1. Hinkle, Janice L. PhD RN CNRN


Anniversary Feature:: Each 2008 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing includes an anniversary feature in which we celebrate the vision, determination, and challenges that have marked 4 decades of neuroscience nursing practice and publishing excellence. We will highlight our past and begin to envision our future as we examine the changes we have witnessed.


Article Content

The Journal of Neuroscience Nursing (JNN) has been the official journal of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN; initially founded as the American Association of Neurosurgical Nurses) for the past 40 years. Through the years, many articles published in the journal have contributed to the everincreasing body of knowledge that has developed and advanced neuroscience nursing as a specialty practice area. It is this area that I have chosen to focus on and highlight in this second piece commemorating the 40th anniversary of AANN and JNN.


The first issue of JNN (known as the Journal of Neurosurgical Nursing until 1986) was published in 1969 (Fig 1). This inaugural issue contained proceedings and papers from AANN's first educational meeting, held in conjunction with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in Cleveland, OH, April 13-17, 1969.


During the first 10 years of the development of the association and the journal, improving bedside care and learning about new technologies were some of the members' primary concerns. An important early publication was Pat Regan's article titled "An Educational Model for the Professional Nurse" (1972). This article exemplifies how nurses were beginning to shift their thinking and see themselves as professionals.

Fig 1 - Click to enlarge in new window Cover of First Issue of

Learning about new technologies has been a clear theme throughout JNN's history. Some examples profiled in the journal include the introduction of microscopes into the operating room for neurosurgical procedures (Taylor, 1971); intracranial pressure monitoring (Hendrickson, 1987; Mitchell, 1986); administration of epidural morphine in lumbar surgery patients (Ozuna & Snyder, 1987); administration of intraventricular morphine via an Ommaya reservoir (Raney & Kirk, 1988); and carotid endarterectomy (Leonard, 1996). Neuroscience nurses have a long tradition of wanting to understand any new gizmos and gadgets (Bader, 2006), and more importantly, of using these new technologies to improve the care provided for patients and their families (Engil & Kirsivali-Farmer, 1993; Hendrickson; Mathis, 1984).


In the early years, it must have been a challenge to get enough material for publication-the journal was published only once that first inaugural year, and then four times a year from 1970 through the end of 1980. As the interactions of the subspecialties of nursing, medicine, and surgery increased, there was an explosion of knowledge, and the number of issues increased from four to six per year in 1981.


During the 1980s, Barbara Boss's articles provided many new nurses with an anatomical and pathophysiological basis as part of their neurological and neurosurgical content at nursing school or as required reading for their orientation as new nurses in neurological and neurosurgical units across the country. Boss enlightened many of us about the neurological basis of acute mood and behavior disturbances (Boss, 1982); the dementias (Boss, 1983); dysphasia, dyspraxia, and dysarthria (Boss, 1984a, 1984b); neuroanatomy (Boss & Stowe, 1986); the neuroanatomical and neurophysiological basis of learning (Boss, 1986); memory (Boss, 1988a); and syncope (Boss, 1988b).


It may be difficult for today's JNN readers to recall, but this group of nurses only began to identify themselves as neuroscience nurses during the 1980s. With the February 1986 issue, the Journal of Neurosurgical Nursing officially became the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, helping to solidify this change in thinking in the nursing community.


From 1990 through 2000, during the Decade of the Brain,1JNN kept pace as care of stroke patients moved into the realm of critical care. Neuroscience nurses could learn about the correlative anatomy of stroke (Testani-Dufour & Morrison, 1997), pathophysiological mechanisms of stroke (Blank-Reid, 1996), development of an acute stroke unit (Hinkle, 1992), the introduction of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA; Macabasco & Hickman, 1995), redesigning stroke care (Dancer, 1996), measuring outcomes (Pasquarello, 1990), and depression following stroke (Hinkle, 1998). A solid nursing focus on patient assessment (Shephard & Fox, 1996) and interventions for patients (Hafsteinsdottir, 1996) and their families (Robinson-Smith & Mahoney, 1995) were constant underlying themes in JNN.


As we progress through the 2000s, the new buzz word is evidence-based practice, but neuroscience nurses already have a long track record of basing practice on research, much of which has been published first in JNN. Prime examples of evidence-based practice in the journal include the role delineation studies that have provided the research underpinnings for the Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN) examination from the 1980s (Nowin & Ozuna, 1988) up to the present (Blissitt, Roberts, Hinkle, & Kopp, 2003; Villanueva, Thompson, Macpherson, Meunier, & Hilton, 2006).


Some of the seminal articles and major themes published in JNN that underpin neuroscience nursing as a specialty practice have been highlighted. Space precludes the inclusion of the development of the many subspecialty areas within neuroscience nursing, and it is certain some important articles were overlooked. Although I sought input from fellow neuroscience nurses, the opinions expressed here are predominantly my own. However, I would like to encourage members, in this 40th year of publication of your journal, to let the editorial board know if you think other pieces published in JNN are meritorious and why. We welcome your valuable input!!




Bader, M. K. (2006). Gizmos and gadgets for the neuroscience intensive care unit. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 38(4), 248-260. [Context Link]


Blank-Reid, C. (1996). How to have a stroke at an early age: The effects of crack, cocaine and other illicit drugs. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 28(1), 19-27. [Context Link]


Blissitt, P. A., Roberts, S., Hinkle, J. L., & Kopp, E. M. (2003). Defining neuroscience nursing practice: The 2001 role delineation study. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 35(1), 8-15. [Context Link]


Boss, B. J. (1982). Acute mood and behavior disturbances of neurological origin: Acute confusional states. Journal of Neurosurgical Nursing, 14(2), 61-68. [Context Link]


Boss, B. J. (1983). The dementias. Journal of Neurosurgical Nursing, 15(2), 87-97. [Context Link]


Boss, B. J. (1984a). Dysphasia, dyspraxia, and dysarthria: Distinguishing features, part I. Journal of Neurosurgical Nursing, 16(3), 151-160. [Context Link]


Boss, B. J. (1984b). Dysphasia, dyspraxia, and dysarthria: Distinguishing features, part II. Journal of Neurosurgical Nursing, 16(4), 211-216. [Context Link]


Boss, B. J. (1986). The neuroanatomical and neurophysiological basis of learning. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 18(5), 256-264. [Context Link]


Boss, B. J. (1988a). Memory impairments: Forgetfulness versus amnesia. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 20(3), 151-158. [Context Link]


Boss, B. J. (1988b). Syncope: Neuroscience nursing assessment based on an understanding of underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 20(4), 245-252. [Context Link]


Boss, B. J., & Stowe, A. C. (1986). Neuroanatomy. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 18(4), 214-230. [Context Link]


Dancer, S. (1996). Redesigning care for the nonhemorrhagic stroke patient. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 28(3), 183-189. [Context Link]


Engil, M., & Kirsivali-Farmer, K. (1993). Needs of family members of critically ill patients with and without acute brain injury. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 25(2), 78-85. [Context Link]


Hafsteinsdottir, T. (1996). Neurodevelopmental treatment: Application to nursing and effects on the hemiplegic stroke patient. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 28(1), 36-47. [Context Link]


Hendrickson, S. (1987). Intracranial pressure changes and family presence. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 19(1), 14-17. [Context Link]


Hinkle, J. L. (1992). Development of an acute stroke unit. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 24(2), 113-116. [Context Link]


Hinkle, J. L. (1998). Biological and behavioral correlates of stroke and depression. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 30(1), 25-31. [Context Link]


Leonard, A. (1996). Carotid endarterectomy: A nursing perspective. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 28(2), 99. [Context Link]


Library of Congress (2000). Project on the Decade of the Brain. Retrieved December 19, 2007, from [Context Link]


Macabasco, A. C., & Hickman, J. (1995). Thrombolytic therapy for brain attack. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 27(3), 138-149. [Context Link]


Mathis, M. (1984). Personal needs of family members of critically ill patients with and without acute brain injury. Journal of Neurosurgical Nursing, 16(1), 36-44. [Context Link]


Mitchell, P. M. (1986). Decreased adaptive capacity, intracranial: A proposal for a nursing diagnosis. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 18(4), 170-175. [Context Link]


Nowin, M., & Ozuna, J. (1988). Role delineation and test specification validation study for the CNRN examination. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 20(5), 273-277. [Context Link]


Ozuna, J., & Snyder, G. (1987). An experience with epidural morphine in lumbar surgery patients. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 19(5), 235-239. [Context Link]


Pasquarello, M. A. (1990). Measuring the impact of an acute stroke program on patient outcome. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 22(2), 76-82. [Context Link]


Raney, J. P., & Kirk, E. J. (1988). The use of an Ommaya reservoir for administration of morphine sulphate to control pain in select cancer patients. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 20(1), 23-29. [Context Link]


Regan, P. (1972). An educational model for the professional nurse. Journal of Neurosurgical Nursing, 4, 93. [Context Link]


Robinson-Smith, G., & Mahoney, C. (1995). Coping and marital equilibrium after stroke. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 27(2), 83-89. [Context Link]


Shephard, T. J., & Fox, S. W. (1996). Assessment and management of hypertension in the acute ischemic stroke patient. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 28(1), 5-12. [Context Link]


Taylor, D. A. (1971). The operating-room nurse's role in microneurosurgery. Journal of Neurosurgical Nursing, 3(1), 51-58. [Context Link]


Testani-Dufour, L., & Morrison, C. (1997). Brain attack: Correlative anatomy. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 29(4), 213-222. [Context Link]


Villanueva, N. E., Thompson, H. J., Macpherson, B. C., Meunier, K. E., & Hilton, E. (2006). The neuroscience nursing 2005 role delineation study: Implications for certification. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 38(6), 403-408, 415. [Context Link]



1An initiative sponsored by the Library of Congress and the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health "to enhance public awareness of the benefits to be derived from brain research" (Library of Congress, 2000). [Context Link]