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Cecilia Wendler Edits Second Edition
of 'The HeART of Nursing'

RELEASED: Dec. 15, 2005

Bookcover of 'The HeART of Nursing'EAU CLAIRE — Creative works by nurse artists are featured in a recently published book, edited by a member of the nursing faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The second edition of "The HeART of Nursing: Expressions of Creative Art in Nursing," edited by M. Cecilia Wendler, associate professor in the nursing systems department, contains poems, short stories, essays and needle-based artistic pieces that convey the depth of feeling that lives inside professional nurses everywhere.

"The book is designed to illuminate the question 'When is nursing art?' in a way that students, clinicians, educators and scholars can identify the influence of art within nursing and celebrate the expressive and creative artistic acts of nurses," Wendler writes in the book's introduction.

The idea to showcase nurses' artistic work came from a 1999 Sigma Theta Tau nursing professional society convention that called for abstracts about artistic nursing, Wendler said.

"It was the first time in professional nursing that expressions of art were seen as scholarly," said Wendler, who writes poems and essays. There were 65 submissions and many at the convention wept when reading and/or experiencing the poster presentations, she said.

Wendler edited the first edition of "The HeART of Nursing," which had about 100 pages. The new hardcover edition, which she said has a "wonderful energy," is twice as long, with more than 90 contributors. Some works from the first edition are included, as are submissions from the Creative and Expressive Arts in Nursing presentations at Sigma Theta Tau International conventions in 2001 and 2003.

New chapters in the second edition are: "Art in Research," "Delicate Artistry: Nursing for Children" and "In the Process of Becoming a Nurse-Artist," featuring the work and story of Christina Impoco Nieves, repeat winner of the Sigma Theta Tau International Pinnacle Award for Media: Arts.

Wendler, who joined UW-Eau Claire's faculty in 1997, teaches courses in acute medical surgical nursing/critical care, nursing theory, leadership and cross-cultural health. She has a doctorate from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver and is certified in critical care nursing. She works part-time at the University of Minnesota Hospital. An active researcher, she's interested in caring interventions, especially humanistic touch and its impact on health and well-being. She is writing a book titled "Clinical Nursing as Improvisational Performance Art: Recapturing Nursing's Soul."

"I believe nursing is artistic when it creates a sacred space for healing," Wendler said.

Several UW-Eau Claire faculty, students and alumni contributed to the book, including Wendler; Linda Jersak, a master's student in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences; Gene Leisz, a senior graphic artist at UW-Eau Claire; alumni Leah Luedke and Heather Nelson; Rita Sperstad, assistant professor of nursing; and Joan Stehle Werner, professor of nursing.

"The HeART of Nursing" is available through UW-Eau Claire's University Bookstore and by linking to publications at www.nursingsociety.org.

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JW/JB

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