IN OCTOBER 2006, American Nurse Today debuted as the new voice for today’s nurses. Rebecca Patton, then ANA President, heralded the new journal for its practical and contemporary content carefully chosen to serve nurses in all roles and settings. The journal’s launch was an historic development that reflected the three stages of transition identified by author William Bridges—ending, neutral zone, and new beginning.
As Bridges observed, endings give way to new beginnings. As happens with most transitions, some people felt angst and sadness in 2006 over the ending of the century-old relationship between ANA and the American Journal of Nursing. On the other hand, many supported and embraced the change to a new journal, with cautious optimism in the neutral zone. The nursing community had high expectations for the new beginning—this new vehicle for delivering evidence-based, peer-reviewed articles to help nurses shape their practice, manage their careers, and deepen their professional involvement. All of us involved in American Nurse Today since its launch had the same high expectations.
Looking back, it’s clear the journal has delivered on its promise to cover pertinent and timely topics; focuson helping nurses balance work, home, and professional obligations; address the nurse’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being; and offer meaningful continuing education. Also important was the journal’s editorial style—fast-paced, succinct articles that respect the nurses’ limited leisure time.
The path behind
With this issue, I am stepping down as Editor-in-Chief. I am grateful for having played a part in shepherding our successful journal. I was honored when ANA asked me to be the inaugural editor and gave me the chance to bring my thoughts into your nursing world each month to explore topics running the gamut of professional issues in leadership, health policy, care delivery, current events, and the relentless pursuit of safer quality care.
Times of change offer a look back and a look forward. The path I leave behind has many bright spots. In a true partnership, you, our readers, have given great feedback to help us continuously improve our areas of focus and ensure relevance to all practice areas. It has also been exciting to bring you special reports, such as War on Pain, Best Practices for Fall Reduction, and Nursing, Technology, and Information Systems. Many of you have contributed to our success by giving freely of your time as authors and reviewers. Our editorial advisory board has been the source of expert counsel, article ideas, news important to our audience, and guidance in identifying content experts and reviewers. Clinicians, educators, researchers, and students have expressed high satisfaction with the helpful nature of our articles. The American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors has acknowledged American Nurse Today with a range of awards every year since 2008. With your input, the journal has developed a vibrant online presence, including blogs and web exclusives, and has expanded its e-mail newsletters. From its inception, the journal has been a source of information, inspiration, and pride for ANA and HealthCom Media.
The path ahead
To make a change in one’s life, one needs a road map to guide the pattern of transition. Several months ago, I decided it was time to plan the next stages of my career and at the same time give American Nurse Today the benefit of new editorial leadership. As I leave behind the path as the first Editor-in-Chief, I look to the path ahead with admiration and confidence that our new editor, my friend and colleague, Lillee Gelinas, will create a successful new beginning in short order. As an accomplished nurse executive and a nationally recognized leader, she has the enthusiasm, knowledge, advocacy, innovative spirit, and devotion to nurses that will carry the journal to new heights. She will bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the editorial direction and ensure the journal is listening and responding to our readers.
I encourage you to share your thoughts with Lillee, who will welcome your comments and ideas to help shape the future of the journal. Just as the cover of our October 2006 inaugural issue showed a nurse looking ahead to the future with powerful binoculars, I look ahead to the future of American Nurse Today and know we are in good hands.
Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
American Nurse Today