Report from the Newman Theory/Research/Practice Society in Japan

Mari Mitsugi, Satoko Imaizumi,
Mitoko Senzaki, Emiko Endo

We are pleased to report on the work of the Newman Theory/Research/Practice Society in Japan. We have already posted three times on this NET (Jan. 10, 2019, by Endo & Mitsugi; Dec. 17, 2019, by Pharris; and Jan. 26, 2021, by Imaizumi, etc.). Here, the new board members will be introduced and will post the current work and future vision of our society.

Greetings from the new board members~

After the 6-year activities by the chair of Dr. Emiko Endo and other board members, Dr. Mari Mitsugi was appointed as the chair, and Dr. Satoko Imaizumi and Dr. Mitoko Senzaki were recommended as vice-chairs. Other board members of education, communication, finances, secretary-general, and auditor were also recommended. The last chair remained as a consultant. We will announce our vision in the later part of this blog.

Reflection on our society under the COVID-19 pandemic~

Under the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of our society, as in many others, were in chaos from 2020 to 2021. All activities were closed for half of 2020, and the members’ clinical or educational work was drastically limited. However, we learned and devised a method to gather together online and started communicating through it. Then, we realized that the difficulties encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic turned into very meaningful experiences for us.

The first turning point was brought by Drs. Dorothy Jones and Jane Flanagan’s blog, “What would Margaret Newman say?” on June 30, 2020, in this NET, and the second point by Margaret Newman’s article “A World of No Boundaries.” These have been timely introduced to society members by the last chair online, and we experienced enlightenment with them and these experiences brought us a kind of transformation in our lives. Some of our experiences were posted in the title of “Lessons for the COVID-19 pandemic” on Jan. 26, 2021, in this NET. We surely realized, “Yes, we cannot go back!!!”

One thousand paper cranes made by the Society members for Dr. Newman’s birthday celebration. It was always hanging on the door of her nursing home.

During the pandemic, the number of our society members had decreased to <100 members from 170, and the lowest number was 70. However, we introduced new methods for enrollment, collection of membership fees, and then our activities are recovering and moving on beyond the previous situation.

Our purpose and current activities~

Herein, we indicate the purpose of our society. We announced in the Prospectus for Establishment on Aug. 2, 2016, “…Although Margaret Newman’s Theory of Health as Expanded Consciousness had its origin in the USA, it has spread worldwide now and has been utilized in nursing practice, research, and education. Given that the increasing development and utilization of the theory is beneficial for Japanese people, we transformed our study society into a Nonprofit Organization Corporate Body, in Japan. We aim to contribute further to the quality of nursing care provided to people in Japan.”

We considered that to provide clients meaningful care based on Newman’s theory, we need to raise practicing nurses’ education based on Newman’s theory. Therefore, our society emphasizes “practicing nurses” who take on the responsibility of “nursing practice” with patients, families, and communities.

An annual schedule is as follows: hosting the Dialog Meeting once in October, and Study Meeting twice in October (the next day of the Dialog Meeting) and February.

At the Dialog Meeting, some nurse practitioners presented their nursing praxis, and then, the time of discussion is opened on the meaning of their practices based on Newman’s theory.

Moreover, we are recently interested in raising a hospital-based nursing praxis team to incorporate Newman’s theory – Health as Expanding Consciousness . Each group member can learn how to apply Newman’s theory to his/her nursing practice and learn that “the theory pervades the process and is found in the transformation that takes place in the lives of participants” (Newman, 2003). We believe some leaders will grow up and others will be able to follow their leaders. Then, in this clinical setting, an interference pattern of waves will prevail one after another in emanating from one nurse and the other and then from one client and one practicing nurse in this clinical setting.

Regarding the Study Meeting, we study Newman’s theory by reading a chapter of Newman’s theory books, capturing the meaning of the contents, and penetrating the meaning into each nursing practice. Sometimes, some practicing nurses may present shortly their nursing practice by incorporating the theory. By examining the meaning of the practice, participants experience an evolution of her/his nursing care pattern. Once the pattern is recognized, she/he can capture the meaning, get insights, and could make a transformation in her/his care pattern. Furthermore, we added a Praxis Research Study Meeting and a Pre-Praxis Study Meeting as society activities conducted six times per year in last 2 or 3 years. The former consists of five members and three advisors and the latter 15 members and three advisors. These two are popular among society members.

Celebrating the Grand Opening of Dr. Margaret A. Newman Center for Nursing Theory by adding an extra event as our society activity

We are very pleased to know that Dr. Margaret A. Newman Center for Nursing Theory will be established at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Nursing, Memphis, TN. The Grand Opening should be on May 30 and 31, 2023. How we wish we could attend it! Instead, we are planning an extra event for celebrating this Grand Opening within our society. The plan is as follows: all members with full membership including the retired members (about 28 persons) will have an opportunity to read and reflect on Newman’s theory of health as expanding consciousness together online, following their lead by focusing on keywords, which are shown on here . The dates will be three days (May 21, June 18, and July 16). We think this opportunity will allow each member to reflect and deepen the meaning of the theory and make a transformation in nursing practice and educational works. Furthermore, if there seems to be some misunderstanding about the theory, this study would prevent us from wandering from the theory. Additionally, many leaders will emerge.

Dr. Margaret Newman, Her niece (Dona Jean at the front) and relatives at her birthday party.

This plan is our expression of love, respect, and appreciation for Dr. Margaret A. Newman and her theory of health as expanding consciousness and celebration of the Grand Opening of Dr. Margaret A. Newman Center for Nursing Theory. We believe our dedication will reach UTHS in Memphis, Tennessee.

Future vision ~

In February 2023, the 37th Conference of the Japanese Cancer Nursing Association was held in a hybrid method. Our society hosted an interactive gathering. The topic was “How do nurses’ practice led by Newman’s theory can be conducted during a very short time in clinical settings?” This topic seems to be similar to Dr. Newman’s concern in her young years. We believe our members’ presentations would be meaningful for many practicing nurses. At the conference, the number of participants was higher than expected. A room (80) was full of participants, and a Zoom system (100) was also full. Without missing this opportunity, we advertised our society’s purpose and activities. Again, the number of applicants to the Pre-Praxis Study Meeting exceeded our expectations. We realized practicing nurses were seeking study opportunities, expanding themselves as a nurse and their nursing care, and creating meaningful relationships with clients and colleagues.

The following poem is part of Dr. Margaret Newman’s poem in June 2009, which was sent to us as a preface to the Japanese edition of her book Transforming Presence: The Difference that Nursing Makes.

“Nursing is
Being fully present
In the moment —
A transforming presence.

Whether in Japan
Or other lands
   The difference Nursing makes
Is real. Continue…

We got courage!!! We will continue searching for nursing praxis based on Newman’s theory of health as expanding consciousness. The vision of our society is open and there is no boundary.

The search leads in different directions
And along new paths to unanticipated horizons.

Stay with the search.
Wait …
Understanding will come Satori ! ”

About our Contributors

Mari Mitsugi, PhD, MS, RN
Role of the Society: The chair
Institution: Sophia University
Role: Associate Professor

Satoko Imaizumi, PhD, MS, RN
Role of the Society: The vice-chair and the secretary-general
Institution: Tokai University
Role: Professor

Mitoko Senzaki, PhD, MS, OCNS
Role of the Society: The vice-chair
Institution: Kitasato University Hospital
Role: Head nurse

Emiko Endo, PhD, MS, RN
Role of the Society: The advisor
Institution: Musashino University
Role: Professor Emeritus

Four contributors singing songs to celebrate Dr. Newman’s 80th birthday
From the right, Mari Mitsugi, Satoko Imaizumi, Emiko Endo, and Mitoko Senzaki

One thought on “Report from the Newman Theory/Research/Practice Society in Japan

Leave a Reply