1. Dougherty, Molly C. PhD, RN

Article Content

2011 is our 60th anniversary! It's a great time to reflect on our place in advancing nursing science and step boldly into our future. We are swayed by two developments in charting our future.


First, our systems (Editorial Manager [] and MyLWW []) and bibliometric tracking systems permit the analysis of patterns of access and of citations to articles published in Nursing Research. We use available data to assess the usefulness of our content to readers and to authors. Thus prepared, we monitor the uptake of initiatives that we place within our pages and adjust our decisions based on data.


Second, we know that recent advances in statistics offer advantages to nurse scientists and that, with these advances, rigorous study of individual change is at hand-in ways not seen before in nursing studies. Knowing about and acting to promote individual change are at the heart of clinical nursing. This perspective, often called health trajectory, fits statistical analysis approaches that focus on change over time. As Henly (2007, p. 147) stated, "The individual health trajectory is the heart of person-centered nursing science."


From these developments, we infer that it is time to place an emphasis on statistics in nursing research within the pages of Nursing Research. We can confidently track the uptake of contributions in this area by observing the access patterns of the articles we publish and among authors who use them in their publications. To advance statistics in nursing research, we will focus an issue of the journal on statistics (see the "Call for Manuscripts" in this issue). The supplement to this issue provides an excellent foundation for health trajectory research and includes a range of primary reports that focus on the analysis of individual change.


The supplement "Health Trajectory Research: Advancing Person-Centered Science for Optimal Well-being and Quality of Care" is a carefully executed contribution to patient-centered nursing science. Commentary by guest coeditors Drs. Jean Wyman and Sue Henly provides a comprehensive overview of health trajectories and nursing interventions, and the primary reports serve as exemplars for statistical analysis of individual change. Altogether, the supplement provides direction and guidance by recognized leaders for research that reflects the heart of clinical nursing and approaches that we need to advance nursing intervention science.


Our 60th anniversary brings a unique opportunity in nursing research. We take pride in bringing you the supplement with contributions to person-centered nursing science, a framework to undergird research, and tools needed to advance nursing science at multiple levels.


Molly C. Dougherty, PhD, RN




University of North Carolina Chapel Hill


[email protected]




Henly, S. J. (2007). Lost in time: The person in nursing research. Nursing Research, 56, 147. [Context Link]