1. Alexander, Mary MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN

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Nurses are caregivers by nature, or as Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines, "one that looks after, fosters, or advises."1 We've already celebrated the fact that our profession is deemed the most trusted in the United States; 4 in 5 Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as "very high" or "high."2 Given that we are regarded in such high esteem, it only makes sense to channel this uniform trust into something tangible.

Mary Alexander, MA, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowMary Alexander, MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN INS Chief Executive Officer Editor,

I've reviewed and published countless articles that illustrate ways to turn evidence-based research into practice. Our readers have put their trust in me, my editorial staff, and of course, the authors to choose compelling material that impacts clinical practice. From innovative infusion devices, to ineffective or improved protocols, to medication errors, and specific patient case studies, the Journal of Infusion Nursing has covered a myriad of topics over the years. Many of these articles have pushed the envelope in research analysis and have translated patient responses to treatment into better outcomes overall.


But when it comes to the continuum of care, each article is just one piece of the puzzle. A little snippet, if you will, of what 1 author or group of authors chose to study. Although each article provides a conclusion, many suggest further analysis and research to continue the stream of data. If you look at the byline credentials, you'll notice many RNs within our authorship. You don't need to solely be a research scientist to publish. In fact, who better to publish than nurses? Whether in a laboratory, at patients' bedsides, in a classroom, or in a management role, your voice as a trusted caregiver and advisor must be heard.


Think of a challenging experience in your career that you've shared with another colleague. One of those difficult cases in which you explained the rationale behind treatment choices and allayed your patient's fears. Yet at the same time you were tasked with delivering an invasive therapy that would redefine that patient's quality of life.


With all the different specialties in which we practice and all the different cases we've seen, I'm sure that isn't hard to do. How did that experience change your day? What about your patient? As you document in patients' records, do you ever think that your notes could translate into something larger? Aside from the benefit to the specialty and to our patients, the personal benefits of publishing are undoubtedly worthwhile. Simply put, writing gives you the opportunity to3:


* Share information


* Improve patient care


* Promote yourself


* Enhance your knowledge


* Advance the profession



As America's most trusted profession, it's our responsibility to disseminate our experiences into advancing practice. While I would like nothing better than to see your names printed in JIN, for many of you, starting out small may be a good first step. Consider your hospital newsletter, an online nursing blog, or some other clinical column to put pen to paper. You might also consider submitting a conference presentation or collaborating with a team to develop a long-term study. Your perspective may be the key to resolving issues in your own institution, or it might provide just the right insight for one of your readers.


For those of you seasoned authors who have already published a paper or 2, have you checked how many times your paper has been cited as a reference? Try googling yourself to see how your article measures in a literature search-you might be surprised to find that it has had a generous viewing. It might also be time to write an update, especially if your original study resulted in a change in practice.


With the rapid changes in health care, we can't always wait for the professional writers to create content. Nurses who are on the front lines of patient care-in all facets-who realize the triumphs, the pitfalls, and the stresses of the job we do, can and should be communicating these real-life experiences. I encourage nurses of all skill levels and expertise to embrace their inner author and the world of writing.


Don't wait to read the research; write the research waiting to be read!


Mary Alexander




1. Definition of nurse. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Accessed April 17, 2019. [Context Link]


2. Breban M. Nurses again outpace other professions for honesty, ethics. Gallup Poll. Published December 20, 2018. Accessed April 17, 2019. [Context Link]


3. Saver CL. Anatomy of Writing for Publication. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International; 2017. [Context Link]