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I saw a nurse practitioner friend at a lecture a couple of months ago, who had just received the most recent issue of the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association (JDNA). I had worked very hard on that issue as an interim editor, lining up expert reviewers, checking facts against their source materials, working back and forth on revisions with authors. Although I knew every page of the issue, I had not yet seen the printed copy to hold in my hands, and was excited to hear that it had arrived. My friend's only comment on the issue: "It's thin."
It's thin? Thin? I thought, that's your only comment? I responded calmly: I agreed with her. It was thin.
It's true, the JDNA is thin. It has minimal meat on its bones at this point, as is the case with most journals in their early days. Chubby babyhood is not the rule with journals. When editors get together and sit around the campfire, they tell stories about the hand-to-mouth days when their journals were new and so fresh-faced that they had scarcely developed features, let alone a recognizable walk and turn of the head. It is especially important, as a new journal, to establish a reputation for high quality and valuable content. The standards for accepting submissions must be high-but the number of submissions is typically not high. Therefore, the issues are thin.
The more our readers use the JDNA, refer to it, share it with nursing and medical colleagues, make connections between the articles and their daily practice, the more action will take place in the reverse direction: They will start to make connections between their daily practice and the Journal. Letters to the Editor and to authors will be written; the online Journal site (jdnaonline.com) will start to hum. And articles and features will be written on ways readers have applied or built on what they have read in the Journal.
As the JDNA's audience grows, and becomes more active and interactive-and this will become easy, through the online Journal-it will increasingly become an obvious place to which nurse authors and others involved in the care of dermatology patients will send their ideas and manuscripts, and turn to as a resource and community for dermatology nurses.
We are proud to be publishing Victoria Lazareth's article, this month's continuing education (CE) feature, part I of "Dermatologic Care of the Transplant Patient." Victoria is a nurse practitioner member of the Dermatology Nurses' Association (DNA) and NP Society. Her article is a good example of the kind of work that the JDNA wants to promote: not just a rehashing of what could be found in textbooks, but a synthesis of solid scholarship with dermatology nursing clearly in the author's focus.
Incoming DNA President Lakshi Aldredge's article in this issue, "Where Does Nursing Stand in the Health Care Reform Debate?" reflects much research on the topic, and helps clarify the outstanding issues. Lakshi received permission to reprint the American Nurses Association's consensus statement, signed by 33 nursing organizations (including the Dermatology Nurses' Association), "Commitment to Quality Health Reform: A Consensus Statement from the Nursing Community," to which she refers in her article. Lakshi's article and the consensus statement gave me an appreciation for some of the building blocks of the sometimes teetering contraption that is healthcare reform.
Another feature article ("Implications of Indoor Tanning: Review and Commentary"), is by Canadian medical student Anil Kurian, who has been active in working for indoor tanning legislation in Canada. The DNA Health Policy and Advocacy Committee will be contributing an article in an upcoming issue on the state of tanning bed legislation in the United States.
In this issue you will see a "Research Highlights" by Dr. Erin Dahlke, a University of Toronto dermatology resident. (One of the studies she reviews concerns transplant patients, and ties in nicely with the CE article.) We have former chief resident Dr. Jeffrey Donovan to thank for sending Dr. Dahlke our way. Dr. Donovan, whose well-chosen "Research Highlights" appeared in the Journal's first 7 issues, not only helped the JDNA in its first year, but is now encouraging others to submit to the Journal, and even advising them in the submission process. Even though we have so far regularly received submissions of manuscripts for Research Highlights, we would certainly welcome additional reviews of literature, including book reviews.
Selected abstracts appear in this issue from this year's 28th Annual DNA Meeting in Orlando, Florida and in upcoming issues you will see articles by some of those who have presented at this and other DNA meetings. We have a fine pair of articles to look forward to in the next issue, from authors who presented at the DNA 27th Annual Meeting: "A Review of Cicatricial Alopecia" by Vera H. Price, M.D. and Jennifer Meiyin Fu, M.D., and its companion article, by Sheila Belkin, written from the perspective of the patient (and patient advocate).
Many of you will notice that this issue does not include a "What'sYour Diagnosis?" feature. Nurse Practitioner and DNA Board member Barbara McKeehen has been a workhorse for the JDNA, submitting 9 manuscripts so far, and we thank her for her past (and future) work. One of her "What's Your Diagnosis?" pieces will appear in the next issue, but I have it on very good authority that Barbara, however fierce her commitment to the JDNA, wants others to pick up the pen as well.
As I am reflecting on especially active JDNA authors, I would be remiss if I did not recognize dermatology nurse practitioners Victoria Garcia-Albea (nee Beebe) and Diane Hanna, and Sharon Jacob, M.D. for their several contributions during our first year. We have also been pleased to publish reports of original research by Christina Linton, PhD, FNP-BC, and Cindy Dupree Jones, PhD, FNP, and by S. Y. Cecilia Wong, RN, BSN and Jason K. Rivers, MD.
I hope you will come to think of the Journal, at odd moments during your working days, both as a source of information, and as a place to share your research, your reading, your stories, and insights. Each of us has seen a patient in the last year-or past half-hour-who would warrant being written up as a case study, or used as an example for a patient education or practice management column. Many of us have read an outstanding article or book that would be of interest to dermatology nurses, or learned of an important new product or device. I don't expect to receive 3,000 submissions, one from each DNA member, but I look forward to a steady increase. Please e-mail questions about authorship, letters, and feedback (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will look back on the days of being young and thin, as the JDNA adds-or, I should say, as we all, working together, add- features and meat to its fine bones.
Barbara B. Starr
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