The Scholarship Circle: an introduction to writing for publication for nursing faculty




Writing for Publication, Nursing Scholarship, Continuing Education, Distance Learning, Bibliographic Analysis, Survey Research, Interprofessional Collaboration


Background: This case report describes a collaborative effort between a health sciences librarian and an instructional designer to create and implement a writing professional development experience called the Scholarship Circle. It was aimed at increasing scholarly productivity by junior and nontenure-track faculty in a college of nursing.

Case Presentation: The Scholarship Circle activities were carried out in a synchronous and an asynchronous online environment over ten weeks and included weekly lectures from nurse-scholars, discussions and peer reviews, and writing support from the librarian. The Scholarship Circle designers surveyed participants before and after the course to explore faculty perceptions and conducted a bibliographic analysis to gauge increases in scholarly productivity.

Conclusions: While both tenure-track and nontenure-track faculty perceived lack of time as a significant barrier to publication, only nontenure-track faculty perceived lack of writing experience and getting started as significant obstacles. In the two years following the Scholarship Circle, faculty with doctor of philosophy and doctor of education degrees produced the greatest number of scholarly publications, whereas faculty with other degrees demonstrated a modest increase in scholarship. Online writing support programs have the potential to positively impact scholarly productivity for junior and nontenure-track faculty, especially if they emphasize time management for writing, confidence-building strategies, and a flexible format that allows peer review and collaboration as well as participation by seasoned scholars and remote participants. Partnership between health sciences librarians and instructional designers is key to the successful design and implementation of writing support programs.


Gazza EA, Hunker DF. Facilitating scholarly writer development: the writing scaffold. Nurs Forum. 2012 Oct;47(4):278–85. DOI:

Johnston PA, Brassil KJ. Engaging clinical nurses in manuscript preparation and publication. Nurs Author Ed [Internet]. 2014 Dec;24(4):1–4. [cited 29 Jan 2019]. <>.

McGrail MR, Rickard CM, Jones R. Publish or perish: a systematic review of interventions to increase academic publication rates. High Educ Res Dev. 2006 Feb;25(1):19–35. DOI:

Northam S, Greer DB, Rath L, Toone A. Nursing journal editor survey results to help nurses publish. Nurs Educ. 2014 Nov/Dec;39(6): 290–7. DOI:

Rees S, Payne J, Houlahan B. Creating a culture for publication through education and mentoring. J Nurs Care Qual. 2015 Apr–Jun;30(2):187–92. DOI:

Sanderson BK, Carter M, Schuessler JB. Writing for publication: faculty development initiative using social learning theory. Nurs Educ. 2012 Sep;37(5):206–10. DOI:

Shatzer M, Wolf GA, Hravnak M, Haugh A, Kikutu J, Hoffmann RL. A curriculum designed to decrease barriers related to scholarly writing by staff nurses. J Nurs Admin. 2010 Sep;40(9):392–8. DOI:

Shirey MR. Building scholarly writing capacity in the doctor of nursing practice program. J Prof Nurs. 2013 May–Jun;29(3):137–47. DOI:

Thorpe K, Kulig JC. The enhancement of writing skills among post-RN students. J Contin Educ Nurs. 1997 Jan–Feb;28(1):39–43.

Jackson D. Mentored residential writing retreats: a leadership strategy to develop skills and generate outcomes in writing for publication. Nurs Educ Today. 2009 Jan;29(1):9–15. DOI:

Horstman P, Theeke L. Using a professional writing retreat to enhance professional publications, presentations, and research development with staff nurses. J Nurs Staff Dev. 2012 Mar/Apr;28(2):66–8. DOI:

Noone J, Young HM. Creating a community of writers: participant perception of the impact of a writing retreat on scholarly productivity. J Prof Nurs. 2019 Jan–Feb;35(1):65–9. DOI:

von Isenburg M, Lee LS, Oermann MH. Writing together to get AHEAD: an interprofessional boot camp to support scholarly writing in the health professions. J Med Libr Assoc. 2017 Apr;105(2):167–72. DOI:

Hoffman N, Beatty S, Feng P, Lee J. Teaching research skills through embedded librarianship. Ref Serv Rev. 2017;45(2):211–26. DOI:

Wu L, Betts VT, Jacob S, Nollan R, Norris T. Making meaningful connections: evaluating an embedded librarian pilot project to improve nursing scholarly writing. J Med Libr Assoc. 2013 Oct;101(4):323–6. DOI:

Morton PG. Writing for professional journals [Internet]. College of Nursing, University of Utah [cited 17 Sep 2018]. <>.

Solis J, Hampton EM. Promoting a comprehensive view of library resources in a course management system. New Libr World. 2009;110(1/2):81–91. DOI:

Mears K, Blake L. Nursing librarians cultivating evidence-based practice through an asynchronous online course. J Cont Edu Nurs. 2017 Sep 1;48(9):420–4. DOI:






Case Report