1. Lippincott, Jay


AJN and Lippincott enter another century together.


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FIGURES 1 and 2 When nurses gathered for the 1900 convention of the Association of Alumnae of Trained Nurses of the United States, they probably had no idea that they were attending a meeting that would transform the profession. They attended the convention to learn, to exchange ideas, and to see old friends and colleagues-and possibly to share their optimism over the beginning of a new century. But there was more in store for these pioneering nurses.

Figure 1 - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure 1. No caption available.
Figure 2 - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure 2. No caption available.

It was out of this meeting that one of nursing's greatest advances-one that helped to establish it as a legitimate profession-came into being. That is, the publication of the first journal for and by nurses. When Mary E. P. Davis, chair-woman of the association's Committee on Periodicals, acknowledged the unanimous vote to proceed with plans to create a nursing journal, the American Journal of Nursing was born. From its beginnings as an idea tossed around by a few impassioned nurses, the journal has become a publication that influences the teaching and practice of nursing in ways even those visionaries might never have imagined.


J. B. Lippincott Company was selected to publish the first issue of AJN in October 1900. The firm had been founded by my great-great-grandfather nearly a century earlier and was the natural choice for this journal. One of the largest publishing houses then in existence, Lippincott had entered the nursing world in 1878 with the publication of the first nursing textbook in the United States, A Hand-Book of Nursing. Lippincott published AJN until 1913, when the journal was turned over to an organization that was to become the American Nurses Association. Lippincott went on to become a leader in the publication of nursing text-books while AJN grew in quality and stature. Always believing in AJN's significance, Lippincott regularly advertised its many nursing titles in AJN, and in October 1996, the company reacquired AJN from the ANA. Two great institutions had reunited-Lippincott joined its health care publishing expertise to the experience and preeminence of AJN.


In her first editorial in 1900, editor-in-chief Sophia F. Palmer stated, "It will be the aim of the editors to present month by month the most useful facts, the most progressive thought, and the latest news that the profession has to offer in the most attractive form that can be secured." One hundred years later, the editors and the publisher (now known as Lippincott Williams & Wilkins) remain dedicated to this ambition.