I am overwhelmed with the prospect of writing my first editorial for you. It's a huge enough task to step into Kim McIltrot's trainers. I'm honored and thrilled and a tiny bit overwhelmed at the gift I've been given, and I hope you can bear with me a bit while I meander down this road.
I was a journalist before I was ever a nurse. All through high school and college, I worked for the school's newspapers, first as an author and then as an editor. I loved journalism so much that I considered majoring in it when I got to college, but another passion felt more pressing: patient care. So instead, I chose biology and a premedical tract. I stayed involved in the news portion of the student-run newspaper and occasionally did feature stories in the entertainment section. I made some of my best friends for life during that time and felt so incredibly fortunate to be a part of a team that made a difference for our school. In my final year in college, I was awarded a journalism scholarship that paid a significant portion of my tuition, an unusual arrangement for a biology major specializing in genetics and planning to attend medical school. When I was getting my MBA, I was the Business Editor for Loyola University Chicago's newspaper, The Phoenix. I was responsible for creating editorial content, selling advertisements and papers, and making sure to collect on outstanding invoices. I had leadership responsibilities for a team, who worked collaboratively with our local businesses in designing and implementing their advertising. As this was before social media, all the sales were done via telephone calls, in-person visits, and faxes. (I'm reasonably sure this means I am old as dirt.)
It was always my intention to return to writing, as I had such a passion for it. When I graduated from my Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (APRN) program, I worked with leaders in pediatric oncology and then in pediatric surgery to obtain some knowledge before diving into the scientific writing community. My first article for Sutureline was a collaboration with one of my mentors, Beth Zimmerman. In the following years, as I became involved in American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association, Inc. (APSNA), I also wrote a chapter in the most recent textbook. It was my joy and privilege to have Nancy Tkacz Brown for my editor during that process, and I learned more than I could have ever predicted when starting the project.
All the while, my career trajectory was firmly planted in pediatric surgery, and I was growing and gaining knowledge about the subspecialty, roles within it, and how our care can ameliorate suffering. When I was asked to consider joining the Journal of Pediatric Surgical Nursing as the Editor, I was flattered and frankly overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility. The support of the Editorial Board and the amount of time spent starting to orient me by Kim have been immense. We have been working together while she teaches me how this great big ship leaves harbor every quarter, so that I can steer it effectively in the future. I am beyond grateful for all of these support and guidance.
My goal, personally, for the next few issues of the Journal of Pediatric Surgical Nursing is to learn and grow in my skills on the Editorial Board and in the production space. I am planning to attend an International Academy of Nursing Editors (INANE) conference where I will have the opportunity to spend time with nursing editorial colleagues from all over the nation, discussing common issues in the publication world. I would also like to grow the Editorial Board, reviewer pool, and authors so that we can share some more knowledge and information with the nurses we serve in APSNA. We are working to advance the science of pediatric surgical nursing and look forward to collaborating with our readership toward those goals. We will remind you quarterly when a new edition comes out and also ask for your participation at the same time.
As your new editor, it is my job to serve the nurses and advanced practice providers of APSNA. Please let me know if you have ideas for a new content or subject matter. I am open to feedback and look forward to hearing from you directly—just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.