Apr 29, 2019
By Barb Shellian

Firsts are exciting!

I have always liked to be part of the first of something. I am the oldest of six children; I was in the first class of my post-RN baccalaureate and master’s programs, I was the first clinical nurse specialist in rural Alberta. And now, I am the first editor-in-chief of the new Canadian Nurse. When I was asked to take on this role, I worried that I know nothing about being an editor, but I was reassured there would be folks who would actually put the website together and that I would work with an editorial advisory board to set the personality of Canadian Nurse. Well, I have personality, so I was willing to give it a try! The opportunity to write a column for the print magazine when I was president of CNA allowed me to put my thoughts to paper and talk about what was important for nursing and nurses in Canada. I am honoured to be able to continue to contribute to nursing in this way. I look forward to your comments as we travel this journey together.

In this new concept, we will build on the history and success of the print publication. Many of the decisions about new content and the new look and functionality of the site have been informed by a reader survey and comments from nurses across the country. We will be building as we go along and adding polling, videos and other interactive features as they become available.

I want this site to reflect what nursing is like in our country — with submissions about practice, debates on issues, sharing of research and news about how nurses are making changes that promote better health for Canadians and advance the profession. I want nurses in all categories of the profession, in every province and territory, at every stage of their career, from novice to expert, to participate in the submission of articles and sharing of ideas. I want your help to make Canadian Nurse the best it can be!

You may ask, “Why bother? I can find what I need to know about nursing elsewhere on the web.” Valid thought. But if we do this right and if we pay attention to what readers want, Canadian Nurse will become the go-to site for nurses in Canada and a primary communication mechanism for connecting with one another.

Why do I think it is important to have a website for Canadian nurses and about Canadian nurses? I have had the opportunity to travel many places in the world to present papers and represent Canada on the international stage. The singular impression I have come away with, no matter where I have travelled, is that Canadian nursing is respected and admired. Not long ago, I had the good fortune to travel to Australia and China, where nurses see Canada as a leader in nursing practice and research. Our values, our advocacy and our ability to make a difference for our patients and families do not go unnoticed, and we want to celebrate them in Canadian Nurse.

Firsts are exciting and terrifying! I do not commit time and energy to things I do not believe in. I know that with your help and feedback, this new version of Canadian Nurse will be relevant and readable.

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