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Meet the Theorists

Anne Boykin:  "Savina and I were both faculty of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida at a time when the faculty was revising a caring-based curriculum. When this curriculum work was completed, we recognized the importance of continuing to develop and structure ideas for the full expression of nursing as a discipline and profession.  The theory of Nursing As Caring is an outgrowth of this work. "

Anne Van Offeren Boykin, PhD, RN

I grew up in Little Chute, Wisconsin, and went to school in Kaukauna (the home of Kaukauna cheese), the second oldest of six children.  Always wanting to be a nurse, I never experienced the struggle of “career choice”.  Although I am the only nurse in the family, I believe my love of nursing emanated out of strong family values of love, respect, caring, and serving others in society.  My husband, Steve Staudenmeyer, and I are blessed with four wonderful children.  Today, we live the privileged life of grand-parenting.

I received my baccalaureate degree from Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1966 .  Prior to earning a masters degree, I worked in various roles in both community based and for-profit hospitals.  In 1972 I earned a master’s degree in nursing from Emory University followed in 1981 by a PhD in higher education and administration with a nursing emphasis from Vanderbilt University.

For the past 30 years I was founding Dean and Professor of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University as well as Director of the Christine E. Lynn Center for Caring.  This Center was created for the purpose of humanizing care through the integration of teaching, research, and service. As dean, I lived my commitment to nursing through administration, research, teaching and service. 

My life’s work has been committed to advancing caring science.  I have co-authored and edited several books including Nursing as Caring:  A Model for Transforming Practice; Healthcare System Transformation for Nursing and Healthcare Leaders; and Living a Caring Based Program.  I have also authored book chapters and articles focused on caring, spirituality, nursing as a discipline and story as method for study of nursing.  In addition, I have served the profession of nursing in various roles at international, national, regional, state and local levels. My life has been graced in so many ways by friends and colleagues who have supported my hopes and dreams.

In the fall of 2011, I retired.  Today I hold the title, Professor Emeritus and Director of the Anne Boykin Institute for the Advancement of Caring in Nursing in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing.  This institute provides global leadership for nursing education, practice and research grounded in caring; promotes the valuing of caring across disciplines; and supports the caring mission of the college. Retirement brought us to the mountains of North Carolina and to a simpler living.  Steve and I enjoy experiencing nature’s glory!


I was born August 5, 1940, the second child and eldest daughter in a family of nine children, and spent my formative years on the family cattle ranch in Kansas. I am named for my maternal grandfather, who was a classical musician in Kansas City, Missouri.  In the early 1960’s I spent 3 years in the Amazon region of Brazil, working as a volunteer in community development.
At the age of 29, I began the study of Nursing at Wichita State University, where I earned undergraduate degrees in nursing and psychology, and graduate degrees in nursing and counseling. I completed a Ph.D. in educational foundations/administration at Kansas State University in 1983.

In 1990, I cofounded Nightingale Songs, an early venue for communicating the beauty of nursing in poetry and prose. In addition to my work on caring, I have written on nursing values, primary care, nursing education, support, touch, personnel management in nursing homes, and mentoring.  My career in nursing has been significantly influenced by three colleagues: Lt. Col. Ann Ashjian (Ret.), whose community nursing practice in Brazil presented an inspiring model of nursing; Marilyn E. Parker, Ph.D., a faculty colleague who mentored me in the idea of nursing as a discipline, the academic role in higher education, and the world of nursing theories and theorists; and Anne Boykin, Ph.D., who introduced me to caring as a substantive field of nursing study.

Anne Boykin and I co-authored the book, Nursing As Caring:  A Model for Transforming Practice (1993; 2001a).  Anne and I were joined by Dr. Kathleen Valentine in co-authoring the book, Health Care System Transformation for Nursing and Healthcare Leaders:  Implementing a Culture of Caring (2013).

I am privileged to have three special people in my life.  My two girls, daughter Carrie and granddaughter Emma, are lovely, talented and kind.  I live a wonderful life in Jackson, Mississippi with my life partner, Gwen Bussa.  Our dogs are a special part of our life, along with golf, blues music and spending time in our vacation home in Florida.

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