As the editor of a modest specialty peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Legal Nurse Consulting, I read “A Plea to Faculty: Rethink Student Writing Assignments” (Editorial, August) with weary resignation. I could have written it myself. The quality of the “research capstone projects” I receive is truly scary. These are the nurse leaders of our future? This is the education they're getting? Wait, who's going to take care of us when we get old?
To just about all, I remind them that it would be more appropriate to look at a few issues of our journal, freely available online, to see what it's about before proffering a paper on a completely irrelevant topic. I always add, “All journals offer Information for Authors instructions somewhere—ours are in the first few pages of each issue. Read them. Do what they say.” To those few who actually used mail merge to include some keywords like “legal nurse consulting” and used my name instead of somebody else's, I remind them that our journal is themed by issue, and had they looked, they would have noticed that next year's topics are listed on the back page, and therefore theirs are wholly wrong. To the one who addressed her e-mail to me “Hi, Wendie,” I advised that a more professional tone would be more appropriate. In fairness, she apologized and addressed my other points by saying I had given her things to ponder that she hadn't heard from her faculty. I recommended that she share them with her classmates.
Since your editorial has simultaneously fired me up and depressed the heck out of me, I think I'll send copies to any identified faculty.
Wendie A. Howland, MN, RN-BC, CRRN, CNLCP, LNCC