Would you believe it, this is the 100th edition of the Journal of Diabetes Nursing (JDN)! To see where we are heading, we need to be aware of our past, and as such I would like to take you through some of the milestones that have helped to shape the journal as it is today.
The first edition of JDN was published in the Spring of 1997. In the beginning, Elizabeth Gledhill, a practice nurse with a specialist diabetes qualification, was the Editor. Simon Breed, the publisher, brought together a group of DSNs with a wide range of experience to form the editorial board. I was very privileged to be part of that initial group.
The aim of JDN was to provide practical, evidence-based articles that would provide fellow practitioners with relevant information, and perhaps even inspire others to have a go at writing an article themselves. The journal still does this today, and is always ready to welcome and support new authors.
I remember writing a small piece in the first issue, asking the question “should there be a group specifically for DSNs which would support the needs of these nurses?” Not long after, the UK Association of Diabetes Specialist Nurses was formed in November 1997. It was in the journal over 10 years later that it was announced that the group was disbanding. This group provided important support and information for DSNs, but, in a changing world of diabetes nursing, had fulfilled its role.
A new Editor
Once the journal was established as a credible publication for nurses working in diabetes care, Elizabeth stepped down to be replaced by Maggie Watkinson, a DSN/Lecturer Practitioner in Oxford, who took up the reins for the next 9 years. Maggie’s editorials were academic, and produced much food for thought, plus lots of useful references.
During Maggie’s reign, the journal went from four to six issues per year, then 5 years later up to 10 issues, which indicates just how many articles were received by the editorial team every year.
In 1999, JDN started a section to give a voice to all groups of nurses working in diabetes care called The Link, which is still in existence today. In 2003, we saw another new section, known as Noticeboard. I’m proud to say that this was my idea – I wanted to give readers the ability to pose a question about an issue that they needed help with, so that it could then be answered by a fellow DSN who had maybe overcome that issue and was willing to provide practical help in a succinct way. You don’t have to give your name, you can remain anonymous! But don’t ever think you are the only one to struggle with an issue, no matter how trivial you think it may be – we’ve all been there, believe me. It was in this same year that the supplements appeared, which gave rise to themed articles in subjects such as education, redesigning diabetes services, and paediatrics.
Another new Editor
It was in June 2007 that I was offered the Editorship. I was extremely honoured to take over from Maggie, who has been a hard act to follow, but I hope I’ve stamped my own personality on the editorials, and added a slightly different perspective on things by including my own personal experience of living with diabetes for the past 36 years, as well as working in diabetes care for nearly 20 years.
Year-on-year, the readership of the journal has increased, and now includes all types of clinicians working in diabetes care, regardless of location – dietitians, podiatrists, diabetes technicians, to name but a few.
Another 100 issues
It is incredible how many articles have been published in the past 100 editions, and on such a varied range of subjects – I am looking forward to the next 100 issues! So all you first-time authors pick up your pens and write about your achievements in care delivery. Tell us how you make a difference for the people with diabetes who come to your clinics.