Martha E. Rogers’ first sentence in the Forward in her landmark book An Introduction to the Theoretical Basis of Nursing opened with the declaration “People are at the center of nursings' purpose” (Rogers, 1970, p. vii). Epilogue ended with the lines “New horizons call. Nursing has moved into a new era of fulfilling human need” (p. 139). In between these beginning and ending lines resides a revolutionary synthesis of knowledge, breathing taking in its scope, that launched a unique scientific and humanistic vision specific to nursing. Her ground breaking scientific system, the science of unitary human beings, unleashed a new unitary vision of holism consummate with contemporary science.

Rogers’ work and legacy continues to soar. Between 1970 and today, a rich body of knowledge continues to be built on her theoretical foundation. Four major books of collected works have expanded her vision and science. First, in 1986, Violet Malinski’s Explorations on Martha Rogers’ science of unitary human beings, made accessible a collection of reports from the first dissertations to be fully conceptualized within Rogerian science. Barrett’s Visions of Rogers’ science-based nursing published in 1990 included chapters serving as exemplars for the use of the science of unitary human beings in practice, research, and education which was followed up in 1994 with the Rogers’ scientific art of nursing practice edited by Mary Madrid and Elizabeth Barrett and with the Madrid’s edited Patterns of Rogerian knowing published in 1997. Malinski and Barrett’s Martha E. Rogers: Her life and her work, also published in 1994, is an invaluable comprehensive collection of Rogers’ early papers, as well reprints of all the major articles and book chapters she wrote refining her thinking about the science of unitary human beings. These texts, hundreds of published articles, many published in the 15 volumes of Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, and dozens of dissertations form the lexicon that is the science of unitary human beings.

More than 15 years ago Violet Malinski rightly noted that “perhaps the greatest stumbling block for those interested in Rogerian nursing science is the fact that Rogers last book was published over 20 years ago” (p. 204). Rogers never wrote a second edition to An Introduction to the Theoretical Basis of Nursing, and she often stated, “ninety percent of what is written in that book needs to be torn out.” While there are a number of excellent book chapters written in secondary sources, it has now been over 35 years without a “definitive source,” or a comprehensive contemporary explication of the Rogerian cosmology, philosophy, postulates, principles, theories, research methods and instruments, and practice methods. Without a definitive text or source, those seeking to learn more about the science of unitary human beings, must search through this dizzying kaleidoscope of literature, much of which is difficult to access or out of date.

The time has come to ignite a new generation of Rogerian scholars, the Net-generation. This wiki site is a quantum leap in the evolution of Rogerian science. Wikis are powerful tools, drawing people together in a way that enhances connectedness, collaboration, and knowledge construction. Not only can a community of Rogerian scholars come together in mutual process and simultaneously co-create a comprehensive explication of the science of unitary human beings, but also anyone with a computer and a web-browser can access the knowledge and content on this site. Unlike printed text, the content on this site can be continually updated, won’t go out of print, and there is no page limitation restricting the amount or depth of explanations. Wikis allow for the incremental development of content as each participant, collaborator, shareholder, or partner contributes to this document. The content becomes ever changing and emergent as it evolves through the multiple edits, additions, deletions, and revisions.

Nightingale stated long ago “No system can endure that does not march” (Nightingale, 1893/2004, p. 216). This wiki site provides a platform so that Rogers’ conceptual system can continue to evolve by drawing together a community scholars dedicated to explicating and advancing the science of unitary human beings in a way that is participatory, transparent, open, flexible, and expansive. As Rogers (1970) concluded in the Forward of An Introduction to the Theoretical Basis of Nursing “only the future can reveal the extent to which these aims may be realized (p. viii).

The fire has been lit. A new horizon awaits. Let’s begin.

References

Malinski, V. (1994). Highlights in the evolution of nursing science: emergence of the science of unitary human beings. In V. M. Malinski and E.A.M. Barrett (Eds.). Martha E. Rogers: Her life and her work (pp. 197-204). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.

Nightingale, F. (1893/2004). "Sick-nursing and health-nursing." In Lynn McDonald (Ed), Florence Nightingale on Public Health Care Vol. 6. of the Collected Works Florence Nightingale. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Rogers, M. E. (1970). An introduction to the theoretical basis of nursing. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis.