What Types of Articles Do Journal Editors Want to Read?

Writing is time-consuming and difficult to do—the last thing you want is to spend time working on a manuscript that has little chance of being published. There are many strategies you can use to enhance the likelihood of publication, which we discuss throughout this series, but the first and most important is writing the type of article that journal editors want to publish.

Those opening sentences from “What Types of Articles to Write,” the third in AJN‘s ongoing Writing for Publication: Step by Step series by Karen Roush, PhD, RN, FNP, speak directly to the uncertainty that besets many would-be nurse writers (and in fact, all writers). Form is intimately tied to content. Ideally, the two should support each other, but first they have to be a good fit.

What type of article should you write?

What types of articles will get journal editors’ attention? And what will hold their attention once they open your manuscript? […]

2017-05-25T11:07:23+00:00 May 25th, 2017|Nursing, writing|0 Comments

Parents as Mentors: Observations of a Peds/NICU Nurse

By Jody Holland, MN, RN, neonatal ICU and pediatrics, St. Charles Medical Center, Bend, Oregon

The strength of parents.

Hospital, by boliston / via Flickr

We have all had and need mentors at some time in our career. The most influential mentors to me have been the parents of the infants and children who have been placed in my care. Parents do not ask for their child to be born early or develop a devastating illness, but these parents summon great strength when it’s needed.

I have countless memories of episodes that have made me pause and reflect on the courage and resolve of parents. I remember a family who stood by their child during a resuscitation and were an integral part of the decision-making process to end the resuscitation. This was long before research documented the benefits of this type of parental involvement.

Or the time when the parents of a child with a devastating head injury fulfilled their promise to their child to get married. In addition, the child also wanted to be the flower girl. They were married at their child’s bedside. The ICU staff followed their wishes and dressed the girl in an outfit of their choosing, placed flowers in her hair, and made a bouquet. The ceremony went off without a hitch—and I believe it gave the parents some peace in […]

2017-05-01T09:29:17+00:00 May 1st, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

The Significant and the Superficial

Libby Kurz, BSN, MFA, RN, works as an OR nurse. Formerly a nurse in the U.S. Air Force, she lives in Virginia with her family. Her work has been published in several literary magazines. To read more of her writing, visit www.libbykurz.com

I often wonder why the world is the way it is. Why, above all other possibilities, do we have two eyes to see, a mouth that tastes, a body that needs food and fluid to sustain itself, but a mind that can entertain thoughts far beyond the realm of the physical world? The more I think about it, the stranger life seems.

People are odd, too. I’m always blown away by our quirks. There’s a surgeon I work with who has to eat his cereal every morning in the shower. He had a shelf built into his shower just for his cereal bowl. One of my coworkers has a pet scorpion and two snakes, but she hates spiders. An acquaintance of mine eats mayonnaise and peanut butter sandwiches.

Working as a nurse provides an environment where these ironies and oddities of life seem even more pronounced. I work in […]

2017-04-13T12:11:56+00:00 April 13th, 2017|Nursing, nursing stories|1 Comment

‘Blind Spot’: Reflections on Caring for a Severely Disabled Son

 “When I think of the term disability, a huge basket of a term, I think of the duration and breadth of my son’s life.”

The author and Luke

Much is being written these days in both the nursing and general press about the plight of family caregivers. As one myself, I’m well acquainted with the difficulties of maintaining a “normal” life (and meeting other responsibilities) while trying to ensure the safety and survival of a person you love. But what if your caregiving commitment begins at someone’s birth and lasts a lifetime?

In this month’s AJN, nurse Diane Stonecipher writes with grace and clarity about the challenges of lifelong caregiving at home. Even for an RN with committed and loving co-caregivers (her husband, her other sons), the work and worries are daunting.

“If Luke is our job, so to speak, there are also no sick days, holidays, vacation days, or ‘mental health days.’ We have cared for him while ill and injured, or until we simply cannot. By some miraculous grace, we have tag-teamed his entire life.”

The days, weeks, months, and years of those who care for severely disabled family members are probably difficult for others to appreciate. When friends and neighbors see family members coming and going with what appears to be routine “normalcy,” the […]

2017-04-07T10:17:17+00:00 April 7th, 2017|Nursing, nursing stories|0 Comments

Managing Your Patients’ Pain: It’s Not Just about the Opioids

Before Pain Assessment Was the Norm

Some of the most difficult times I experienced as a nurse involved patients in pain. This was before the days of patient-controlled analgesia, when patients in acute pain were mostly managed with “Demerol IM q4h.”

I recall many incidents of paging and telephoning and beeping physicians and residents to get orders for pain medications and trying whatever non-pharma methods I could think of to allay pain. It was awful to see patients suffer needlessly.

Progress, But with a Cost

Then pain became a key part of assessment, as well as of patient satisfaction scoring, and clinicians heeded the need for managing pain. However, there has been too much reliance on the quick fix of strong opioids. A friend who recently had surgery was asked by a nurse to rate his pain. When he replied “eight,” she asked him if he wanted one or two oxycodone pills. His reply, “Well, what do people usually take?”

Revising the Approach to Pain Management

Thankfully, pain management is being revisited, and along with a renewed focus on not prescribing by the numbers (a patient’s pain rating should only be one factor in deciding the intervention), there is a greater understanding of pain and how it can become chronic, and there are more modalities at our disposal to manage it.

To prevent acute pain from […]

2017-04-05T10:34:01+00:00 April 5th, 2017|Nursing, pain management|0 Comments