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Judith Stoner Halpern, RN MS CEN

When the International Journal of Trauma Nursing (IJTN) was proposed, it represented a new approach in scope and purpose for nursing literature. The journal's scope was to cover the multiple issues, geographic settings and professional concerns of nurses who cared for the injured around the world. The purpose of IJTN would be different -- to be an international communication tool for nurses.

The first step was to identify what content should be included in the journal. Because trauma patients have a wide range of health care needs, the journal was to be a reflection of those many services. Advice was sought from several United States nursing associations who had formed the Trauma Nursing Coalition (TNC), and the coalition has worked together to publish professional nursing literature.

In 1992, the TNC created the Resource Document for Nursing Care of the Trauma Patient, and in 1994, agreed to an ongoing collaboration - to produce a quarterly publication. Each of the TNC member associations has an editorial board representative and contributes to the content and policy. The current TNC consists of the following associations: Air and Surface Transport Nurses Association (ASTNA); American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN); American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA); Association of periOperative Nurses (AORN); Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN); Emergency Nurses Association (ENA); and the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON). An International Consulting Editorial Board is currently under development.

IJTN has also worked to promote a greater unity and understanding for nurses, to be an international voice to, for and about nursing. Over the journal's six years, authors who have lived or worked in a wide variety of geographic, political and clinical settings, have written about their nursing practice and research in large urban trauma centers in the United States, Ireland, Belgium and Costa Rica. Others have shared their experience of working in less common settings, such as the rain forests of Papua New Guinea, the Arctic Circle, the outback of Australia, or war zones. Each letter, manuscript, or other contribution has provided a deeper global understanding of what is a trauma nurse.

IJTN publishes peer-reviewed scholarly reviews of the literature, research reports and case studies for nurses in many types of clinical, administrative and educational positions. Regular columns cover clinical decisions, pediatric and orthopedic care, computers in clinical care, research and advisories from the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The journal provides significant news items and contacts with professional, public, and specialty health organizations. Abstracts of the literature are provided as a service to clinicians who have limited time to scan or read multiple journals.

Starting in 2000, IJTN has been offered to subscribers in both print and online versions. ( Subscribers from all over the world can readily access the journal and obtain the full-text articles. Non-subscribers can access the table of contents, several columns, information for authors, and abstracts of the main articles.

Working on-line has provided the editorial staff the opportunity to communicate with many interested individuals and the journal welcomes the input and assistance of all nurses. New and experienced authors are encouraged to send a query letter to the Editor, Judith Stoner Halpern, RN, MS, CEN (at If authors wish to contribute to a column, they are encouraged to contact the appropriate section editor for further assistance (names and email addresses can be found in the Author Guidelines section of the journal). For further information about how to become involved with the journal, readers are encouraged to contact the editor directly. 5:8 - August 2000