With great celebration, I remind our readers that the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association (JDNA) now officially has been published for 5 years! Just to brag, that is 30 issues we have under our belt as a journal representing our society. Although I was not involved since the very beginning, having missed being part of the first few JDNA issues, I have been working with the JDNA for most of its time in existence. I am grateful to have been part of the team of DNA members, JDNA Board members, and staff at Lippincott Williams & Wilkins who have worked very hard to make the journal successful. Everyone intimately involved with the JDNA for the past 5 years has known what planning has gone on behind-the-scenes to make the JDNA a product that is useful and meaningful to our readers. In part, many goals were set, and strategies to accomplish these goals were discussed. The work of the DNA and JDNA members was to see that these goals were accomplished. I think we have done well, and I thank you, as readers, for coming along with us in this new endeavor. We are looking forward to the next 5 years and hope you can continue being either a dedicated reader or also a part of the process.
Given the amount of energy and dedication by everyone involved with the development and production of the JDNA, I would like to think we are unique in our goal setting and in our measurements of our success, or lack thereof. But this process is certainly not unique to JDNA, or even to publishing in general. Many organizations and even individuals make goals and then set out to reach them, judging the process and outcomes along the way. Since the time I began nursing school several years ago, two particular examples come to mind.
First, how many of us remember Healthy People 2000, a United States government program that set national goals and outcomes for the health of our nation? Given the progression of time, the program is now called Healthy People 2020 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012). According to the Web site, “Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For 3 decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to: Encourage collaborations across communities and sectors, Empower individuals toward making informed health decisions, and Measure the impact of prevention activities” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012). Part of the idea is that setting goals will both clearly delineate specific goals and provide motivation and forward movement in their accomplishment. Table 1 outlines the vision, mission, overarching goals, and health measures that serve as an indicator of progress toward the goals of HP2020.
So, reading recently about HP2020 piqued my curiosity about what HP2020 Goals might pertain to dermatology or issues related to dermatology. A quick scan of the Topic section of their Web site was not too clear about any dermatology specific goals, so I decided to look more closely at specific objectives. There are hundreds of specific objectives for HP2020, many with subobjectives. To be honest, I did not read every single objective, but I saw many that could relate to our practices. There are objectives about insurance and insurance coverage issues, access to care, utilization of care, and improving the communication between providers and patients as well as reducing the melanoma cancer death rate and increasing the proportion of persons who participate in behaviors that reduce their exposure to harmful ultraviolet irradiation and avoid sunburn. And all these objectives were just on the first few pages. What I also find helpful about the organization of the HP2020 Objectives is that you can sort the objectives by age, gender, setting, population group, and prevention area, just to name a few. Because many of us do not practice in a public health setting, you may be wondering how this pertains to you. I might suggest you keep doing the good work you always have done. Keep talking to patients about avoiding tanning beds and using sunscreen; keep encouraging physical activity, weight loss, and tobacco cessation. Just know you are always part of the bigger picture.
My second example of goal setting is more personal and may be used and implemented easily. I have been setting personal learning plans, also known as individual learning plans, for myself for about 20 years now. In general, a personal learning plan is an individually driven system of setting learning goals, along with a time frame associated with the goal, as well as a method or plan to achieve the goal. In some ways, this relates to what many of you know as the plan–do–check–act process. When I was younger, I often tried to overwhelm myself with my personal learning plans—trying to do too much, often in too short of a time frame. I am learning to simplify. My current learning plan, for about the past year, has been to become more actively involved in the cosmetic aspect of dermatology. I have studied, gone to trainings, worked with experienced providers, and started working for a medi-spa. As part of my learning plan, I worked to help bring you the previous JDNA issue—one that was focused on cosmetic issues in dermatology. I hope that you, too, learned as much from that issue as I did. What might be part of your personal learning plan? Share with us how you guide your personal growth and learning—we’d be interested for you to share your stories and experiences.
Continuing a tradition, I am pleased to announce that our publisher, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, has again committed to give JDNA writers three Writing Awards for 2014. Like last year, the three writing categories will be the Best Clinical Article, Best Research Article, and Most Viewed on JDNAonline.com Article. Please consider submitting your best work, so that you are eligible for consideration to receive one of these awards. It would be my honor to present you with one of these awards at the 2015 Annual DNA Meeting in Las Vegas, NV.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Angela L. Borger