In Off the Charts, the official blog of the American Journal of Nursing, it states that 71% of bedside nurses use Google to search for Evidence Based Practice to better their practice (and here’s how to do it better). However, how do you know about the quality of a journal? There are 100s of nursing journals. One of the best ways to evaluate a nursing journal is through the Impact Factor (IF).
The Impact Factor tells the reader that how often the articles in that journal have been cited in other journals. The higher the number, the better it is. On this website, it has links to nearly all of the nursing journals and has a impact factor written next to it, if it has one at all.
The American Journal of Nursing has a impact factor of 1.319, which places it at #18 out of all of the nursing journals for 2014. A couple of the ones I’m interested in are the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (1.431), American Journal of Critical Care (1.656), and Critical Care Nurse (1.077). While each article may not be the best, the journal as a whole tend to produce quality information.
Now, in order for these journals to make money, they charge for the articles. But there are a few ways to get them for free.
- Join the Nursing Association that is associated with the journal. For example, joining the Preventative Cardiovascular Nurse Association (PCNA) for $75 includes the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing (normally $129/year) for free. Plus, by joining the PCNA, you’ll also receive other resources, discounts on meetings, etc. Another great organization is the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), which also includes the American Journal of Critical Care and Critical Care Nurse.
- Go to the Nursing Center. They have updated new and free journal articles. Even better, they offer a free journal for you to look through every twice a month.
- Go to your college’s library website. Part of your tuition goes into purchasing these journals for students to use (because they can get very expensive if you bought them on your own!). If you are attending NYU, go to library.nyu.edu, go under find resources, then click on journals. Or go to getit.library.nyu.edu. Be sure to log in to read the journals!
I hope that by understanding what the Impact Factor is, you can make better decisions on which Nursing Journals you should read or even buy. Maybe you’ll even join a nursing organization! Keep updated on the latest and greatest in this constantly evolving field. And share what you learn with other nurses. Maybe it’ll even make a difference.