Dr. Lisa Eichelberger, dean of Clayton State University’s College of Health, recently published the second edition of her textbook entitled “Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists: A Creative Beginning.” Coauthored with Kathy Sitzman of Utah’s Weber State University, the textbook uses art to teach nurses the often daunting task of learning nursing theories. Eichelberger, a resident of Fayette County, and Sitzman open a creative side to nursing theory – one that makes learning a little less intimidating and a lot more innovative.
The second edition expands the number of theorists covered in the first textbook. The authors also contacted all living nursing theorists and had each theorist write a chapter on their life as theorist. Eichelberger also authored a chapter on pioneering a nursing theory website.
“I was taken aback when my coauthor asked me to write the chapter on my experience pioneering a nursing theory website. It all started 14 years ago when I was hired here. Clayton State had just equipped all faculty with notebook computers and required all students were issued one as part of the Information Technology Project. I was teaching nursing theory to RN students at the time and developing a nursing theory compilation site was a class project. I have revised, maintained and expanded the site over the years,” says Eichelberger.
Eichelberger’s School of Nursing (a part of the College of Health) Nursing Theory web site has had more than a million hits. Eichelberger receives emails from faculty and students across the world thanking her for the web site.
The School of Nursing’s first two master’s degree recipients, Dina Swearngin (EastPoint) and Nancy Capponi (Oxford), have their art based on nursing theory featured throughout the second edition of this textbook, along with the art of other nursing students from all over the country. Both were honored to be featured.
“For that assignment, you must take a completed puzzle - the theory - take it apart and reshape it into something that makes sense to you personally - and something that can be interpreted by others. It simply offers students another way to look at these theorists,” says Swearngin, now a School of Nursing part-time clinical instructor.
“The first edition, which we used for one of our MSN courses on nursing theorists, was pertinent to our studies and easy to use. It was a good resource and provided a different perspective to understanding nursing theories. I appreciate the authors allowing me to be a part of the second edition and hope my renderings assist the readers in their understanding of the theories and concepts,” says Capponi.
“It was much easier to write a second edition than the first, I was very flattered that the publisher wanted us to write a second edition. It speaks volumes when a textbook makes it to multiple editions,” says Eichelberger.