1. Puetz, Belinda E. PhD, RN

Article Content

I've noticed an increase in manuscript submissions by first-time authors recently. Those submitting their manuscripts through the electronic system, Editorial Manager, often comment that this is their first effort at publication. I'm the only one who sees those comments; the fact that a writer is a novice doesn't influence the review process-or the decision to publish.


But it's interesting to me how many nursing professional development educators are trying their hand at publishing what they do, and it's a trend I welcome! There's so much that nurses in staff development have to offer, and it's essential that they disseminate that to their colleagues. As I travel across the country teaching nurses how to write for publication, I'm amazed what wonderful ideas I receive when I ask participants for their ideas for publishing. Some of them are absolutely breathtaking[horizontal ellipsis]and many of these never appear in print.


Some brave individuals submit abstracts for poster or podium presentations at the National Nursing Staff Development Organization convention; that's an excellent venue to promulgate ideas, but the audience there is not as large as that made up of the journal's subscribers. Plus, there's the added cache that comes from having one's ideas in print-seeing your name in print is a thrill that doesn't diminish over time.


What keeps individuals from writing for publication runs the gamut from feeling less than confident about the ability to write something meaningful, to feelings of inadequacy resulting from earlier bad experiences with writing, to believing that there's not enough time in a day. All of these barriers can be overcome, some with difficulty, of course.


The novice writers who submit to the Journal for Nurses in Staff Development (JNSD) have overcome their personal barrier and have actually accomplished their goal of publishing. Most have their manuscripts accepted for publication; the decision often is to revise the manuscript based on the reviewers' recommendations, but with a bit of extra effort, the individual's work does appear in print.


All of us involved in the review process for manuscripts submitted to JNSD are interested in working with novice authors to ensure their success in publishing. I read every manuscript as it arrives and will send one back to the author with suggestions for improvement prior to its being reviewed by Editorial Board members if I think just a bit of "tweaking" will help it sail through the review process. In their review, Editorial Board members make comments designed to help the author revise the manuscript to ensure its suitability for publication. These comments generally are quite specific, addressing each section of the manuscript and providing a blueprint for revision if followed.


So if you are thinking about taking that first, rather frightening step toward publication, please know that we're here for you. We want to make your publishing experience as painless as we can[horizontal ellipsis]we're willing to help and the number of published first-time authors in JNSD over the past year or so indicates that we're quite successful. Let us help you be successful in publishing your nursing professional development ideas too! Contact me at with your idea and we'll work to get it in print!