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Time to celebrate the rich heritage of nursing journals

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I was contacted around a month ago out of the blue by an organisation telling me the good news that Nursing Times was to be inducted into an international ‘hall of fame’ for publications that have made significant contributions to the profession.

To qualify for inclusion in the inaugural list journals needed to have “50 or more years of continuous publication and sustained contributions to nursing knowledge”.

The so-called Nursing Journal Hall of Fame has been created by the International Academy of Nursing Editors (INANE) – and, yes, I did look it up to make sure INANE wasn’t a joke. It all checked out and we have been in contact ever since.

Unfortunately, no one from Nursing Times was able to attend the academy’s event in Boston in person to collect the rather stylish trophy they had commissioned for the occasion – our travel budget may have stretched to Boston, Lincolnshire, but Boston, Massachusetts would raise eyebrows in our accounts department. I’m currently trying to find an inexpensive way of getting hold of it – or I should say retrieve it, since I am told it is currently in Canada after a mix-up in the posting.

But aside from blowing our own trumpet there is a serious point to this. Along with Nursing Times, which is the UK’s oldest nursing publication, having launched in 1905, a further 12 journals were inducted into the hall of fame.

“Heritage nursing journals have faced serious challenges as the world increasingly turns online for information”

These included the oldest of them all, the American Journal of Nursing, which dates from 1900, and The Canadian Nurse, which, like Nursing Times, was first published in 1905.

The rest of the inductees also have a rich heritage, tracing their roots back to the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. For example, also on the list is the International Nursing Review – the official journal of the International Council of Nurses – first published in 1954.

And there are other journals eligible for consideration in future, such as Kai Tiaki Nursing – originally known as the Journal of the Nurses of New Zealand – which launched in 1908.

Like all sectors of the publishing industry, ‘heritage’ nursing journals have faced serious challenges as the world increasingly turns online for information, and like Nursing Times they have had to find new ways of meeting their readers’ needs.

The fact that all these publications are still here demonstrates their value to the profession they all seek to support and inform, and the fact that the academy wants to recognise them reiterates that value.

”I would like to think all these publications will be serving the nursing profession in another 50 years”

Their longevity is even more impressive given that the average lifespan of a magazine is generally said to be around 30 years.

I would like to think all these publications will be serving the nursing profession in another 50 years, whether in print or digital form – or even in a format yet to be invented. I hope you do too.

 

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