Nurses, it is with confidence and a sense of pride that we should aspire to have our voices heard through writing for publication. Gone are the days when the only way to receive recognition was to write in peer reviewed journals. Today in this electronic world of the internet, social media, including blogging and vlogging, to name but a few, we no longer need to be constrained by the limited word count and the often-lengthy wait for peer review. Instead we can free ourselves from the chains that bind us and step into the world of publishing. There are many scholars and academics however who would disagree, and in reality, writing for the peer reviewed high-profile journal is still the gold standard, but not everyone wants to, needs to or indeed has the necessary time and commitment required to do this.
My journey as a writer did indeed begin with being published in a peer reviewed journal, in fact two, both with a well-respected colleague, but then I realised I wanted to step out on my own and reach a wider audience, especially those working within my specialist field of occupational health. In my quest to go it alone I contacted a well-respected journal one that contributed to the advancement of knowledge in my field and, as they say, the rest is history. Working with the editor on my preferred subject areas really boosted my confidence and once the shy and retiring type, I now approach editors boldly with my ideas and my work is getting published. They like it, as do the reviewers. I also found a huge interest in blogging. The great thing about this is that nursing and healthcare are so inextricably linked that there are always new reports being published, new innovations and new ideas being developed and in particular with the publication of green papers and consultations, fresh opinions being sought.
Nurses, it is imperative in a world of global nurse shortages, reduced resources, continued paternal domination and significant societal changes that we encourage each other to find our voice and make it heard loud and clear. Social media is a great way to share a message, but we must use this wisely.
Have you ever read an article or an opinion piece that has made you angry, disappointed or exhilarated, contact the editor and write your own?
Have you considered writing a blog but are not sure where to start, contact me, we can write one together? Many nurses who affiliate with the Phi Mu Chapter have written articles for various journals and can share some great tips on how to get started.
As UK nurses we must all meet revalidation requirements if we are to continue to re-register as nurses. Writing for publication and understanding the process can help to support your reflections and encourage you to develop your practice. Seeing your name beside your publication can bring a great sense of pride and help to disseminate new learning and even encourage new ways of working. It can also help nurses, of every speciality and in every corner of the globe, to find their voice.