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  1. Pierce, Linda L. PhD, MSN, RN, CRRN, FAHA, FAAN
  2. Associate Editor

Article Content

The aim of Rehabilitation Nursing Journal (RNJ) is to provide registered nurses and other providers with quality articles whose primary focus is rehabilitation. RNJ may include articles about clinical practice, education, administration, healthcare policy, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, or research. As providers of care, we know a little about a lot, and a lot about a little. For instance, we may know some about physical function in children, and we may know more about how older adults' functional ability declines over time and what interventions are most helpful for children and adults, respectively. We build our knowledge base through formal and informal classes, through actual patient and family encounters, from other licensed and unlicensed personnel, and by reading publications.


Each article in this issue offers unique insights into quantitative and qualitative research. Topics include spinal cord injury nurse-guided patient education, thermotherapy combined with therapeutic exercise for stroke patients, and interventions to improve executive functions and enhance abilities of patients with mild cognitive disorder. Other articles focus on characteristics of wandering associated with preserved versus worsened activities of daily living function among older adults with impaired cognition, an aquatic exercise program for people with osteoarthritis, and how nurses understand symptoms of muscle tightness, weakness, and rigidity. These articles give important future directions for nursing practice and advance the science of health and wellness and the art of compassionate caring.


Although building knowledge through research is critical for an evidence-based rehabilitation nursing practice, we wondered what our readers might find of value. In a 2019 RNJ Readers' Survey, sent by our publisher Lippincott/Wolters Kluwer to 4,754 e-mail addresses with a 14% response rate, there were several noteworthy outcomes: (1) Survey respondents were a mix of long-time and more recent readers who typically read most of every RNJ issue and are very likely to read it in the print version; (2) They praised RNJ for its credibility and currency of nursing information, appropriate reading level, and clear presentation of topics; (3) The Current Issues and CE Test sections received especially favorable feedback; (4) The most common suggestion from these readers to improve the journal was to have more clinical and less research articles. This survey helps us at RNJ track usage data to stay in touch with our readers. While we also pay attention to what trends are evolving and what issues are important to rehabilitation nurses, we hear you: Readers want more clinically focused articles.


To that end, we need your help in writing papers that address all kinds of clinical work, in addition to research, that would help rehabilitation providers in caring for patients and their families. There are three types of RNJ manuscripts: (1) Feature Article submissions (3,000-5,000 words) are invited that are pertinent to rehabilitation nursing as well as interprofessional collaboration and/or expansion of the science underpinning practice; (2) Clinical Consultation manuscripts (1,500-2,000 words) are accepted for review if they are designed to address recurring clinical questions that many rehabilitation professionals find problematic and that can be answered by using published research evidence; and (3) Current Issues submissions (1,500-3,000 words) are encouraged that are focused on important rehabilitation topics that are timely and present new information that stimulate discussion and advance rehabilitation nursing and interprofessional practice. We invite you to read the Author's Guidelines and submit a manuscript (see https://www.editorialmanager.com/rnj for information for authors, instructions, and details).


Which of the over 150 manuscripts that RNJ receives each year should be published, when only approximately 50 submissions can be published? We encourage you, if you are a published author, to become an RNJ reviewer to assist in selecting manuscripts that contain new knowledge, which will be of the greatest help to readers. There is a free tutorial for potential reviewers provided by Lippincott/Wolters Kluwer (see https://wkauthorservices.editage.com/peer-reviewer-training-course/; scroll down on this page to find the free basic course). It is easy to become an RNJ reviewer (see mailto:info@rehabnurse.org to submit your reviewer request).


Let me leave you with three questions:


1. What do you need to read to enhance your practice?


2. Can you write and submit a manuscript for consideration?


3. Will you become an RNJ reviewer for manuscripts?



We need your expertise to continue the excellent reputation of RNJ. Please help construct our rehabilitation nursing traditions, teaching foundations, and/or research for evidence-based practices. If you need more information or have questions, please contact mailto:info@rehabnurse.org. We look forward to hearing from you.


Rehabilitation nursing is about knowing! Sometimes when we know a little about a lot, we can learn more. Now and then, when we know a lot about a little, we can help others know more. Together, we learn.



Linda L. Pierce, PhD, MSN, RN, CRRN, FAHA, FAAN


Associate Editor, Rehabilitation Nursing Journal


Professor, The University of Toledo College of Nursing,


Toledo, OH, USA