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How does one end up being a guest editor of a peer-reviewed journal?


I'd like to share my story in the hopes that it inspires you to:


1. Read the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) articles that have been and will be published in Home Healthcare Nurse (HHN),


2. Consider writing an article for HHN or another publication, and


3. Realize that you can do just about anything if you have the passion for it.



In the spring of 2004, HHN published a special issue on congestive heart failure. I enjoyed that issue, but I wondered why I hadn't seen an issue on COPD and why I rarely saw an article on that topic in any of my nursing journals.


As a home care nurse for more than 10 years, I see patients with COPD regularly, and I often wondered if we were giving the most up-to-date nursing care and if our patients were receiving quality medical care. I was in graduate school when I heard about the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) report for COPD. I mentioned to a group of fellow students that I was thinking of asking the editor of HHN for a series on COPD and that I wanted to write an article on the GOLD report. A recent graduate of my program, Stephanie Lacerda Farquhar, immediately volunteered to write the COPD anatomy and physiology article.


I sent an e-mail to Carolyn Humphrey, HHN 's editor, with my suggestions, and she agreed that a COPD series was important to home care and that Stephanie and I could write our articles; she also asked if we would like to be guest editors of the series. Being guest editors means deciding on the topics covered, finding authors to write the manuscripts, and reviewing the manuscripts along with other peers. The topics were the easy part; COPD is such a complicated, multifaceted disease I only had to ask the questions I always wanted answered.


Writing for a peer-reviewed journal is great-try it!!


The tough part was finding authors with experience, knowledge, and writing ability who were willing to meet the deadlines. Topics covered thus far in 2005 include "Implications of the GOLD Report for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease for the Home Care Clinician" (Frazier, February 2005), "Pulmonary Anatomy and Physiology and the Effects of COPD" (Farquhar & Fantasia, March 2005), "Promoting Physiologic-Physical Adaptation in COPD" (McAllister, August 2005), "Rehabilitation for the Home Care Patient With COPD" (Cigna & Turner-Cigna, September 2005), and "Ask HHN: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Care at Home" (Duckett, September 2005). Future topics will include palliative care for patients with end-stage COPD, using OASIS to document the assessment of the patient with COPD, and respiratory equipment in the home.


I hope you find these topics relevant and that you will take the extra step to incorporate what you have learned into your practice to provide evidence-based nursing care to your patients.


From a nagging idea to a full-blown series-what's your passion? What do you want to learn more about? One of the best ways to learn something is to try to teach others, and one of the finest methods of teaching is to write about it. I encourage you to write your own article and submit it.


I would like to thank my co-guest editor, Stephanie Lacerda Farquhar, for her assistance in all aspects of this process; Kathy Duckett, for helping us find amazingly gifted authors and for keeping the project on track; and Carolyn Humphrey, for this amazing opportunity.