Society for the Advancement of Modeling and Role‑Modeling


Volume 25, No. 4; Winter, 2016

Message from the President

By Eileen Deges Curl PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF

Creating a Mandala

You are invited to help create a Mandala for the Society for Advancement of Modeling and Role-Modeling (SAMRM) during our Retreat May 19-21 at the Lawn Lake Resort in Wisconsin. Ellen E. Swanson who wrote the book, Heart Gut Head: Creating a Healthier Hierarchy (2015), will facilitate attendees in developing a circular and holistic visual model of SAMRM. As Swanson says in her book, “Circular illustrations are more complex than linear ones, because the energy flow provides more options and is more interrelated. The emphasis in the circular model is on interdependence, mutuality, and synergy. Circular energy is self-enhancing and sustaining.” (p. 21). If you plan to attend the retreat, I encourage you to read Ellen’s book beforehand to give you a frame of reference for creating the SAMRM Mandala.

The Retreat in May also provides an opportunity to participate in planning an Assembly of Nursing Theorists conference for 2018. This conference will bring together holistic nursing theorists and nurses working with those theories in nursing practice, research and education. The Registration Form for the Retreat can be found in this newsletter, as well as reservation information. Make your resort reservations by April 17th for the SAMRM block rate.

I hope you can join us for a fun, inspirational and renewing retreat.



Student’s Corner

The following statements were written by RN-BSN students from Metropolitan State University at the end of their holistic nursing theory course based on MRM theory. Students were asked to respond to the question “In what ways, if any, has MRM theory change your views on or practice of nursing?”

“I believe learning MRM theory certainly changed my individual expectations as a nurse in my nursing practice. It also changed my perspective to view clients holistically. As an ADN nurse my initial focus is to provide safe care based on technical skills, but learning MRM theory led me to integrate theory based nursing practice… in order to provide quality patient-centered care. Further, MRM theory focuses more on a holistic care approach treating the client as a unique human being rather than a health problem.” - Ruwan Perera
“I think Modeling and Role-Modeling has given me more tools to help me do what I already try to do with my patients. I learned early on in my career in the ER that the patient’s ‘chief complaint’ is often not really mentioned in triage. Patients come in for all sorts of reasons and it takes some time for them to feel comfortable sharing. Modeling and Role-Modeling has given me permission to take time with my patients. It is easy to get rushed in the ER, our doors never close and work never seems to be done. My patients still need me to see them as an individual and take the time to listen and learn who they are. Being back in school has reminded me that my job as a nurse is more than treating the ‘ankle in ;’ it is taking care of the patient who works as a bike messenger in room 4 who has an ankle injury and is now worried about losing his paycheck.” - Ingrid Ostenaa
“I think that Modeling and Role-Modeling theory has made me more aware of what it is to be more of a holistic nurse. For me especially, working in an area that is very stressful with clients who have a lot of emotional and physical distressors, Modeling and Role-Modeling reminds me to treat each client as a unique individual who needs his/her needs met in order to achieve holism. We are all unique individuals who deserve nurturing and Modeling and Role-Modeling theory teaches us just that. I hope to continue applying the theory in my nursing practice in the years to come.” - Jade Selander


Stories from Life and Practice

By Ellen Swanson, RN, MA

K was an 85 y.o. woman who lived in the downtown Minneapolis area. She had no children. She had lived alone since 1984 when her husband died. She was a college graduate, and had a busy schedule supporting her Alma Mater, Women's Club, AAUW, Investment Club, and church activities. She was also an avid lover of the orchestra and theater. She had Alzheimer's. She was a world traveler, and was no longer welcome on some of the tours because of her Alzheimer's. She lived very independently, and guarded this ferociously. A former cleaning woman from her church fleeced her out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and adult protection and the police were involved with this part of the case.

When neighbors in her high-rise condo building met me, they sighed long and loud, expressing gratitude for someone finally being there to help her. I hired coverage for her from about 8:00 A.M. through 10:00 P.M., with 10:00 A.M. through 6:00 P.M. being the only time there was someone there constantly. Prior to and after these hours, there were intermittent checks on her. At first she liked the coverage. Then she began to resist it. When the resistance came, I suggested we have a team meeting of the client, the two caregivers, the two trust officers, and me. I arranged to tape the one hour meeting and have a transcription typed. It was ingeniously typed in the format of a script for a play, with each speaker's name in the left column and the content of their contribution in the right column.

About 10 days after the meeting, the caregivers and the client and I sat down and reviewed the 'script'. We each read our own parts and soon the client firmly stated that she would be P, the male trust officer. As she read P's part and her own part, she would stop and state, "I had forgotten all of this!" The importance of our decisions seemed to register higher for her with this review. She gave it all more credence because it was in minute's form - like a business or club. In fact, we began calling the meeting K's Klub. The minutes were in a large three ring binder labeled 'Communication Log and K's Klub' that she kept on her kitchen counter. She could review them anytime she chose.

My 'heart' helped me 'see' what was important to K and what made something credible to her. As we prepared for our second meeting, I suggested to K that she review the minutes in preparation for the meeting, and she very earnestly and seriously said she would do that. The caregivers used the minutes to help her remember our decisions and the discussion that led to the decisions. This built the trust that was needed for the next shift that was necessary in her life, 24 hour caregivers.

K needed a total hip replacement. Post-operatively, home-based rehab with OT and PT was set up. She had to have 24 hour help, and the student nurses from her alma mater were eager for work. It was suggested to K that she could help the students at her alma mater by having them stay overnight with her. She loved that idea, and 24 hour coverage was never a problem from then on.

#Stories #Life

Have you read...

Frog’s Breathtaking Speech

review by Ellen Schultz

Frog’s Breathtaking Speech (Chisick & Peacock, 2012) is a story about Frog who is sitting by the river feeling very, very, very sad. He must give a speech the next morning at Frog School about breathing. Because he doesn’t know much about breathing he is very, very, very scared. Over the course of the day, as he sits by the river, he is approached by several friends offering advice.

Crocodile is the first to share a breathing strategy with him. He recommends the crocodile breath, breathing in through the nose and out through the nose. “Frog, I would say that this is a very interesting way to breathe, because when you breathe slowly and carefully in and out of your nose it calms you down. Which means if you are worried, anxious or even frightened about something, this way of breathing will help you deal with it better.” Throughout the day, Frog learns about Lion Breath, Humming Bee Breath, and Woodchopper Breath. The following day, as Frog prepares himself to give his speech to three hundred children, feeling nervous and anxious, he realizes that he needs to implement one of the strategies.

The book was aimed at elementary school teachers with instructions on how to use the book. However, it is also a resource for parents and well as children of all ages. The authors include yoga postures to accompany the breathing techniques. The postures and techniques may serve as a self-care strategies for children in a variety of situations. If you are looking for a gift for a child in your life, here is a possibility.

Chissick, M. & Peacock, S. (2012). Frog’s breathtaking speech, Philadelphia, PA: Singing Dragon.

Review by Ellen Schultz, PhD, RN, HTCP, AHN-BC


Self-Care – Starting Your Day Mindfully

Elisha Goldstein (2016), in an article in Mindful, reminds us that the way we wake up in the morning can influence the rest of the day. She offers three morning activities that may support us in being more mindful and self-compassionate during the rest of the day.

  1. Curate Your First Sounds: Instead of waking to a harsh alarm that makes your body tense, choose a gentle alarm. Begin the day with a soothing and relaxing sound. A few years ago, I purchased a Zen alarm for my husband. How lovely to wake to a soft chime… and it does wake us up.
  2. Hydrate Before You Caffeinate: Start the day with a large glass of water before heading for the tea or coffee. Your body needs the water.
  3. Observe Nature: Resist the temptation to grab our cell phone or iPad and step out the door and observe nature. Take in the beauty of a tree, whether it has leaves blowing in the breeze or ha branches covered with snow. Appreciate the beauty of the sky. Then you may move into the business of the day.

Try these practices for a few weeks.

#HaveYouRead #self-care

Upcoming Conference

Margaret Erickson, PhD, RN, APRN-BC will Keynote:


Date: February 25th, 2017

Location: McLennan Community College, Waco, Texas

A combined conference of the 6th Texas Regional Holistic Nursing Conference and the Central Texas Nurse Practitioners Update

Seven Continuing Education Units will be offered.

Registration available at

Please direct questions to Lyn McCright, Central Texas Chapter, AHNA, (254) 751-7111