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.)