Thank you to guest bloggers Karen Gehrling and Lora L .Wyss for this report! Scroll down for guest blogger information.
On June 20-21, 2019, approximately 100 nurse scholars gathered in Canton, Ohio for the 17th Biennial International Neuman Systems Model (NSM) Symposium. Colleagues from around the world gathered to share knowledge and expertise in population health and the Neuman Systems Model (NSM).
The keynote speaker, Dr. Erin Maughan, shared significant population health issues and the importance of using models of care as context for interventions. Dr. Jacqueline Fawcett, an expert on conceptual models of nursing, built on the keynote to discuss a NSM perspective of the Conceptual Model of Nursing and Population Health. Podium and poster presentations focused on the application of the NSM for education, research, and practice within the context of various worldwide population health issues.
On Thursday evening, at Walsh University, we were inspired by Dr. Betty Neuman, who sent videotaped greetings and encouragement to the participants for moving the use
of the NSM forward. Global café discussions provided an opportunity to dialogue about population health issues directly affecting a variety of client systems. On Friday, at Malone University, attendees continued the dialogue and began forging new connections and collaborations between colleagues from across the nation and Europe. Many of the NSM Fellows and grant recipients discussed the application of the NSM as guides for their research, education, or practice work. We will be posting many of the presentations on the Nursology.net 2019 conference page as soon as they become available!
Here are reflections from a few of the Symposium attendees:
Mary Cook, from North Canton, OH, wrote: What a great opportunity to network with nursologists who not only know the Neuman Systems Model (NSM), but truly live (practice) the model. I was amazed at how “easily” some of the conference attendees and presenters on the first day during the Global Café discussions were able to extemporaneously frame shared comments within the NSMl. I was again awed by the presentations, both poster and podium, on the second day in relation to application of the NSM to diverse phenomena. It was overwhelming yet inspiring to witness the respect not only for the model but for the work of Dr. Neuman, Dr. Fawcett, Neuman Systems Trustees, and Fellows. I have had exposure to many of the nursing theories but have not had an opportunity to truly apply one model in my practice. What a great example of how theory can be and is used to guide daily nursing practice.
Mary Cook added: I had the privilege of organizing and overseeing the Silent Auction that is the fundraising portion of each Neuman Systems Model Symposium. There were numerous items donated but the two that commanded the most attention and competitive bidding were framed photos of Dr. Betty Neuman and Dr. Jacqueline Fawcett. Wow! What excitement over the possibility of owning a photo that represented so much to so many! The mentorship provided by these outstanding nursologists is astounding! We must continue mentoring and exploring effective strategies for engaging nursing students (undergraduate and graduate) as well as nurses at all levels of practice in theory application.
DeLyndia Green-Laughlin, from Baton Rouge, LA, wrote: The Neuman Systems Model Symposium was amazing as always, with forward thinking scholars working in collaboration to envision a brighter tomorrow. In this time of globalization, assessing population health through the lens of the NSM could not have been more appropriate. Having been a former school nurse myself, I cared for students and families in a time immediately after Hurricane Katrina. As our keynote speaker, Dr. Erin Maughan compared the Public Health Model with the Neuman Systems Model, I was reminded of the reconstitution the community experienced during the aftermath of the storm. As we had to work through the intra, inter, and extrapersonal stressors toward healing, addressing all five interacting variables was the keys to becoming whole again. In sharing the lived experience with families whose community was destroyed as a result of this environmental stressor, the NSM holds true for its use in the community. I was so excited to hear the many presentations during the symposium. Use of the NSM as a framework to address the opioid crisis that has devastated our nation, the impact caregiving will have on the community in the upcoming years, and our educators structuring their assignments within the model were a part of the breakout sessions. Dr. Neuman, thank you for your contribution to the Profession of Nursing.
Wichert Trip, an attendee from Zwolle, The Netherlands: Looking back at the NSM congress a couple of things popped out. Since 3 years I know of the existences of the NSM. I consider myself a freshman. I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the concept. Not only is it applicable on a single patient, it’s very suitable for communities as well. As a community nurse I saw the NSM from a new perspective. That made my excited and I’m going to integrate the NSM into the minor Connecting Community Professional at Viaa University. I’m looking forward to the next congress!
Foekje Pol-Roorda, an attendee from The Netherlands: “A child with asthma must use his inhaler. But what if the mold grows on the walls at home? Or if the medication is not collected from the pharmacy during the holidays?” This example appealed to me in particular. I often draw students’ attention to the client system, but I also often refrain from making them aware of using inter, intra and extra personal factors to get a good picture of the situation. I myself give a lot of lessons in the minor Palliative care. The congress and the example above made me aware that we can look much more through the NSM and implement it even more in the Minor. And I think that this is an important purpose of a conference: improving education, improving professional practice. Personally, this congress has certainly given me an impulse to make the NSM an integrated part of my daily practice.
Karen Gehrling, RN, PhD
Dr. Gehrling, a Neuman Systems Model Trustee since 1999, is a faculty member at Walsh University Byers School of Nursing. She has been using the NSM to guide her scholarly work and educational endeavors for many years. In 2016, Dr. Gehrling received the Neuman Award, “established in honor of Dr. Betty Neuman for her distinguished contributions to the nursing profession and given annually to a member of the nursing profession who has made significant contributions to the profession as a nursing educator, leader or clinician. ‘Karen is an outstanding leader in nursing theory development and nursing education,’ said 2015 Neuman Award Recipient Dr. Jacqueline Fawcett, who presented the award to Dr. Gehrling. ‘She is a superb scholar with a record of numerous important papers published in top-ranked peer-review journals and important books, as well as many presentations on timely topics at regional, national and international conferences. Most of all, Karen is an outstanding scholar of the Neuman Systems Model.’ Her areas of interests with the Neuman Systems Model include developing a theory of reconstitution, helping nursing programs and curriculum development utilize the Neuman Model, helping students focus on family communication techniques and health promotion while using Neuman as a framework and the family as client, and most recently while consulting in Colombia South America, learning about the need to translate Neuman’s work into Spanish.” Retrieved from https://www.walsh.edu/nursing-research-day-2016-recap
Lora L .Wyss, PhD, APRN-CNS
Lora Wyss earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from George Mason University in Fairfax VA, a school nurse certification from Ashland University, and a PhD from the University of Akron. Currently, she teaches nursing full time at Malone University. Beyond her teaching responsibilities, Lora is the President of the Hartville Migrant Ministry Board as well as the nursing director of the medical clinic. Latino migrant farm workers who sought treatment at the center were the subject of her doctoral dissertation and of her outgoing research. Lora has studied the impacts of culture, economic hardship, gender, isolation, and status as barriers to medical treatment.