Dream of a Healing House & Feminist thought in nursing


Toady I posted on my own blog a “reprint” of the “Dream of a Healing House” that appeared in 1989 in the now-defunct journal Nursing and Health Care.  For those who have become familiar with the NurseManifest project, you will immediately recognize that the dream, and the feminist ideas that I wrote about then are also part of the foundation of the NurseManifest project.  It seems like a discouragingly long time since I first wrote this article, and of course it is even much longer since others have conceived of similar ideas.  But, those of us who have been and are inspired by the ideals embedded in NurseManifest possibilities thankfully never give up the dream!

What prompted me to get permission to “reprint” the dream was a request, by email, from a school in Australia that was facing a routine accreditation review of their curriculum, and in the documents that they had on record describing the curriculum there was a reference to a “dream of a healing house” that was not cited, but that folks involved with the program believed to have been published by me at some point along the way!  They were contacting me to see if this was the case, and if so, where was it published.  I still do not know what their curriculum materials contain, but of course I provided the information they needed and urged them to keep working to make this a reality!

This kind of connection continues to pop up regularly with the NurseManifest project – someone somehow hears about or sees the web site, and either emails or comments when we meet about how much the web site means to them.  So far we have done no promotion, and I wonder what might happen if we were to find more ways to let folks know we exist?  But regardless, I am so very glad that the ideas are “out there” as part of a much wider and deeper trust that we can make a difference!

If you have had experiences that affirm the possibility that our ideals can, or actually are coming into action, please share here!  Just share a comment about what you have experienced, and let’s build a “log” of things that affirm our conviction that the ideals can be real!

4 thoughts on “Dream of a Healing House & Feminist thought in nursing

  1. Peggy, this is a great idea. I am developing a caring-holistic-integral curriculum where I teach RN- BSN students. It is amazing to see the students start using Reiki, music therapy, and other holistic-caring modalities at the bedside. The program is based on the premise that self-care, mindfulness, and reflection are the keys to the nurse being empowered to create change in the workplace as they begin to change themselves. It is amazing for me to see BSN students use the tools we provide them to move out of burnout toward a place where their passion for nursing and caring for others begins to re-emerge. I am working on writing up some of our outcomes from the program.

    Thanks for creating this space for sharing our dreams and realities.

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  2. Thank YOU for being part of the dream, and for being so central in keeping this blog alive and well!!! Yes, this is a great place to share our dreams, but especially times and places when our dreams become real! I love the quote from Margo Adair that says that if we can imagine it, it is real, it is possible! Peggy

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  3. Peggy, good dreams are seeds. The faculty at Capital University have been dedicated to holistic health and healing since the 1970s. It’s a big reason I went there as dean 25 years ago. While I was back as interim dean in 08-09 we achieved certification in holistic health for all the programs; many of the faculty are certified and expert in holistic modalities. I really love one of the things they do: “calling the circle.” We gather, focus our energies, and together heal ourselves so we can help others to heal. It’s very powerful. I like the dream of a healing house; several Capital faculty regularly hold “healing retreats” open to all nurses in beautiful settings. Be well, be bold. Doris

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  4. I am so delighted you shared this information about Capital University. I am thinking that perhaps we should put some information on our Nursemanifest web site about your program? Let me know what you think. . . Peggy

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