1. Heitkemper, Margaret PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. McNeil, Paula MS, RN

Article Content

In April 2001, the Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) Governing Assembly enthusiastically named Nursing Research as the official publication of WIN. It's a perfect marriage between the oldest regional nursing organization and the oldest nursing research journal!


In 1955, the Executive Committee of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) authorized a study of nursing in the western region. An advisory committee found that the most urgent need was for a strong regionally shaped graduate program curriculum. This collaboration of Schools of Nursing in the West to develop creative approaches to graduate education also resulted in a clear need for a regional organization to continue to guide these efforts.


The first organizational meeting of the Western Council on Higher Education for Nursing (WCHEN) took place in 1957. One of its first undertakings was to secure federal funding to support conferences on research in nursing. From 1957-1985, WCHEN promoted nursing research through goal-setting, Council work, and obtaining extramural funding to support research projects. The first Communicating Nursing Research conference was held in 1968.


By 1969, WCHEN was ready to launch a regional program for nursing research development. It had become clear that a single institution, single researcher model was not substantially increasing nursing knowledge. A nursing research enhancement project, based on collaboration of the Schools of Nursing in the western region, was started in 1971. Research proposals were funded and numerous publications generated. In sum, the project supported 289 nurses with promising research ideas from practice and educational settings.


WCHEN became the Western Institute of Nursing in 1985, and the commitment to nursing research has endured over the years. We just completed the 34th Annual Communicating Nursing Research Conference. The consistent hallmarks of this organization have been networking, mentoring, and collaborating among the clinical and educational agencies in the western region. These values were evident at the recent conference as experienced clinical and bench researchers interacted with new researchers.


Nursing Research is the oldest nursing research journal in the country. The journal has rightfully enjoyed a prestigious reputation as a premier research publication. Of significance to the members of WIN is the breadth of research topics and methodologies included in this journal. Basically, like WIN, it has something for everyone.


Building on these rich legacies, WIN and Nursing Research come together at the beginning of this new century to even more effectively communicate nursing research findings and to support the continued development of nursing knowledge. From the marriage of these two pioneers can only come strengthened efforts to support researchers and the development of nursing knowledge to improve patient care. We're very pleased to be a partner.