Nurse Authors on the How and Why of Publishing
Nurses are encouraged to publish at Cleveland Clinic. Here, nurses talk about sharing their knowledge and experience through writing.
Nurses at all levels can and should publish, says Nancy Albert, PhD, CCNS, CCRN, Cleveland Clinic’s ACNO of Nursing Innovations and Research. It’s not just for those with advanced degrees. As new knowledge emerges in medicine, basic science, social sciences and other areas, nurses can help others understand how findings affect high-quality patient care, she says.
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“At Cleveland Clinic, all nurses have the opportunity to be innovative, make changes in our workplace, conduct research, and implement evidence-based practices and continuous improvement projects — all of which can be published,” Dr. Albert says. (Read more in the CQD post on publishing.)
To gain insight, CQD talked to Cleveland Clinic nurses who are recent authors.
Her journal article “Real-world comparison of HbA1c reduction at 6, 12 and 24 months by primary care provider types” appears in Primary Care Diabetes Europe, 2018 Feb. 21.
Why she did it: When I started at Cleveland Clinic 30 years ago, I worked in the cardiovascular area. Later, when I moved into primary care, I still had an interest in preventive cardiac nursing and helping patients manage cardiovascular risk factors, like diabetes and high cholesterol. I proposed establishing a chronic care clinic and administrators challenged me to validate the concept. That’s what I tried to do with my research article: show the value of nurse practitioners in improving the outcomes of patients with diabetes.
The process: I came up with the idea and drafted a research proposal. I needed help collecting and managing data. I found a mentor to help me identify the best research methodology and to support analysis of data, which came from patients I had seen over a three-year period. It was a labor-intensive project that I did after work and on my days off for several years. The manuscript was a process of reporting results.
The reward: Publishing this article is a professional milestone. The topic was based on my own passions as a nurse practitioner in cardiovascular and primary care. Now, I’m able to promote the value of nurse practitioners internally and externally, including internationally.
Her book chapter (co-written with K. Drogan) “Parenteral Access Devices” appears in The ASPEN Adult Nutrition Support Core Curriculum (3rd ed. Silver Spring, MD: American Society for Parenteral Enteral Nutrition; 2017).
Why she did it: Someone from my industry association, the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, recommended me for the project. I jumped at the chance. I have a passion for working with the parenteral population and am involved in many complex cases that most nurses do not routinely manage. I wanted to help teach the most current, evidence-based practice so others know what to do when lines are compromised and other types of vascular access are needed.
The process: It took a year of working on the chapter during off-hours as I didn’t have time during my workday. Most time was spent researching current practices. I’d go on PubMed.gov and to Cleveland Clinic’s research libraries to read articles in recent issues of medical journals. Once I had literature evidence, I put my knowledge into words. Four editors reviewed my writing and sent edits, questions and comments. Discussion and revisions strengthened the final content.
The reward: Publishing was worth the effort. I learned so much about my topic. It’s an honor to be among other thought leaders, helping advance my nursing specialty.
Their book is Wound Management: A Comprehensive Guide for Nurses (Brockton, MA: Western Schools; 2017).
Why Linda and Barbara did it: The publisher contacted us because they were looking for nurses who had extensive knowledge of wound management. We had both written journal articles and book chapters before, and thought working on an entire book would be a good stretch for us and good publicity for Cleveland Clinic’s wound, ostomy and continence school.
The process: It took us 14 months to write the 23 chapters, appendix, glossary and index. We focused on one section at a time and set aside writing time every day during and after work hours. As we’d submit sections to the publisher, editors and other reviewers would send us feedback and edits. We’d rewrite as needed. You can’t let it bruise your ego! The teamwork was so valuable.
The reward: There’s so much professional satisfaction. We created a book that will help nurses help their patients better. And through our research, we updated our knowledge too.