Writing and publishing woes?

Many nurse educators face the challenges of “publish or perish” which, added to the extreme demands involved in teaching nursing itself, create stress levels that no human should endure.  Even for many who do not face the pressure to write and publish, the desire to do so is strong. Nursing, whether practiced in direct (bedside, curbside or chairside) or as an educator, involves experiences and insights that are worth sharing with others.  But writing and publishing is a challenging enterprise, and the context of publishing in today’s digital context is daunting.

In today’s world, authors and would-be authors simply cannot meet the challenges of writing and publishing without knowing the basics, and most nurse educators simply shrink at the idea of having to invest the time and energy to be well informed.  But take heart – nursing has arguably the best network “out there” for aspiring writers and authors. The “hub” from which this network of support arises is the International Academy of Nursing Editors, better known as INANE.  You will find heaps of information there, but to expedite getting to the heart of what you need to know, here are the highlights:

  • Nurse Author & Editor (NA&E) is a newsjournal publishing brief, informative and timely articles twice a month that keep you up-to-date on the latest issues in writing and publishing, and inspiring ideas for the best of writing outcomes. Subscription is free- just go to the website and subscribe by adding your email address.  Articles are published on the 5th and the 20th day of each month.  In addition, the archive of articles on particular topics is easily accessible by clicking on a Category listed in the right sidebar.  I particularly recommend that you read each of the 3 articles in the “predatory publishing” category – one of the most important issues in publishing today that is a “must know” item for all nurse authors.
  • The eBook that Leslie Nicoll and I wrote is an invaluable resource that explains the particular challenges of the digital age –  Writing in the Digital Age: Savvy Publishing for Healthcare Professionals 
  • The Nursing Journals Directory is an invaluable resource that is maintained jointly by Nurse Author & Editor and INANE.  This is “white list” – a listing of vetted, credible journals that publish work by and for nurses.  The Directory provides a link to the journal, to the journal’s author guidelines, a brief description of the journal’s purpose, and most important – a link to contact the Editor.

I do not offer many guarantees, but one that I will offer here is that if you invest the relatively small amount of time to become familiar with these three resources, and use them to guide your writing and publishing efforts, you will multiply your odds of success more than ten-fold!  It will take less than an hour to explore what is avaialbe in these 3 resources, then just a few hours to read the Nicoll/Chinn book and a few articles in NA&E.   These resources are only my current “top three” resources – between INANE and Nurse Author and Editor you will find many more along the way.  The key is to start here – and you will be well on your way!


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