Helen Erickson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN is a Past-Chair of the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation, which is the only international credentialing body for holistic nursing, and a past AHNA Holistic Nurse of the Year in 2012.
Dr. Helen Erickson is best known as the architect and author of Modeling and Role Modeling: A Theory and Paradigm for Nursing with two other nursing colleagues. The theory was published in their book Modeling and Role Modeling: A Theory and Paradigm for Nursing, in 1983 and is considered as a philosophy of nursing. The Theory of Modeling and Role-Modeling enables nurses to care for and nurture each client with an awareness of and respect for the individual's uniqueness which exemplifies theory-based clinical practice that focuses on the clients' needs. (Sappington, 1996). There is a loyal following of nurses in the MRM Society and many schools of nursing and nursing departments throughout the world have adopted this theoretical framework for their nursing services.
Dr. Erickson started her nursing career after graduating from the Saginaw General Hospital School of Nursing with a Diploma in 1957. Dr. Erickson later went on to obtain her B.S.N. in 1974, her M.S. in nursing in 1976, and her Ph.D. in educational psychology in 1984, all from the University of Michigan. In addition, she was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing as a fellow in 1996, was awarded the Faculty Teaching Award from the University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing in 1990, was inducted into the ADARA, Women’s Leadership Society at the University of Michigan in 1982, and also in 1982 received the Sigma Theta Tau (Rho Chapter) Award for Excellence in Nursing.
Dr. Erickson worked for several years in clinical practice prior to becoming a nurse educator. She taught holistic nursing at the University of Michigan, the University of South Carolina, and the University of Texas at Austin. She served in academic administrative positions at both the University of South Carolina and the University of Texas. Dr. Erickson was awarded Professor Emeritus status at the University of Texas at Austin upon her retirement in 1997 and was honored earlier this month by being named the University of Michigan School of Nursing 2018 Distinguished Alumni.