Guardian of the Discipline
Downloads (used by permission)
Transformative Learning article
Canadian Nursing in the Year 2020
Enchantment of the Soul
Syllabus: Conceptual Basis of Nursing Practice
Syllabus: The Nature of Nursing Knowledge
Note: we are delighted to introduce a new Nursology.net series – “Guardians of the Discipline” featuring notable nurse leaders who have made significant achievements to assure the integrity and protection of nursology values and ideals. We begin this series with Canada’s outstanding leader and scholar, Martha E. Rogers.
Martha E. Rogers is a Canadian nursing scholar and consultant who has made substantial contributions to advancing nursing knowledge. She is currently a Senior Scholar at York University, Toronto, Ontario and was the founder, and remains the director, of Canadian Nursing Consultants. Her contributions in advancing an appreciation of nursing knowledge cross both those roles and fall into 3 major categories that overlap and inform each other: 1). curricular design and pedagogy; 2) consulting work with nursing organizations to promote conscious application of conceptual models practice and in organizational design, and 3) her work on transformative learning in nursing, alternative nursing futures, and development of the concept of enchantment of the nursing soul.
Being In a unique position as a nurse who had focused on future studies during her doctorate, Martha was commissioned by the Canadian Nurses Association in 1995 to develop future scenarios for nursing in Canada in the year 2020. The book, Canadian Nursing in the Year 2020 was published by the Canadian Nurses Association for a number of years after it was written. Download this document here (by permission of the author and copyright holder). That work was clearly informed by Martha’s extensive involvement in the previous decade in helping nurses to understand and embrace nursing conceptual frameworks, whether teaching post-RN baccalaureate students or practicing nurses in their workplace.
In Canadian Nursing in the Year 2020, Martha created 4 scenarios of nursing in 2020 and invited readers to create a 5th. On the eve of 2020, it is as relevant and sobering to read as it was when it was first published. Elements of each of the scenarios are recognizable in the present time, likely to significantly different degrees in different countries, cultures, and health care systems. At the end of each scenario, readers are invited to reflect on their reactions to the scenario and consider what action is necessary to increase or decrease the chances of them happening.
Canadian Nursing in the Year 2020 concludes with a section entitled, “Can one person make a difference.” Believing that to be possible, Martha asserted that maintaining hope and the personal power to take action requires engaging nurses’ minds , hearts, and souls. Critical minds (mind), caring about people (heart), and connecting with the meaning and purpose of nursing (soul) are among the essentials she identifies as necessary for us to believe that each of us can make a difference. Martha explored in considerably more depth, the concept of the nursing soul in an unpublished article entitled Enchantment of the Soul.
These ideas were informed by Martha’s early nursing practice and education. In meeting with her recently, I asked her what first sparked her interest in nursing conceptual frameworks and she replied it was the professors in her Post-RN baccalaureate degree. So, it is not surprising that she began to take action in her position as as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, where she also served as Conceptual Framework Coordinator. Later, as an academic, Martha taught in a Post-RN BScN program at York. One course she developed and taught focused on The Nature of Nursing Knowledge, and a second on the Conceptual Basis of Nursing Practice nursing. The transformative learning approaches she developed in an unpublished manuscript as an approach to “facilitate “nurses’ learning and use of nursing conceptual frameworks” are evident in both course outlines. As the School of Nursing evolved, Martha’s influence was evident again as the School adopted a caring-human science philosophy as a conceptual framework.1
As a nursing consultant, Martha conducted many workshops and spoke at numerous conferences in Canada and the U.S. about transformative learning and facilitating nurses’ understanding and use of nursing conceptual frameworks. An example of this approach is seen in one of the videos she produced, “Conceptual Frameworks in Nursing Practice”, which is included below.
Both through her academic and consulting roles, Martha was involved in research reporting the implementation and/or evaluation of use of nursing conceptual models in practice. 2,3, 4,5, 4
Martha was passionate about the uniqueness of nursing knowledge and hoped to pass that passion on to others. Her goal was to facilitate nurses’ critical examination of dominant assumptions and values and the practice norms based upon them, and help them instead to value and give voice to their own nursing knowledge and imagine how nursing practice and health care institutions might be different if nursing values and knowledge were a valued priority. I asked her recently what she thought her greatest contribution was as a “guardian of the discipline.” This was her reply: “If there is anything to be said about my work it would be that I held a belief about the beauty and potential power of unique nursing knowledge. It was my quest to explore nursing knowledge and to help others explore it through deep personal reflection and through critical appraisal of and emancipation from dominant paradigms.
1. Lewis S, Rogers M, Naef R. Caring-Human Science Philosophy in Nursing Education: Beyond the Curriculum Revolution. Int J Hum Caring. 2006;10(4):31-38.
2. Rogers ME. Creating a Climate for the Implementation of a Nursing Conceptual Framework. JCEN. 1989;20(3):112-116.
3. Shea H, Rogers M, Ross E, Tucker D, Fitch M, Smith I. Implementation of nursing conceptual models: observations of a multi-site research team. Can J Nurs Adm. 1989;2(1):15-20.
4. Rogers, M., Jones Paul, L., Clarke, J., MacKay, C. Potter, M. Ward, W. The use of the Roy Adaptation Model in Nursing Administration. Can J Nurs Adm. 1991, June:21-26.
5. Fitch, M., Rogers, M., Ross, E., Shea, H., Smith I., Tucker, D. Developing a plan to evaluate the use of nursing conceptual frameworks. Can J Nurs Adm. 1991, March/April:22-27.