Why Not Nursology?

Photo – Adeline Falk-Rafael © 2018

Dr. Jacqui Fawcett  eloquently argued the case for “Why Nursology “a few weeks back. Another question might be asked – why not nursology? The use of “logy” – the study of – is widely used as a convention for identifying the knowledge base of other disciplines, e.g, biology, sociology, psychology, etc. On the other hand, the word “nursing” can be confusing because it has both popular uses, such as sipping a drink slowly or breastfeeding, and professional uses such as nursing (practice) and nursing (knowledge). It is beyond time for distinguishing between those two professional meanings. I believe doing so will go a long way toward making nursing knowledge visible, not only to other health disciplines and the public, but also to nurses and nursing students themselves. Language is powerful – it is the reason, I have previously advocated for replacing the term “student nurse” with nursing student. I look forward to that becoming nursology students!

I am excited about this initiative! Perhaps that is because my first nursing program was a hospital-based diploma program in the Canadian mid-west during the early 1960s in which the only reference to nursing science that I recall was a textbook called “The Art and Science of Nursing.”  The science of nursing was, sadly,  never explicated. I learned nursing basically as an ancillary medical service, i.e., the care required in the context of specific medical diagnoses and/or treatments. Over the next 15 years, I worked in various units in different hospitals in different cities and provinces. I practiced as I had been taught and consistent with how other Registered Nurses practiced. I say with some shame that I wasn’t reading nursing journals during that time and looking back, I think that was the norm for my colleagues, as well. Hospital or unit procedure books provided the necessary instruction for how to perform essential tasks.

It wasn’t until I moved into a leadership position and took a nursing leadership course that I was introduced to and required to engage with nursing (and other) literature. I marveled at how nursing leaders so articulately argued the contributions nurses make to health and healing, contributions that were based on nurses’ assessments and judgments, independent of medical directives. Nursing  process, nursing diagnoses and nursing theories excited me because they named and provided systematic structure for the work that nurses did in promoting health and healing. In other words, they began to make the invisible, visible! I began to read books and papers on my own, but soon realized I needed more knowledge and returned to school.

I don’t think my journey was unusual for that time. What grieves me is seeing still, much too often, nurses who acknowledge the biological, physiological, psychological, sociological and/or medical knowledge that informs their practice but fail to recognize the critical contribution of nursing knowledge. Nursology is a term that by its very nature emphasizes the disciplinary field of study that informs nursing practice. I can’t wait for the first Nursology programs and for nursing researchers and advanced practioners being recognized as nursologists, in keeping with the conventions of so many other disciplines.

Celebrating 30 years! The Society of Rogerian Scholars

On October 5-7, the Society of Rogerian Scholars had its 30th Anniversary conference

Dorothy Larkin

at New York University hosted by Dean Eileen Sullivan Marx with sponsorship from the University of Connecticut. And what an energizing conference it was!  Arlene Farren and the conference planners mapped out an amazing program. Dorothy Larkin opened the conference discussing ideas around holistic nursing and unitary caring science. She also led a panel discussion on the work of New York’s College of New Rochelle School of Nursing and how they infuse of Unitary Science in the Bachelor of Nursing Program.  Friday evening, we were fortunate to be the guests of Dr. Marx at a beautiful reception

John Phillips

overlooking the East River.

On Saturday, keynote speaker John Phillips discussed unitariology and nursology, providing us each with a deeper understanding of what it means to be unitary

transcendent beings on our journey as nurses. There were so many wonderful talks in the ensuing sessions. A panel discussion on power theories from Drs. Elizabeth Barrett, Peggy Chinn and E. Carol Polifroni moderated by Dr. Amy Moore with commentary from Dr. Jacqui Fawcett illuminated the idea of power as freedom and the unique role of nurses as “being the light twinkling in the darkness of health care”.

Standing L-R Jacqueline Fawcett, Carol Polifroni, Peggy Chinn. Seated Amy Kenefick Moore, Elizabeth Barrett

We heard from three new Rogerian Scholars, all students who presented their work in

Mary Antonelli

an interactive poster session to a packed room. Dr. Mary Antonelli, the 2017 Martha E, Rogers Scholars’ Fund recipient, presented her profound work on older adult couples living with chronic illness.  We all recognized the uniqueness of this nursing theory guided study, the results of which will inform caregiving in new ways.  We tearfully listened and with fond memories reminisced and as Anna Biley, Fran’s described her most personal journey of grief and healing through a Caring Science lens. What a gift she was to us.

In other sessions, the attendees agreed they do

Dorothy Jones

not want to hear the phrase “I am just a nurse.”  This sentiment was affirmed in Dr. Dorothy Jones’s work on the professional practice scale that illuminated the sacred space nurses share with their patients.  Closing speaker Howard Butcher provided a stunningly beautiful visual interpretation of unitary science through the lens of Cape Cod beaches. A fun silent auction once again this year raised over $1,000 to support future Rogerian Scholars.

Next year we will be joining other nursing theory groups in Washington D.C. on November 14-15, 2019 at the KING Conference.  See the listing of

Howard Butcher

conferences  on our “Future Events”  main menu, and the “Abstracts Due” section of the sidebar to submit an abstract for several of these conferences. At the KING conference next year,  each theory group will be allotted time for an annual business meeting. I hope to see you all there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nursing theory groups: why join, my story

I serve as the president of the Society of Rogerian Scholars (SRS). I was encouraged years ago to attend the annual conference by my now colleague, but former mentor, Dottie Jones. My timing was not great for my first conference – it was the one following the death of Martha Rogers. In some ways, I felt like I was a spy at a wake, and in reality, I was. Being Irish, for whom wakes are a sport, I am comfortable in this sort of setting so being an outsider did not deter me. I watched as members who had not seen each other in months or perhaps years, hug one another, cry and laugh as they shared memories of Martha. People seemed intrigued by my being there, yet only welcomed my presence. I knew from stories I had heard before the conference that Martha was special. It was a gift to bear witness to the event and see how she influenced so many.

Once the conference kicked off and I heard the papers being presented, I was hooked. Where had these nurses been all my life? I listened to the research, practice and education presentations that focused on Martha Rogers’ Science of Unitary Human Beings (SUHB) and knew I was home – well not exactly because NYU was not my home – but home in the sense of connecting with nurses with whom I could relate. With apologies to James Joyce – Yes! A person is so much more than their disease! Yes! We need new ways of knowing, discovery and measuring outcomes beyond the empirical sciences! Yes! There is room for art, music, literature, mystery, science fiction and spirituality in nursing!

I came back from the conference knowing I would return annually. I am now a nurse educator and when I integrate my thinking about SUHB into the classroom, it resonates with my students as it had with me. I also practice as a NP in a psychiatric facility and I find that incorporating what John Phillips calls wellbecoming into my practice changes the focus from trying to fix the problem to one that maximizes personal resolve and opportunities for self-care. My research on older persons with chronic conditions is framed by SUHB and infused with Newman’s Health as Expanding Consciousness and Barrett’s Knowing Participation in Change. I see the difference nurses make when they practice from a nursing theory guided perspective.

I cannot imagine ever not being a member of SRS.  Being part of such a welcoming group of colleagues provides me with the energy, language and thinking to test out my ideas and bring them back to my academic and practice settings. It gives me the permission to be the nurse I choose to be. If you like a nursing theory or just wonder what a nursing theory group is all about, I encourage you to join one.  It might be one of the best things you do for your career and for yourself.

 

 

 

Abstract due dates now available on Nursology.net!

We have added a new feature – a list of abstract due dates for the future conferences that are listed on Nursology.net!  The due dates are in the sidebar on all of our pages and posts, with links to the Nursology.net page that shows more information about the conference!  On each page we provide links to each conference website where you can find detailed information about submitting an abstract and about the conference itself.

At the moment there are 4 due dates for abstracts – some of them looming in the very near future!  Here they are!

Of course these dates could change – and new ones will be added as we learn about them! So watch this site and our sidebar list of abstract due dates for updates.  And always check the conference website for the very latest and most accurate information!

Wondering where and when all the future nursology-related conferences are happening?  There is a fast and easy way to find out!  Hover over ‘Future Events” on our main menu, and a menu of all the conferences, with their locations and dates, will pop up in chronological order!  But be prepared  – the list is long, so you will need to scroll down to see them all!

Are we missing a conference?  Let us know using our handy “Future Event Form.”

Our Name: Why Nursology? Why .net?

Why Nursology?

At least since the publication of Donaldson and Crowley’s (1978) seminal paper titled The Discipline of Nursing, nurses have been considered members of a discipline. A discipline (the term comes from the Latin disciplina) is a branch of instruction or  learning and is a way of organizing knowledge. Different disciplines are distinguished one from another by the subject matter of interest to their members. In what way does calling our discipline nursing convey a focus on knowledge development and testing, rather than, for example, breast feeding? Those of us involved in founding this web site agreed to use of the term, nursology, as the best way to convey this focus.

The term, nursology, comes from the Latin, Nutrix, [meaning] nurse; and from the Greek, Logos, [meaning] science (O’Toole, 2013, p. 1303). The first mention of nursology apparently is by Paterson, an American nurse, in her 1971 journal article. She coined the term, nursology, “to designate the study of nursing aimed towards the development of nursing theory” (p. 143). Roper (1976), a Scottish nurse, also referred to our discipline as nursology. She explained,

“It could be that nursing might develop as a discipline without using a word to describe its characteristic mode of thinking, but it will have to make the mode explicit and it will have to have the same meaning for nurses anywhere. Should the nursing profession require to use a word, I propose the word nursology for the study of nursing, so that the logical pattern of derivation of an adverb could be followed. (p. 227)

Fitzpatrick (2014) pointed out that use of the term, nursology, as the name for the discipline has not been supported by nurses, although “remnants of this minor movement appear today. Students in current doctoral-level nursing theory classes often express interest in the term as a way to legitimize the scientific enterprise and distinguish nursing science from other disciplines, particularly [other] health disciplines” (p. 5).

Nursology is not only a name for our discipline. It also is regarded and has been used as a research method and a practice method (Fawcett et al., 2015). The name for our schools and department and programs most properly, also is nursology. The members of our discipline—students, practicing nurses, researchers, educators, and administrators—are scholars of nursology, that is, nursologists. Noteworthy is that Josephine Paterson (1978) and Loretta Zderad (1978) held the formal title of nursologists while at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Northport, New York. As nursologists, we clearly no longer regard ourselves or can be regarded by others as handmaidens to physicians, who are members of the trade of medicine (medicine cannot be regarded as a discipline due to no evidence of distinctive knowledge).

Why .net?
.net was selected as the extension for the web site name to,  as Peggy Chinn pointed out, convey a network of nurses who are interested in learning about all things theoretical in nursology, including advances in the knowledge needed and used by nurses to guide their practice.

References

Donaldson, S. K., & Crowley, D. M. (1978). The discipline of nursing. Nursing Outlook, 26, 113-120.

Fawcett, J., Aronowitz, T., AbuFannouneh, A., Al Usta, M., Fraley, H. E., Howlett, M. S. L., . . . Zhang, Y. (2015). Thoughts about the name of our discipline. Nursing Science Quarterly, 28, 330-333.

Fitzpatrick, J. J. (2014). The discipline of nursing. In J. J. Fitzpatrick & G. McCarthy (Eds.), Theories guiding nursing research and practice: Making nursing knowledge development explicit (pp. 3-13). New York: Springer.

O’Toole, M. (Ed.) (2013). Mosby’s medical dictionary (9th ed.). St.Louis: Mosby.
Paterson, J. G. (1971). From a philosophy of clinical nursing to amethod of nursology. Nursing Research, 20, 143-146.

Paterson, J. G. (1978). The tortuous way toward nursing theory. In Theory development: What, why, how? (pp. 49-65). New York, NY: National League for Nursing. (Pub. No. 15-1708)

Roper, N. (1976). A model for nursing and nursology. Journal ofAdvanced Nursing, 1, 219-227.

Zderad, L. T. (1978). From here -and-now to theory: Reflections on“how.” In Theory development: What, why, how? (pp. 35-48).New York< NY: National League for Nursing. (Pub. No. 15-1708)

Call for Abstracts – Neuman Systems Model Symposium – Canton, Ohio – June 20-21, 2019

17th International Biennial Neuman Systems Model Symposium
Location: Canton, Ohio
Dates: June 20-21, 2019
Abstract submission deadline: November 10, 2018

Theme: Exploring Population Health:  Building Bridges with the Neuman Systems Model

An event sponsored by Neuman Systems Model, Inc.

Call for Abstracts

Abstracts are invited for presentations, roundtable discussions and/or posters on topics related to how the Neuman Systems Model can influence population health education, practice, and research.  All abstracts will receive blind review by the Abstracts Review Committee.  Research abstracts need to include the study purpose, conceptual framework, methodology, results, discussion and implications.  Practice and educational abstracts should include problem, intervention, outcome, and discussion.  Roundtable discussion abstracts should include topic, how the NSM was used and outcomes. One presenter for each presentation, paper or poster selected will be eligible for a reduced registration fee.  All presenters must be registered participants for the Symposium.

  • Submission Deadline: November 10, 2018
  • Presenters Notified of Acceptance by December 15, 2018
  • Confirmation of Presenter Attendance due by January 12, 2019

For submission details, see the Nursology.net conference page here

More information on the Neuman Systems Model on Nursology.net here

Today – the official launch of Nursology.net!

Today, September 18, 2018, we are formally unveiling Nursology.net — the nurse led, nurse developed repository providing the most current and accurate information about nursing discipline-specific knowledge that advances human betterment globally.  We are a team of nurse scholars who believe in the power of nursing ideas, honor the heritage of nursing ideas that form the foundation of our discipline, and are dedicated to advancing the development of nursing knowledge for the future.

Creating Nursology.net has been an amazing experience!  Each of us who have developed the site and its content have vested interests, as nurse scholars, in seeing this project come to fruition. But I am not sure if any of us could envision the reality until now. As one of the developers, and as someone who is known to have a certain degree of expertise in nursing knowledge development, being a witness to the unfolding reality of this site has been a remarkable awakening.  Yes, I already had a degree of familiarity with every element that we have developed so far. But as I began to see all the pieces start to appear all together, in a collection that represents the whole, I have been in awe of the enormity, the significance and the power of nursing ideas, how these ideas shape nursing actions, and how nursing actions shape our ideas.

We have great expectations for this resource, as described in our mission and goals. We have an impressive start, and we invite you to participate in any way you can.  Here are some ideas to get involved:

  • If you know of something you would like us to include, we have forms scattered throughout the site that you can use to send us your suggestions. Or, use our contact form.
  • From today going forward we will have a weekly blog post (perhaps more) to highlight what is happening in the realm of developing nursing knowledge. Follow our Nursology.net blog by entering your email in the space at the top of the right sidebar on any Nursology.net page.
  • Do you have an idea for a blog?  We welcome you to be a guest blogger – use our blog submission form.
  • Comment  on our blog posts any time to participate in discussions, which we hope will be lively and thought-provoking.
  • And, contact us any time – we want to hear from you!

Welcome to Nursology.net!

Welcome to the Nursology.net website – a repository for resources and events related to the development, study and application of nursing knowledge. If you are reading this blog post, you found us before the site is ready to “unveil” and there is still a lot to be done to reach our vision! But we are thrilled you found us – we are aiming to officially launch the site early this coming fall!  Please browse the various sections of the site, and contact us with any feedback – we are eager to hear from you!

The ideas and ideals that guide nursing practice have a long tradition worldwide, centered on caring for those who are sick, injured, or distressed, and supporting the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities. This site will be a rich resource for students, teachers, practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and administrators in understanding the vital perspectives that constitute nursing knowledge, and in developing innovative approaches to nursing knowledge and practice in the future.

Be sure to follow our blog by entering your email in the ‘Follow” window at the top of the right sidebar! We will announce the very moment that this site has reached our “useability” benchmark, and from there we will post regularly with updates and features related to the development of nursing knowledge!