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Leaving a legacy. (Editorial).

The idea of writing is probably low on the priority list for most nurses. Challenges in the workplace and commitments both at home and in the community leave little room for extra tasks such as authoring an article. It's not a job requirement--and certainly not a painless endeavor--so why in the world would you write? Well, there are several practical reasons. An article in a journal or a chapter in a textbook can be used for advancement in your workplace or to meet recertification requirements. It is also a means for making a name for yourself in the professional community and can boost a stalled career.

Nurses publish for personal reasons as well. Some believe it is an important way to reach out and connect with other nurses. Others think they have something to share that may be of interest to their colleagues. Nurse researchers know it's important to publish their work so it can be further validated and have an impact on practice.

There are several other esoteric, but no less important, reasons to write. Putting your work into words is an important and enduring means of establishing and advancing our profession. Indeed, the history of nursing is found mostly in our written word. Written works also establish standards of practice. Where do nurses look to find acceptable practice? Nurses seek out written works to enhance their practice and support their ideas. Attorneys in malpractice cases also seek literature to support their contentions.

Most writers don't write because they expect to receive an award. It isn't logical to think that every piece written will win the Pulitzer prize, but sometimes a written work is judged to be of special merit--above the usual. I am proud to announce that three JNN articles received American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) 2001 Gold Circle Awards. "Successful Incorporation of the Severe Head Injury Guidelines into a Phased-Outcome Clinical Pathway," written by Laura Mcilvoy, David Spain, George Racque, Todd Vitaz, Phillip Boaz, and Kimberly Meyer [April 2001, 33(2): 72-78] won a trophy award; "Cerebral Oxygenation in the Traumatically Brain-Injured Patient: Are ICP and CPP Enough?" written by Genell Hilton [October 2000, 32(5): 278-282] won a certificate award; and "Apomorphine in the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease," written by Peter Hagell and Per Odin [February 2001, 33(1): 21-34] won honorable mention. The ASAE Gold Circle Competition recognizes excellence and innovation in all facets of association management. Congratulations to all these authors on a job well done!

It's really exciting to open up a journal or a textbook and see your name listed as the author. My favorite reason to write is the legacy left behind each time you publish. It is a work that will stand long after your practice has changed, and long after your career has ended. Nursing clearly needs more authors--won't you consider leaving a legacy of your own? Write an article for the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing. Author guidelines are found on page 2, or you can contact me with any questions you have about writing at camidei@aol.com.
COPYRIGHT 2002 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Stewart-Amidei, Chris
Publication:Journal of Neuroscience Nursing
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Feb 1, 2002
Words:511
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