1. Bindon, Susan L. , MS, RN-BC

Article Content

There are certain things in life we can count on. The sun will rise and set, politicians will come and go, and we'll pick up and put down that stack of articles we fully intend to read for answers to our pressing staff development questions. Although the Journal for Nurses in Staff Development (JNSD) may not have great influence on the first two, it may be able to help with the reading. We are happy to introduce the new Topical Collections feature on the JNSD Web site, Topical collections make it easy to find recent, relevant articles on a single topic of interest; the articles are already searched, reviewed, and organized for your convenience.


Currently, there are five active topical collections. The first was created by the editor and includes all of the journal's Helen Tobin Award-winning articles. Each year, one article is chosen by the journal to receive this award, which represents excellence in staff development writing. These pieces are individually outstanding; together they are powerful and something of which we as professional development specialists can be proud.


Four new collections were added recently, beginning with a terrific collection of the best and most compelling editorials from the past 25 years. The other topics include Simulation, Generational Aspects of Teaching and Learning, and Partnerships and Collaborations. Within each topical collection, there is a brief description and a PDF link to each selected article. These initial topics were selected because of their timeliness, relevance, reader interest, and impact on our practice. The collections will be reviewed and refreshed periodically as new topics and trends develop.


This project started as an idea at last summer's JNSD Editorial Board meeting, held during the National Nursing Staff Development Organization convention each year. Editor Belinda Puetz casually mentioned that she was interested in creating some topic-specific electronic collections from the journal article archives for the journal's Web site. I remember being suddenly interested for two reasons. On one hand, as a full-time staff development educator and as a member of the Editorial Board, I care about the journal and wanted to support it and its readers. On the other, as a doctoral student in need of an independent study project, I saw it as a great opportunity. I heard myself saying, "I'll do it!" before my brain had a chance to process all the reasons (timing, workload) that this might not be the best idea! But now I was committed.


Over the next several months, I drafted objectives, presented the idea to my academic advisor, brainstormed with the editor regarding topics and timeline, and attended a Web site training session. I chose keywords and saved my searches. Then I read. And read. And read some more! I tagged and reviewed choices and finally loaded and captioned the final selections for each topic. There is some sense of contribution now in seeing the first phase of the collections go live.


This editorial reflects on one small project. Yet I am hopeful that it provides encouragement for others, like me, whose passion may at times outweigh their good judgment! These others include staff development educators who have at one time or another thought "wouldn't it be cool if[horizontal ellipsis]," and then never had the time or opportunity to see their pet project through to fruition. I hope this story inspires others to keep those small but meaningful projects from being overshadowed but the many "must dos" and "have tos" we all have.


Immersing myself in the journal articles during this project helped make two things clear to me. First, staff development (or the emerging nursing professional development) has definitely come into its own as an important and valued nursing specialty. Second, as far as we have come in 25 years, we still have much to do and to contribute. Demands for our services and expertise are at an all-time high, and as readers use or define best practices, they must be shared, tested, and refined. I encourage readers to make a contribution to the journal by sharing a great idea or lesson learned. Both are helpful to others who undoubtedly experience the same challenges in a similar or perhaps a vastly different setting.


Please visit the topical collections and other special features of the JNSD Web site at or via the Members Only section of the National Nursing Staff Development Organization Web site,, and let us know your thoughts and suggestions for future improvements.


Susan L. Bindon, MS, RN-BC


Senior Consultant, Education Development


Lifebridge Health


Baltimore, MD