Take the Shot: Message From the President Cindy L. Munro

Correspondence to: Cindy L. Munro E-mail: [email protected]

Research in Nursing & Health, 2015, 38, 254–256 Accepted 15 May 2015 DOI: 10.1002/nur.21669

Cindy L. Munro President, SNRS University of South Florida Tampa, FL

Published online in Wiley Online Library (

As president of SNRS, I am continuously seeking ways to facilitate the career development of nurses and nursing students as researchers. I am not much of a sports fan. However, watching sports events with my family, I have noted that athletes may have much to teach us about success in nursing research. Programs of nursing research may seem difficult to develop and maintain, but three lessons from sports may improve our chances. First, practice improves performance. Second, take the good shots. Third, don't expect to be successful every time—but don't get discouraged.

provides consistent practice that can dramatically improve both the volume and the quality of one's writing (Gray, 2010; Silvia, 2007). Obtaining feedback from experienced mentors (the scientific equivalent of coaches) is another method for improving performance in research. Revising your work prior to submission, based on expert review and advice, can enhance your probability of success, just as practice under the tutelage of a seasoned coach improves athletic performance. Colleagues and mentors developed through SNRS can provide the coaching to help make you more successful.

Practice Improves Performance

Take the Good Shots

Highly successful athletes spend a great deal of time preparing for the game. They do not arrive at a competition unprepared. In every sport, practice is essential to hone skills. Whether it is baseball batting practice, basketball foul shooting, hockey stick handling, or soccer ball passing, athletes drill repeatedly until their responses are fluid, effective, and nearly automatic. The most successful players also listen carefully to advice from coaches in order to improve their performance. Practice is an important component of success for nurse researchers. As an example, good scientific writing is the backbone of successful grant proposals and manuscripts. However, first drafts are not finished products; writing must be revised repeatedly until the message is clear and compelling. In “Writing Science,” Joshua Shimel (2012) wrote, “Writing can be a painful process of rewriting, rewriting, and more rewriting until your work gets good enough to send off. . . This rewriting cycle develops both your writing and your thinking, moving both toward clarity and power” (p. 7). Writing daily is an established strategy for increasing productivity; writing for as little as 30 minutes per day

Intense practice provides important preparation, but in a competition, it is important to take advantage of scoring opportunities. Wayne Gretzky, the National Hockey League (NHL) all-time leading scorer and Hall of Fame player known as “the Great One,” said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don't take” (Gretzky, 2015). Players must confidently swing the bat or aim for the basketball hoop. However, players do not shoot wildly. Hockey players learn, “In the slot, take the shot.” Being in the slot is being in scoring position; good players do not shoot unless they have a potential to score. In baseball, it is unwise to swing at every pitch; smart batters will wait for a pitch that they believe will result in a hit. Submitting grant proposals is a necessary step to obtaining competitive funding. Submitting more proposals increases opportunities for funding, but only if every grant submission is a “good shot.” Grant submissions that are well developed, well written, address a compelling scientific problem, and align with the sponsor's goals count as good shots. Poorly conceived or poorly written proposals are usually wasted effort, as are hockey shots that are wide of the net.


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Do Not Expect to be Successful Every Time—But Do not Get Discouraged Athletes do not expect to score with every good shot or to hit a home run every time they bat. Multiple attempts are required for each successful effort. Leading NHL players make about one goal for every five shots on goal, exceptional baseball batters are successful in getting a hit about a third of the time, and top professional basketball players score on roughly half of their shots. When unsuccessful, they do not walk off and quit; they continue to seek and take good shots, critique what didn't work and why, and recommit to practicing. As nurse researchers, we certainly hope for our submitted proposals to be funded, but we acknowledge the reality that not all of our shots on goal will score. Fortunately, when proposals are unsuccessful, feedback from reviewers usually is provided. Rather than quitting, nurse researchers who are ultimately successful examine their

performance to identify how to improve, and commit to additional mentoring and refinement of their ideas and writing. Practice, and take advantage of the connections made through SNRS to obtain coaching and mentoring. Take the good shots. Do not expect that every effort will be successful, but do not become discouraged. Bring your game to your research!

References Gray, T. (2010). Publish and flourish: Become a prolific scholar. Ashland, OH: Bookmasters. Gretzky, W. (2015). Gretzky. Retrieved from: Shimel, J. (2012). Writing science: How to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Silvia, P. J. (2007). How to write a lot: A practical guide to productive academic writing. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

The Value of Membership Leanne L. Lefler

Correspondence to: Leanne L. Lefler E-mail: [email protected] Leanne L. Lefler Secretary, SNRS University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock, AR

“What's in it for me?” I heard this comment recently from a clinical faculty member while discussing my upcoming trip to the SNRS Annual Conference, and it made me want to share the value of my SNRS membership with others. Like many current members, I began my membership as a doctoral student. At that time, I mostly valued the learning that I experienced when attending the annual conference. But this learning came with a twist—I learned experientially about research, in contrast to dry didactic lectures on research principles or reading. I was amazed at what nurse scientists could and would do. It was fascinating to discover that I could take their work out of context and design fictitious studies in my field using similar methodologies. My fellow students and I would walk around together and point out “famous” nurse researchers, and occasionally, we would speak to one of them! I delivered my first peerreviewed paper alongside my mentor, while shaking so

Research in Nursing & Health

uncontrollably that I couldn’t see the notes I clutched tightly in my hands! I will never forget the first question from the audience. It was from a very senior and influential nurse researcher. Gasping, I almost fainted, all thoughts out of my head, but was rescued by my mentor. Thirteen years later, the value of membership has changed considerably for me. There is a palpable collective synergy from the organization, and the effects of this synergy are much greater than exchange of knowledge or ideas generated from a few. Professional relationships and networking have yielded important opportunities for multi-site studies, collaborations, consulting, and development of interprofessional teams. Within SNRS, relationships are easy to form because we are still small enough to find, meet, and support one another to reach shared professional goals. SNRS sponsors opportunities throughout the year that allow me to connect with peers, share ideas, or volunteer to become a member of



a committee or taskforce. Lifelong learning and professional development continue with each connection or project. Online and print access to RINAH also helps promote the value of membership while providing scholarship resources. I was surprised to realize an unexpected outcome of SNRS conference attendance: my research skillset has expanded. The conferences are re-energizing. They offer opportunities to learn about new science, innovative ideas, or research methodologies from key achievers. Professional recognition for peer-reviewed presentations enhance my scholarly portfolio. The conferences provide the latest information from key stakeholders, such as funding agencies and professional journals, promoting research and dissemination opportunities. Best practices are often shared among

colleagues during relaxed settings or planned events. I also enjoy the value exhibitors bring by offering new products, resources, and job advancement opportunities. The value of membership includes chances to nominate or be nominated for awards that promote individual academic advancement, nursing research, and the profession. Raising the visibility of nurse researchers helps communicate our value to society. Small research grants encourage new investigators to begin to contribute to nursing through research and greatly improve their ability to be awarded larger grants in the future. Last but certainly not least is the reward of giving back. Now I help my own mentees to tack up their posters or stand with them as they present their work. What a great time it has been!

Recipients of the 2015 SNRS Annual Awards Robin Bartlett

Correspondence to: Robin Bartlett E-mail: [email protected] Robin Bartlett Awards Committee Chair, SNRS, 2013–2015 University of North Carolina—Greensboro Greensboro, NC

The Southern Nursing Research Society offers a number of annual award opportunities to its members. The 2015 awards were presented at the annual meeting in Tampa, Florida in February. This year Elizabeth J. Corwin received the Distinguished Researcher Award; Ann L. Horgas received the Mid-Career Researcher award; Jeanne Alhusen received the Early Science Investigator Award; Jane Dimmitt Champion received the Research in Minority Health Award; and Karen Rice was given the Clinical Researcher Award. Two awards were given based on submitted papers. Valerie Lander McCarthy received the D. Jean Wood Nursing Scholarship Award for her paper entitled “Promoting selftranscendence and well-being in community-dwelling older adults: A pilot study of a psychoeducational intervention” (McCarthy, Bowland, Ling, Rudd-Sarfin, & Connelly, 2015), and Bonnie Mowinski Jennings received the Research in Nursing and Health Authorship Award for the paper she authored with colleagues, entitled “Turning over patient turnover: An ethnographic study of admissions, discharges, and

Research in Nursing & Health

transfers” (Jennings, Sandelowski, & Higgins, 2013). The Society also grants the SNRS/John A. Hartford Foundation Geriatric Research Award to an individual whose established program of research has enhanced the practice of geriatric nursing in the southern region. To learn more about the awards, visit http://www. Consider nominating yourself or a colleague for 2016! The deadline is October 1, 2015.

References McCarthy, V. L., Bowland, S., Ling, J., Rudd-Sarfin, K. & Connelly, J. (2015). Increasing self-transcendence and well-being in communitydwelling older adults: A pilot study of a psychoeducational intervention. Retrieved from: Jennings, B. M., Sandelowski, M., & Higgins, M. K. (2013). Turning over patient turnover: An ethnographic study of admissions, discharges, and transfers. Research in Nursing & Health, 36, 554–566. doi: 10.1002/nur.21565

Take the shot: Message from the president.

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