...round one!

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

Florence Nightingale's place in the history of nursing is assured, although she is also criticised. I thought that Mary Seacole was also safe until I received a manuscript from Emerita Professor Lynn McDonald of the University of Guelph, Ontario in Canada. The manuscript, entitled Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole on nursing and health care, is online now and free to download.

Mary Seacole
I must warn you, if you are a Seacole supporter, this is not the best read you've ever had. While not critical of Mary Seacole herself or what she did, McDonald questions her allegiance to the black community and also her contribution to the development of nursing.
I was previously aware of some doubts about her nursing credentials with many seeing her more as a doctor, or 'doctress'. Certainly she did not found a philosophy of nursing or a school of nursing. But she is iconic to many and I was equally surprised to learn that, if the funds are raised to erect a statue of her in the grounds of St Thomas' Hospital, London, this will be the first statue of a black woman in the UK.

Florence Nightingale
I think that McDonald's main concern about the elevation of Seacole is that Nightingale's place in the history and development of nursing is often downplayed in juxtaposition. While I can find plenty to criticise in Nightingale myself - mostly things that were really the product of the time in which she worked - I can find no arguments against her place as the founder of modern nursing and, in my view, she made a very good job of it. What is often forgotten is that she did so much more in relation to public health. She was also a consummate politician who cleverly exerted her influence through the powerful men of the day.



Frankly, I could not resist the controversy that this paper will ignite and I have ensured that leading supporters of Mary Seacole are aware of the paper and invited to respond. I look forward to some robust - but polite - debate in the months ahead.



Reference

McDonald L (2013) Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole on nursing and health care Journal of Advanced Nursing DOI:10.1111/jan.12291

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Meet the Editors: Lin Perry

Ten things about Lin:

1. Why did you become a nurse?
My youngest child was born with a major problem and as a result I spent a lot of time in hospitals, watching, listening and talking to nurses. Having to leave your sick child in other people's care sharpens your focus and I thought a lot about the profession in whose hands I was leaving my son. When I was able to start on a career track, I chose nursing because I'd felt the value of good nursing in my own life.


2. Why did you become an editor?
I enjoy writing as an art form and have enormous respect for the power of language. I became an editor because I believe it's not just what you say but the way that you say it that's important and the editor's job is to help authors communicate better and make their work a pleasure to read. With journal and publication numbers multiplying exponentially, writing quality as well as content influences readers' attention spans, and it's a privilege to help bring good work to readers' notice.

3. What is the best thing about being an editor?
Getting to read the good stuff first! My career history, my current 'day job' and my personal research all mean my interests are broad and I love that such a rich variety of material comes over my virtual desk. I enjoy seeing the diversity of what people are doing, and the breadth of inquiry pursued to develop nursing.

4. What makes JAN unique?
Quality: the quality of the content published and the quality of the pre-publication process. I'm not just blowing the editors' trumpet here, although the whole team are focused on bringing out the best in good work. JAN reviewers include the top researchers in nursing, their feedback is of great value (submitting my own first paper to JAN I was blown away by how much help I got) and the publishing house have a slick system that wastes no time getting you 'online early'.

5. What is your favourite paper published in JAN this year and why?
Of recent papers: Twigg DE, Geelhoed EA, Bremner AP, Duffield CM (2013) The economic benefits of increased levels of nursing care in the hospital setting jumped out at me.  Not because it is a perfect paper - it isn't; there are limitations to using routinely available data and making comparisons with retrospective data collected some years earlier. I like it because it shows nursing making a serious effort to understand the implications of changes to the way we work, to patients but also in economic terms.  I like it because it makes use of routinely available data - surely a cost-effective way to address issues where other approaches might accrue prohibitive costs, resulting in no research.

6. What advice would you give to an author?
I'm with Mark on this: the first job of a writer is to read. Read widely, and look for the nuts and bolts as well as the result. If you enjoy a piece of writing - ask yourself why? How did they get that result? I'm a great believer in 'less is more' (I love Thomas Hardy but skip whole chunks of landscape description, no matter how expressive!) and not wasting words in getting your message across. Good journalism can give you good examples of succinct writing, so look at how writing in other forms works too.

The second job of a writer is to write - it's a skill and you don't get better if you don't practice. The hard job is covering the page first time round; the first revision is easier than the first draft, and subsequent revisions are easier still. But it takes that first draft - every time!

7. What advice would you give to aspiring editors?
Read a lot, review a lot, write a lot, take every opportunity to hone your critical appraisal skills and keep up to speed with what's happening in your field. The reviewers provide content and methodological advice but an editor has to find the balance (often between outright reject and immediate accept!) and be able to differentiate the duds from the diamonds, spotting the pieces that with some (or a lot!) of polish will be well read and highly cited.

8. What annoys you most about poor manuscripts?
I'm with Mark again. JAN guidelines on manuscripts are there to help authors and readers; JAN requirements are designed to make it easier for authors to communicate the essentials of their work. So, when authors don't use them, it just seems like bad manners or laziness to me. One of our previous editors, Jacqui Fawcett, had a lovely line she used in this situation: 'Note that a mark of scholarship is adherence to the author guidelines for the journal to which the paper is submitted' - so true!

9. What are the main challenges for nursing in the next decade?
As our world changes, nursing needs to take forward the best of our past and present to embrace future opportunities. Population and nursing demographics are driving practice change and over the next decades our challenge is to hang on to core values and use them to create positive workplace cultures and environments where enhancing patient outcomes and experiences count equally with cost-benefit and quality is not compromised.

10. Who do you recommend to follow on Twitter?
I'm a Twitter novice; as anyone following me will have noticed, I haven't really got it yet. But I use other social media, and I will get round to Twitter - check back again in a couple of months and I'll tell you then.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Meet the Editors: Mark Hayter

Ten things about Mark:

1. Why did you become a nurse?
I was working in youth clubs as a support worker when a colleague suggested I consider nursing as a career. I knew I always wanted to work with people and initially wanted to move into social work but the more I looked into nursing the more it appealed. At the beginning I wanted the drama of critical care but I soon came to be more interested in public health and population level health issues.

2. Why did you become an editor?
Ever since becoming a reviewer and an author I have been fascinated with academic publishing. The appeal of helping promote good research and practice was a strong motivator and also the opportunity to contribute to raising the profile of nursing internationally was important.

3. What is the best thing about being an editor?
Reading a good paper, helping the author improve it – then knowing it will soon be published and make a great contribution to a subject field.

4. What makes JAN unique?
JAN has such a broad scope of papers, incredible quality but such a range of interesting research. It showcases the best of the nursing academy. I also think it is strong in both practice and theoretical fields too.

5. What is your favourite paper published in JAN this year and why?
I really enjoyed the paper by Weaver R, Ferguson C, Wilburn M, Salomonson Y (2013) "Men in nursing on television: exposing and reinforcing stereotypes".  So much has been written about the female image of the profession and this paper redresses the balance somewhat. I also liked the paper because it employs a methodology and analysis procedure we do not often see in JAN.

6. What advice would you give to an author?
Read a lot and really observe how good writers write. Not just academic papers; - look at popular fiction and the press for examples of how to express yourself well. The other piece of advice would be; you do not have to write in a complex manner to express complex ideas.

7. What advice would you give to aspiring editors?
Take every opportunity to review papers for journals, getting this experience is vital. Publish a lot too. If you can, join an editorial board, this is very often the type of role that helps someone into editing.

8. What annoys you most about poor manuscripts?
The thing that really annoys me, every time, is when papers do not adhere to the guidelines on manuscripts; I am not talking about minor mistakes, but when authors have not taken the time to ensure that their paper has been written for JAN and it is clearly straight from a thesis or in the style of another journal.

9. What are the main challenges for nursing in the next decade?
My view would be that, firstly, nurses need to ensure that when taking on advanced roles they do not simply become medical assistants and that they carve out what is uniquely nursing about advanced practice. Secondly, we need to ensure that the high quality research taking place in nursing translates into better care for patients and communities.

10. Who do you recommend to follow on Twitter?
The JAN editors and the JAN Twitter feed of course, but for excellent sexual health tweets @CDCSTD and @INPONursing is a good international network of nursing academics.