Thoughts After an INANE Editors Conference

By Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief—I just returned from 10 days out of the office, a long time for me. The first three days were in San Francisco at the annual conference of the International Academy of Nursing Editors (or INANE), a group that steadfastly declares itself a non-organization, with no officers, no dues, and no bylaws.

Begun almost 30 years ago, the group depends on the goodwill of its 200+ members, who volunteer for Web site operation, take turns organizing the annual meeting, and contribute when needed to support small expenses like mailings, Web site fees, etc.

It’s simple and it works. This year’s conference covered things editors of nursing journals find interesting—copyright, impact factor, ethics, and the like (see INANE’s blog, From the Editor’s Pen—“Cherry Ames” blogged from the conference!), plus a lot of great networking. (Full disclosure: the conference was sponsored by the specialty nursing journals of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, AJN’s publisher.)

I’m always struck by the breadth and variety of nursing knowledge among the members of this group—there’s everything from skin and wound care and infusion practices to broader topics like oncology and home health. (Not to mention a few broad-based journals, like AJN, that cover all of nursing.) The editors of these journals are passionate about meeting the needs of their readers—for some association journals, this means meeting members’ needs while also trying to gain nonmember readers. It might seem easy to figure out what those needs are, but it’s not.

Readers are by and large a silent bunch, unless there’s a really hot issue or there’s something that they find objectionable. We constantly ask for feedback, but only a small percentage respond. Even in venues like this blog, where readers can respond easily, many don’t (though when we post excerpts from new blog posts on our Facebook page, we do usually get a fair number of comments there instead).

Editors want and need your opinions, your viewpoints, your likes and dislikes, your “wish list” of what you want and need to know. Do you want more clinical information about patient problems you see every day, or information on how to handle sticky situations with patients and coworkers? Or is it more what you as a nurse need to know about the business of your profession—legal aspects or how the current economic and health care overhaul will affect you? What are your “pain points” as a nurse? Let us know—we’d like to do what we can to address topic areas that will help you in your job and career.

(See also this post by Kim McAllister of Emergiblog, who did a nice presentation on social media at the conference.)

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2016-11-21T13:12:08+00:00 August 16th, 2011|Nursing|4 Comments
Editor-in-chief, AJN


  1. Shawn Kennedy August 17, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Chris – thanks for your detailed comments-good points and suggestions that we will definitely explore. You might check us out at and you can search for some of these topics. I’d also welcome more discussion – if you’d like to, email me at

  2. kmcallister911 August 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Wow, Chris – great comment. I’m lucky, because as an ER nurse, I’ve always had JEN: Journal of Emergency Nursing which is so user-friendly (so to speak), it really is a resource that you can use immediately upon receiving it.

    Your suggestions would work for any specialty, really.

  3. Chris Donaghey August 16, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Journals still do come off as detached to a lot of us. I’ve only been working for 5 years, so I may be a “newbie” to many, but journals come off as sterile to the average staff nurse I work with.

    As pediatric nurses, we’re our own specialty area who would benefit from great research articles from nursing and pediatric nursing in general, but there’s an apparent disconnect that is similar to what a lot of nurses feel between their administration and the staff.

    I think cultural shifts have to happen alongside journalistic content to really make a radical shift.

    From my perspective and the perspectives I glean from my coworkers, managers, and friends in the profession, we’re not as interested in reading case reports. There are those out there who will be connected to them like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” – “How would I treat that?” “What would be my diagnosis?” Honestly, TV shows exist for that on Discovery Health, TLC, and to lesser extents, even on well-written dramas like “House, MD.” The newest generation of nurses already have methods of assessing that are refined according to the age in which we live.

    I believe that conflict resolution is important to address as we are a selfless group who internalize more situations than we should, either for fear of retribution or just because we want to be a model of steadfastness for the people for which we care. When conflicts arise, many of us, myself included, don’t always know how to address them in a healthy manner, regardless of whether it’s with a person we’re caring for, their family, another staff member, or our superiors.

    Another huge area is career advancement. With the amount of need for APNs out there, especially those who would function in teaching roles, we should be putting many eggs in that basket. Mentoring, helping people to differentiate through personal stories, elaborating upon specific opportunities and job descriptions, those things would all be beneficial. As someone who’s going to be returning to school to be a pediatric CNS, it would even benefit me. We all know about those “Tales from Nursing School” things for undergraduate students to help them survive it; people looking past the RN stage toward more advanced practice and specialization don’t have much outside of “You’ll get paid more for doing more…of something!” Something that you wouldn’t know unless you had a personal mentor….or one who writes for a respected journal.

    Thanks for the open!


    Chris Donaghey, RN, BSN, CPN, HN-BC
    Founder/Chairperson – Integrative Health Workgroup
    Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent

  4. kmcallister911 August 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    It’s so much easier now to communicate our needs! We can pop off a tweet to the editor, a comment on Facebook, respond on a blog!

    Journals used to seem so detached, out “there”, put together by, ahem, grey-haired-nurses-with-advanced-degrees who sat in ivory editorial towers and….

    On man…I just had an idea for a blog post! 😀

    Let’s just say that it’s an exciting time in nursing journalism for both the journalists AND those of us who read what they write! And it’s all about access! : )

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