Professional Development and Publishing
with the Medical Library Association and the Interagency Council on Information Resources in Nursing
Susan Fowler, MLIS
Becker Medical Library
St. Louis, Missouri
The Interagency Council on Information Resources in Nursing (ICIRN) began in 1960 as a voluntary group composed of organizations and agencies concerned with providing nurses access to information resources. Each member organization, such as the American Nurses Association, AACN, Medical Library Association, and National League for Nursing, appoints representatives to serve on the Council.
The biennial Essential Nursing Resources (ENR) is the premier product of ICIRN and brings together key content material and links to sources of relevant information for nurses and librarians. According to survey results, it is most used as a collection development tool by librarians and a starting place for nurses practicing, researching, and teaching Evidence Based Practice. New sections of the ENR include Blogs, Forums and Discussion Lists; Evidence-Based Nursing; Management; Patient Safety/Quality Assurance; and Toxicology, Environmental, Occupational Health. Also new is a key next to each resource that indicates when a fee is required ($), and the availability as a mobile (M), online (O), or print (P) resource. The complete Essential Nursing Resources can be accessed at the ICIRN website: http://www.icirn.org/Homepage/Essential-Nursing-Resources/default.aspx.
Serving as a representative of the Medical Library Association to ICIRN, (as the Vice President, President Elect, and as a co-editor of the ENR) has allowed me many professional learning and growth opportunities. I have had the chance to serve as a liaison between two professional organizations, which involves being present at meetings of both organizations, meeting and learning from leaders in both organizations, and sharing information between the two. Organizing the ENR has given me my first taste of professional publication. Being Vice President has given me an inside view of the challenges in leadership.
Until recently, most members of ICIRN were located in the north eastern part of the United States. The addition of Janet Schnall, located in Seattle, Washington and me, located in St. Louis, Missouri broadened the geographic representation of this group. I am hoping that ICIRN will continue on this trend because I believe that wider geographic representation results in a broader awareness of ICIRN and our work as well as make our work more nationally relevant. This has been a great professional opportunity and I hope that when my office is open, someone else from the Midcontinental Chapter will take my place.