On October 5-7, the Society of Rogerian Scholars had its 30th Anniversary conference
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
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”.
We heard from three new Rogerian Scholars, all students who presented their work in
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
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
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!