About Diane Szulecki

Associate editor, American Journal of Nursing

AJN’s Recent Awards: As Always, It Depends on Strong Writers and Editors

Because AJN‘s reputation depends on the conscientious work of numerous authors and editors, we’d like to note here the awards AJN has been awarded in 2017 so far, both for content published in the journal and on this blog, AJN Off the Charts. We are grateful to be recognized by the following organizations:

Winning journal articles, entire issues, and covers:

2017-07-21T08:59:42+00:00 July 21st, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

Nursing Protocol for Stroke Increases Survival, Reduces Disability

image via Flickr / Vormingplus Gent-Eeklo vzw

As we report in a July news article, a new study showed that a nursing care plan for stroke, implemented in the first 72 hours after admission, reduced deaths and disability compared with standard stroke care. The protocolwhich was implemented on 19 acute stroke care units in New South Wales, Australiatreated fever, hyperglycemia, and dysphagia using the following interventions:

  • Fever: Temperature monitoring every four hours; administration of paracetamol to lower temperature when needed
  • Hyperglycemia management: Blood glucose monitoring and saline or insulin infusion if indicated
  • Dysphagia detection: Nurses were trained by speech pathologists and assessed to test competency in screening for swallowing problems.

The study included 1,076 patients and confirmed the protocol’s positive outcomes four years later. (The same research group had conducted an earlier study showing the benefits after 90 days.) The authors hypothesized that rigorous implementation of the protocol in an organized stroke services setting helped preserve key tissue. […]

2017-07-12T10:20:34+00:00 July 12th, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

July Issue Highlights: Health and the Microbiome, Poststroke Depression, Need for Diverse Blood Donors, More

The July issue of AJN is now live. Here are some articles we’d like to bring to your attention.

CE Feature: Health and the Human Microbiome: A Primer for Nurses

The profound impact of the human microbiome on health makes it imperative that nurses understand the basic structures and functions of the various microbial communities. This article provides an overview of the current state of knowledge about the human microbiome—with a focus on the microbiota in the GI tract and the vagina, the two most commonly studied body sites—and discusses implications for nursing practice.

CE Feature: Early Intervention in Patients with Poststroke Depression

Nearly one-third of stroke survivors experience depression. Poststroke depression is associated with longer hospital stays, poor physical and cognitive recovery, poor quality of life, high caregiver distress, increased risk of recurrent stroke, and higher rates of morbidity and mortality. However, it often goes unrecognized and untreated. The authors of this article explain how poststroke depression often manifests, describe associated risk factors, and discuss the screening tools and therapeutic interventions nurses can use to identify and help manage depression in patients following stroke.

Clinical Feature: The Growing Need for Diverse Blood Donors

The chief nurse of the American Red Cross discusses how changing demographics in the United […]

2017-07-24T12:58:54+00:00 June 23rd, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

New Warnings About Protecting Children from Dangerous Substances in the Home

Photo © Istock.

As we report in a June news article, findings from several recent studies have underscored the importance of educating parents on how to keep younger children as well as older adolescents safe from exposure to dangerous substances they might accidentally ingest or deliberately seek out. Nurses can talk to parents about safe storage, ask questions about the presence of potentially hazardous substances in the home, and provide information about risks and precautions.


A study of the National Poison Data System found an increase in the rate of marijuana exposure (including edible products) among children younger than six. The rates were higher in states that had legalized the use of marijuana—an implication to be aware of as more states do the same.


Another study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, identified health risks in young children who had ingested alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The researchers drew attention to dangers associated with inadequate safety precautions when these products are used with young children, as well as the possibility that older children might abuse them. […]

2017-06-12T09:32:38+00:00 June 12th, 2017|Nursing, pediatrics|0 Comments

June Issue Highlights: Understanding Antipsychotics, Talking to Pregnant Smokers, IBS Basics

The June issue of AJN is now live. Here are some articles we’d like to bring to your attention.

CE Feature: Mental Health Matters: Antipsychotic Medications

In recent years, more adults—and teenagers—are taking at least one type of psychotropic medication, the majority of which are prescribed by primary care and family physicians. This first article in a series on commonly used psychotropic medications for the treatment of mental illness reviews the mechanisms of action, adverse effects, and contraindications of first-generation typical and second-generation atypical antipsychotics.

CE Feature: Original Research: The Experiences of Pregnant Smokers and Their Providers

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10.7% of women nationwide reported smoking during their last trimester. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ initiative Healthy People 2020 targets tobacco use, including smoking during pregnancy, as a continuing major health concern in this country. Yet bringing the U.S. Public Health Service’s 2008 clinical practice guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, into routine prenatal care remains challenging.  The authors of this study conducted focus groups of pregnant smokers and their providers, most of whom were RNs, to better understand their experiences and to gain insights to help providers best deliver the stop-smoking message.

Clinical Feature: Irritable Bowel […]

2017-05-30T11:44:24+00:00 May 30th, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments