The Society of Rogerian Scholars’ 34th Annual Conference will be held on Zoom beginning the afternoon of October 1st and ending after the morning of October 3rd. There is still time to register and attend. Find out more about the conference at societyofrogerianscholars.org.
Dr. Elizabeth Ann Manhart Barrett, nurse theorist and researcher, Rogerian scholar, and passionate advocate for nursing science, transitioned peacefully on August 24, 2021 surrounded by her family. She was best known for her theory of Power as Knowing Participation in Change derived from Rogers’ Science of Unitary Human Beings (SUHB) More than 100 studies have been conducted using the theory and/or measurement instrument (PKPCT); the PKPCT has been translated into 7 languages.
Elizabeth developed the first practice methodology for Rogerian nursing practice called Health Patterning, and she had an independent nursing theory-guided practice for many years in New York City based on this method. Elizabeth was a member of the American Academy of Nursing’s Nursing Theory-Guided Practice Expert Panel (NTGP-EP), serving as the organizer and first leader of NTGP-EP along with Dr. Rosemarie Parse. In addition, she was a founding member and first president of the Society of Rogerian Scholars. Elizabeth was a passionate champion of nursing science grounded in nursing theory. Her articles “What is Nursing Science?”(2002) and “Again, What is Nursing Science?”(2017) are classics. She edited four books including Rogers Science-based Nursing that received the ANA Book of the Year Award.
Elizabeth was born in Newburgh, Indiana and was blessed with five children, 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. After 12 years of working in her home and caring for her children she decided to go to college. She credits her mother, a “feminist”, with inspiring her to pursue her dreams and to help people who were suffering, especially those who were less privileged. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing summa cum laude from the University of Evansville (UE) and continued as a part-time student at UE while working full-time and eventually earning a Master of Arts in education with a major in psychology and a Master of Science in Nursing. After this she taught psychiatric/mental health (PMH) nursing at UE and continue to work as a PMH nurse.
In 1976 she moved to Greenwich Village in New York City to begin doctoral study at New York University (NYU). It was a different world from her roots, and she loved New York City. It was there that she began working with Martha Rogers studying and advancing the SUHB. While in the PhD program at NYU she worked as a float charge nurse at Bellevue Hospital Center, fulfilling another dream; she considered Bellevue Psychiatry as the greatest challenge and reward in PMH nursing practice. It was her favorite position. While studying Nursing Science with a major in Theory Development and Research at NYU she taught research at Adelphi University and PMH clinical practicums at City University of New York (CUNY). After graduation she was an Assistant Director of Nursing at Mount Sinai Hospital for 5 years and then joined the faculty at Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing (CUNY) where she held positions of Director of the Graduate Program and Coordinator of the Center for Nursing Research. She retired as Professor Emerita in 2001 and expanded her private practice to full-time. She was a licensed therapist in the state of New York practicing Health Patterning, a nursing theory guided practice with private clients. For 40 years she was active in mentoring many researchers and scholars in the SUHB and Power Theory and conducting her own research testing and advancing the theory.
Those who knew Elizabeth can attest to her kind, loving and supportive nature and playful sense of humor. We will miss her on this Earth, but we will continue to experience her presence in many ways. May she soar in peace and power!
The SRS Fall 2021 conference planning committee met together this past week to plan a conference tribute to Dr. Elizabeth Ann Manhart Barrett. We invite you to join with us in organizing a Celebration of Light and Life that will be shared on Saturday October 2, 2021 in the afternoon as special part of the conference program. We are compiling photos and memories that will be organized and shared in a powerpoint presentation.
We invite you to please send digital versions of any photos that you may have of Dr. Barrett to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. The photos may be scanned or you can take a photo of the photo and send in email.
We invite you to share any personal memories that you may have of Dr. Barrett or stories of how her work impacted your work or life. The SRS website has an open text box where the memories can be shared publicly or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with content to be shared in the conference tribute.
We may also pull content form the website so if you write something there we may also include it. Depending on the volume of content we receive we will have to make choices or edit the stories for use.
There will also be time for open sharing of stories in real time at the conference during the celebration for those who would be comfortable doing so.
The SRS website link to write a memory is here and you can also follow the link to Dr. Barrett’s obituary shared by her family.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. As a reminder please register for the conference here and share the conference information widely in your circles.
“When I walk in the door of the College of Nursing building I feel different. There is something deeply peaceful about this place.” “I can’t put my finger on it, but when I’m here I can think, feel, and connect to myself…I’m present ”. “It’s not like any other building on campus. It’s about studying nursing from the inside out”.
Over the 15 years that I’ve been fortunate enough to call Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing (CELCON) my home I’ve heard these and many similar comments about being in the College of Nursing’s building. I joined the faculty in 2006 when the building was new, and my direct experience of the building was one of the factors that drew me to this College. The ontology of nursing was vividly re-presented in the building’s architecture and design. The design of the building was an intentional process, meticulously planned and implemented by Anne Boykin, Dean at the CELCON for over 30 years, co-author of the theory of Nursing as Caring, and a transformational leader. The focus of the discipline of nursing: caring, human wholeness, and the interrelationship of wellbeing to the human-environment relationship (Smith, 2019) informed the creation of this “home” that truly reflected the heart and soul of nursing. Dr. Boykin collaborated with architects who understood her vision and captured it in the structure and design of the building. It is an example of creating living spaces that reflect foundational values (Boykin, Touhy & Smith, 2021).
The College of Nursing building was created to be a healing environment that reflected three guiding ideas: 1) the College’s philosophy of caring, including its definition of nursing; 2) a reverence for the environment and its centrality to wellbeing; and 3) the harmonious flow of energy through attention to structure and design, referred to as feng shui in Chinese philosophy. (Smith, 2019, p. 290). “The purpose of the building was to create a living, breathing place that invites, teaches, houses, protects and nurtures” (Boykin & Raines, 2006, p. 45).
Having a home for the College of Nursing was Anne Boykin’s dream, and a generous philanthropist and fellow nurse and friend, Christine E. Lynn, funded the building. The building is 75,000 square feet with three floors, with a circular design to reflect wholeness and connectedness. “The College is dedicated to Caring: advancing the science, practicing the art, studying its meaning, and living caring day-to-day”. Nursing is defined as “nurturing the wholeness of person-environment through caring” (https://nursing.fau.edu/about/college-at-a-glance/vision-and-mission.php). This core dedication to the mission is cast in the terrazzo floor of the atrium of the building as the “dance of caring persons”. It is a visual reminder of the College’s philosophy and model of relating. The dance is grounded in respect and valuing of all persons who are encouraged and supported in a culture that values persons living caring and growing in caring. (https://nursing.fau.edu/about/college-at-a-glance/index.php).
The atrium faces a garden with trees and plants known for their healing properties, rocking chairs and benches, and a labyrinth, an ancient symbol of self-reflection and wholeness. Walking the labyrinth is a journey to our own center and back again out into to the world. (Boykin & Raines, 2006, p. 46). This labyrinth is unique in that it is oval rather than round; its designer felt that the shape represented the face, the place of human connection between nurses and others. The healing garden is an environment for students, staff and faculty enjoy. Palm trees and other plants are around the building. Bamboo is on each side of the entrance of the building is a symbol of blessings within. The color of the exterior and interior of the building is mostly earth tones, a nurturant element that most closely represents nursing.
This unitary perspective on person-environment integrality led to creating a “green” building, one that embraces principles of sustainability and stewardship of the earth. The building is designated as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold-certified building. It features minimal destruction of the earth surrounding the building, water savings through low flow toilets and recycled water for garden irrigation, healthy indoor air and natural light throughout the building, construction using materials and appliances that decrease impact on deforestation and the environment, use of products and supplies that are natural and non-chemical, and energy efficiency. (Boykin & Raines, 2006).
The feng shui design principles are based on creating environments in which people feel comfortable and supported. Feng shui masters and experts in healing architecture consulted from the beginning on the design elements. Before the groundbreaking the feng shui master engaged the College community in a ritual blessing ceremony to honor the land and prepare the earth to accept and nurture this new home. (Boykin & Raines, 2006). The front of the building faces north, the most propitious direction. The back of the building borders on a lake. Water is a source of life, and this water source is visually incorporated through river rock in the garden that visually is contiguous to a swath of black tile that flows throughout the building. A bagua or feng shui blueprint guided the placement of different areas in the College. The five elements of earth, water, fire, wood and metal are used in particular areas of the building along with the colors and shapes they represent. For example, “helpful persons” on the first floor is the office of Student Support Services housing advisors and assistant deans, while on the third floor it is the Dean’s Suite. The element of wood using block shapes permeates the design in this area along with the color green. Another example is that the Office of Research and Scholarship is located in the “prosperity” area of the bagua represented by the fire element with angular shapes and the color red.
The three floors of the building have different purposes; the first floor is the welcoming space for the community. The second floor is focused on spaces for students including large and smaller classrooms with connectivity for distance learning, a kitchen with communal eating space, the lab area for simulation and skills practice, and individual and group study areas, a large doctoral student study room and the Center for Nursing Research and Scholarship. The third floor has the suites for the Dean, administrative support staff, eminent scholars, associate deans, faculty offices, several conference rooms and a faculty kitchen and eating space.
Other unique features that reflect nursing’s ontology are open spaces for gatherings and events, a museum and the Archives of Caring (the only archive in the world that houses the work of caring scholars), a large yoga or exercise space with a bamboo floor, a holistic space for classes and a room with a massage table, and a “sacred space”, a room for meditation, reflection or contemplation.
The ontology, or essential nature of nursology, is reflected clearly in the structure and design of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. It is an environment that nurtures the growth of students, faculty and staff in bringing the values to life in all missions of the College: teaching, research, practice and service. “Through intentional design features the concepts of reflection/mindfulness, aesthetic appreciation, healing environments, human-environment integrality, holistic health, and the significance of self-care to the being-becoming of the nurse are prominent”. (Smith, 2019, p. 290).
Boykin, A. & Raines, D. (2006). Design and structure as an expression of caring. International Journal for Human Caring, 10(4), 45-49.
Boykin, A., Touhy, T.A. & Smith, M.C. (2021). Evolution of a caring-based college of nursing. In M. Hills, J. Watson & C. Cara (Eds.), Creating a caring science curriculum: An emancipatory pedagogy for nursing (pp. 187-200). New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
Smith, M.C. (2019). Advancing caring science through the missions of teaching, research/scholarship, practice and service. In W. Rosa, S. Horton-Deutsch & J. Watson (Eds.), A Handbook for Caring Science: Expanding the Paradigm. (pp. 285-301) New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
Smith, M.C. (2019) Regenerating the focus of the discipline of Nursing. Advances in Nursing Science. 42(1), 3-16,
with Jane Flanagan (past SRS President) Marlaine Smith is current SRS President
The 33rd Annual Society of Rogerian Scholars (SRS) Conference, Celebrating our Past and Visioning our Future, was held on October 2, 2020 through a virtual format. The conference was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Martha Rogers’ groundbreaking book An Introduction to the Theoretical Basis of Nursing. While many of Rogers’ ideas in this book changed significantly since 1970, this publication represents the birth of the Science of Unitary Human Beings (SUHB).
There were over 100 participants from across the world registered for the conference. The conference keynote, “The Contributions of Martha E. Rogers Over the Past 50 Years: A Conversation”, was presented by Dr. Violet Malinski and Dr. Anne-Marie Leveille. Dr. Leveille, a former student of Dr. Malinski, posed questions and comments to Dr. Malinski, and Dr. Malinski offered a detailed historical account of the evolution of the SUHB from the perspective of one of the founders of SRS and a student and mentee of Rogers. This presentation is an essential resource for anyone interested in the SUHB, a “must see” for all new and continuing students of Rogers’ science. This video is available here on the Nursology website.
Following the keynote, Drs. Dottie Jones, Howard Butcher and Marlaine Smith offered their perspectives in a panel discussion on “Re-envisioning Possibilities for the Science of Unitary Human Beings into Practice, Education and Research on Human Wellbecoming”. The panel was followed by the Martha E. Rogers Scholars Fund scholarship recipients, Drs. Kathryn Post and Philip Gimber, presenting their research findings and the impact on Rogerian Science, specifically Barrett’s work on Knowing Participation in Change. Each used the Knowing Participation in Change Short Form (KPCSF) or version III tool in their work.
Dr. Gimber used the KPCSF tool in a study exploring power and its correlation to quality of life and self-health patterning in persons with chronic illness. He found that there was a two way correlation between power and self-health patterning and power and quality of life. Dr. Post used the KPCSF to examine power and quality of life and patient activation in a nationwide sample of over 300 participants with breast cancer and found that quality of life and patient activation were strongly correlated with KPC.
Last but not least, Dr. Jane Flanagan presented “A Futurist Talk: Possibilities of Rogerian Science for Future Wellbecoming”. Dr. Flanagan’s keynote wove, photography, poetry and music into a tapestry of meaning to inspire us to realize the potentials embodied in unitary science. The presentations by Post, Gimber and a modified version of Flanagan’s talk are available on the SRS website at https://www.societyofrogerianscholars.org/conference-information.html.
The Society of Rogerian Scholars is nearly 35 years old. Its mission is to advance nursing science through an emphasis on Martha E. Rogers’ SUHB in the focus areas of nursing education, research and practice and in service to humankind. The organization convenes annual conferences, publishes the journal Visions, and provides mentorship, education and consultation to those interested in nursing research, practice and education from a unitary perspective. The Martha E. Rogers Scholars Fund, the independent development arm of the SRS, sponsors lectureships at the SRS conferences and provides scholarship support to students whose research focuses on unitary science. SRS welcome new members and is especially interested in recruiting a more diverse racial/ethnic membership.
On May 12th we celebrate Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday in the midst of a global pandemic. Nightingale, the acknowledged founder of modern nursing, was no stranger to the unfettered spread of communicable diseases. During her service in the Crimean War ten times more soldiers died from dysentery, cholera, typhoid fever, and typhus than the wounds of war. Nightingale understood how the human-environment relationship influenced health and healing. According to Nightingale, nursing was about putting the person in the best condition for Nature to act (Nightingale, 1859/1969). In other words, the focus of nursing is on nurturing and supporting the process of healing. Nightingale was a social reformer, justice activist, humanitarian, liberally-educated scholar, and bioinformatician, driven to service and care for others from a deep spirituality (Dunphy, 2020).
In her book, Notes on Nursing: What it is and what it is not (1860/1969), Nightingale offers guidance about creating an environment that can prevent disease or support healing. While she is focused on care of “sick” persons in the home, her concepts are applicable beyond this. Here are ten practical tips from Florence Nightingale as we live with COVID-19 pandemic:
Ventilation. Nightingale said that “keeping the air he (sic) breathes as pure as the external air without chilling him (sic)” is the very first canon of nursing. (p. 12). While we are sheltered-in-place it is important to get fresh air. Make an effort to spend some time outdoors by sitting outside, going on a walk or run while maintaining a social distance, or just opening windows. Those with mild to moderate symptoms of the disease will be managing symptoms at home, staying indoors away from others. Even with these restrictions promoting the flow of some fresh air in the home is possible, opening windows even a few minutes every few hours. We can advocate for those in the community who are not able to have a safe place to be outside or depend on others to get some fresh air.
Health of houses (pure air, water, efficient drainage, cleanliness). Nightingale believed that cleanliness was the first defense in preventing disease. When she came to field hospitals in the Crimea her first action was to start cleaning the space. We know that the novel coronavirus that is causing COVID-19 is highly infectious. Because it spreads mainly through respiratory droplets keeping surfaces clean and washing hands after touching anything that could be touched by others, like doorbells, elevator buttons, mailboxes, etc. is important. Having water to wash hands, clothes, and surfaces is essential, but we know that those who are homeless and those whose water has been turned off need our advocacy to turn the water on and to have hand sanitizer available for those without homes. I diffuse antimicrobial essential oils like eucalyptus, tea tree and cajeput in my bedroom and family room to cleanse the air.
Petty managementis about the holistic coordination or management of care through environmental scanning, information and planning. I found one passage particularly relevant to our experience with COVID-19. “Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion. Remember he is face-to-face with his enemy all the time, internally wrestling with him, having long imaginary conversations with him…Rid him of his adversary quickly” (Nightingale, 1859/1969, p. 38). This is a stressful time in our lives and many are living with fear and anxiety. Receiving clear and consistent messages is important in a crisis. Providing honest information to those we encounter about the transmission of the virus, incubation period, ways to protect self from infection, and what to do when experiencing symptoms may relieve anxiety and help them to plan and gather resources. I find myself providing information to family and friends who call with questions. Nurses are trusted and approachable sources of knowledge for the public. There is so much information on the internet, and we can help to refer people to the most reliable sources. Listening and providing support to others can be helpful as well as caring for self through those activities that work for you such a meditation, exercise, watching a funny movie, journaling, etc.
Noise – In this section, Nightingale calls attention to the sound environment and its potential effect on promoting rest and well-being. With most of us sheltered at home we can cultivate greater awareness of how sounds affect us. For example, it may be tempting to have the television or internet news on; however, the constant information about the pandemic may cause us to become more tense and anxious. Turning on music that is comforting, relaxing, joyful or inspirational, or tuning into sounds from nature from apps, or actually being outdoors are ways to promote serenity.
Variety– We may be at home for another 1-2 months, so Nightingale’s advice on creating variety in the environment is especially relevant. She said, “…the nerves of the sick suffer from seeing the same walls, the same ceiling, the same surroundings during a long confinement to one or two rooms” (p. 58). She suggested bringing beauty, color and interesting objects into a confined space. How can we bring variety into our lives when our space is limited? One way is intentionally creating a daily schedule that includes new and interesting activities. It might be creating art, journaling, working on a home project, learning a new skill like a language, touring museums using online apps, reading books, or binging on a Netflix series. Some are caring for and home schooling children, working from home, or continuing their essential work in the community. Variety is already built-in to their lives.
Food – Nightingale focuses on providing food that is nutritious and supportive for healing. The science of nutrition has come a long way since Nightingale. During this pandemic we want to eat food that supports our immune systems, lots of fruits and vegetables if possible. Take a multi-vitamin with minerals or supplements with Vitamin C, D (especially if you are not exposed to much sunlight), A, E, selenium, magnesium and zinc. Shopping and getting groceries or prepared food delivered can be challenging and anxiety-producing. Some may have a tendency to overeat for comfort, boredom, or just having constant access. With the loss of jobs, food insecurity is a concern. We need to support food banks more than ever in this crisis.
Bed and bedding– The message here from Nightingale is to keep bedding fresh and aired out, changing the sheets frequently and airing out the bed with a window open if possible before making it. While she is referring to caring for people bedridden, this is still a useful message to consider.
Light– Nightingale asserts that the need for sunlight is second only to the need for fresh air. (p. 84). She stated that sunlight not only lifts the spirit, but “has real and tangible effects upon the human body…a purifying effect” (p. 85). She suggested either letting the sunlight into the room or better yet, getting out into the sunlight. We know that sunlight is indeed important for health, that ultraviolet light has antiviral properties, and that viral infections tend to decrease when days are longer. When there is sunlight take an opportunity to get some exposure to it.
Cleanliness – Here we go again! In this section, Nightingale is focused on actually scrubbing walls, floors, dusting and cleaning carpets or anything else harboring dirt. I guess this is another activity to keep us busy. In her section on personal cleanliness she emphasizes how vitality is restored by washing the skin and clothes. “Poisoning by the skin is no less certain than poisoning by the mouth—only it is slower in its operation” (p. 93). People feel better after a bath or shower, and she even suggests skin brushing (she calls it “rubbing” the skin). Washing ourselves and our clothes more frequently especially if there are chances of exposure to the virus is important.
Chattering hopes and advices– In this section Nightingale warns against offering unsubstantiated hopeful predictions and giving advice without any foundation to it. She says to “leave off the practice of attempting to ‘cheer’…by making light of danger”…(p. 96). I believe she is telling us that during times of human suffering authentic presence through being with, listening, and following the persons’ lead is essential. Many are suffering during this time. Nurses can be with others by listening and being present with them during this suffering without simplistic platitudes.
Nightingale, F. (1860/1969). Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not. New York: Dover Publications.
Dunphy, L.M.H. (2020). Florence Nightingale’s conceptualizations of nursing. In Nursing Theories and Nursing Practice (5th edition). M. Smith (Ed.). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis, (pp. 35-54).