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  1. Mikhail, Judy N. PhD, MBA, RN

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Transitions create a healthy mix of excitement, anticipation, fear, and contemplation. I am the new Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Trauma Nursing (JTN), and I have felt each of these emotions over the past months as I transitioned into the JTN Editor role. Change theorists seek to understand and manage the challenges that come with change. Lewin's (1997) iconic Theory of Planned Change model can be used to describe the JTN handoff over the past months (Shirey, 2013). Lewin describes the three stages of change as (1) the unfreezing, the letting go of usual practice, (2) the transition, incorporating new perspectives, and (3) the refreezing, or acceptance of a new normal.



I follow in the eminent footsteps of Kathryn Schroeter, PhD, RN, CNOR, CNE, who has led the JTN for the past 14 years, over half of JTN's 26-year existence. During her distinguished tenure, Dr. Schroeter brought over 600 manuscripts to publication! Not many of us can say that we have had a similar impact on our profession. Kathryn set a high bar for journalistic ethics and professionalism while maintaining a welcoming mentoring style for all levels of writing enthusiasts. Kathryn is well known for her relentlessly positive nature, promoting JTN and pursuing potential authors wherever she went. She has helped countless nurses unfreeze and expand their view of nursing to include that of publishing. She coached and nudged my unfreezing from an author view to that as an editor.



The JTN serves as an iconic flagship service to the Society of Trauma Nurses (STN) membership, and an Editor is a somewhat unique breed that requires careful cultivation. Lewin's model posits that for change to be effective, it entails champions to drive it. Dr Schroeter, along with the STN Board of Directors, Executive Management, and Wolters Kluwer Publishers, crafted and executed meticulous transition planning for the JTN Editor position. They have provided me with the opportunities, resources, and skill development necessary to transition smoothly. Importantly, I have been encouraged to create my own vision for the Editor role moving forward.



As with any position change, our past experiences serve as building blocks for future performance. By way of introduction, my past nursing experiences include 5 years as a burn nurse, 5 years as a surgical intensive care nurse, 10 years as a critical care clinical nurse specialist, 10 years as a trauma program manager, and 5 years in administrative roles in trauma, bariatrics, neurosurgery, and women and children's services. Along the way, additional academic degrees (MSN, MBA, PhD) were earned as well as the passion for publishing and lecturing on trauma-related topics. I have had the opportunity to work in diverse settings such as an inner-city safety-net trauma center in Flint, Michigan, a trauma center and a cancer center in Houston, TX, and currently in an academic setting at the University of Michigan running the quality collaborative, the Michigan Trauma Quality Improvement Program (MTQIP). I have held adjunct instructor positions in schools of nursing. I am a past president of the STN and have held key Michigan trauma system development positions.


In conclusion, I am grateful to the nurses whom I have worked with and learned from over the years. These past experiences culminate in helping me to guide, promote, and nudge the JTN to even higher levels of scientific nursing dissemination. I look forward to an exciting future as Editor-in-Chief of the JTN.




Lewin K. (1997). Resolving social conflicts and field theory in social sciences. Washington DC: American Psychological Association. [Context Link]


Shirey M. R. (2013). Lewin's Theory of Planned Change as a strategic resource. Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(2), 69-72. doi:10.1097/NNA.0b013e31827f20a9 [Context Link]