Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics

Masters students publish in peer – reviewed nursing journal

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by Marcia Porter

Communications Coordinator

Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador


Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

Seeing your byline in print can be pretty exciting!

And that’s how six master’s students at Memorial’s School of Nursing (SON) felt when they found out their work is being published in the Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics (CJNI).

As part of their course work for Dr. Wendy Young’s distance education class in nursing informatics (NI), students were asked to write final papers that focused on a nursing informatics-related project they would like to see implemented in the practice setting.

Dr. Young is an assistant professor at Memorial University’s School of Nursing, and also the Canada Research Chair in Healthy Aging.

She’s thrilled that the CJNI is devoting an entire section to papers written by the SON master’s students. It’s the first time the journal has devoted a special segment to student work. Memorial nursing students are the first to be highlighted, and that’s a great honour, says Dr. Young.

“Our nursing students are interested in using nursing informatics to improve patient care, and I’m so proud of them,” said Dr. Young about the students she mentored in her master’s level class. “Writing and researching these articles gets them thinking and writing about important issues, and it’s really helpful to have a publication on their resumes.”

Students were also asked to identify and apply one change-management theory that would guide project implementation.

“With this NI assignment students demonstrated their competence to use research to propose evidence-based change,” said Dr. Young. “They each made a convincing argument that an important problem in practice would be addressed by nursing informatics.

It is essential that students understand that developing competencies in nursing informatics are absolutely critical to evidence-based nursing, said Dr. Young.

“Getting a piece of work published feels like obtaining success at a level that is different from academic accomplishment,” said Carla Kennedy, a master’s student and critical care nurse at St.Clare’s Mercy Hospital. “I’m surprised, and humbled.”

Ms. Kennedy wrote about the use of mobile communications in health care delivery, with her co-author, Dr. Young.

“Mobile communications offers an innovative avenue to deliver health care beyond its traditional form,” she said. “In our article, we have developed a hypothetical scenario that advocates the implementation of mHealth in the delivery of health care.”

Seeking publication in the CJNI was entirely voluntary, pointed out Dr. Young, and beyond the scope of the students’ course work.

“I feel fortunate to have my work published in a recognized journal this early in the masters program. I am very proud of this accomplishment and it certainly inspires me to continue my studies,” said Sarah Payne, who wrote her paper about electronic documentation.”

A staff nurse in the surgical unit at the Janeway Children’s Hospital, Ms. Payne explored the benefits of implementing electronic documentation systems that can be used by nurses to effectively document vital clinical information

Research is an important and ever-growing activity at Memorial University, where there is a particular emphasis on community engagement.

“We encourage our students to publish, and to engage in scholarly activity,” said Dr. Shirley Solberg, associate dean (graduate programs and research) at Memorial’s School of Nursing.  “It’s absolutely essential if we are to develop and share new knowledge.”

“This will be my first paper published in a peer reviewed journal, so it has special meaning for me,” said Prof. Melanie Neumeier, a faculty member in the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at SIAST, University of Regina

“I definitely want to publish again and I am actually currently working on another paper from my MN research to publish, and will continue to pursue my research interests with future projects and hopefully many future publications.”

Prof. Neumeier wrote about using Kotter’s change management theory and Roger’s innovation diffusion theory to guide implementation of an electronic medical record.

Meaghan MacDonald, a master’s student who works in intensive care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, explored the use of ‘wikis’ as a means of enhancing the orientation of new graduate nurses to critical care.

““The paper was challenging as it required creativity while considering applicability to practice,” said Ms. MacDonald. “It was a great way to learn about the submission process to a nursing journal. I am extremely pleased with the outcome as well as the opportunity to share my academic work.”

Karen Sutherland works as a nurse educator/practice lead at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care in Penetanguishene, Ontario. Waypoint Centre offers full psychiatric/mental health care for adults and includes a fully secure forensic hospital. Ms. Sutherland wrote her paper about bar-coding, because the facility where she works will soon adopt this kind of system.

“I felt that looking at some of the challenges involved in putting this project into place would benefit the organization and me tremendously,” she said. “I am excited and honoured to have my paper published and hope to perhaps go on to publish more in the future.”

Dr. Young applauds the Canadian Journal of Nursing Infomatics (CJNI) for publishing student-authored papers, saying it emphasizes the importance of nursing infomatics to evidence-based nursing practice.



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