Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 25(3) September 2012 : 1-3.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2012.23062

From the Editor-in-Chief

Lynn M. Nagle

Beyond Reproach?

Over the last couple of months I have had the opportunity to attend two international nursing meetings, each entirely different in focus from the other. Coincidentally, both meetings were hosted by Canadian nurses in downtown Montreal. After spending several days listening to presentations and networking with fellow nurses from around the globe, I was struck by the similarity of our collective challenges and, yet again, reminded of the importance of developing nursing leaders for the future.

The 11th International Nursing Informatics Congress brought approximately 600 nurse informaticians together to engage in dialogues focused on the theme "Advancing Global Health Through Informatics." The opening keynote address was given by Dr. Judith Shamian, immediate past-president of the Canadian Nurses Association and presidential nominee to the International Council of Nurses. In her usual inimitable style, Dr. Shamian's address was provocative and veracious. Key points of discussion in her address included (1) global health and associated healthcare practices, (2) the role of informatics in generating and disseminating knowledge and (3) the role of nurse informaticians in advancing health policy and practice. Discussing the potential impact of informatics, she emphasized the need to determine how to harness the outputs of information systems to improve care. She articulated the important role nurses need to play in influencing the development, implementation and use of technological tools, particularly in relation to global health. The use of technology and informatics in healthcare and nursing needs to be examined in terms of managing the system, managing and delivering care, and empowering clients and communities. Dr. Shamian expressed dismay at how we are overspending on healthcare and technology, yet under-delivering in the provision of what is needed across the globe. Further, she emphasized the importance of increasing nursing's evidence base and taking full advantage of technology to do so more rapidly: "Knowledge derived from research and experience may be of little value unless it is put into practice."

To this end, Dr. Shamian challenged attendees to consider the reality of the limited use of evidence and best-practice guidelines in the delivery of care. She also highlighted the negative impact of leaders who deny or hide their nursing roots – the "closeted" nurses – and encouraged more candour and solidarity among all nurses to advance transformative changes to the healthcare system. Her messages challenged the status quo as she called upon nurse informaticians to exert more influence on healthcare transformation by kicking it up a notch.

The conference program included an unprecedented number of oral and poster presentations by Canadian nurses. The calibre of the work showcased by Canada was worthy of the international stage and reflective of the thought and execution-focused leadership of our nurse informaticians. Bravo to these colleagues!

Being a first-time attendee at the International Nursing Academy of Nurse Editors (INANE) conference gave this editor-in-chief some interesting insights into the challenges faced by editors and publishers working with more than 100 other nursing journals. Hosted by Dr. Laurie Gottlieb (editor-in-chief, Canadian Journal of Nursing Research), this meeting also focused on globalization issues. Of particular note was a plenary session in which Canadian editor, Dr. Sally Thorne (editor-in-chief, Nursing Inquiry) and American editor, Dr. Peggy Chinn (editor-in-chief, Advances in Nursing Science) presented perspectives on the need to globalize journalistic ideologies. Reflecting on the dominance of Western nursing scholarship and English-language journals, they challenged attendees to reflect on editorial practices that are largely guided by homogeneity, and regionally appropriate and accepted thinking. In sum, editorial practices that demonstrate cross-cultural sensitivity and openness to the perspectives and context of others are requisite to the globalization of nursing scholarship.

Of further interest was a plenary discussion and workshop focused on common ethical dilemmas faced by journal editors. While our range of contributors and volume of paper submissions is far less than some nursing journals, the issues discussed are no less relevant and worthy of consideration. Ethical issues in writing and publishing are far more complex than one might expect. Prior to the Internet and the availability of manuscript authentication capabilities, the discovery of blatant plagiarism of one's own work and that of others was likely happenstance in many cases. Shocking cases of systematic, deliberate plagiarism, sometimes over the course of multiple years and publications, are now being uncovered in a manner akin to the application of new DNA technologies to long-standing unsolved crimes.

Other interesting topics of discussion included how to manage some personalities and phenomena familiar to all editors: the infamous or renowned practitioner-researcher-educator/author who lacks the gift of academic prose; the author who believes his or her work to be beyond critique; papers with fabricated data; diametrically opposed manuscript reviews and a variety of others. Discussions offered strategies to assist editors to deal with situations that can be very sensitive personally and professionally, ethically problematic or at times just downright unpleasant. The order of magnitude of these issues is evident with the creation of the Committee of Publishing Ethics (COPE) (see for additional information). In a few short years, COPE has grown to more than 7,000 members. For use by editors, writers and publishers alike, COPE has been created to help navigate and manage such prickly matters.

Indeed, many of these issues gave this editor cause for reflection regarding the paper review and acceptance practices of CJNL – good fodder for future editorials. Suffice it to say, there will be more to come in the months ahead.


Lynn M. Nagle, RN, PhD

About the Author(s)

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


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