Academic journal article Research and Theory for Nursing Practice

Publishing and Leadership: What's the Connection?

Academic journal article Research and Theory for Nursing Practice

Publishing and Leadership: What's the Connection?

Article excerpt

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

- John Quincy Adams

Recently I attended a leadership conference sponsored by the John A. Hartford Foundation and the American Academy of Nursing. The annual event is held for the pre- and postdoctoral scholars and fellows, along with their mentors, to assist them in building leadership skills for careers in science and academia. Among my duties there, I served on a panel of nurse editors; we were asked to discuss the connection between publishing and leadership. I am sharing my thoughts on the subject with the readership of RTNP, as many of you aspire to leadership in these same arenas.

Three commonly accepted "truths" about leadership shaped my response:

* Leaders have a vision-knowing where to go, what success looks like, and how to get there.

* Leadership is context dependent-leaders emerge from the pool of potential contenders because they know what is needed and how to address a particular issue in a particular place as it is occurring.

* The most successful leaders enable themselves, together with others, to change or transform the situation such that better answers to tomorrow's challenges can emerge.

So what do these three widely accepted maxims about leadership mean in the world of authoring? Nurse authors who aspire to lead the way in solving important health care problems need first to recognize the power inherent in their ideas and then to learn how to use it. In reality, every program of nursing research that successfully answers the "so what?" question is founded on a vision for alleviating some form of human suffering framed to fit within the domain of nursing. Authors begin to lead by formulating and communicating the vision that drives their research program. Tell the stories of the patients who inspired your research and show how your research will lead to solutions to alleviate the suffering.

Nurse authors seeking to lead through their writing need to understand the context within which the health care problem exists. …

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