Introduction to Journal of Nursing and Human Sciences


Welcome to the first issue of Journal of Nursing & Human Sciences (JNHS), which is a global, interdisciplinary and peer-reviewed journal. The first aim of JNHS is to publish original articles written in the English language about cultural-oriented themes and other topics of interest to international health professionals. The second aim is to promote the exchange of knowledge between nursing and human sciences with a special interest in the interplay of culture and improving health care. Thirdly, JNHS provides a forum for international exposure of ‘cutting edge’ theoretical and empirical human science translational research produced by global nursing and human science scholars, especially from countries in Asia and the Pacific Basin.


Noted scholars advocate interdisciplinary translational research for best outcomes for patients, families and communities.1–4 Due to the complexity of humankind and the world, no one discipline can portray wholistically in their literature the health issues and needs of society. Therefore, the steering committee believes that JNHS will fill a significant gap in the literature. Human science is the study of the ‘science of humans’ and includes disciplines such as biology, criminal justice, cultural anthropology, ecology, economics, ethics, linguistics, occupational therapy, philosophy, psychology, policy, sociology, spirituality and others. According to the American Nursing Association, ‘Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations’.5 Also, the nursing profession comprises varied fields, roles and specialties, and their major aim is to improve the quality of life and health of patients and families from conception to death and dying.

In the decade from 2000 to 2010, the global migration of people increased from 150 million to 240 million.6 The large scale global migration of professionals and others in search of economic opportunity, freedom, health, safety and other reasons in the past two decades seriously impacts global health-care systems, clinical practice and the education of health professionals. In day-to-day practice, health-care and human science professionals may often interact with diverse cultures or ethnic groups. Providing standardized care becomes intertwined with a myriad of noteworthy variables including behavioural, cultural, economic, emotional, health, health-care policy, housing, social and so forth. In some communities, large numbers of permanent immigrants pose significant challenges to the health-care system that are best researched using interdisciplinary translational research that leads to global dissemination. The most important step is the use of the knowledge by global scholars in their respective specialty.

Global cultural diversity

In addition to the regional and local cultural diversity, the enormous global migration of a diverse populace obliges health-care and human science professionals to objectively and subjectively assess issues and intervene using varied research methodologies that incorporate translational research.1,6 Other recommended activities are to share knowledge, create unique culturally sensitive plans of care for diverse cultures and vulnerable populations, implement culturally competent services, and record and report outcomes to providers, community agencies, policy makers and cultural stakeholders.1–4 When the research is completed, the papers should be disseminated globally to provide knowledge and understanding of a specific subculture. JNHS hopes to shed light globally on research that provides evidenced-based interventions, as well as address the increasing diversity of providers and clients. Diversity encompasses variables such as age, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, nationality and workforce. Diversity also includes subcultures that are survivors of natural disaster or climate crisis and people living through dynamic 21st century socioeconomic, technological and political changes that influence health and the quality of life. To address diverse global cultural competence issues that eventually affect most health and human science professionals, the JNHS steering committee concurs with the trend to encourage and fund interdisciplinary collaborative and translational research and publication.1–4


Cultural Competence in Nursing and Healthcare is the theme of this first issue. The rationale for this topic is that in many countries, many health organizations continue to practice as they have in the past without regard for diverse subcultural differences and needs. Also, agencies such as World Health Organization, Pan Pacific Organization, United Nations, U.S. Institute of Medicine, Global Nursing Organizations and others have research and position statements recommending attention and acting on strategies to increase cultural competence of health professionals nationally as well as globally.

The majority of the papers are invited manuscripts written by scholars from China, Japan, Thailand and the United States. Four articles were written by scholars from the Pacific Basin. Three research papers, from China, Japan and Thailand, report on practice issues related to childbearing, childrearing, maternal role attainment in pregnancy via assisted reproductive technology and parenting. Clark's article describes the challenges and importance of cultural competence in cross-cultural research. Human science researchers have the potential to, individually or in collaboration with other health-care scholars, examine biological research for feasibility in clinical settings with different cultures.

Researcher and nurse biologists from Japan (Tanaka and Kundo) examine the effects of familiar voices on brain activity in healthy participants. These findings may encourage interdisciplinary researchers to conduct translational research with unconscious patients to determine the effects of familiar voice on levels of consciousness, return to consciousness and acceptance by patients, families and clinicians. Students enrolled in nursing and human science universities should learn about cultural factors such as health and family policies; sociocultural, economic and history descriptions; and technology relevant to varied ethnic and other subcultural groups in their practice sites. A common practice of many professional schools is to send groups of students accompanied by a faculty member for 1 week to 1 month or longer to another country. International ‘on site’ approaches to teaching cultural competence are expensive for academic institutions, faculty and students. Writing about 21st century technology, Kemppainen and colleagues describe a cost-effective solution promoting cultural awareness among nursing students in Iwate, Japan and North Carolina, USA.


JNHS is sponsored by the Asian Research Center (ARC) for Collaboration for Culture and Human Sciences founded in 2011 at Chiba University Graduate School of Nursing, Japan. ARC is described in more depth later in this issue by Mochizuki, Iwasaki and Masaki. The international advisory editorial board and peer reviewers of JNHS represent a variety of countries and specialties in nursing and human sciences.


The theme for the next issue is ‘Healing Practices’ and the deadline for manuscript submission is on 30 September 2012. Readers are encouraged to submit manuscripts to JNHS for future issues and to inform colleagues from nursing and human sciences of the new journal for dissemination of scholarly papers. Manuscripts submitted are welcomed on the following topics: original research, research methodological studies, clinical scholarship, education, health systems and policy, etc.


I am deeply appreciative of the collaboration of the associate editors and reviewers. The editorial team expresses gratitude to Mark Robertson, Vice President and Publishing Director of Wiley-Blackwell Asia Pacific and Executive Director of Wiley Australia and Wiley Japan, Wiley-Blackwell, and Peter D'Onaghia, Journal Publishing Manager, for their support in the creation of JNHS. In addition, we express appreciation for the support of Alan Pearson, Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Nursing Practice. Special kudos is offered to Wiley-Blackwell Japan publication management staff Mitsuru Shimizu and Keiko Sasaki for their dedicated and prompt response to our queries and drafts. Also, a special arrigato goziamashita (thank you much) to Yuki Mochizuki, philosopher and associate research professor in ARC Center, for her tireless commitment in launching JNHS and coordinating with everyone involved in the publication of this first issue. Lastly, I express my deepest respect and gratefulness to the authors (especially those whose native language is not English) who submitted manuscripts, trusted us with their work, graciously accepted our editorial suggestions for revision and returned revised drafts of papers promptly.