An announcement from the publisher


Appointment of Professor Alison Tierney as Editor-in-Chief for Journal of Advanced Nursing from January 2003

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Blackwell Publishing Ltd are pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Alison Tierney as the new Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Advanced Nursing. She will be acting as Designate Editor-in-Chief from September 2002, taking on the full Editor-in-Chief role from January 2003.

Professor Tierney has had a long and distinguished career within nursing, establishing herself with a highly respected international profile. After completing her PhD in the mid-1970s, and working for seven years as a Lecturer in the Department of Nursing Studies at the University of Edinburgh (UK), Alison Tierney became Director of the Nursing Research Unit for Scotland in 1984. Over the 10-year period of that appointment, she undertook and managed a wide range of nursing-focused research studies as well as becoming increasingly involved in the strategy for nursing research at national and international levels. In 1994 she moved back into the Department of Nursing Studies and, in 1997, was promoted from Reader to a personal Chair in Nursing Research. After a 4-year period as Head of Department, and 25 years in total on the staff of the University of Edinburgh, Alison Tierney is now embarking on a new (and final) phase of her career. She will be combining her role on JAN with a half-time professorial post in the Department of Clinical Nursing at the University of Adelaide in South Australia in which she has held brief Visiting Professor appointments over recent years.

Alison Tierney will also be known from her written work over the past three decades, including the Roper, Logan and Tierney books, notably The Elements of Nursing which has been published in four editions since 1980 and has been translated into many different languages worldwide. Alison Tierney's long contribution to nursing research and education was acknowledged recently with the award of CBE in the Queen's Jubilee Birthday Honours' List.

The Journal of Advanced Nursing was launched in 1975 and quickly established itself as the leading international scholarly journal in nursing. It continued to lead the way under the original Editorship of Professor James P. Smith and then under the current Editorship of Professor Jane Robinson who has seen the journal through a series of significant editorial developments.

On behalf of Blackwell Publishing and the Editorial Board of Journal of Advanced Nursing, we wish Professor Tierney every success in her new roles and extend a warm welcome to her on behalf of the journal.

Griselda Campbell

This issue of JAN

In this issue we welcome news of the appointment of Professor Alison Tierney who is to succeed as JAN's Editor-in-Chief from January 2003. The journal will surely go from strength to strength under her leadership and I ask readers to join me in wishing Professor Tierney every success in her endeavours.

This issue begins with a guest editorial from Dr Heather Dickinson, until recently one of JAN's 10 statistical reviewers. She sets out some basic principles of statistics for JAN authors to follow, using for illustrative purposes an article on consumer views of health promotion in general practice featured in the Issues and innovations in nursing practice category. We hope that readers will take her valuable advice to heart, and note particularly Dr Dickinson's penultimate statement that ‘…if (at the outset) you choose an inappropriate study design, this cannot be rectified without repeating the entire study; the statistical referee may have no option but to recommend rejection of your paper.’

Several highly topical articles are linked in this issue, two on clinical teaching and two on gender in coronary heart disease. The single paper in Issues and innovations in nursing education category reports on an Australian study of the effectiveness of clinical educators in nursing and presents the findings of a replication study using the Nurse Clinical Teacher EffectivenessInventory. Consistent with authors who originally developed the instrument (Mogan & Knox 1987) students perceived the most effective clinical educators to be those who provided good role models; whilst clinical educators saw those who enjoyed nursing to be the most effective. Unlike the original study however, but in common with several others, interpersonal relationships were ranked as the highest subset for both groups surveyed. The problem with these findings for teachers themselves (as observed in JAN37: p. 500) is how to identify ways to reconcile the demands for teaching philosophies based on humanistic principles, with organizational constraints where the emphasis is on cost-effectiveness as measured by student volume. A complementary review of clinical competence assessment in nursing follows in the first of two systematic reviews of the literature, both from England. The authors observe that clinical competence has returned to centre stage in nurse education, however, there are substantial problems with how it is researched in terms of definition, methods, and issues of reliability and validity.

The second review makes an important contribution to the topic of the gendered construction of coronary heart disease (CHD). Typically seen as a disease of affluence that affects high achieving men, women have frequently been invisible in CHD diagnosis and treatment. In their conclusion, the authors make valuable suggestions for nursing practice across a range of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention practices. A related practice article from authors in theUnited States of America (USA), describes the experience of five women living with Stage II heart failure and this phenomenological study contributes further to our developing understanding of how women adjust and live with chronic disease. The discharge planning process in one British hospital is reported in an article that confirms previous findings on the weaknesses inherent in this aspect of nursing practice. If individual nurses continue to fail to improve their performance in discharge planning, one is prompted to ask ‘What are the systems’ implications for bringing about change?'

Two articles follow on research into patients' views. The first, on patient-controlled analgesia led to major change being implemented, resulting in improved patient satisfaction. In the second, readers will find not only the content on patients' views on health promotion of value, but also the statistical implications of the study referred to in Dr Dickinson's editorial. The final practice article reports on an important aspect of mouth care, a controlled trial of the removal of dental plaque. My only surprise, following a recent session in the dental hygienist's chair, is that toothbrushes were found to be effective.

Commentary follows in JAN Forum with a letter confirming a similar experience to that described in an earlier article (37, 506–511) on getting one's research published, and this is followed by correspondence from the original authors. Important issues are raised in both sets of comments concerning research dissemination and the fate of qualitative research when submitted to medical journals. As always, we welcome such debate and hope that the issues raised here will be discussed widely in staff rooms and by journal editors.

A disturbing study of the use of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders with older patients in two English hospitals is reported under Philosophical and Ethical Issues. The author's finding that DNR orders were made in patient notes without consultation and on the principle of medical beneficence raises significant questions about patients' rightsand their involvement in clinical decision-making. This issue concludes with a concept analysis of spirituality from an author in the USA. As was observed in JAN39, p. 311, for many readers this analysis will be a useful adjunct to knowledge in the field, whilst others may be uncomfortable with the underlying premise that spirituality should be incorporated in nursing education, practice and research.

Jane Robinson