Overcoming Writers' Block: The Development of a New Collaborative Nursing and Midwifery Journal that Encourages and Supports Novice Writers to Publish Research Projects

Wednesday, 14 July 2010: 11:00 AM

Penny S. Paliadelis, RN, BN, MN(Hons), PhD
School of Health, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia
Glenda Parmenter
School of Health, University of New England, Armidale, Australia
Vicki Therese Parker, RN, BN, PhD
Research and Practice Development, Hunter New England Area Health Service, Newcastle Regional Mail Centre, NSW, Australia
Michelle Giles
Practice Research and Development, Hunter New England Area Health Service, Newcastle Regional Mail Centre , NSW, Australia
Isabel Higgins, RN, MN, PhD
Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia
Catherine Turner
Hunter New England Health Nursing and Midwifery Services, Hunter New England Area Health Service, Waratah. NSW, Australia

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to: Understand the strategies used to enhance nurse and midwife engagement with evidence-based practice and translational research.

Learning Objective 2: Develop an appreciation of the process of creating a new journal as a vehicle for building research and writing capacity.

Introduction/Objectives: The barriers for nurses to publish have been widely reported in the literature and this is particularly relevant within the clinical context where nurses and midwives find it challenging to write and publish about innovative practice initiatives. This means that many successful endeavours that may inform evidence-based practice remain unreported and uncelebrated. This paper will discuss a collaborative project that aimed to publish a new locally distributed, high quality peer-reviewed journal that supports nurses and midwives to disseminate the results of their research projects.
Methods: A three-pronged approach was employed by a collaborative group of academic and clinical nurses drawn from two universities and one area health service in rural NSW, Australia. This approach consisted of 1) identifying, supporting and mentoring novice writers and reviewers, 2) developing, editing and publishing a new journal, and 3) evaluating the impact of the journal across the region.
Results: This bi-annual journal, launched in early 2008, publishes the work of local novice writers, who are mentored by experienced writers to prepare manuscripts for a peer-reviewed journal. A range of articles are accepted that report on issues of local interest, clinical innovations and translational research. An evaluation of the journal’s impact by clinical and academic staff across the region was conducted via survey in 2009 with 86% of respondents rating the quality of the journal, the range of articles and the relevance to clinical practice very highly.
Discussion: The development of this local collaborative journal has directly addressed the need to enhance nurses’ and midwives’ ability to actively contribute to evidence-based practice. The project has provided education, support and mentorship to built capacity, confidence and expertise in those previously unfamiliar with the research and publication process. As well, the dissemination of innovations and clinical projects potentially enhances the quality of patient care.