VNTW 2022: A World of No Boundaries

Memphis, Tennessee is the local site for the Virtual Nursing Theory Week 2022 conference. Memphis was the home of Dr. Margaret Newman–she was born there, graduated from high school, and received her baccalaureate nursing degree (1962) from UT College of Nursing. She also studied in California (MS, UCSF, 1964) and New York (PhD, NYU, 1971) and worked at NYU, Penn State, and the University of Minnesota. Shortly after her retirement in 1999, in 2004 she returned to Memphis and lived there until her death in 2018. Even though she was retired, during this time she was active in advancing nursing theory, education, theory, research, and practice through her presentations and publications. She made deep connections to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing, which has established the Margaret Newman Center and an endowed chair in her name.

Margaret Newman

Recognizing Newman’s significant contributions to nursing theory, research, and scholarship over the course of her life and career, the VNTW 2022 will be using her article, “A World of No Boundaries” as the overarching theme for the conference. This article was published in Advances in Nursing Science in 2003 (vol. 26, pp. 240-245) and while it will be almost 20 years old at the time of the VNTW 2022, its message is timeless. Wolters-Kluwer and Mercedes Simoncelli, publisher of ANS have made the article available for free from now until the end of March, 2022. We are grateful for their support.

If you are planning to participate in the VNTW 2022, either as a presenter or attendee, we encourage you to take some time to read “A World of No Boundaries.” We believe this will help orient you to the conceptual thinking of the conference, as well as provide a nice introduction to Newman’s work. You can learn more about her theory, Health as Expanding Consciousness at, which might also be useful to you in preparing for the VNTW 2022.

Note that the VNTW 2022 is not about Margaret Newman exclusively, nor is it a Margaret Newman conference. We are just recognizing her roots and lifelong connections to Memphis, which is the local site for this local/virtual event. We did something similar last year, remembering Rosemary Ellis and her connections to FPB at Case Western Reserve University. We just ask that people be mindful of Margaret Newman and her work as they prepare to attend the VNTW 2022, either as a presenter or attendee.

2022 Nursing Theory Conference – and beyond!

We are excited to report that Leslie Nicoll, continuing as our conference manager, and has assembled a planning team to form the details for the 2022 conference! Going forward, we will combine virtual and on-site activities, with the aim to uplift students and scholars who are dedicated to the ongoing development of nursing knowledge. Each year we will feature a local site where there are important historical roots for the development of nursing theory, and nurse scholars who are engaged in ongoing scholarship in the discipline.

The 2022 virtual component of the conference (Virtual Nursing Theory Week, VNTW 2022) will be held from March 17-21, 2022 with online plenary and knowledge sessions scheduled over the 5 days of the conference. The local site will be the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Nursing, highlighting the newly established Margaret Newman Center to promote the ongoing development of nursing scholarship. There will be a local social event at the College of Nursing for those who can attend, to coincide with, but not conflict with the virtual schedule.

Margaret Newman Dialogue Room, UTHSC College of Nursing

A call for abstracts will be posted here soon — so watch for that announcement coming shortly! In 2021 we featured 66 breakout sessions selected from the abstracts submitted — each and every one of which was interesting and inspiring for all who attended! This year we have renamed the “breakout” sessions–since they are not concurrent–and are calling them knowledge sessions. There will be time for 42 knowledge sessions during the conference in addition to three plenary/general/panel sessions. There will also be a virtual poster session as part of VNTW 2022.

In 2023, the local site will be Los Angeles, where there are a number of nursing programs with a long and significant history of nursing theory development. Diane Breckenridge is leading the team to organize local social and networking opportunities that coincide with the virtual conference! The tentative dates for that conference are March 16-20, 2023.

Meet the Nursing Theory Conference Logo!

The launch of this website also marks the launch of a plan to sustain an annual conference dedicated to advancing the development of nursing theory. An important component in this process was the development of a visual symbol – a logo – that represents what these conferences are all about!

Our logo was designed by Christian Tedjasukmana, a nurse, artist, and designer who is married to our management team member, Brandon Brown. Christian researched a number of symbolic meanings associated with the process of development of nursing knowledge and shared that his final design was inspired by a combination of meanings embedded within ancient spiritual imagery, Roman mythology, and color symbolism.

The logo reflects the Roman god Janus, who had two faces – one looking to the past and the other looking to the future.  The two heads not only represent the honoring of past knowledge and progress toward future enlightenment, but it also represents the unity of like-minds working together to advance our discipline. The red flame arising from the two heads represents the ever-evolving insights that arise from the unity of minds – the life, knowledge, energy, and emotion that illuminates and informs both the insights and understandings that are expressed in nursing knowledge.

The two heads are set upon a golden spiral background with the deep yellow signifying both knowledge and inspiration — with the two spirals going both in and out — symbolizing the continual giving and receiving of knowledge. Spirals are among the most ancient and universal symbols representing evolution, progress, learning, and growing. Spirals also represent the cycle of life, cycles of both time and nature, cosmic forces, and the dynamic aspect of life

Thank you to Christian – your thoughtful approach to the development of our logo is an inspiring model for all of us in developing nursing knowledge for the future!