|Margaret Newman's Biography|
Margaret Newman felt a call to nursing for a number of years prior to her decision to enter the field. During that time she became the primary caregiver for her mother, who became ill with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Upon entering nursing at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, Dr. Newman knew almost immediately that nursing was right for her. The phenomenon of the human being in the complexity of health and illness was challenging and demanding, as she has said, of the “best of my intellect as well as the utmost of my humanness” (Newman, 1986; 1994). A year after receiving her baccalaureate degree in nursing she entered graduate study in medical-surgical nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, where she received her master’s degree in 1964. During the three-year interim before resuming graduate study, she served in a joint capacity as director of nursing of a clinical research center and assistant professor of nursing at the University of Tennessee in Memphis.
The next ten years were spent in graduate study (Ph.D., 1971) and teaching (1971-1977) at New York University. She began to develop her ideas and research about nursing theory as both a student and colleague of Martha Rogers. In the fall of 1977, she assumed the position of professor-in-charge of graduate study in nursing at Penn State. In response to an invitation to speak at a conference on nursing theory in New York in 1978, Dr. Newman pulled together her ideas on a theory of health and presented them for the first time. At the same time she was pursuing research on the relationship of movement, time and consciousness, and was developing the theory of health as expanding consciousness. In 1984 she assumed a position as nurse theorist at the University of Minnesota, continuing the development of the theory and related research with the assistance of graduate students. She retired from teaching in 1996.
Dr. Newman is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and has been honored as an outstanding alumnus by both the University of Tennessee and New York University. She received the Distinguished Scholar in Nursing Award from New York University, the Founders Award for Excellence in Nursing Research from Sigma Theta Tau International, and the E. Louise Grant Award for Nursing Excellence from the University of Minnesota. Zeta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International has established the Margaret Newman Scholar award to support doctoral students whose research extends Dr. Newman’s theory. Dr. Newman has been included in Who’s Who in American Women since 1983 and was appointed to Who’s Who in America in 1996.