06 February 2014

All publicity is just publicity

HULL, United Kingdom—The Lancet Commission on UK Nursing is going well, if you consider all publicity to be good publicity. Without meaning to ignore the many congratulations I have had on being asked to lead this and the offers of help, it is human nature that the stream of derision on Twitter and two letters in Nursing Standard verging on the abusive should have the greater impact.

So, what has upset people so much? Where do I start?

Why another commission on nursing? Why is a “medical” journal investigating nursing? The terms of reference are not yet published. Why is there no patient representation? Why all academics? Why no student voice? Why so many people from Hull? Why so few women? How have the commissioners been selected? (The undemocratic approach has been likened to South Africa before the yoke of apartheid was thrown off!) I think that is all, and I have no intention of retorting—as well I am able—as these detractors know I cannot.

Moving on. Since the initial announcement, we have added more commissioners, and we are working on the terms of reference, which will be agreed upon soon and duly published. Without attempting to answer my critics, I am honoured personally to have been asked by The Lancet to lead the commission and, given that reports from The Lancet are referred to almost daily on BBC (British Broadcasting Commission) Radio, the journal’s reach and influence is indisputable. The organization has a well-oiled publicity machine, and their podcasts are well worth listening to. If you have an iPad (access via other tablets is also available), you can subscribe (free) and download them automatically.

Nursing Open
The first teleconference of Nursing Open’s editorial team took place this week. We have four associate editors, based in Australia (Allison Williams, PhD, MN), Bahrain (Seamus Cowman, PhD, FAAN, FFNMRCSI), Canada (Alex Clark, PhD, RN), and Finland (Riitta Suhonen, PhD, RN). With such an international team, these teleconferences have to take place at a time antisocial for someone—usually me. I have another teleconference this evening with the equally geographically disparate team of Journal of Advanced Nursing editors. Life is sometimes stressful and inconvenient, but never dull.

My children have great difficulty explaining to their friends what I do, and most attempts end with a question to me: “Dad, what exactly is it that you do?” For the second time in this entry, where do I start?

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

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