Some Thoughts on Change

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  • February | March 2005 AWHONN Lifelines 11

    For the past few months, I have been

    consumed with thoughts about

    change. There is a saying that change

    is opportunity. There is a proverb

    that states that four things do not

    come back: The spoken word, the

    sped arrow, the past life, and the neg-

    lected opportunity. And then there is

    the soon-to-be classic, Change is

    good, donkey from the movie,

    Shrek 2!

    So why all these thoughts about

    change? Like many of you, I have

    been wrestling with some personal

    demons about my work life and its

    daily challenges and frustrations. I

    am blessed that for the past seven

    years, I have worked within an aca-

    demic setting. I have been granted the

    unique opportunity of working in an

    environment where individuality is

    encouraged, initiative is valued and

    most of the time I get to do what I

    want, how I want. Take on the editor-

    ship of the womens health and child-

    bearing neonatal nursing clinical journal? No

    problem. Travel to interesting cities to present

    to fellow nurses? No problem. Submit research

    proposals on topics of great personal and pro-

    fessional interest? Once again, no problem. So

    why have I been frustrated at times, dissatisfied

    at others? And why have I decided to leave the

    university when I am one year away from

    tenure and a sabbatical?

    The simplest and truest answer is that I

    have missed clinical practice more than I can

    stand and despite efforts to incorporate part-

    time clinical hours into my work week, the one

    day a week just whet my appetite for more.

    And then the perfect opportunity appeared,

    and it was almost as if a small voice in my ear

    kept repeating, This is it. This is what you

    have been waiting for! So without too much

    Dr. Anne Katz, PhD,RN, is a clinical nursespecialist at theProstate Centre ofCancerCare Manitobain Winnipeg.

    on ChangeSome Thoughts

    f

  • 12 AWHONN Lifelines Volume 9 Issue 1

    angst and reflection, one day before I left for

    the AWHONN convention in Tampa Bay, I

    wrote a letter of application and attached my

    resume and sent it off. An interview followed

    that went really well, and later that day I

    received the call with a job offer. Negotiations

    followed in short order (I was leaving for

    another conference two days later), and I felt

    welcome and needed and appreciated.

    As I packed up my office, throwing away

    piles of documents I thought I would no

    longer need, and started saying my farewells to

    graduate students and colleagues, I found

    myself both excited and yet at the same time

    on the verge of tears almost every day. I did not

    expect that this change would be so bitter-

    sweet. I had been considering other career

    moves that I have made through the years. In

    my memory, they were all positive and led to

    greater job satisfaction. The truth is likely more

    complex; however, I know that I grew profes-

    sionally and personally and made new and true

    friends in each place. I can honestly say the

    same about this move. I have learned so much

    about myself, and perhaps the most valued les-

    son is that I am a practice-based nurse first and

    foremost. I need to be in clinical practice and I

    need the daily challenges in caring for patients

    and their families, and the stimulation of

    working within a multidisciplinary team.

    In my new role, I will be working as a clini-

    cal nurse specialist at our local cancer institute

    and I will be the first doctorally prepared nurse

    to work there. I will have the freedom to create

    this role within the institution with the sup-

    port of a visionary nurse leader and her team

    of managers. I hope that other nurses will see

    me as an ally, mentor and champion of their

    daily challenges and successes.

    Many of you have faced change in your

    work lives, and some of you may have done so

    under duress and with far less choice. That is

    the reality of a stressed health care environ-

    ment. Many of you have left valued positions

    because a spouse or partner had to relocate or

    because you were called to military service.

    Change can be frightening and stressful and

    unwanted or unpleasant. Change forces us to

    reevaluate what is important in our work lives

    and highlights what we like most or least. And

    sometimes change means that we have to settle

    for something less than we hoped for and make

    compromises in the short term in the hope

    that things will improve.

    As I moved through the final weeks in my

    university office, I was acutely aware that I was

    leaving the known for the heart-stopping

    hopes of the unknown. I became a nurse those

    many years ago because I wanted to make a

    difference in the lives of others. I wanted to go

    home at the end of the day knowing that in

    some way, I had touched the life of another

    human being in a meaningful way. As I con-

    template the future, an old Hebrew proverb

    speaks loudly to me: A change of name or

    place may sometimes save a person. I am not

    changing my name, but in changing my place

    perhaps in some way the truth of who I am

    will be saved.

    Lifelines Launches WWWManuscript Submissions &Review!

    It seems that 2005 is really going to be a yearof change for AWHONN Lifelines. In addi-tion to the many new departments we are

    rolling out this year, 2005 marks the beginning

    of an exciting new process for the management

    of manuscripts that are submitted to our pub-

    lication. Our goal in launching this new system

    is to provide the optimal manuscript review

    and knowledge-sharing environment for

    authors, reviewers and the editorial staff of

    Lifelines.

    In January, we quietly launched a Web-

    based system called Editorial Manager that

    tracks manuscripts from submission through

    the review process and on to publication. This

    is an exciting event that is also targeted to

    move cutting-edge information that you can

    incorporate into your practice even more

    quickly to you.

    Editorial Manager helps authors (and you

    are all potential authors, so please dont stop

    reading this!) to submit their manuscripts to

    our journal through the World Wide Web and

    then allows you to track that submission with

    real-time data regarding the status of your sub-

    mission from anywhere in the worldas long

    as you have Internet access. Along the way,

    there is extensive help documentation to guide

    you through each step of the process.

    In January, we

    quietly launched a

    Web-based system

    called Editorial

    Manager that tracks

    manuscripts from

    submission through

    the review process

    and on to

    publication

  • As an author submitting a paper to

    Lifelines, the system prompts you

    through all the steps and builds a

    Portable Document File (commonly

    known as a PDF file) so that you can

    preview your manuscript and all of its

    very important parts before it goes on

    to our publication reviewers. You will

    receive an e-mail that tells you that

    your submission has been received,

    and from then on, you can track what

    is happening to it and where it is in

    the process. At each step in the

    process, from the completion of the

    review process to my publication deci-

    sion regarding your submission, the

    system sends e-mail notifications so

    that youre alerted to each change in

    status for your manuscript.

    Reviewers receive the manuscript

    and are encouraged by the system to

    read, review and comment in a timely

    manner. Once these hard-working

    individuals have done their work and

    my decision is made regarding your

    work, our reviewers will also be able to

    read what other reviewers have sug-

    gested for the manuscript. As editor, I

    will be able to track what is happening

    to the many manuscripts for which I

    make a publishing decision and can

    plan my work knowing what is in

    process at all times.

    So what does this mean in practical

    terms? For one thing, no more mailing

    multiple copies of your manuscripts to

    our editorial office after printing it out

    in quadruplicate on reams and reams

    of paper. In fact, no more paper to be

    printed on, faxed, stored and, yes,

    sometimes lost or damaged by coffee

    mugs, small children or pets. Authors

    can follow the progress of their work

    in real time without phone calls and

    e-mails to me or the editorial office,

    which saves us all time and energy.

    Additionally, authors can return

    to their submission long after a

    decision has been made to re-read

    comments from me and from our

    reviewers.

    This new system also allows review-

    ers and editorial staff to read and

    review manuscripts from anywhere at

    any time (vacation, conferences, the

    coffee shop!) This is a dynamic system,

    and we will work hard to make sure

    that it works for all of usthe

    authors, reviewers, editorial staff, our

    publisher and, ultimately, you the

    reader. Please join me at the conven-

    tion in June 2005 for a session on

    Writing for AWHONN Lifelines and

    other scholarly publications where you

    can see what working with Editorial

    Manager is all about in greater detail.

    Then, once inspired, you too can take

    the plunge, write an article for us and

    submit it with the click of the mouse.

    Welcome to the 21st Century!

    Meantime, we are now waiting to

    receive your important work through

    this new system. Please go to

    www.editorialmanager.com/Lifelines

    where you can follow the easy prompts

    to submit your paper today! You can

    also find links to Editorial Manager

    from www.awhonn.org (under publi-

    cations) and from our website:

    http://awhonnlifelines. awhonn.org.

    February | March 2005 AWHONN Lifelines 13

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