Susan Kleiman, PhD, RN, CS, NPP
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Dr. Susan Kleiman is an internationally renowned scholar -- the author of the Book of the Year in Nursing Education "Human Centered Nursing: the foundation of quality care" -- the founder of the International Institute for Human Centered Caring and the standard-bearer of Humanistic Nursing Theory as formulated, articulated, and handed down by Josephine Paterson and Loretta Zderad. She offers meta-theoretical discussion and welcomes questions about the many concepts of Humanistic Nursing Theory, which is based on the idea that the defining event in nursing is the interaction between the patient and nurse (Paterson & Zderad, 1976). Some of the concepts Dr. Kleiman emphasizes are: (1) Being and Becoming, (2) the primacy of the nurse-patient relationship or connection, (3) noetic locus, (4) call and response, (5 authentic presence, (6)inter-subjectivity, and (7)the pathic touch. In today’s fast paced and rapidly changing health care environment the imperative of the nurse’s relationship with the patient is sometimes overlooked in deference to technology. Dr. Kleiman proposes that the importance of an individualized relationship with the patient is central to providing high quality nursing care. It is this relationship with patients that presents possibilities for nurses to experience themselves as nurses, and actualize personal growth and professional satisfaction. Dr. Kleiman stresses that it is necessary to provide an integrated and balanced agenda into both nursing education and nursing practice so that the technological imperative and need for human caring relationships can both be accommodated. Susan has developed the Humanistic Teaching Method under which students learn to apply ethically grounded principles in the form of honest scholarship. This includes a commitment to hard work, developing the ability to “think” for oneself through the application of scholarly methods of inquiry, and the analysis and presentation of derived evidence or data that adds knowledge to the body of works in the nursing literature. This way of thinking encourages students to uphold high standards of honesty in their studies thereby affirming the value and integrity of their degrees, credentials, and recognition of their services to the community. According to Dr. Kleiman, the descriptive phenomenological method of inquiry formulated by Edmund Husserl is the preferred method of examining the phenomenon of nursing. Dr. Kleiman has nuanced this method for nursing research in order to accomodate the integration of theory into practice and practice into theory. It is through this method that the true meaning of the nursing experience can be examined and understood. Dr. Kleiman welcomes your comments and observations. Dr. Kleiman teaches at Lehman College and the Graduate Center, both at the City University of New York.