1st International Integrative Nursing Symposium


In May 2015, the 1st International Integrative Nursing Symposium was held in Reykjavik, Iceland. Reflecting the global interest in integrative nursing, the symposium attracted nearly 300 nurses from 20 countries. The Weil Foundation was one of several strategic partners that provided philanthropic support for this unprecedented event.

While the essence of nursing has long been whole person (body, mind, and spirit) and whole system-focused, in reality the contemporary practice of nursing in many settings around the globe has become increasingly fragmented and de-stabilized. Nursing shortages in many parts of the world are significant, and hierarchies and bureaucracies often remove nurses from the point of care, be that the bedside, home, or clinic, replacing them with less skilled workers and filling their time with documentation and other administrative tasks. Integrative nursing is a framework for providing whole person/whole system care that is relationship-based and person-centered and focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of caregivers as well as those they serve. The principles of integrative nursing offer clear and specific guidance that can shape and impact patient care in all clinical settings.

The theme for the Symposium, “Expanding Care and Transforming Lives,” was well expressed in presentations that explored applications of integrative nursing in a wide variety of clinical settings including acute care, mental health, oncology, community health, pediatrics, senior care, and midwifery. Sessions were also offered on integrative nursing and education, informatics, self-care, the environment and integrative therapies, and healing practices.

Impact from this initiative was clearly evident as nurses from around the globe left Iceland feeling inspired to connect and collaborate further around the emerging opportunities created by integrative nursing. Global Advances in Health and Medicine has posted the abstracts of many presentations from this Symposium at http://www.gahmj.com/page/IINS2015 We also invite you to view video clips of interviews with integrative nurse clinicians and leaders at z.umn.edu/iins2015

The Weil Foundation played a pivotal role in ensuring a conference program of the highest caliber as well as attendance that exceeded expectations.

If you would like to learn more about integrative nursing, visit the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality & Healing website (
http://www.csh.umn.edu/integrativenursing/index.htm) where you can access free online learning modules on integrative nursing.

The next Integrative Nursing Symposium will be held from April 5-7, 2017 in Tucson, Arizona.

Mary Jo Kreitzer PhD, RN, FAAN