Dr. Martha Elizabeth Rogers 1914 – 1994
I. Biography
o Martha Elizabeth Rogers was born in Dallas, Texas on May 12, 1914, the oldest of four children in a family which strongly valued education. o The family moved to Knoxville, TN where she attended the University of Tennessee in l93l taking undergraduate science courses for 2 years. o But then she entered nursing school at Knoxville General Hospital, received her nursing diploma in 1936. o She completed a BSN in Public Health Nursing from George Peabody College (Nashville) in l937.

MARTHA ROGERS o She worked as a public health nurse, first in Michigan, then in Connecticut. o In 1945 she earned her master's degree in public health nursing supervision from Teacher's College Columbia University. o She was director of the Visiting Nurses Association in Phoenix, AZ. o She returned East in 1951 earning a M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins University while teaching at Catholic University. o She continued on at Johns Hopkins and completed a Sc.D in 1954. o She then began her long tenure with the Division of Nursing Education at New York University. Her strong background in sciences guided NYU to develop the nursing program as a distinct body of scientific knowledge. o In 1961 she published Educational Revolution in Nursing. o In 1963 Martha edited a journal called Nursing Science. o 1964 she published Reveille in Nursing. o She first published her model of human interaction and the nursing process in 1970 when she published An Introduction to the Theoretical Basis of Nursing. This view presented a drastic but attractive way of viewing human interaction and the nursing process. Further information on her theory can be found in publications and on the Internet. o Rogers officially retired as Professor and Head of the Division of Nursing in 1975 after 21 years of service. o In 1979 she became Professor Emeritus and continued to have an active role in the development of nursing until the time of her death on March 13, 1994. She was 80 years of age.

II. The Creation of the SUHB
Martha E. Rogers' creation of the Science of Unitary Human Beings (SUHB) theory allowed nursing to be considered one of the scientific disciplines. Rogers provided a framework for nursing study and research that improved nursing education, practice and research in the United States. She was born in 1914, attended the University of Tennessee until 1933 and then entered the Knoxville General Hospital School of Nursing. In 1936, she finished nursing school and earned a BSN degree from George Peabody College the following year. Rogers decided to work for several years as a public health nurse before pursuing a graduate degree. She actually earned two master's degrees, one in teaching and one in public

MARTHA ROGERS health. However, Rogers did not stop at a master's level but instead continued her education by obtaining a doctor of science degree. In 1954, she became a professor of nursing at New York University (NYU) where she remained for 21 years (Nursing World). While at NYU, Rogers revised curriculums, theory based learning and established a five year BSN degree program. During her years at NYU, she also developed the conceptual framework for the SUHB, which presented a new way of viewing human interaction and the nursing process (American Association for the History of nursing). Martha Rogers' SUHB theory offers a new look at nursing, providing a framework for practice, education and research that moves away from the traditional medical model approach to the delivery of nursing care (Barrett, 2000). Rogers' framework allows for an alternative to traditional nursing, which can be construed as reductionistic, mechanistic and analytic. This framework includes an open system world view, and thus, has challenged many traditional ideas about nursing. Five basic assumptions underlay Rogers' conceptual framework: wholeness, openness, Unidirectionality, pattern and organization, and sentience and thought (Barrett, 2000). First, the human being is considered a unified whole which is more than the sum of its parts. Second, the person and the environment are continuously exchanging matter and energy with each other. Third, the life process exists along an irreversible space time continuum. Fourth, pattern and organization are used to identify individuals and mirror their wholeness. Fifth, human beings are the only organisms able to think abstractly, have language, sensation and emotion. There are four main topics that are addressed by nursing theorists: people, the environment, health and nursing. Rogers' conceptual framework can be analyzed using these four topics. The way that these subjects are viewed affects the nature of nursing that the SUHB theory describes (Barrett, 2000). A Person is defined by Rogers as a being and energy field in constant interaction with the environment. A person is an open system, more than the sum of its parts. The environment is an energy field including everything that is not the person. Next, health is viewed in terms of choosing actions that lead to the fulfillment of a person's potential, and lastly, nursing tries to direct the interaction of the person and the environment in order to maximize health potential. Martha Rogers' theory has three principles of homeodynarnic. First, Integrality a human energy and environmental energy are integrated, one affects the other. Second, Helicy is all energy patterns are continuous and unpredictable providing increasing diversity. Lastly, Resonance is a continuous change in energy fields

MARTHA ROGERS from lower to higher frequency patterning which is best represented by our wake-sleep cycles. Martha Rogers' development of the Science of Unitary Human Beings has become an influential nursing theory in the United States. When first introduced it was considered radical, and difficult to understand, but now is simply thought to be ahead of its time. This conceptual framework has greatly influenced all facets of nursing by offering an alternative to traditional approaches of nursing.

III. Martha Rogers' Science of Unitary Human Beings Important Terms:
Wholeness - in which the human being is regarded as a unified whole which is more than and different from the sum of the parts. Openness - where the individual and the environment are continuously exchanging matter and energy with each other. Unidirectionality - where the life process exists along an irreversible space time continuum. Pattern and Organization - which identifies individuals and reflects their innovative wholeness. Sentience and Thought - which states that of all life, human beings are the only ones capable of abstraction and imagery, language and thought, sensation and emotion. HUMAN: “an irreducible, indivisible, pandimensional energy field identified by pattern and manifesting characteristics that are specific to the whole and cannot be predicted from the parts". ENVIRONMENT: Rogers defined the environment as being in constant interaction with the person, or human field pattern manifestation. Furthermore, it has been defined very simply as everything that is not of the human field pattern manifestation,. It has been defined as:” an irreducible, pandimensional energy field identified by pattern and manifesting characteristics different from those of the parts. Each environment field is specific to its given human field. Both change continuously and creatively." HEALTH: "health is participation in the life process by choosing and executing behaviors that lead to the optimum fulfillment of a persons’ potential” and that "health is a rhythmic patterning of energy that is mutually enhancing and expresses full life potential".

MARTHA ROGERS NURSING: "as a science, designates the term nursing as a noun and signifies that nursing is an organized body of abstract knowledge. Traditionally, the term has been used as a verb. Nursing, the science-noun, indicates that there is a body of knowledge specific to nursing." So nursing as a science is using the word as a noun, but Rogers also stated that she believed that nursing is an art, and in that case the word should be used as a verb. This has been consistently reiterated throughout the history of the Science of Unitary Human Beings. "Nursing seeks to promote symphonic interaction between the environment and man, to strengthen the coherence and integrity of the human beings, and to direct and redirect patterns of interaction between man and his environment for the realization of maximum health potential". The goal of nursing according to Rogers’ Science of Unitary Human Beings is to promote human-environment field patterning and the nursing process. ### Sources: Buchinger, K.L. (1992). Martha E. Rogers In: American nursing: A biographical dictionary, Vol II. V.L. Bullough, V.L., O.M. Church, & A.P. Stein, (Eds.). New York: Garland. Hektor, L.M. (1989). Martha E. Rogers: A Life History. Nursing Science Quarterly 2; 2, 63-73. Malinski, V.M., and Barrett, E.A.M. (1994). Martha E. Rogers: Her Life and Work. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis. Safier, G. (1977). Contemporary American leaders in nursing: An oral history. New York: McGraw Hill.


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