Inaugural Call for Papers: Issue 1, Vol 1 - See it ... Speak it ... Write it .... Change it ....


Call for Papers: Inaugural Issue 1, Volume 1. “See* it .... Speak it .... Write it .... Change it ....


In 2010, the Canadian Nurse journal featured Saskatoon health policy scholar Steven Lewis, who wrote of nursing having many voices, (yet) so little voice, further stating: “combination of numbers, reputation and reach should translate into power and influence over how health care is financed, organized and delivered. Yet politically, the profession punches below its weight. The country is the worse for it.”

In response to this perennial critique that nursing “punches below its weight,” we introduce Witness: The Canadian Journal of Critical Nursing Discourse as an antidote.

There is a rich history of critical discourse and practice in Canada: discourse and practice gleaned from what Canadian Nurses witness regarding health, health care and the quality of life of individuals, groups and populations. The time has come to formalize a scholarly space for critical nursing discourse that is rooted in social justice, intersectionality, advocacy and critical social theory .... to name but a few.

Witness readers, editors and contributors form a collective of critical nurses in Canada and beyond who strive to ameliorate inequities in the health and quality of life of all. By virtue of the nurse’s privileged societal position, we witness a wide array of inequities that require us to take action. Our tag line represents the ethos of the journal: “See* it .... Speak it .... Write it .... Change it ....”

Witness is a Canadian online open access scholarly nursing journal. Together, contributors and readers form a collective of whose practice, research, teaching and way of being is rooted in social justice. We embrace the open access movement and seek to further dismantle multiple systemic barriers to knowledge creation and dissemination. To that end, no payment to publish nor access the journal’s offerings will be required. The journal is rooted in critical discourse, where the term ‘critical’ refers to a capacity to inquire ‘against the grain.’ It involves a persistent sense of perturbation with the status quo. This is a disposition that involves questioning claims of truth or falsity, charging the thinker with the task of disrupting and destabilizing epistemological certainties, including one’s very own. ‘Critical’ is about recognizing dominant political, economic, and social forces–and interrogating how these influence ways of knowing, the very production of knowledge and systemic inequities. As both a stance and an action, it is a commitment to the decolonization of knowledge by an analysis of both dominant discourses and oppressive practices. Moreover, ‘critical’ is about a necessity to surface assumptions and tensions in our own and others’ works and practices. It encompasses an unyielding commitment to interrogate the relation of power to knowledge with an understanding that individuals, groups, and systems may–intentionally or unintentionally–reproduce such relations. For Witness, it is a salient attribute that welcomes, and is strengthened by, an openness to perspectival plurality.

To that end, we seek to foster and disseminate critical nursing discourse that is underpinned by the principles of social justice and health equity which interrogate power relations and structural violence and which aim to advance social change. Submissions may explore advocacy, power, justice, intersectionality, gender, health equity, critical social theory, pedagogies for social change and others.

As an open access, peer-reviewed journal that celebrates critical analyses, practice, policy and action, we know that there are thousands of examples where nursing has found and used its voice to affect change. To that end, our inaugural issue’s theme will reflect the journal’s tag line: “See* it .... Speak it .... Write it .... Change it .... Our inaugural issue offers space for a wide cross-section of submissions that critically reflect on current and historical nursing concerns and/or examples of advocacy efforts across Canada that seek to dismantle inequities, oppressive practices, and achieve social justice. In this important time of Truth and Reconcilliaction, we especially invite submissions from Indigenous nurses and/or Indigenous scholarship.

The editorial collective welcomes submissions that are language-based and/or arts-informed, and wishes to support emerging critical scholarship. In so doing, we invite experienced, emerging and/or nursing student scholars to consider submitting works concerning social justice and advocacy. Together we can affect change.

Submission examples may include but are not limited to:


  • Nurse Activism
  • Examples of/Calls for Resistance in Nursing
    • Anti-Oppression nursing efforts- past or present
  • Policy advocacy
  • Disruptive Innovations in Nursing Research, Practice or Education
  • Critical Pedagogy / Education for Social Change
  • Intersectional Analyses of Health or Quality of Life
  • Critical Analyses of Power in the context of Health, Quality of Life or Nursing
  • Health (in)equity
  • Social Justice Nursing
  • Decolonizing Nursing
  • Linguistic Hegemony and Resistance
  • Critical Community Health Nursing

Submissions are to be nurse authored or if submitted by a team, the lead author must be a nurse. Submission formats may include arts-based knowledge translation, practice-based research-based or review manuscripts.  First-person narrative is welcomed and encouraged. For author guidelines, please see .  For any questions including to discuss a proposed submission, don’t hesitate to contact us at 

Firm Deadline for Submission through our online portal: Feb 20th, 2019 Note: Prospective authors must register with the journal in order to submit their work.

To download the Call for Submissions, please click here.

  *Rather than imply an ableist bias, “See it…” is intended to incorporate the multiple ways nurses experience/witness injustices