The Evolution of the Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care


  • Jeri W Dunkin University of Alabama



It seems like yesterday that I was discussing the need for a accessible source of knowledge for nurses and other health professionals practicing/working in rural areas and/or populations. The year was 1997. I had just begun my tenure at The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing, as the Saxon Endowed Chair for Rural Nursing. The more I discussed this with my colleagues and mentors the more I realized that what was needed was a peer reviewed electronic journal that could be accessed by all rural nurses and that would facilitate the sharing of research and practice knowledge. After some research and more discussion and with the support of the Rural Nurses Association and The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing Dean, Dr. Sara Barger the first issue of the Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care was posted to the Rural Nurse Organization in 2000 as a fully refereed journal. In those first years we published the Journal quarterly but soon realized that that was too fast to be handled by all volunteer time. So the decision was made to back down to two issues a year, Spring and Fall. That tempo worked well for the amount of personnel and time we had to work with the Journal.
The next step was to get the Journal indexed and through the work of managing editor Dr. Steven MacCall, we were first referenced in CINAHL in 2003; however, since that time, the CINAHL has indexed all articles and columns of the Journal since volume 1, number 1 from 2000, so the complete run of all articles and columns published in the Journal is available through a bibliographic search of the primary index to the nursing literature.

Author Biography

Jeri W Dunkin, University of Alabama

Saxon Chair for Rural Nursing, Director of Practice and Community Partnerships Capstone College of Nursing