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Setting the direction for the nature and direction of change: a request for responses from our readers.

Helicy, resonancy, integrality. These strange sounding terms describe the nature and direction of change in human and environmental fields. Rogers stated that fields "change continuously, mutually and creatively" (1986, p.5). These few words are powerful ideas. They reflect a worldview which is both simple and profound. Understanding is hampered by the causal language and structures of the traditional western world view. However, the idea of simultaneous interacting aspects of the universe as a whole presents no problem for many physicists, astronauts or aboriginal peoples.

These are difficult times for nursing theory, whether in academe or in service. Within nursing, outcomes, costs, and funding for funding's sake seem to glean greater support than do curiosity and the development of knowledge for knowledge's sake. Other disciplines, such as astronomy, do see the value of knowledge for knowledge's sake, and they amaze us with their glorious photographs of nebula from the distant toddler stages of the universe. Of course, knowledge for its own sake does eventually make immense contributions to pragmatic matters as well as profound alterations in worldviews.

We have briefly presented here what we see as current challenges to Rogerian perspectives in nursing education, practice, and research. We have also developed questions related to these issues. We ask the readers of Visions to address these issues and submit their ideas to the journal. It is our intent to stimulate the thinking and debate that are necessary for the conscious choices that are so important to growth and change.

Nursing Education

The Rogerian faculty in many Colleges of Nursing are struggling with the changing values regarding the role of nursing theory in the curriculum. The focus continues to shift from what we, as a profession, know to what we can do. Sociological and other theories are more and more welcome in the curriculum while, increasingly, nursing theories are not. Accreditation standards are often of little or no help.


From a Rogerian perspective, what are the meanings of this change? Should we seek to alter the content and direction of this change?

What do you envision as possible ways to do so?

Nursing Practice

Many, if not most, nurses in practice situations, do not readily see the usefulness of nursing theory in general, or Rogers' Science of Unitary Human Beings (SUHB) in particular, to their practice. Rogers' noninvasive practice model might be seen as incongruent or conflicting with the role of nurse practitioner. Similarly, the SUHB is sometimes seen as a science related more to alternative therapies than to Western science. Rogerian nurses continue their work in private practice, hospitals and other settings, often with little recognition for the significance of their contributions.


From a Rogerian perspective, what are the meanings of these trends?

What do you see as ways to influence the nature and direction of change in the use of Rogerian methodologies within practice settings?

What is the role of accrediting bodies in the use of nursing theory within practice settings?

Nursing Research

Funding agencies often place little value, at best, in the significance of theory in research. It may be disadvantageous to include theory in a research proposal. From the fenders' perspective, it is immediate, cost effective outcomes that are of value. Faculty doing research from a Rogerian perspective continue their work with little or no funding. Students often find it difficult to identify faculty to serve on dissertation committees for theory-based research. The close relationships of theory and methods may not seem worth the effort to faculty or students.


From a Rogerian perspective, what do these trends tell us about the current process of change in the development of knowledge within Rogerian Science?

What ways do you see to influence the nature and direction of change in research activities conducted by Rogerian scholars?

What is the value of the findings of research related to the SUHB?


Is the apathy in the use of the theory related to the loss of the theorist? How do you keep the spirit going?


Rogers, M.E. (11986). Science of unitary human beings. In V. M. Malinski (Ed.), Explorations on Martha Rogers' Science of Unitary Human Beings (pp.3-8). Norwalk, CT: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

Effie Hanchett, RN;PhD

email address:

Roberta G. S. Hills, RN;PhD

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Author:Hills, Roberta G.S.; Hanchett, Effie S.
Publication:Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science
Article Type:Column
Date:Jan 1, 2002
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Next Article:On fireflies and stars: envisioning luminescent beacons for advancing nursing and Rogerian science.

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