Texas Children’s nurses published in New England Journal of Medicine

June 3, 2014


The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is known around the world as perhaps the most prestigious medical publication. The peer-reviewed medical journal publishes research, editorials, review articles and case reports and is a window into the world of medicine. So when the work of three Texas Children’s advanced practice nurses was selected to be published in the journal, they were thrilled about their findings being shared with medical professionals around the world.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Amy McCay, director of Advanced Practice Providers Elizabeth “Charley” Elliott, and Nurse Scientist Marlene Walden produced an instructional video on Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter PICC placement in neonates with information on what the complications can be. “Being recognized as a nurse published in a medical journal elevates the science of nursing,” Elliot said. “The selection involves a rigorous process that evaluates manuscripts for scientific accuracy and importance.”

The three learned so much from their investigation that they wanted to share their findings in a publication that would be seen around the globe. They submitted an instructional video on PICC placement in the neonatal patient population and a written overview of the process. The nurses hoped that sharing the knowledge they gained would help other nurses learn the best method for this procedure and how to avoid complications.

“The video is innovative and offers clinicians an opportunity to see into the procedure,” Elliott said. “It brings the process together for those who need visuals and brings the work to a whole new level.”

The journal receives more than 5,000 submissions a year and only about five percent are actually selected and published. All submissions are reviewed by panels of experts that review the current literature and determine if what is being submitted is relevant to current practice and represents evidence.

For the nurses, the process of submission started in 2011 when they began to determine the patients who would be involved in the video, the information that would be presented and how to best present this procedure.

Once submitted, a panel of experts reviews for content, relevance, and best evidence available before they will consent to publish in the journal. Most of the articles published are submitted by physicians and researchers, so the nurses were honored to be selected.

As Elliot puts it, “To have a nurse published in a medical journal is big and validating.”