1. Curry, Kim PhD, FNP, FAANP
  2. Editor-in-Chief

Article Content

The end of 2018 saw one person stepping off our editorial board. Dr. Mona Counts let me know that after about 15 years on the board, her family responsibilities and health needs prevented her from continuing on as one of the leaders of our journal. On April 4, Dr. Counts died surrounded by her loved ones. Let me tell you a little about this remarkable nurse practitioner leader.


Mona Counts, PhD, CRNP, FNAP, FAAN, FAANP, served as the Elouise Ross Eberly Professor at Pennsylvania State University. She was also the primary care provider for Mount Morris, Pennsylvania. Mount Morris is a tiny Appalachian town located just north of the West Virginia state line. As of the 2010 census, the town was home to 737 individuals, and Dr. Counts was their medical provider, as well as about 5,000 people in the surrounding area in both states. She helped found the Primary Care Center of Mt. Morris, taking out a second mortgage on her home to finance it and waiving her salary to help the clinic stay afloat during tough times.


She actually "failed" retirement three times, according to one of her many friends. She was simply too busy advocating for her profession, meeting her own patients' health care needs, and educating legions of students. She served in many roles in the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (later the American Association of Nurse Practitioners [AANP]), including serving as president from 2006 to 2008.


She provided public testimony on rural health care at federal, state, and regional hearings. In 2002, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson appointed her to a national panel of health care leaders to address serious issues relating to the cost, quality, and delivery of primary health care services in the United States. In 2003, she won a Cherokee Uniform "Inspired Comfort" award for her work as a rural health care provider.


Dr. Counts was in the early wave of NP providers who advocated for expanded roles. She was involved in NP education since 1970, only a few years after the concept of advanced nursing practice was conceived. She was also one of 21 original Fellows of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She is an irreplaceable piece of our history and was a dear friend and colleague to many. We can all learn a lot from her unwavering commitment to our professional identity.


Preparations for conference

I look forward to seeing and interacting with our readers at the AANP national meeting later this month in Indianapolis. Our national conference is a great time to connect with colleagues, share new knowledge, and get inspired by the many nurse practitioners doing great things to advance our role. The journal will have a table in the exhibit hall. I hope you all will stop by to chat about your scholarship and opportunities to publish your work. It is an exciting time because our knowledge base is expanding so rapidly. I would like to take this opportunity to remind all conference presenters that you need to continue to disseminate your research and clinical improvement studies. Podium and poster presentations are great, but do not stop there. Write for publication and make your knowledge discoverable by everyone.


In this issue

This month, John Haltom and colleagues present a brief report of a study aimed at improving understanding of adverse childhood experiences. Using the adverse childhood experiences (ACE) score questionnaire, the investigators found that research regarding how to assess and treat ACEs in family members is both necessary and difficult and that ACEs are present in a variety of population types.


Keetie Kremers and a team from the Netherlands explored the implications of early wound leakage and how this portends postoperative infection after joint replacement. As NPs have a central role in postoperative care, this knowledge can lead to better detection of complications.


Patient handoffs from one team to another are complex and potentially dangerous to patients. Darci Alimenti and colleagues reviewed the literature about emergency department to inpatient handoffs for evidence of standardized handoff techniques and their impact on the perception of patient safety. The authors found that there are several reasons for implementing and supporting the use of standardized handoffs.


Eleanor Campbell and colleagues present a systematic review of food choices, genetic determinants, and trends related to adolescent overweight/obesity in the United States. The use of precision health and genetic information may help NPs design effective interventions to promote healthy weight.


Asefeh Faraz investigated facilitators and barriers to novice nurse practitioners as they transition to practice. Specific factors in each category were identified that can help or impede new practitioners. More mentorship, support, role clarity, and collegial respect are needed to facilitate the novice NP's workforce transition.


Dana Stournaras and Kimberly Petrovic provide a clinical case study of fibromyalgia, which remains a controversial and multifactorial condition. The authors discuss the various presentations of the condition, which affects over 5 million people. Guidelines are available to assist providers in treating these patients, and the authors also discuss effective and ineffective treatment choices that NPs may encounter. We hope you enjoy these new contributions to our body of knowledge.