The Ten Most-Viewed AJN articles in 2017

What AJN Readers Read

nurse typing on keyboardIt’s always interesting (at least to me) to look back over the year and see what articles were the most popular. While we can’t be sure what people who read AJN in print actually viewed, we can get a good idea from those who read online. From those who accessed AJN articles either through the Ovid institutional subscription service or through our own website, (but not counting those who read AJN articles on the iPad or via the company nursing portal,, here’s what we know readers viewed the most. Some of the content was new in 2017; some of it was not.

  1. AJN’s award-winning series “Evidence-Based Practice, Step-by-Step.– This series of 11 articles by Melnyk, Fineout-Overholt, and colleagues ran every other month from November 2009 through July 2011 and took readers through the steps of searching and appraising the literature and implementing change.
  2. Nursing’s Evolving Role in Patient Safety,” by Sonya Kowalski and Maureen Anthony (February 2017). This content analysis of AJN articles from 1900 to 2015 explored the nurse’s role in promoting patient safety. (I have to admit, as a history buff, this is one of my personal favorites.)
  3. Interprofessional Collaboration and Education,” by Mary […]
2018-01-02T14:46:41+00:00 January 2nd, 2018|Nursing|0 Comments

How Should We Measure Temperature in Young Children?

By Betsy Todd, MPH, RN, CIC, AJN clinical editor

Photo courtesy of Exergen Corporation. Photo courtesy of Exergen Corporation.

Do you dread taking rectal temperatures in pediatric patients, knowing that your action will leave you with a screaming, distrustful child as well as a distressed parent? Rectal temperature measurements have long been considered the “gold standard” for accuracy. But are they essential in very young children, especially when infection is not suspected?

Improving Pediatric Temperature Measurement in the ED” in our September issue relates how a group of ED nurses explored possible alternatives to routine rectal temperature measurements during triage. Their ED protocol had been to use this method in all children under the age of five. However, this practice extended the time needed for triage, was often upsetting to parents, and seemed potentially unnecessary when the reason for the ED visit did not suggest infection (where there would be a need for more careful fever assessment).

An existing emergency services committee made up of ED staff nurses from the hospital’s two campuses set out to explore their options. The committee’s first move was to clearly define the practice problem:

Using PICOT format (Patient population, Intervention of interest, Comparison intervention, Outcome, Time frame), the committee initially formulated the following clinical question: For pediatric patients younger than five years of age (P) who require temperature measurement (I), what is the […]

2016-11-21T13:02:01+00:00 September 10th, 2015|Nursing, Patients|0 Comments

Editing a Journal: Not Bedside Nursing, But Still an Urgency to Get Things Right

By Maureen Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, AJN editor-in-chief

‘Nurses practice based on what’s in the literature; we need editors who will draw lines and stand firm against publishing biased and inaccurate papers.’

Niklas Bildhauer/ Wikimedia Commons Niklas Bildhauer/ Wikimedia Commons

I recently returned from a meeting in Las Vegas, the land of lights and bells and six-story marquees—and heat (it hit 109 when I was there, but “a dry heat”). The long flight home gave me time to reflect on the meeting I’d attended (of editors of nursing journals) and on what I do.

When I began my nursing career, I always thought I would stay in the acute care setting. I found the fast pace of the ER challenging and never boring. When I moved into a clinical specialist position and then an administrative one, I could still get involved in challenging situations, from dealing with problems that occurred on clinical units or with staff to navigating the politics of hospital committees and community liaisons.

But time passes and paths twist and turn, and here I am the editor of AJN—and it’s the most challenging and professionally fulfilling job I’ve had.

The International Academy of Nursing Editors (INANE for short) meets annually. It’s a loose networking group, mainly held together through a Web site, blog, and listserv. There are no officers […]

Evidence-Based Practice and the Curiosity of Nurses

By Betsy Todd, MPH, RN, CIC, AJN clinical editor

karen eliot/flickr by karen eliot/via flickr

In a series of articles in AJN, evidence-based practice (EBP) is defined as problem solving that “integrates the best evidence from well-designed studies and patient care data, and combines it with patient preferences and values and nurse expertise.”

We recently asked AJN’s Facebook fans to weigh in on the meaning of EBP for them. Some skeptics regarded it as simply the latest buzzword in health care, discussed “only when Joint Commission is in the building.” One comment noted that “evidence” can be misused to justify overtreatment and generate more profits. Another lamented that EBP serves to highlight the disconnect between education and practice—that is, between what we’re taught (usually, based on evidence) and what we do (often the result of limited resources).

There’s probably some truth in these observations. But at baseline, isn’t EBP simply about doing our best for patients by basing our clinical practice on the best evidence we can find? AJN has published some great examples of staff nurses who asked questions, set out to answer them, and ended up changing practice.

  • In a June 2013 article, nurses describe how they devised a nurse-directed protocol that resulted in fewer catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs).
  • A 2014 article relates how oncology nurses discovered the lack of evidence for […]

AJN Collections of Note: From Women’s Health Issues to Assessment Tools for Older Adults

By Jacob Molyneux, senior editor

'Nuff Said by ElektraCute / Elektra Noelani Fisher, via Flickr. Elektra Noelani Fisher/ Flickr

It’s easy to miss, but there’s a tab at the top of the AJN home page that will take you to our collections page. There you can delve more deeply into a wide range of topics—and find many options for obtaining continuing education credits in the process.

For example, you’ll find a collection of recent continuing education (CE) feature articles devoted to women’s health issues, such as menopausal hormone therapy, cardiovascular disease prevention for women, and issues faced by young women who are BRCA positive.

The patient population in the U.S. continues to age. To gain confidence in meeting the needs of these patients, nurses can consult our practical collection of articles and videos devoted to the use of evidence-based geriatric assessment tools and best practices.

For the more creative side of nursing, we have a collection of 20 visual works and poems from our Art of Nursing column.

For those concerned with potential legal issues, it’s a good idea to have a look at the three CE articles from our Legal Clinic column on protecting your nursing license.

For would-be authors and those interested in applying knowledge to practice more effectively, there are step-by-step series […]