Journal of Nursing Education

Editorial Free

A Fond Farewell and Grateful Tribute to Christine A. Tanner, PhD, RN, FAAN

Janis P. Bellack, PhD, RN, FAAN

By the time this issue reaches our readers, the transition in editorship of the 51-year-old Journal of Nursing Education will have occurred, and I will have assumed the role of Editor. I am both honored and humbled to have the opportunity at this time in the history of nursing education and the Journal and am most mindful of the great challenge I face following Christine A. Tanner’s long and successful leadership of our profession’s premier nursing education journal.

I have had the privilege of serving as the Journal’s Associate Editor for the past 14 years, working closely with Chris over that time and enjoying a stimulating and gratifying professional, collegial, and personal relationship with her. I have learned much from her tutelage and have grown in my own editorial capabilities, and I feel confident that she has prepared me well to follow in her footsteps, albeit ones that will be hard to fill.

For 21 years—more than 40% of the Journal’s existence—Chris’s voice and influence have raised both the substance and profile of the Journal, and indeed of nursing education, across the country and around the world. Under her leadership, the Journal’s circulation and readership increased significantly, the number of manuscripts submitted annually tripled, selectivity increased, time from submission to publication decreased dramatically, and the Journal’s impact factor (i.e., a measure of the frequency with which an average article in a journal has been cited by others in a given year) rose steadily.

During the course of her career, Chris’s leadership and influence in nursing education has been both seminal and pivotal. Her contributions to research and knowledge development in nursing education in the areas of critical thinking, clinical judgment, evidence-based practice, curriculum reform, learner-centered education and pedagogy, assessment of learning outcomes, and novice-to-expert development in the clinical environment have been extensive and have influenced both theory and practice in the field.

Throughout her career, Chris has been a passionate advocate for and leader of advancing innovation in nursing education. Examples abound but include her contributions to the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education’s development of a pioneering model for increasing access to baccalaureate nursing education; her current role as Chair of the National Advisory Committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program, Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education; and lending an instrumental and influential voice to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s project on the Future of Nursing at the Institute of Medicine. Her editorials on topics ranging from integrative teaching (Tanner, 2007) to curriculum transformation (Tanner, 2006) to faculty governance (Tanner & Fitzpatrick, 2006) to the critical state of measurement in nursing education (Tanner, 2001, 2011) have cajoled, challenged, and inspired nurse educators across North America and beyond.

Perhaps most important, however, is the profound influence she has had on a generation of nurse educators, whom she has guided, nurtured, and inspired to become and be the best they can be, urging them to think boldly, to innovate, and to continuously improve the enterprise of nursing education through teaching, research, and service to the profession.

Although Chris has chosen to leave her long-serving role as the Journal’s Editor, we are fortunate that she is not leaving nursing education. She will continue her influential work as leader, teacher, researcher–scholar, mentor, and friend to faculty, students, and colleagues in nursing education and across the health disciplines. I have no doubt we will continue to hear more about her and from her in the coming years.

I’m thrilled that Karen Morin, DSN, RN, ANEF, FAAN, has agreed to serve the Journal as Associate Editor. Karen has been a reviewer for the Journal for more than 20 years, the past 10 of which have been as a member of the Editorial Board. She is past President of Sigma Theta Tau International and has extensive experience with all levels of undergraduate and graduate nursing education.

We are richer, wiser, and better for having had the benefit of Chris’s service as Editor for the past 21 years, and we can best honor, preserve, and extend her legacy by continuing to uphold the Journal’s standards and advance its role as the leading journal focused exclusively on nursing education. I know you join me in offering our heartfelt praise and gratitude for Chris’s selfless dedication to the field of nursing education and for her leadership and contributions in raising the Journal’s profile, prominence, and impact. Karen and I look forward to building on Chris’s legacy and to ensuring the Journal of Nursing Education continues to lead the way in sharing the latest research and innovations in nursing education during these turbulent and challenging times in nursing, higher education, and health care.

Janis P. Bellack, PhD, RN, FAAN


  • Tanner, C.A. (2001). Measurement and evaluation in nursing education. Journal of Nursing Education, 40, 3–4.
  • Tanner, C.A. (2006). The next transformation: Clinical education. Journal of Nursing Education, 45, 99–100.
  • Tanner, C.A. (2007). Connecting the dots: What’s all the buzz about integrative teaching?Journal of Nursing Education, 46, 531–532.
  • Tanner, C.A. (2011). The critical state of measurement in nursing education research. Journal of Nursing Education, 50, 491–492. doi:10.3928/01484834-20110819-01 [CrossRef]
  • Tanner, C.A. & Fitzpatrick, J.J. (2006). What ever happened to faculty governance?Journal of Nursing Education, 45, 339–340.
Janis P. Bellack, PhD, RN, FAAN

The author has disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.


Sign up to receive

Journal E-contents