1. Section Editor(s): Barisoneck, Lucille
  2. Zucker, Elana

Article Content

It was wonderful to hear that Home Healthcare Nurse is alive and well, and serving the nursing and home healthcare community. Further, it seems to have fulfilled a hope when we started that the home healthcare nursing community would find the publication scholarly, informative, and useful. But as we all know, things do not grow in a vacuum and we knew that the journal had to also meet both a societal and business need. Congratulations!!! It is heartening to hear that you are nurturing our legacy.

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You asked how this all got started. ... I was approached because at the time I was director of the Home Care Department at Overlook Hospital in Summit, New Jersey, and had written a text called Being aHomemaker Home Health Aide. (It is still in publication by Pearson Publishing.)


Our vision was to provide a forum for those professionals who were focused on the issues involved in caring for people within their own home. These issues were professional, economic, and legislative. We felt that the issues of those professionals working outside of the institutional settings were somewhat different than those working within the walls of a facility. Further, we wanted to provide a venue for those whose research was focused in this area.


Although home healthcare nurses often work alone, it is important to feel part of a greater whole. It was nice to have a publication wherein home healthcare was not just a part of something, but the main focus.


The reason a separate publication seemed appropriate was because those of us in home healthcare practice spent a great deal of time telling people about and explaining what we did. The professional community was not always familiar with the responsibility, training, legality, or commitment of home healthcare nurses working alone, in someone's house, with only their own training and judgment day after day. People always asked me, "Can you work in the hospital?" and I would answer, "Yes, but those nurses may not be able to do what I do."


There were those brave souls then, and I thank them very much. The first authors sent us their research that demonstrated the great viability, need, and efficacy of caring for a person in his or her own environment by a team of caregivers supervised by a nurse in communication to a physician on a regular basis. It can be scary to be alone in the field and have to make a decision without having anyone to call, consult, or talk to.


During my tenure as Editor, we testified before Congress, we worked with insurance companies, and we worked with the public. We also shared with nursing education programs the need for students to experience time in the home to both provide a student experience and let them see an area of practice outside of the hospital. We wanted to demonstrate that everyone, no matter where they lived or what they lived in, was entitled to professional care and caring. The journal provided a forum for people to learn about programs already up and running so that they did not have to reinvent them.


Clearly, as you celebrate the 30th anniversary of Home Healthcare Nurse, it is apparent that "home healthcare" is both old and new, and it is here to stay. It gives me great pride, as I enjoy my retirement, to have had a small part in helping the profession, in the specialty area of the profession, I love.


Thank you for contacting me and inviting me to take part in this celebration. It is both an honor and a privilege.