So You Want to Be Published: Just Do It!

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    Last year at NTI 2016, I had the opportunity to interview Mary Fran Tracy, Editor of the AACN Advanced Critical Care Journal and a Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. The following article is part of our conversation about the importance of being published as a nurse.

    So You Want to Be Published: Just Do It!

    Last year at the AACN National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition (NTI), I had the opportunity to interview Mary Fran Tracy, Editor of the AACN Advanced Critical Care Journal and a Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

    Mary Fran’s association with AACN spans several years beginning as a critical care staff nurse. She benefitted greatly from the resources offered by AACN. She is a former president of AACN and a board member. When her term as president ended, she became a journal editor. AACN has 3 journals. Two are members journals: The American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC) and Critical Care Nurse (CCN). Mary Fran is Editor of AACN Advanced Critical Care which is a subscription journal for the more advanced critical care nurse, critical care educators, and staff nurses who are really experienced in critical care. It is published quarterly. According to Mary Fran, “We are always looking for articles for the journal and ways for people to publish.”

    How do nurses feel about publishing articles for AACN and how do you convince them of the importance of being published?

    “Each year the 4 editors have a panel discussion at NTI for people who are interested in publishing. They can come to this panel session, hear a little more about the journals, and how to get published in them. The facilitators then ask the the questions.... Why are you hesitant? What do you want to know about publishing?

    “What we frequently hear is that people think ‘I'm not doing anything innovative. No one wants to hear this. It's just what everyone else is doing. I don't need to do a poster.’ Then they come to NTI and ‘see people presenting on what I had done, the same topic. I see a publication come out and think well really I could've written that.’ So I think people tend to underestimate their knowledge, their skill, they think writing is hard. It is hard but you have to try. If you don't try, then you'll never get published. So I try to convince people they can get a start...get mentors and really they can publish. Their ideas are worthwhile to get out there because we are all struggling with the same problems. Presenting is great, but when you present you do it to a room of 50 or 100 people for one time. When you publish it’s in the literature for many years for people to access.”

    After you get them to do the initial article, how many come back and do another one?

    “After they publish once or twice, people sort of get a feel for it… Then they do come back, maybe not to my journal, but to other journals. People feel if they could just get mentored once or twice, then I feel like they could go mentor the next person to write an article so more people would feel more comfortable. It's the guidance... the how-to... that is overwhelming."

    "There is research that says the more you write, if you write every day, the more likely you are going to be prolific, and it doesn't matter whether you are a novice or an academic. You have to write, you have to do it and just keep doing it and practice and get in the mode of writing to be successful."

    What are you waiting for?

    There are always people who dream about doing things, but they wait too long and then somebody else does it. Then they think “I could’ve done that.” Don’t be the one who waits too long. Just Do It!

    If you are one of those nurses who has been hesitant to follow your dream of being published and would like some help, NTI will be having 2 sessions on publishing.

    Publishing In AACN Critical Care Journals - Monday, May 22, 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm

    Writing for Publication: Demystifying the Publishing Process - Tuesday, May 23, 11:45 am - 2:15 pm

    If you cannot attend NTI this year, feel free to post your questions in our Innovators Hub here on allnurses. Some of our published writers will be glad to assist you.
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on May 10
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    3 Comments

  3. by   spotangel
    " Don’t be the one who waits too long. Just Do It!"
    Amen!
  4. by   Nurse Turbo
    Thank you for this message! I have been contemplating publishing for the longest while and never felt I knew enough to do it. Now, I'm going to use my knowledge and do some research to back me up. I'm excited to get started. Now, where to start...
  5. by   meanmaryjean
    Don't wait! Publishing (and the research underpinning it) has taken me wonderful places. I have had two articles published, and a textbook chapter I wrote is currently in editing. I have a list a mile long of other writing I'd like to do. There is also a VERY active Facebook group for healthcare writers.

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