1. Vourakis, Christine PhD, RN, FIAAN, FAAN

Article Content

The Innovative Roles (IR) column (edited by Joan Kub) in this issue of the Journal of Addictions Nursing (JAN) focuses on the history of JAN, its beginnings and development. This editorial is an opportunity to illuminate some of JAN's key milestones and to acknowledge those people who were instrumental in helping to shape JAN into what it is today.

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After 30 years (1989-2019) as an editor, first in early 1989 as chairman/editor of "NNSA News" and beginning in late 1989 as editor and founder of Perspectives on Addictions Nursing (PAN), in 1995 as a co-founder of JAN, and eventually in 1998 as Editor in Chief of JAN, I am pleased to share the path to JAN's success with you. Although important precursors to JAN, "NNSA News" and PAN were initial steps to our overall goal of publishing a journal.


Since taking over as Editor in Chief of JAN in 1998, many changes have taken place (see IR column for more details on changes). The editorial board (EB) was expanded with an emphasis on soliciting international members and increasing diversity. In addition to expanding the EB, members who retired were rapidly replaced with members agreeing to the requirements for service to JAN. Additional columns were added to broaden content for our readers, and a campaign was initiated to recruit a stable of quality peer reviewers.


My long tenure signifies no end of authors, peer reviewers, publishers, publisher managing editors, publisher production teams, journal editorial coordinators/staff, editorial advisory panel members, EB members, associate editors, column editors, special topic editors, and authors of guest editorials, whom I have had the privilege to work with. I am grateful for all those who have been involved with the journal in a variety of important ways but want to take note of those current and retired sustainable leaders who have contributed significantly over the years. Before identifying specific people, I want to say first how grateful I am to the National Nurses Society on Addictions (NNSA)/International Nurses Society on Addictions (IntNSA) and our publishers, both past and present, for their unfailing commitment to my vision and leadership throughout my tenure. I also want to acknowledge former and current members of NNSA/IntNSA who have consistently shown their enthusiastic unfailing support for the journal and its direction.


In the beginning, Sue Ann Pflum (President of NNSA, 1989-1990) asked me to be the Chairman/Editor of the "NNSA Newsletter," in early 1989, with the mandate to expand the newsletter as a step toward the eventual goal of becoming a professional journal. When we published the February 1990 issue, Lynette Jack was the first author. Lynette was also the Editor of PAN's Special Topics column and was the former Editor of Resource Watch (now Media Watch), JAN. Furthermore, Lynette, in 1995, as President of NNSA, signed our agreement with Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. to publish JAN as the official publication of NNSA.


The 23 authors of PAN's original articles are especially commended for sharing their knowledge with NNSA members. It is my plan to obtain permission from the authors of these articles to republish them as an anthology (spanning the years 1990-1995) or as a series. Whichever way we decide to showcase them, we will be making the articles of those addiction specialist authors available for our current audience of addictions nurses and interested others.


The JAN has been fortunate to have outstanding associate editors and EB members who, since 1998, have been active in peer review of manuscripts, as guest editors of special topic issues, as contributors of guest editorials, in recruitment of peer reviewers, and in soliciting quality manuscripts as well as in advising the editor. Diane Snow, associate editor and editor of the JAN Research Reviews column, has been involved from the beginning. She was a member of PAN's EB and was the Resource Reviews column editor. As you may recall from my IR's interview, while serving as President, Diane Snow negotiated the copyright purchase from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. for IntNSA in 2002. This purchase was one of the most important milestones in JAN's history.


Unless accessing their names by viewing past copies of the journal, there are several retired associate editors and EB members no longer listed in current issues of JAN. I want to acknowledge them for their past contributions. They are Jean Krajicek Bartek, Gerald E. Bennett, Sandra Jaffe Colvett, Maryann Eells, Jayne Eliach, Deborah S. Finnell, Mary R. Haack, Jerline Jones-Harris, Lynette Jack, Phyllis Lisanti, Ruby Martinez, Shirley A. Murphy, Lynn M. Oswald, Ona Z. Riggin, Deborah Antai-Otong, Sandra M. Handley, Christine Savage (former editor of Clinical Reviews, JAN), Nancy Savage, Kem Louie, Rosalyn Harris-Offutt, Lynn M. Oswald, G. Hussein Rassool (former Editor of International Perspectives, JAN), Sharon K. Schmidt (former editor of Pharmacology Update [now Pharmacology Corner], JAN), M. Ellen Stammer, Eleanor Sullivan, Sandra H. Tweed, Nancy M. Valentine, Margaret A. Wheatly, and Bettye J. Beatty-Wilson.


Other associate editors who have been there over the past 20 years with sustained contributions include Albert Rundio (former editor of Policy Watch and Pharmacology Corner; current editor of Stories From The Field); William J. Lorman (current editor of Pharmacology Corner), and Carolyn Baird (first recipient of the "Christine Vourakis Social Impact Journal Award" in 2020 and editor of Media Watch).


Other column editors who have consistently shown excellence over the years include Joan Kub (editor of IR), Kathryn S. Fornili (editor of Policy Watch), Becky Eisenhut (former editor of Peer Assistance), Susanne A. Fogger (editor of Clinical Reviews), and Andrea L. Mitchell, MLS (former editor of Web Watch [now Media Watch] with colleagues Samantha Helfert and Cara Keaton). As a librarian specializing in substance abuse for the Alcohol Research Group, Berkeley, CA, Andrea Mitchell generously contributed her expertise and resources to JAN's development.


Finally, JAN has been fortunate to have many publishers over the years that have been supportive and committed to our success. Marianne Kerr (Associate Director, Group Publisher Health Learning, Research & Practice, Wolters Kluwer), our current publisher, has generously shared her expertise with both JAN and IntNSA. She has been an invaluable ally, and I am delighted that she continues to be with JAN.


I was honored to have the Christine Vourakis Social Impact Journal Award, established by our Publisher Lippincott/Wolters Kluwer in 2019. This award is presented to an author as determined by the editor and members of EB (see IR column for more details on the award). To know that authors and their publications will be encouraged and highlighted in this way is very special, and I am humbled that this award will be presented in my name on an annual basis at the IntNSA conference (the first recipient was honored at the 2020 conference).


In closing, I want to say it has been a privilege to serve as your editor. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to JAN in a variety of ways and for helping to make JAN a strong voice in the field of addictions and in nursing. It will only continue to grow under the editorship of Ann M. Mitchell, who is already bringing her vision and leadership to bear.