Are you an RN looking to expand your horizons, both in how you care for others and how you care for yourself? With a holistic focus and approach, UMA's BS Completion Program (RN-BS) will expose you to new ways of caring, while preparing you for exciting new career opportunities and graduate level study.

RN-BS via hybrid and online course offerings.

Reiki Session with Dr. Clark

Human Caring Days with Dr. Jean Watson

Dr. Jean WatsonOn November 17, 2014 the University of Maine at Augusta, in conjunction with Maine General Medical Center, hosted a Human Caring Days Event featuring nursing’s living legend, Dr. Jean Watson. The event drew over 400 nurses and nursing students from the state of Maine and beyond, with the focus being on learning about Dr. Watson’s Human Caring theory/ Caring Science and how it can be applied in our healthcare settings to bring nursing back to a place of caring for patients, or Nursing Qua Nursing. As our curriculum is partially based in Dr. Watson’s theory, this was a wonderful way for us to support nurses and students in learning more about this core aspect of nurses’ work.

The event was partially funded by a UMA Presidential Mini-Grant that was awarded in Fall 2013. Over the course of the following year, a committee was formed to plan for the event. Putting on an event of this size was a lot of work, and we send great gratitude toward all who helped make it happen, from decorating the civic center space in order to create a healing environment to planning for A/V and applying for CE’s.

The Augusta civic center was transformed by nurses to be a healing space; special lighting was used, break time music was geared toward songs that support healing, plants were brought in, and intentions were set by the planning committee for healing space and caring science to emerge. The lunch meal and morning and afternoon fruit offerings were also geared toward support the health of the participants.

Love is What HealsDr. Watson spoke for many hours throughout the day about her transpersonal caring healing moment, the challenges we as nurses face in the current medical-cure based healthcare system, and the 10 Caritas Processes that support the nurse in creating the caring moment. Participants were encouraged to ask questions and share their own experiences with caring and healing.

Of great importance was the emphasis on Watson’s first caritas process: Embrace altruistic values and Practice loving kindness with self and others. The other 9 caritas process revolve around the nurse’s efforts toward enacting the first caritas process. Our RN- BSN curriculum is greatly based in this idea of enacting loving kindness toward the self through our efforts in supporting students’ efforts in self-care activities across the curriculum. We recognize that in order to deeply care for others and enact Nursing Qua Nursing, nurses must first learn to care for themselves.

Students provided us with feedback after the event, and they stated that the most profound experiences were being able to meet Dr. Jean Watson, and also experiencing the transpersonal caring moment through a listening experience. During this experience, the participants first centered themselves in order to speak or listen from the heart; and then in pairs, they had the opportunity to practice being present and listening without saying a word, as well as reversing the experience and speaking for several minutes from the heart. The students found this to be profound and they realized what it means to be truly present with another person in a caring- heart centered experience. Many nurses do not have the skills or experience in this area, so this is something we must continue to foster in our curriculum.

We are grateful to also have had media coverage of the event. The front page of the Kennebec Journal on November 17 read, “Love is What Heals” and included a picture of Dr. Watson at the podium. Additionally, the event was covered by the local TV station, and that can be viewed here: http://www.foxbangor.com/news/local-news/6994-doctor-redefines-practice-of-nursing.html This is important, because as we know nurses tend to be invisible in the media, our presence often over-ridden by the medical-cure based system.

Meredith Kendall's Dempsey Challenge 2014 Reiki & Massage Tent

Meredith & Patrick Sept 27 & 28. Simard-Payne Park, Lewiston, Maine

Meredith Kendall, MSN, RN, Reiki teacher, and UMA adjunct faculty recently volunteered at the 6th annual Dempsey Challenge. The Challenge is an event to benefit the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing. The Center provides free support services to people with cancer and their caregivers.

Kendall is a member of the Challenge Local Organizing Committee and manages the Reiki and Massage Tent. At Challenge 2014, 37 Reiki practitioners and massage therapists donated over 170 hours and provided 289 sessions to athletes and cancer survivors.

Kendall teaches Reiki at UMA: NUR 425 Hands on Healing.


AHNA Club's First Community-Learning Event

UMA has a student American Holistic Nurses’ Association (AHNA) Club. This group is also recognized by the National AHNA organization as a student-faculty chapter. AHNA is active on campus by holding events that support learning opportunities related to holism in nursing. The club holds meetings on the first Thursday of each month, from 11:45- 1 pm in the civic center student lounge. On the third Thursday of each month, a learning event is delivered to the campus community. Any and all interested UMA students are invited to join this club and participate in the meetings and events!

In September, the AHNA club held our first community-learning event. Dr. Dustin Sulak from Maine Integrative Healthcare provided us with education on the use of medical cannabis and how it relates to the healing process. Approximately 50 students and faculty learned about the body’s own endocannibinoid system and the evidence base related to how medical cannabis supports healing and palliation of many illnesses and stress-related symptoms. Participants also learned about Maine’s medical cannabis laws and the prescribing process.

Dr. Sulak stayed after the presentation to answer student questions and provide personal support. His compassion, knowledge, and caring attitude provided us with a fine example of a holistic practitioner with a great commitment toward supporting the healing process of patients in need.

Dr. Dustin SulakIf you missed the presentation or want to learn more about this topic, please visit the Maine Integrative Healthcare website:

Michael Martin speaks at Convocation 2014BSN Program Rising Scholars and Convocation 2014 Speaker

Every year during the Fall as part of the convocation celebration, UMA announces and honors its rising scholars for the academic year. Rising scholars are recognized for their academic achievement and their scholarly promise. This year’s rising scholars in the RN-BS completion program are:

Amy Krawic
Marian Hastings
Suzanne Cole
Alyssa Cloutier
Annette Bowman
Aimee Nason
Kyla Hersehy-Wilson
Stephen Earle Perkins

We extend our congratulations to each of these accomplished nursing students, who are excelling academically and also creating change in their workplaces.

A previous RN-BS completion rising scholar and honors’ student, Michael Martin, was selected to speak at the 2014 Convocation Ceremony. The Convocation Ceremony helps to set the tone for the academic year and introduces us to the academic theme of the year, which for 2014-2015 is “innovation” and uses the textbook Outliers by . Michael’s speech focused on his own experience with being a patient advocate, and on his personal experience as a part time student in UMA’s holistic nursing education program. Michael reminded us that what is most important is creating a meaningful and happy life!

Amy Krawic and Michael MartinWe look forward to a great year of learning as our rising scholars and all RN-BS students engage in a meaningful educational journey this year!

UMA Reiki students at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care

reikiStudents in NUR 425 Hands on Healing shared Reiki at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care in July and August, 2014. This service learning experience provided the students the opportunity to communicate and interact as Reiki professionals. Many students reported that it was the most valuable learning opportunity of the class.

Students distributed information handouts to clients and staff and described the procedure prior to the session. Some clients received Reiki in the waiting room and others in recliners as chemotherapy infused. Some staff received Reiki in the integrative medicine treatment room, complete with soothing music; others had quick sessions right at their desks.

The first service learning experience was so well-received by clients and staff, and found to be so valuable to students, that a second experience was incorporated into the class. Many thanks to clients and staff of the Alfond Center, for these remarkable learning opportunities.


People use Reiki to promote overall health and well-being.

Reiki is a practice that originated in Japan around 1920. Reiki is based on the idea that there is universal energy that supports a person’s own healing abilities. Practitioners seek to share this energy, promoting relaxation and healing. Reiki is used by people seeking relief from disease-related symptoms and the side effects of conventional medical treatments. Reiki is offered in addition to the treatments and medications prescribed by nurse practitioners and physicians. Reiki is not a substitute for nursing and medical care.

How does it work?
Educated and experienced Reiki practitioners assist people to balance and clear their energy systems. Clients are encouraged to relax, fully clothed, as a practitioner's hands are lightly placed on or near, the head, shoulders, arms, legs, and back. A session usually lasts 5- 30 minutes.

How does it help?
Research shows that Reiki is associated with perceptions of improved sleep and relaxation, decreased pain and stress, and increased happiness. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which calms us down. It is associated with improved immunity, blood pressure, and heart rate. People often report feeling more energetic, light, relaxed, peaceful, or happy.

Is Reiki religion based?
Reiki is a mind- body- spirit modality associated with spirit. However Reiki is not a religion, nor based on any religious beliefs. Reiki practitioners come from many different religions; people of all faiths are welcome to learn or experience Reiki. Reiki is supports a person’s spirit.

How much does it cost?
Reiki students from the University of Maine at Augusta will come to the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care to share Reiki on Monday, Aug 11 from 1 pm til 3 pm. These Reiki sessions are free.

Would you like to learn more?

The National Institutes of Health are an excellent source of information. Please visit their website at http://nccam.nih.gov/health/reiki/
FMI please contact Meredith Kendall MSN, RN, Reiki teacher meredith.kendall@maine.edu