Confronting Cultural Noise Pollution

Much earlier in my career a group of colleagues and I conducted a survey published in the American Journal of Nursing that addressed friendship in nursing*.  We were motivated to confront the message that nurses are their own worst enemies, and not friends. The results of the survey affirmed that although the message persists, and sometimes accurately describes relationships and interactions, there is ample evidence that nurses are more often than not our own best supporters and friends. I call these kinds of repeated negative messages cultural noise pollution that obscure the realities of the more accurate and complete situation – messages that obscure what is real and what is possible.

We created Nursology.net with a  similar motivation to confront the often repeated message that nursing theory is irrelevant, not necessary, or too abstract to be useful in practice.  These messages obscure the realities of the vital importance of nursing knowledge in the context of systems that serve to address the healthcare needs of our time.  They interrupt serious consideration, discussion and thought concerning who we are as nurses, what we are really all about, and why we persist in our quest to improve our practice. Failing to recognize the value of our own discipline’s knowledge, we fall prey to serving the interests of others, and neglect our own interests.

My favorite pithy definition of theory is this – theory is a vision.  Theory provides a view of concrete realities that makes it possible to mentally construct all sorts of dimensions that are not obvious to our limited perception of a situation in the moment.  It provides ways to understand how a particular “thing” comes about, what it means, what might happen next,  how the trajectory of a situation might unfold, and how human actions might change that trajectory.   In the practice of nursing, this is precisely what we are all about – we take a close look at a situation that presents a health challenge, we set about to understand what is going on beneath the surface, we examine evidence related to the situation, and we chart a course of action that might move the situation in a way that would not otherwise be possible.  People in other healthcare disciplines are doing much the same thing, but we have a nursing lens through which we as nurses view the situation.  Our  lens determines what we deem to be important in the evolution of the situation, and shapes the sensibilities we bring to the actions we take.  Our lens derives from nursology – the knowledge of the discipline.

If you take even a brief tour of Nursology.net, you will soon see that nursing theories, models and philosophies represent a coherent message focused on visions of health and well-being in the face of complex, sometimes tragic,  health challenges. You will also find a vast diversity of lenses that give a particular focus on this central message.  Some of the lenses give us a vision that is a lofty “30-thousand foot altitude” view. Some of the lenses focus in more closely on particular aspects of health challenges. There is no “right or wrong,” “better or worse.” Each lens simply brings about a different vision. Just as a camera can bring a different tone, hue or filter to see a single image in different ways, our nursing theories open possibilities and alternatives that would never be possible if we did not have the various lenses through which to view the situations we encounter. Taken together, these theories, models, philosophies form an ever-expanding nursology. Our theories, models and philosophies open possibilities for practice that can make a huge difference in the lives of real people.

We have an amazing, vast and rich heritage of nursing knowledge – and we are nowhere near done with the task!  Our vision for Nursology.net is to document and honor the serious knowledge-work that has been accomplished in the past, draw on this foundation, and inspire new directions that are yet unimagined!  We hope nurses everywhere, regardless of how or where you practice as a nurse, will join us in this journey, and add your voice to help shape what is possible! And importantly, we invite you to join us in confronting the negative, self-destructive effects of various forms of cultural noise pollution that cloud our vision!

*Friendship Study references

Chinn, P. L., Wheeler, C. E., Roy, A., Berrey, E. R., & Madsen, C. (1988). Friends on friendship. The American journal of nursing, 88, 1094–1096.

Chinn, P. L., Wheeler, C. E., Roy, A., & Mathier, E. (1987). Just between friends: AJN friendship survey. The American journal of nursing, 87, 1456–1458.

Scholarship for research or clinical practice project in process based in Rogers’ Science of Unitary Human Beings

The Society of Rogerian Scholars (SRS) offers funding for research or clinical practice project in process based in Rogers’ Science of Unitary Human Beings.  Up to three awards of $1000 each are given each year, and the application deadline is April 1!

Go to the Society of Rogerian Scholars website for more details – the award criteria, application  requirements, and the award process.  We are adding the application due date to the “Due Dates” list in the Nursology.net sidebar, with a link to  the SRS website details!

Theory-guided Practice Exemplar: United States Air Force Professional Caring Practice Using Ray’s Theory of Bureaucratic Caring

The first exemplar of theory-guided practice posted on Nursology.net was the United States Air Force Professional Caring Practice Using Ray’s Theory of Bureaucratic Caring.  In the process of preparing the information for posting, Dr. Marilyn “Dee” Ray shared how this came to be!  Here is her story:

It was a great honor to have the USAF, Nurse Corps accept my theory as their framework for

Photo credit: Lifetouch Church Directories – directories@lifetouch .com.

the new Interprofessional Person Centered Caring Model. The actual development came after Colonel Marcia Potter chose the Bureaucratic Caring Theory (BCT) for her doctoral (DNP) research on nurse and staff efficacy and economic outcomes regarding patients with diabetes. She completed her DNP in 2015. Her work improved USAF clinical practice and economic outcomes to the sum of over 2 million dollars.

At the same time, Lt General Dorothy Hogg, Surgeon General and Chief of the Air Force Nurse Corps wanted to develop a theory-guided person centered caring model for implementation in the Nurse Corps. She was the Deputy Surgeon General then but is now the first nurse and woman chosen to the rank of Lieutenant General (3 star) and Surgeon General of the US Air Force . She was recognized for her creativity, intellect, caring nature, and ability to motivate professionals toward health care collaboration and dynamic policy change. Colonel Potter recommended my theory to be the one that the executive should review to see if it would be the best to choose for development in the whole Nurse Corps for theory-guided practice because she had positive clinical and economic outcomes from her research in primary care. Colonel Potter called me on the phone after she found my information in the Society of Retired USAF nurses. So that call began our relationship and my reconnection to the executive of the USAF.

We had many discussions and a number of iterations of the model until the one posted on Nursology.net was selected. Colonel Potter has implemented Bureaucratic Caring Theory-Guided practice and research in all those areas you see on the website. It astounds me in terms of all she accomplishes.  All this has taken place since 2015.

There is now a new initiative that facilitates the development of person-centered caring in the USAF, NC called the C21 or Centers for Clinical Inquiry under the leadership of Brigadier General Robert Marks and Colonel Deedra Zabokrtsky. This initiative is planned in key locations around the Air Force where there are nurse researchers and librarians to support inquiries from the field looking for the best, most relevant research in the literature as it relates to nursing practice (evidence-based/informed practice), as well as engaging nurse researchers in different USAF sites directly in response to queries about improving nursing practice.

At the installation to Surgeon General and Lt. General in Washington, DC last June, Dorothy Hogg gave me this amazing recognition highlighting my theory as the theory that was selected to respond to the new health care initiative to focus on person centered and improve care in the USAF. As you can imagine, I was so deeply humbled and honored. I served in the USAF Nurse Corps for 32 years and served our country in many roles as flight nurse, clinician, educator, administrator, command nurse, consultant, and researcher in aerospace and organizational nursing and health care, veteran, and Colonel Retired, and now in this new role as a nursing theorist. What can I say, but a sincere thank you to so many people, including colleagues like [the Nursology.Net developers] who are role models and have encouraged and guided me throughout the years.

Kindest regards and caring thoughts,
Dee

Follow-up note –
I forgot to mention that I was invited to present the BCT guided interprofessional Person-Centered Caring Model and work in the USAF to the European Society for Person Centered Healthcare in London in September, 2016 where I was awarded an Honorary Distinguished Fellowship of the ESPCH. That is another great honor.

“Florence” as metaphor and reality

Nursology.net was officially launched on September 18,  2018, just as hurricane-turned-tropical storm “Florence” raged through the U.S. southeast!  The name of this storm, and the timing of our launch, seemed more than a simple coincidence, considering the significance of this name in nursing history, and for the new beginnings that each “Florence” catalyzed for the global community.

Consider:

Florence Nightingale – 1820-1910 

  • Vision of nurses as agents of societal and individual reform
  • Coupled care with political activism directed at laws and social conditions contributing to ill health – used the results of statistical analyses to convince politicians and military leaders and others about what people needed for high-quality wellness.
  • Laid foundation for professional nursing by establishing world’s first secular school for nurses at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London

 

Florence Wald – 1917-2008 

  • Dean of Yale University School of Nursing 1958-1968
  • Opened the first hospice in the United States in 1971.
  • Initiated training for inmates in Connecticut to become hospice volunteers for dying inmates, an approach that became a model for prisons worldwide.

 

 

Florence Downs – 1925-2005 

  • Director of Post Graduate and Research Programs, New York University 1972-1977
  • Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Studies, University of Pennsylvania 1977-1993
  • Served as Chairperson for more than 100 doctoral dissertation committees
  • Editor, Nursing Research 1979-1997. As the first academic editor of Nursing Research, Dr. Downs changed the editorial policies of the journal from publication of “one shot studies” and infrequent publication of the same researcher’s work to the new policies that enhanced the publication of programs of research by the same researcher or team of researchers
  • “Florence Downs, a well-recognized nursing leader, educator, editor, and Scholar helped shape nursing as an intellectual discipline and wrote extensively about the importance of links between research and practice” In Memoriam: Florence Downs. Nursing Research, 54, 373. .
  • The Florence S. Downs PhD Program in Nursing Research and Theory Development at New York University Rory Myers College of Nursing is named for Florence Downs

Each of these pre-eminent nurses who bore the name “Florence” emerged from circumstances in which they recognized that something significant needed to change – the status-quo was not sufficient. Their actions and the direction they set for the future were based on the premise that Nightingale put forward – it is the things that people do that cause illness and disease.  Like a hurricane, human actions can chart a new course, can change the lives and life-ways of so many people.

Nursology.net, is based on the belief that nursing itself holds the power to change the direction of healthcare, and to set a course toward health – for thriving in the face of hardship, and for peace in the midst of turbulent times.

Peggy L. Chinn, RN, PhD, FAAN and Jacqueline Fawcett, RN; PhD; ScD(hon); FAAN; ANEF

References for Information on Florence Downs:

Fairman J, & Mahon MM. (2001). Oral history of Florence Downs: the early years. Nursing Research, 50, 322–328.
In Memoriam: Florence Downs. Nursing Research, 54, 373.
Vessey J, & Gennaro S. (2005). The gardener: Florence Downs, August 20, 1925-September 8, 2005. Nursing Research, 54, 374–375.

Abstract due dates now available on Nursology.net!

We have added a new feature – a list of abstract due dates for the future conferences that are listed on Nursology.net!  The due dates are in the sidebar on all of our pages and posts, with links to the Nursology.net page that shows more information about the conference!  On each page we provide links to each conference website where you can find detailed information about submitting an abstract and about the conference itself.

At the moment there are 4 due dates for abstracts – some of them looming in the very near future!  Here they are!

Of course these dates could change – and new ones will be added as we learn about them! So watch this site and our sidebar list of abstract due dates for updates.  And always check the conference website for the very latest and most accurate information!

Wondering where and when all the future nursology-related conferences are happening?  There is a fast and easy way to find out!  Hover over ‘Future Events” on our main menu, and a menu of all the conferences, with their locations and dates, will pop up in chronological order!  But be prepared  – the list is long, so you will need to scroll down to see them all!

Are we missing a conference?  Let us know using our handy “Future Event Form.”

Call for Abstracts – Neuman Systems Model Symposium – Canton, Ohio – June 20-21, 2019

17th International Biennial Neuman Systems Model Symposium
Location: Canton, Ohio
Dates: June 20-21, 2019
Abstract submission deadline: November 10, 2018

Theme: Exploring Population Health:  Building Bridges with the Neuman Systems Model

An event sponsored by Neuman Systems Model, Inc.

Call for Abstracts

Abstracts are invited for presentations, roundtable discussions and/or posters on topics related to how the Neuman Systems Model can influence population health education, practice, and research.  All abstracts will receive blind review by the Abstracts Review Committee.  Research abstracts need to include the study purpose, conceptual framework, methodology, results, discussion and implications.  Practice and educational abstracts should include problem, intervention, outcome, and discussion.  Roundtable discussion abstracts should include topic, how the NSM was used and outcomes. One presenter for each presentation, paper or poster selected will be eligible for a reduced registration fee.  All presenters must be registered participants for the Symposium.

  • Submission Deadline: November 10, 2018
  • Presenters Notified of Acceptance by December 15, 2018
  • Confirmation of Presenter Attendance due by January 12, 2019

For submission details, see the Nursology.net conference page here

More information on the Neuman Systems Model on Nursology.net here

Today – the official launch of Nursology.net!

Today, September 18, 2018, we are formally unveiling Nursology.net — the nurse led, nurse developed repository providing the most current and accurate information about nursing discipline-specific knowledge that advances human betterment globally.  We are a team of nurse scholars who believe in the power of nursing ideas, honor the heritage of nursing ideas that form the foundation of our discipline, and are dedicated to advancing the development of nursing knowledge for the future.

Creating Nursology.net has been an amazing experience!  Each of us who have developed the site and its content have vested interests, as nurse scholars, in seeing this project come to fruition. But I am not sure if any of us could envision the reality until now. As one of the developers, and as someone who is known to have a certain degree of expertise in nursing knowledge development, being a witness to the unfolding reality of this site has been a remarkable awakening.  Yes, I already had a degree of familiarity with every element that we have developed so far. But as I began to see all the pieces start to appear all together, in a collection that represents the whole, I have been in awe of the enormity, the significance and the power of nursing ideas, how these ideas shape nursing actions, and how nursing actions shape our ideas.

We have great expectations for this resource, as described in our mission and goals. We have an impressive start, and we invite you to participate in any way you can.  Here are some ideas to get involved:

  • If you know of something you would like us to include, we have forms scattered throughout the site that you can use to send us your suggestions. Or, use our contact form.
  • From today going forward we will have a weekly blog post (perhaps more) to highlight what is happening in the realm of developing nursing knowledge. Follow our Nursology.net blog by entering your email in the space at the top of the right sidebar on any Nursology.net page.
  • Do you have an idea for a blog?  We welcome you to be a guest blogger – use our blog submission form.
  • Comment  on our blog posts any time to participate in discussions, which we hope will be lively and thought-provoking.
  • And, contact us any time – we want to hear from you!

Welcome to Nursology.net!

Welcome to the Nursology.net website – a repository for resources and events related to the development, study and application of nursing knowledge. If you are reading this blog post, you found us before the site is ready to “unveil” and there is still a lot to be done to reach our vision! But we are thrilled you found us – we are aiming to officially launch the site early this coming fall!  Please browse the various sections of the site, and contact us with any feedback – we are eager to hear from you!

The ideas and ideals that guide nursing practice have a long tradition worldwide, centered on caring for those who are sick, injured, or distressed, and supporting the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and communities. This site will be a rich resource for students, teachers, practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and administrators in understanding the vital perspectives that constitute nursing knowledge, and in developing innovative approaches to nursing knowledge and practice in the future.

Be sure to follow our blog by entering your email in the ‘Follow” window at the top of the right sidebar! We will announce the very moment that this site has reached our “useability” benchmark, and from there we will post regularly with updates and features related to the development of nursing knowledge!