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Alumna and Renowned Nursing Theorist Margaret Newman Honored for her Contributions to the Profession

Nurses from Japan came to Memphis recently to honor alumna and nursing theorist Margaret Newman, right. She is pictured with retired nurse Emiko Endo, who brought the contingent from Japan. (Photos by Thurman Hobson, UTHSC)

Nurses from as far away as Japan came to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center recently to honor one of the College of Nursing’s most illustrious graduates — Margaret A. Newman, RN, PhD, an international leader in nursing theory.

The College of Nursing hosted the biennial Margaret Newman Scholars Dialogue on campus. The event drew nurses from around the country, as well as from overseas, to discuss the topic of “Health as Expanding Consciousness,” a nursing theory developed by Dr. Newman, and the title of a book she authored roughly three decades ago.

It was also an opportunity to kick off fundraising for an endowed professorship in the College of Nursing in Dr. Newman’s name. The Margaret Newman Endowed Professorship will sustain its namesake’s legacy for future nurse scholars by focusing on nursing theory and recruiting the best nursing faculty candidates in the country to the UTHSC College of Nursing.

The nurses and students from Japan brought gifts to honor Dr. Newman.

According to Dr. Newman’s theory, nursing is more than just taking care of a patient’s illness. It involves looking at the patient as a whole. The theory has resonated particularly with nurses in Japan. So much so, that a contingent came to Memphis for the dialogue, bearing beautifully printed envelopes tied with ribbons and containing money to contribute to the endowed professorship in honor of the woman on whom they model their practices. They also got to meet Dr. Newman, who was the guest of honor.

Nurse Emiko Endo, who retired recently from Musashino University in Tokyo, led the group of Japanese nurses and nursing students. Some were members of the nonprofit organization called the Newman Theory/Research/Practice Study Society, which includes 150 members in Japan, all of whom are dedicated to increasing awareness of nursing practices based on Dr. Newman’s theory and focus on treating patients, rather than just treating their disease.

Carolyn Graff, PhD, RN, FAAIDD, professor and director of the PhD program in Nursing Science at UTHSC, organized the event. “It’s truly an honor to know her,” Dr. Graff said of Dr. Newman. “When you know Margaret Newman, you become her friend. She’s one of the most caring human beings I’ve met.”

Wendy Likes, PhD, DNSc, APRN-Bc, FAANP, dean of the UTHSC College of Nursing, said hosting the event was an honor. “We are so fortunate to have one of the great minds of nursing theory as an alumna, a former faculty member and a friend,” she said.

An endowed professorship is $500,000 at the University of Tennessee. For information, contact C. Adele Hixon-Day, director of development, (901) 448-5516 or giving@uthsc.org. To make a gift online, go to www.uthscalumni.com/newman.