Journal of Nursing Education

EDITORIAL 

Looking Back: On Leaving the Editorship

Rheba de Tornyay, EdD, RN, FAAN

Abstract

There are times in the natural life of a journal when stock-taking should occur. A change of editors provides such an opportunity. The Journal of Nursing Education began in 1962, and I have been its editor since 1982. It is now time to begin a new era for this Journal, the oldest publication dedicated exclusively to nursing education.

The purpose of the Journal of Nursing Education has always been to advance nursing education by helping nurse educators share their educational research and creative ideas about teaching and student progress. The past 9 years have brought a new maturity to nursing education, which is reflected in the high quality of articles we have published. We continue to receive over 200 manuscripts a year, showing the creativity and need of nursing educators to share their research findings and their teaching experiences. It also attests to the criteria for promotion in schools of nursing!

What I find most exciting is the increased number of databased manuscripts we have received during the past decade. The science of the teaching of nursing has received new emphasis, to the benefit of the profession. The pendulum that was dangerously close to swinging too far away from research in educational technology and curriculum development is now more in balance with nursing's other major concerns. The birth of the Society for Research in Nursing Education in 1983 brought together nursing faculty who shared a deep interest in improving their schools of nursing through strength in teaching and curriculum development. The Society, now a Council within the National League for Nursing, has thrived and continues to provide a forum for discussion and sharing. We have proudly published many papers generated from this excellent annual scholarly conference.

Some problems persist in nursing education. Lack of funding for students and for innovative curriculum and teaching developments continues. We must persevere in seeking ways to teach more in less time as the scientific base for nursing develops. As our doctoral programs have grown, the needed emphasis on research development has become the essential component of the faculty role, sometimes to the neglect of the teaching role. This trend must be reversed.

There are encouraging signs of major changes in higher education. When the President of Stanford University, Donald Kennedy, tells the faculty of his prestigious university that they must "teach or perish," it established the return of the value of meeting the learning needs of students, particularly undergraduates. When major philanthropic foundations, such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, sponsored the Clinical Nurse Scholars program, designed to help faculty amplify their clinical skills and research to improve their teaching, it affirms the importance of nursing education to the future of the nation's health. The continuing work of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching clearly points to the direction of needed reforms in higher education. I am confident that we will see increasing emphasis on the importance of teaching in our schools of nursing as this century closes.

It is with great pleasure that I now tell you that the new Editor of the Journal of Nursing Education will be Dr. Christine Tanner, Professor in the Department of Adult Health and Illness at the Oregon Health Sciences University. Dr. Tanner was a co-founder, with Dr. William Holzerner, of the Society for Research in Nursing Education. A former President of this Society, she has devoted nearly two decades to the study of clinical decision-making and clinical judgment. She has been a frequent contributor to the nursing literature, and has published many times in this Journal. She will lead the Journal of Nursing Education…

There are times in the natural life of a journal when stock-taking should occur. A change of editors provides such an opportunity. The Journal of Nursing Education began in 1962, and I have been its editor since 1982. It is now time to begin a new era for this Journal, the oldest publication dedicated exclusively to nursing education.

The purpose of the Journal of Nursing Education has always been to advance nursing education by helping nurse educators share their educational research and creative ideas about teaching and student progress. The past 9 years have brought a new maturity to nursing education, which is reflected in the high quality of articles we have published. We continue to receive over 200 manuscripts a year, showing the creativity and need of nursing educators to share their research findings and their teaching experiences. It also attests to the criteria for promotion in schools of nursing!

What I find most exciting is the increased number of databased manuscripts we have received during the past decade. The science of the teaching of nursing has received new emphasis, to the benefit of the profession. The pendulum that was dangerously close to swinging too far away from research in educational technology and curriculum development is now more in balance with nursing's other major concerns. The birth of the Society for Research in Nursing Education in 1983 brought together nursing faculty who shared a deep interest in improving their schools of nursing through strength in teaching and curriculum development. The Society, now a Council within the National League for Nursing, has thrived and continues to provide a forum for discussion and sharing. We have proudly published many papers generated from this excellent annual scholarly conference.

Some problems persist in nursing education. Lack of funding for students and for innovative curriculum and teaching developments continues. We must persevere in seeking ways to teach more in less time as the scientific base for nursing develops. As our doctoral programs have grown, the needed emphasis on research development has become the essential component of the faculty role, sometimes to the neglect of the teaching role. This trend must be reversed.

There are encouraging signs of major changes in higher education. When the President of Stanford University, Donald Kennedy, tells the faculty of his prestigious university that they must "teach or perish," it established the return of the value of meeting the learning needs of students, particularly undergraduates. When major philanthropic foundations, such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, sponsored the Clinical Nurse Scholars program, designed to help faculty amplify their clinical skills and research to improve their teaching, it affirms the importance of nursing education to the future of the nation's health. The continuing work of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching clearly points to the direction of needed reforms in higher education. I am confident that we will see increasing emphasis on the importance of teaching in our schools of nursing as this century closes.

It is with great pleasure that I now tell you that the new Editor of the Journal of Nursing Education will be Dr. Christine Tanner, Professor in the Department of Adult Health and Illness at the Oregon Health Sciences University. Dr. Tanner was a co-founder, with Dr. William Holzerner, of the Society for Research in Nursing Education. A former President of this Society, she has devoted nearly two decades to the study of clinical decision-making and clinical judgment. She has been a frequent contributor to the nursing literature, and has published many times in this Journal. She will lead the Journal of Nursing Education to new heights.

I want to express my deep appreciation to the Editorial Board, and to the management and staff of Slack Incorporated for their support and guidance during the years I have been privileged to be the Editor. It has been a most satisfying professional and personal experience.

10.3928/0148-4834-19910601-03

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