1. Bernstein, Samantha PhD, RN, IBCLC
  2. Frederick, Anitra PhD, RN, CNE
  3. Abbu, Stephanie DNP, RN, CNML
  4. DiCioccio, Heather Condo DNP, RNC-MNN, C-ONQS
  5. Thomas, Anisa PhD, RN
  6. Dreisbach, Caitlin PhD, RN

Article Content

Traditionally, nurses are thought of as professionals who provide direct patient care in the hospital setting, yet career options in nursing are incredibly varied. Thousands work in arenas other than the bedside such as school nursing, public health, research, writing, and education. Due to limited exposure, many nontraditional nursing career paths remain a mystery. Nurses may find the nurse editor role particularly elusive and intimidating. The journal production process is not openly shared, discussed, or promoted. To increase transparency and reduce barriers to entry, the editorial team at MCN decided to share their time, expertise, and experience in academic publishing.


For the past 3 years, MCN has offered an editorial fellowship to educate experienced maternal-child health nurses about journal operations, editors' major tasks, and academic publishing opportunities for nurse scholars (Simpson & Rohan, 2020). In 2021-2022, several major nursing journals were looking for editors, highlighting the need for an editorship pipeline. Other journals have offered similar fellowships in an effort to improve their peer reviewers and recruit the next generation of editors (Adam & Gebel, 2021; Lubner, 2018). The goals of the MCN fellowship were twofold: 1) demystify the journal publication process and 2) provide mentorship in preparation of a manuscript that becomes a feature article. These goals were established to enhance nurse scholars' chances of successful manuscript publication in professional journals.


The 2021 cohort, comprised of six PhD and 2 DNP educated nurses, met monthly with editors Kathleen Simpson, PhD, RNC, CNS-BC, FAAN and Annie Rohan, PhD, RN, NNP-BC, CPNP-PC, FAANP, FAAN. The goal of our meetings was to learn about the work of journal editors, become better reviewers of manuscripts, and build a community to foster growth in the publication of nursing science and the translation of evidence to practice. Our practice fields included labor and delivery, postpartum, neonatology, pediatrics, and nursing research. Our average time in the nursing profession (combined clinical practice and academia) is 15.4 years, with an average of five academic publications each. By the end of the fellowship, we had, on average, each submitted an additional five papers for publication.


We also improved our confidence in our reviewing skills. When asked to rank our confidence on a scale of 1 to 5, prior to the fellowship, the mean was a 3.0, which improved to 4.25 by the end of the fellowship. The eight of us are now reviewing for 12 varied journals, including the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, Journal of Pediatric Nursing, Nursing Research, Journal of the American Medical Informatics, Applied Clinical Informatics, Nursing for Women's Health, Women and Birth, Journal of Professional Nursing, Pediatrics, BMC Pediatrics, MCN, The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, and Child Abuse and Neglect. One member of the cohort became an associate editor during the fellowship, and two members have since joined journal editorial boards.


This fellowship brought to light and discussion the need for a diversity of editors, editorial boards, and peer reviewers both racially and experientially. Individuals with diverse backgrounds can provide unique contributions, promote innovation, and recognize manuscripts that may unwittingly use biased language and ideology. Increasing diversity ultimately improves the reputation, quality, and integrity of a journal.


There are more subtle benefits of this fellowship. We recognized how our perspective as authors, now with the insight of the editorial experience, can support science not only by becoming reviewers, but also by thinking more broadly about nursing science and the range of possibilities for nursing. This fellowship has helped us to think beyond the bedside (and even beyond research) about the variety of scholarship that gets published and affects nursing practice. This fellowship addressed an educational gap; none of us felt we had been adequately educated about the publication process prior to this experience. By demystifying the gates of scholarship and inviting others in, nurses can promote the democratization of scholarly work and take a truly team science approach. We feel strongly that other nursing journals should use the MCN editorial fellowship as a model to foster engagement, encourage early nursing scholars, promote the production of strong nursing literature, and increase the diversity of nursing editors.


Congratulations to MCN 2022 Articles of the Year Awards

2022 Research Article of the Year


Breastfeeding Experiences of Autistic Women


Jane C. Wilson PhD, MSN, BSN and Bri Andrassy DNP, RN


Published in the January / February 2022 issue of MCN


2022 Practice Article of the Year


Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Nursing Workforce: One Pediatric Hospital's Strategic Approach


Tyonne D. Hinson, DrPH, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Marcie Brostoff, MS, RN, NE-BC, Amanda Beit Grossman, BA, SHRM-CP, Valerie L. Ward, MD, MPH, Kathleen Lind, BS, and Laura J. Wood, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN


Published in the September / October 2022 issue of MCN


2022 Quality Improvement Article of the Year


Acuity-Based Staffing in Labor and Delivery Using Electronic Health Record Data


Lynn W. Jones, MSN, RN and Valerie L. Hall


Published in the September / October 2022 issue of MCN




Adam B. A., Gebel H. M. (2021). Borrowing from the past to invest in the future: The AJT editorial fellowship process. American Journal of Transplantation, 21(3), 1343-1344.[Context Link]


Lubner M. G. (2018). The Figley Fellowship-An indispensable opportunity. American Journal of Roentgenology, 211(2), 237-238.[Context Link]


Simpson K. R., Rohan A. J. (2020). The MCN editorial fellowship. MCN. The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 45(6), 321.[Context Link]