Dear Reader, 

I hope that you have seen the advertisements for Congress in October, and are considering joining us for top-notch lectures, workshops and networking opportunities. In recent years at Congress we have included research conducted by VNs, and this year will be no exception with our Research Bites, which we will also be including in our October edition of VNJ.

I think it takes courage and confidence to share with others a research project, divulging all the details of your inquiry, methods and analyses, inviting others to engage with your reflections. In hindsight a researcher likely looks back and sees so many places the project may have been improved or expanded, and in that exposure, is vulnerable to criticism, but also to a better way forward. This is the essence of research— but in our profession, and our society generally, the communication of research results present a real challenge to gain general acceptance, because they are equivocal. The desire for concrete answers, stems in part I believe from pressure to appear to be an authority on any given topic, lest we show ourselves to be less than perfect. A name has been coined for this psychological phenomenon, where we fear ourselves to be frauds who will be exposed at any moment despite our qualifications and skills: Imposter syndrome. I have heard this very sentiment from people I am close to both personally and professionally many times in my life, and it’s likely something you can relate to, too. Imposter syndrome is recognised often now in the modern world, but there are techniques to combat it, and this will be explored at Congress by our keynote speaker, Kate Atken.

So I encourage you: if you will be with us at Congress, please come along to support those VNs who are proud of the work they have produced, and learn about how you could conduct your own research project by speaking to the researchers themselves. These researchers are just like you: VNs studying in their final year, or working in private practice. Enjoy this month’s edition, and share any of your thoughts on Research Bites or Imposter syndrome on our Facebook or Twitter pages.


Megan Whitehead, RVN Interim Editor

DOI: 10.1080/17415349.2019.1637064 

VOL 34 • August 2019 • Veterinary Nursing Journal