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 âfour things do not come back: The spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neg- lected opportunity.â And then there is the soon-to-be classic, âChange is good, donkeyâ 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 womenâs 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, âThis is it. This is what you have been waiting for!â So without too much Dr. Anne Katz, PhD, RN, is a clinical nurse specialist at the Prostate Centre of CancerCare Manitoba in Winnipeg. on Change Some 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: âA change of name or place may sometimes save a person.â 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 WWW Manuscript 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 donât 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 worldâas 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 youâre 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 usâthe 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 where you can follow the easy prompts to submit your paper today! You can also find links to Editorial Manager from (under publi- cations) and from our website: http://awhonnlifelines. February | March 2005 AWHONN Lifelines 13 ARTICLE REPRINTSARTICLE REPRINTS Looking for an effective way to support your company's marketing efforts with articles published in leading scientific and scholarly journals? Sage Publications offers reprints of published articles from over 200 professional journals that could be used for the following purposes: To order reprints of any Sage article, please contact: ⢠Sales support material ⢠Exhibit and meeting handouts ⢠Direct mail inserts ⢠Handouts for field sales reps ⢠Internal education ⢠Seminar literature ⢠Distribution education tools Bob Vrooman ⢠2455 Teller Road ⢠Thousand Oaks, CA 91320 Phone: (805) 499-0721 ext. 7594 ⢠Fax: (805) 499-8096 E-Mail: