September was a groundbreaking month for the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT) program. We celebrate with news that the UZIT program has created a special curriculum of self-care for nurses that is currently being taught at one of the largest nursing schools in the country, Kent State University (KSU) ,with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. All of this was made possible by UZ friend and supporter Earl Jones, a Kent State alumnus who has experienced integrative therapy and understands how vital and valuable these therapies are on the path to wellbeing.
The program was introduced to a select group of nurses returning to KSU for an accelerated degree. This modified curriculum focuses exclusively on self-care in the field of nursing. While nursing shortages and professional burnout continue to create a national healthcare crisis, KSU and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have collaborated with the UZIT program to create this specific curriculum teaching these caregivers the grounding calmness and replenishing skills of yoga therapy, Reiki and essential oil therapy. Nurses are being taught how to care for themselves so they can care for others.
We are hopeful that Kent State University will be the first of many nursing and medical schools that will incorporate the UZIT curriculum into the traditional healthcare training to allow doctors and nurses to learn and incorporate self-care into their professional practice and their personal wellbeing. The program at Kent State is just the beginning of realizing Donna’s dream. She says, “I thank all of you at Urban Zen as well as the first group of dedicated UZITS who continue to touch people’s lives everyday with these therapies and to all the friends who fill the UZ Center and the pages of this website. Connect, collaborate, create, change.”