UMSN Remembers the Life of Dr. Marcia DeCann Andersen: Alumna, Former Faculty Member and a Crusader for Nursing
A pioneer in the field of nursing, Dr. Andersen was the first ever to receive a Doctor of Philosophy in nursing from the University of Michigan. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing were also from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Marcia Andersen – a passionate and tireless crusader for the professional practice of nursing – died peacefully, Tuesday, June 5th, surrounded by friends and family, at the age of 69.
“Marcia was a brilliant nurse and a true trailblazer in the field,” said Dean Kathleen Potempa. “She made significant contributions in nursing and patient care during her life time and her work will continue to guide us into the future.”
Dr. Andersen spent the beginning of her career focused on developing the Personalized Nursing LIGHT Practice Model of care for treating substance abusers. Her LIGHT Model of care is based on the Nursing Science of Unitary Human Beings proposed by her longtime spiritual and philosophical mentor, Dr. Martha Rogers of New York University. The goal of the LIGHT model is to assist addicts to improve their health and well-being so that they can begin to heal themselves and decrease their drug use.
Dr. Andersen and her LIGHT Model have made a significant impact on the University of Michigan School of Nursing [UMSN] faculty and students. “I have many memories of Marcia, and her Personalized Nursing LIGHT Practice Model has guided me in my teaching as well as my personal life,” said Dr. Linda Strodtman, assistant professor. “Her video about the model is superb and the communication skills that she demonstrated in that film are valuable in today's practice.”
A Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, she served on the UMSN faculty and received the 1994 Distinguished Alumni Award. She also chaired the graduate nursing faculty at Wayne State University.
Even after her time at UMSN, she would return as a guest lecturer. “She enjoyed interacting with our students and brought her own unique energy with her to light up the room when she taught,” remembers Dr. Cynthia Arslanian-Engoren, associate professor. “She was extremely generous with her time and talents.”
Read the the full In Memoriam for Dr. Andersen.