Have you ever wanted to submit a manuscript for publication but felt intimidated or overwhelmed? Have you started a manuscript only not to finish it because you don’t know what to do next? Are you reluctant to engage in the dissemination of knowledge and research? If that is the case, our ACNM 2021 Annual Meeting presentation, “Development of an Intraprofessional Scholarship Workgroup: Systematic Process for Creating and Disseminating Midwifery and Nursing Knowledge” will benefit you. The session will discuss how a group of nurse educators worked together to develop a manuscript that was published in a nurse educator journal. Educators and clinicians must contribute to the body of knowledge about best practices in nursing and midwifery, but many educators and clinicians may find the task daunting. Join us to identify barriers to the dissemination of nursing and midwifery knowledge, review the three writing approaches commonly used in collaborative writing, learn our 10-step process to create your own scholarly project, and identify how to improve group engagement and participation.
Eight Advanced Practice Registered Nurse educators at an online nursing university came together during an annual Research Symposium. The five CNMs and three FNPs brainstormed ideas for a topic suitable to develop a manuscript to submit to a peer-reviewed journal. After much discussion, evaluating a teaching assignment was chosen. Faculty self-selected into small groups and divided the tasks necessary to accomplish the goal. Two essential jobs were completing a literature review and the journal due diligence. Nicoll’s1 due diligence table guided faculty in the search for a journal suitable for the manuscript submission. Once the inquiry was narrowed down to three journals, the group unanimously chose Nurse Educator.
We learned collaborative writing groups use three writing methods:
- Hand-off method: A writer begins their assigned section and then passes the document onto the next person to complete a section. This round-robin method allows for continuous editing and review. The paper circulates until the paper is completed.
- Parallel method: Writing is divided among the writing group. For example, someone writes the introduction, someone writes the background, someone writes the results section, and someone else writes the conclusion. This method’s advantage is that different parts of that paper are written simultaneously, and all writers participate. The downside is that the different sections will need to be combine and adjustments made for style and tone.
- Side-by-side method: Writers work simultaneously to compose the paper, allowing for brainstorming and further fleshing out of ideas. One disadvantage is the writers may face distraction if there is a difference of opinion or difference in writing styles.
Our group primarily used the parallel method. The side-by-side method was used when two of the authors spent the day together. The lead author then coalesced all sections and adjusted so the manuscript had a unified style and tone.
We used a ten-step process to guide our writing project, adapted from writings by Clark2 and Frassel et al.3 The ten steps for a systematic process for collaborative scholarship are:
- Come together
- Share ideas
- Identify topic
- Create workgroups
- Develop a timeline
- Complete tasks
- Utilize leader support
- Review and edit
- Disseminate knowledge
- Apply knowledge
Members of our group reported increased collegiality among the group members and increased scholarly writing confidence and appreciated multiple perspectives about the topic. Through group collaboration, participants gained experience and confidence in the manuscript writing process and contributed different skills that allowed novices and seasoned nursed educators to work effectively together.
Learn more about how our ten-step process can provide a roadmap for novice scholars wishing to disseminate the best midwifery practice at the upcoming ACNM 66th Annual Meeting, held virtually May 23-25, 2021. See you there!
1. Nicoll LH. Transforming the ultimate paper: Hints for authors. Nurse Author & Editor. 2017: 27(4):1-14.
2. Clark C. A formula for collaborative writing. J Nurs Educ. 2014;53(3):119-20. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20140220-10
3. Frassl MA, Hamilton DP, Denfeld BA, et al. Ten simple rules for collaboratively writing a multi-authored paper. PLoS Comput Biol. 2018;14(11):e1006508. Published 2018 Nov 15. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006508
Rebecca Fay, DNP, CNM, WNNP-BC, CNE, FACNM
Rebecca Fay received her Doctor of Nursing Practice in 2013 at Frontier Nursing University. She joined Frontier Nursing University as part-time course faculty in 2015. As a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE), Rebecca is dedicated to educating the next generation of nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners. She is the immediate past president of the ACNM Arkansas Affiliate, member of the ACNM Government Affairs Committee (GAC) and Membership and Marketing Committee, and currently serves on the Affiliate Development & Support Committee and the Continuing Education Committee. She is an ACNM Fellow and serves as the Region IV Fellows Governor.
Charlotte Swint, DNP, MPH, FNP-BC, CNE
Charlotte Swint has been a Family Nurse Practitioner since 1997 and has worked in ambulatory care and academic settings. Most recently, she has been an Associate Professor at Frontier Nursing University in the Family Nurse Practitioner program. Service to the community is important to Dr. Swint. She has participated in the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute as well as Leadership Clayton. She has also been a faculty member for study abroad experiences to La Gonave, Haiti, and a faculty advisor for Alternative Winter Break and Alternative Spring Break experiences.
Eileen J.B. Thrower, PhD, APRN, CNM, CNE, FACNM
Eileen Thrower is Assistant Professor at Frontier Nursing University, where she teaches in the community-based nurse-midwifery education program. Her doctoral research examined the oral histories of nurse-midwives in Georgia, and she continues her research of the history of midwifery. She is a past president of Georgia’s ACNM Affiliate is currently the ACNM National Program committee chair elect. She is an ACNM Fellow.
Quickening is the official member publication and digital news site for the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Content is written by and for ACNM members and staff.