1. Humphrey, Carolyn J. MS, RN, FAAN

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Dear Readers,

Ten years, working with incredible people, the biggest teaching job of my life, a body of work[horizontal ellipsis]A Wonderful Time!!


Those are the words that rush through my mind as I write this, my last editorial as editor of Home Healthcare Nurse.


Ten Years

In July of 1995, I received a letter inviting me to submit an application for the position of HHN editor. My first response to my husband was, "I could never be an editor!! I'm not even sure what they do!!" Then, I remembered the advice I had given many students and colleagues throughout my career, "You can't turn down a job unless they offer it to you." I knew this position was one I had to pursue.


What transpired over the next 2 weeks was all-encompassing. I submitted my letter, carefully writing and spelling every word. Then came the initial telephone interview with the publisher at Lippincott Williams & Wilkins in Philadelphia, during which I had to sell myself-it's not good to be too humble.


I made the cut and was told to be in Philadelphia within 10 days, armed with 20 article and 10 editorial titles. The night before the interview, I decided to develop an initial assessment of the journal's strengths and areas for improvement, a mission statement, and a strategic plan. All of this was framed around always listening to readers and to having the best people involved in achieving the mission. Most of it is still applicable today, a decade later.


Working With Incredible People

Authors Who Get Their Articles Finished, in Spite of Everything

Here are some of the scenarios I faced that illustrate the dedication and quality of our authors:


* A cover article was due in 4 weeks for the next issue. The author was visiting her father, fell out of the barn loft, and broke her shoulder. She couldn't complete the article for 3 months, but it did come in!!


* Another author's mother passed away, her husband had surgery, she had a new granddaughter, and she remembered to write to me to say her manuscript would be 2 weeks late!!


* Dr. Mary Nowotny, a former Associate Dean, Baylor University School of Nursing, who in 1999, at the end stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, wrote "Life on a Ventilator." The article, a moving account of living with this terminal disease, was written while she was on a ventilator and using two computers-one a standard PC, the other with a camera that allowed her to type one letter at a time by focusing her eyes on a dot on one computer that would send a message to the other.


* An inexperienced but passionate author submitted a manuscript, then called to let me know she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Thanks to compassionate reviewers, a committed board member, and a flexible production editor and publisher, the article was published as the cover article and sent overnight to the author. It was her first publication!!



The Dedication of the Editorial Board, Department Editors, and Associations

I've been blessed with an editorial board and department editors who indulged my telephone calls and questions, reviewed manuscripts, wrote incredible articles, recruited and worked with authors, gave input every year for next year's goals, responded to my panic about not having enough material for the next issue and still showed up at 6:30 AM at national conferences to have a breakfast editorial meeting.


Thanks also go to the charter members of my editorial board: Lazelle Benefield, Paula Milone-Nuzzo, Mary McGoldrick Friedman, and Marilyn Harris. And those who have been here for most of the ride: Ann Frantz McCaughan, Linda Krulish, Lisa Gorski, Mary Narayan, Jeanie Stoker, Rebecca Friedman Zuber, Mary St. Pierre, Marilyn Smith-Stoner, Linda Pearce, Kathleen Sitzman, and Patricia Neafsey. I've always cherished your excellent guidance.


And thanks to the authors of the 14 award-winning articles HHN has published since 2001, as recognized by the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors. Thanks to all those who contributed to the 2002 issues for which we won the Silver Medal, Editorial Excellence Award, Nursing Category from Folio, the national organization that recognizes outstanding national trade and professional publications.


My affiliation with the Visiting Nurse Association of America, the Home Care Nurses Association, the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, and many other professional and trade associations that support home care has been most rewarding.


The Biggest Teaching Job of My Life

For those of you who don't know, teaching has been a large part of my career. I have been an Associate Professor of Nursing at Spalding University, an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Sacred Heart University and the University of Louisville, and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale School of Nursing. I served as Curriculum Consultant-Lecturer, Home Care Program, at the Boston University School of Nursing and Assistant Professor at Southern Connecticut State University. My tenure as editor of HHN, however, has been the biggest teaching job of my life.


A Wonderful Time...Great Moments

When I was named editor, I received some great advice from an experienced editor who said, "Carolyn, you can choose to take the journal in one of two directions. It can be known as Carolyn Humphrey's journal or the journal that Carolyn Humphrey just happens to edit."


As an educator, administrator, clinician, author, and editor I know I can be successful only by working with people to create a vision and mission that meet the needs of our readers and their patients. As I leave HHN after this incredible 10-year journey, I am delighted about the work we've done together. We've published cutting-edge material to advance home care clinical practice, management, research, and administration and to reinforce the specialty practice of home care nursing.


The journal is being left in good hands. As the new editor, Tina M. Marrelli brings her years of experience to guide the journal to its next stage. I wish her and all of you well as I embark on a new journey, continuing my passion for educating those who provide care in the home.


My best to all of you,