As the founding editor of the Journal of Gerontological Nursing, it has been an honor to serve you for the past 23 years. To the literally thousands of nurses and others who have contributed to the remarkable success of the Journal, I am very grateful.
Members of the first editorial board, who took a risk in joining a new venture, deserve special recognition. Several continue to contribute to the Journal of Gerontological Nursing. The publisher, SLACK Incorporated, also took a big risk. They have always worked with us to produce a nursing journal of the highest quality.
Congratulations to the publisher for recruiting Kathleen C. Buckwalter, PhD, RN, FAAN as the new editor. She has outstanding credentials. The Journal is fortunate to have her leadership during this time, when the health care system is in such a period of transition.
I have experienced many transitions since I started my nursing and journalism career as a teen at a Lenoir City, Tennessee, high school. As part of a special high school program, I worked at Bacon Hospital. I also served as a reporter for the high school paper. During the following decades, I was helped along the way by many through my association with teachers, colleagues, students, and others at Knoxville General Hospital, University of Tennessee, Anne Arundel County Health Department, Anne Arundel General Hospital, Johns Hopkins University, many Maryland nursing homes, University of Maryland, Salisbury State University, Veterans Medical Center of West Palm Beach, and numerous nursing and gerontological-related organizations. My career has been very adventuresome and fulfilling.
Edna Stilwell and her husband James at a recent family reunion.
My family life has been equally fulfilling and sometimes more adventuresome. My husband, Jim, and I have 7 married children and 21 grandchildren. We live near my two sisters, who are also nurses. As the oldest woman in my extended family, I hold a special place, which I plan to fill in a meaningful, yet unique, way. As I progress during this seventh decade of my life, I welcome this added time with my family, who has always been so supportive. When it is possible, my grandchildren have even promised to take me on a trip to another planet.
I am comforted to know that there are nurses who have selected gerontological nursing as their special area of interest. Perhaps outer space will be our next great adventure.