Many of you will have attended the plenary session on the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association (JDNA) at the Dermatology Nurses' Association's 29th Annual Meeting in San Diego in March. I hope some of you began to see yourselves as potential authors and to appreciate that in your daily practices are the raw ingredients for articles and research projects. The presentation by JDNA editorial board member Angela Borger, DNP, FNP, Editorial Assistant Courtney Spieler, and myself, was directed more toward those of you who have not published, than to experienced authors and nurse researchers. The Dermatology Nurses' Association and JDNA encourage both groups to participate and to contribute to the organization and to its journal.
I have been exchanging e-mails with a graduate nursing student in clinical research who, as a final project, is preparing a manuscript on the role of the clinical research nurse, using the clinical research she is conducting in her "day job" as a kind of case study. I encourage other nursing students and dermatology nurses to take advantage of JDNA's willingness to mentor new authors. We can demonstrate our commitment to develop the evidence base of dermatology nursing by encouraging such authors, as well as those who are published authors in their fields, from the United States and internationally, and serving as a forum for their work. In the next issue of JDNA, we are pleased to be publishing "Atopic Eczema and Evidence Based Care," by the British expert dermatology nurse consultant, Sandra Lawton, RN, OND, RN Dip (Child).
As Ms. Borger has put it, "Our practices are rich" (A. Borger, personal communication, January 19, 2011); we have in our practices, our daily practices, the ingredients for fine articles. The same patient encounter could engender a number of different types of manuscripts. In the plenary session, we talked about capturing the research and clinical practice questions that arise as you go about caring for your patients, performing procedures, attending lectures and meetings, reading journals, thinking.
Keep a notebook, or its equivalent; jot down enough information so that you will remember why a case was interesting or challenging and how to find the chart for later reference. What would your colleagues want to know about this patient or situation? If you read a journal article that makes a difference to your practice, consider writing a brief synopsis for the JDNA.
As I said in the plenary session, your topic does not have to be epochal, although epochal work is welcome. Do not think that readers would be bored by a common topic-common problems are, by definition, important to many patients, and we must keep reading, seeking out, and conducting research to improve our practice. If a topic is important to you, it will likely interest many of our readers.
Mine the richness of your practice: As you care for patients from diverse ethnic backgrounds, you are aware that privacy customs vary greatly. Is it okay to look the patient in the eye? Would her husband prefer to be present, or not, during the examination? If this type of question interests you, conduct a literature search, familiarize yourself with the Journal of Transcultural Nursing, and consider writing on the topic of cultural competence in the delivery of dermatology care. (Please contact us if you are interested in pursuing this topic, or have information or insights we might share with our readers.)
Cultural competence brings me to introduce JDNA's new board member, Professor Steven Ersser, RN, PhD (Lond), chair in Nursing Development and Skin Care Research at Bournemouth University, UK. His work in conducting and furthering nursing research and evidence-based practice is well known, as is his concern about skin care provision globally. Professor Ersser is co-founder and on the Advisory Board of the International Skin Care Nursing Group (www.isng.org) and served as its president from 1999 to 2010.
Explore the many ways to participate in the JDNA. New instructions for authors and guidelines for different article types are being added to our web site, www.jdnaonline.com. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the New Author Mentorship Program, or about serving on the reviewer panel or editorial board. Let us help you find your way to contribute to the JDNA, and to the field of dermatology nursing.▪
Barbara B. Starr