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Time to look back: what have we achieved?

Marilyn Eveleigh
Consultant Editor

Nursing in Practice is now five years old! That means I'm five years older - and so are you, dear reader! And so is the NHS … how much have we changed, and achieved, in that time?
OK, on a personal level, I got a new hairstyle, managed the menopause reasonably well and got two kids through GCSEs and A levels.
Professionally, I've developed my respiratory skills in rhinitis, become passionate about MRSA avoidance and a nurse expert on QOF - the GMS contract Quality and Outcomes Framework. 

Looking back
As Nursing in Practice consultant editor, I've had the privilege to write 32 editorials that reflected the changing times we worked in. Looking back, they trace some exciting professional developments - community matrons (NiP 21), nurse prescribing (NiP 8) and the growth of healthcare assistants in primary care (NiP 29); they commented on the challenges in the NHS over the five years - the creation of PCTs (NiP 3), practice-based commissioning (NiP 22), payment by results (NiP 26) and cutbacks in staff training (NiP 31); they outlined the continuous political drivers that gave us no rest - access targets (NiP 11), Agenda for Change (NiP 10) and the 2006 white paper on health and social care (NiP 24); and even reflected the higher expectations in British society - child protection (NiP 15), travel (NiP 16) and the need for chaperones (NiP 20).
Then there was one on the names we nurses managed to concoct for ourselves (NiP 6), the credit the document Liberating the Talents gave to community nursing (NiP 9), and my moan about the frenzied pace of health changes (NiP 5), which attracted the most responses from readers. On reflection, those editorials allowed me to let off steam - and through reader feedback, it seems I was not alone in many opinions.
There will always be change - and Nursing in Practice has changed over the years to reflect the needs of the profession and the pressures we carry. First launched in June 2001 as a quarterly publication, the journal increased in frequency to six times per year in 2002.
The national NiP Events followed in September 2003 and rapidly changed the way nursing conferences could be - accessible in major cities across the country, free (and even offering an earlybird booking travel subsidy) and offering a choice of conference sessions ranging across clinical, professional and policy issues. The first Event in London in 2003 attracted a mere 300 delegates - our latest one in Birmingham in November 2006 had 925 primary care nurses registered.
And in early 2004 we added the fortnightly NiP email bulletin, which delivers the latest health news, national conference events and advanced warning of the forthcoming NiP journal (email to get on the list).

Times are changing
Now there is more change - offering further support to NiP fans and subscribers: 

  • From 2007, Nursing in Practice will increase its frequency from six to eight issues a year.
  • The journal has a new layout (as you can see) that reflects the evidence base and key practical tips supplied by the authors.
  • Each issue will have a special focus, such as respiratory medicine or obesity, without compromising on other clinical features and latest news as it arises throughout the year.
  • Nursing in Practice will go online - meaning that all articles will be searchable and available to review again or download. If you missed any of the editorials I mentioned above, here's your chance to go back and get them! The new online edition of Nursing in Practice will have a "Latest News" section that will be updated daily. The address for this will be and it will be "going live" in 2007 - look out for more details.

We hope you enjoy these new changes!
If there is one change you are planning this new year, make it the time to access the new NiP supports - and meet your NMC PREP requirements at the same time! Best wishes for 2007