1. Freda, Margaret Comerford EdD, RN, CHES, FAAN, EDITOR

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I don't know if I'm a good capitalist, or not so good. Competition is the gold standard in capitalism; I do believe that competition makes each person strive further, but I don't actually feel competitive. I want manufacturers to compete for my business-I don't want to have just one choice when I buy a refrigerator. I want to see many nursing journals out there informing nurses, and I want MCN to do well, but I don't feel that MCN is in competition with any of them. I think we all have a place, and are all important in our own way. Maybe it's because I grew up in an era without girls' sports. I never really learned about competition. For us, gym class consisted of sitting on the gymnasium floor and doing our homework. I know now how bad that was for our bodies, but I'm not sure it was so bad for our spirits. My philosophy is simple: I just always figure that I do my thing, and that's what I do. What others do is their business.


This is my way of telling you about some great things in other journals! Do you read the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing (OJIN)? If you're interested in the issues facing us as a profession, I'd suggest you give it a try. It's an ANA publication, available free of charge at The May 2002 issue discusses entry into practice for RNs, and even if you think you're sick to death of this topic, I guarantee you'll find it interesting. I thought I knew a lot about this, having lived through the 1960s and remembering the big push away from diploma schools (I was a diploma school student at the time, so the whole concept nearly scared me to death). However, the authors of these articles taught me a lot. I've been of the opinion that the ANA 1964 statement to move education for nursing into university settings has been a failed quest since the BSN is still not the basic requirement for licensure. One article in this issue of OJIN, however, presented an alternative conclusion: perhaps the ANA should be considered successful in its crusade, since the nondegree-bearing diploma schools have virtually been eliminated. Yes, the BSN has not yet triumphed, but individual hospitals no longer control nursing's destiny. There are many other gems in this issue, especially Dr. Lucille Joel's closing summary article. You'll be a more informed nurse for reading this issue of OJIN.


Next, let me tell you about a wonderful supplement to the "grey journal" (the commonly used name for The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology). Considered bible-like by some, the grey journal is one of two truly important specialty medical journals for obsteticians/gynecologists. The supplement was inspired by a forward-thinking group at The Maternity Center Association (MCA), a nonprofit organization that has been working toward improved maternity care in the United States since 1918 ( They have embraced evidence-based care, and are dedicated to helping women by alerting them to the best information in the field. In addition, the MCA convenes national conferences on important topics in maternity care, bringing together all the stakeholders (even those who usually don't communicate well with each other). One conference occurred last winter, and dealt with labor pain. I was privileged to be invited to the conference, and it was quite spectacular. Obstetricians, nurse midwives, doulas, nurses, breastfeeding advocates, and anesthesiologists-all in the same room! Each speaker presented a thoroughly scientific Cochrane-like review of the literature on his/her subject, but the difference in this conference was that "labor pain" was broadly defined. Reviews were done about all aspects of labor pain, including the fact not all women desire the "pain" to be taken away, and that some women feel that labor pain is a mark of the historic nature of birthing, and want to remember it. The speakers did not give their presentation and promptly leave the room. They were all present for 2 days, to listen, to speak, to debate. The issue of whether women are actually told the possible side effects of epidurals was hotly debated, with concerns about lengthened labors, increased cesarean births, more use of induction agents, etc. MCA underwrote a supplement to the grey journal that has all the reviews in it. It was published in May 2002, and I urge you to read it. When was the last time you read an article in a medical journal examining the evidence behind position change or use of water immersion during labor? This is a great supplement, and I commend MCA's foresight in producing it. It's a must-read for all nurses who care for pregnant women.


So, I hope you'll continue to read MCN, and encourage your colleagues to do the same, but also read the exciting material in other journals as well. There's lots of great information out there!