1. Why did you become a nurse?
I was working in youth clubs as a support worker when a colleague suggested I consider nursing as a career. I knew I always wanted to work with people and initially wanted to move into social work but the more I looked into nursing the more it appealed. At the beginning I wanted the drama of critical care but I soon came to be more interested in public health and population level health issues.
2. Why did you become an editor?
Ever since becoming a reviewer and an author I have been fascinated with academic publishing. The appeal of helping promote good research and practice was a strong motivator and also the opportunity to contribute to raising the profile of nursing internationally was important.
3. What is the best thing about being an editor?
Reading a good paper, helping the author improve it – then knowing it will soon be published and make a great contribution to a subject field.
4. What makes JAN unique?
JAN has such a broad scope of papers, incredible quality but such a range of interesting research. It showcases the best of the nursing academy. I also think it is strong in both practice and theoretical fields too.
5. What is your favourite paper published in JAN this year and why?
I really enjoyed the paper by Weaver R, Ferguson C, Wilburn M, Salomonson Y (2013) "Men in nursing on television: exposing and reinforcing stereotypes". So much has been written about the female image of the profession and this paper redresses the balance somewhat. I also liked the paper because it employs a methodology and analysis procedure we do not often see in JAN.
6. What advice would you give to an author?
Read a lot and really observe how good writers write. Not just academic papers; - look at popular fiction and the press for examples of how to express yourself well. The other piece of advice would be; you do not have to write in a complex manner to express complex ideas.
Take every opportunity to review papers for journals, getting this experience is vital. Publish a lot too. If you can, join an editorial board, this is very often the type of role that helps someone into editing.
The thing that really annoys me, every time, is when papers do not adhere to the guidelines on manuscripts; I am not talking about minor mistakes, but when authors have not taken the time to ensure that their paper has been written for JAN and it is clearly straight from a thesis or in the style of another journal.
9. What are the main challenges for nursing in the next decade?
My view would be that, firstly, nurses need to ensure that when taking on advanced roles they do not simply become medical assistants and that they carve out what is uniquely nursing about advanced practice. Secondly, we need to ensure that the high quality research taking place in nursing translates into better care for patients and communities.
10. Who do you recommend to follow on Twitter?
The JAN editors and the JAN Twitter feed of course, but for excellent sexual health tweets @CDCSTD and @INPONursing is a good international network of nursing academics.