Taking Over the Helm

Tackling this first editorial has led me to reflect on the leadership of my predecessor and mentor, Dr. Dorothy Pringle. Having worked closely with her for several years now, I have had the privilege and benefit of watching her leadership in action. Under her watch, this journal has emerged as a high-quality publication with a broad distribution and significant readership of both the print and online versions. Because of the quality of the papers published and the breadth of dissemination, authors nationally and internationally are now competing for the opportunity to publish in CJNL. Dr. Pringle is one of those individuals who have profoundly influenced my career over the past decade. She has my utmost respect and high regard for her career contributions to nursing practice, research, education and leadership in this country. I am the first to acknowledge that to walk in the steps of a giant is humbling and daunting. But it is my sincere hope that through her tutelage I have garnered the requisite insights to not only sustain but further advance the calibre and profile of the journal on the international stage.

In my opinion, my career thus far has been a privileged one, filled with rich and diverse experiences. I have derived the benefits of having many esteemed mentors and leaders throughout every phase of my formal education and practice career. Spanning more than 30 years, my professional journey can be best described as a multidimensional tapestry. Pediatrics, gerontology, critical care, oncology, informatics…student, practitioner, administrator, educator, researcher and consultant, to name a few…every single experience rife with new learning, each informing the next. And so another thread begins. As editor-in-chief, I look forward to more learning and commit to the continued delivery of a high-quality and relevant journal under my stewardship. But as is true of most endeavours in life, no success is achieved in isolation.

Beyond the work of the editor-in-chief, the editorial advisory board and the team at Longwoods, another key ingredient in the journal's success has been the peer-review process. We rely on individuals with expertise in specific areas of practice, research and policy to conduct manuscript reviews throughout the year. Having access to a cadre of willing reviewers is absolutely essential in ensuring that the journal's publications are of the utmost quality. Our reviewers come from all sectors, and practice and academic environments. However, we would like to expand our current pool of reviewers. Hence we are launching a call for individuals to put their names forward to participate in future manuscript reviews. If you are interested in being involved in the review process, please complete the online survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FYK3JS6

After working closely with the editor-in-chief for the past year, I have also seen that there is great advantage in having access to the perspectives and networks of others. Therefore, in an effort to expand the hands-on leadership for the journal, there is a plan to recruit associate editors. This recruitment is currently underway and will focus on individuals with expertise in practice leadership, research, policy and innovation to concur with the themes of the journal. With a team of associate editors, the initial scrutiny of manuscripts will be further strengthened and the journal's reach to potential reviewers will be further extended. Stay tuned for the forthcoming announcement of the expanded editorial team. In the year ahead, lots of other ideas will emerge for the journal's continuing evolution.

And then there's you. Some of the health system changes underway in this country are challenging the very essence of our profession, leadership and even opportunities to be an active participant in ACEN. During the recent AGM and further discussed in the ACEN report published in this issue, a number of disconcerting messages are being delivered by nurse leaders from across Canada. Among the highlights – perhaps better described as "lowlights" – were the financial pressures forcing the issue of skill mix yet again, senior nursing positions disappearing, the emergence of physician assistants threatening to displace nurse practitioners, an ostensible move to "dumbing down" nursing practice and a weakening of the patient safety net in the face of budgetary cuts. Clearly, every one of these issues and many others warrant much more focused attention and dialogue.

The leadership within ACEN clearly recognizes the need to band together across the country and consider new ways of engaging in discussions about how to respond to some of these issues. It is also clear that the journal can be a pivotal vehicle to facilitate and support the dialogues that can drive strategy and policy development. Therefore, I am looking forward to the proffering of papers that stimulate discourse, share learnings and present evidence to substantiate best practices and renounce harmful ones. Letters to the editor in response to published papers are also welcomed and encouraged.

Keyboards at the ready…

About the Author

Lynn M. Nagle, RN, PhD
Editor-in-Chief