Howard K. Butcher, RN; PhD joined the faculty at the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing as a Professor in August 2019 after being on faculty at the University of Iowa College of Nursing. The central theme in Howard’s scholarship is advancement of discipline specific nursing knowledge through the: 1) integration of nursing theories into education, research, and practice; 2) development and testing of Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC); and 3) advancement of practice grounded in caring science using the Outcome-Present State-Test Model of Reflective Clinical Reasoning (OPT) by integrating caring-based nursing theories, standardized nursing languages, narrative/story, and reflection into a unified practice model.

Howard has interest in mentoring PhD students who are interested in research involving: 1) enhancing the well-being of family caregivers of persons with memory loss; 2) testing holistic nursing interventions (Transcendental meditation, guided imagery, journaling); 3) the use of caring theories to conceptualize nursing phenomena; 4) research grounded in the Rogers’ science of unitary human beings and unitary caring science; and 5) research using caring theory guided phenomenological-hermeneutic methodologies. Dr. Butcher developed a methodology specific to unitary caring science, the unitary-caring hermeneutic-phenomenological research method, which was published in Nursing Science Quarterly in 2022.

Howard is known as a Rogerian Scholar and completed both a Master’s thesis and PhD dissertation conceptualized within Rogers’ Science of Unitary Human Beings. His dissertation research focused on the experience of dispiritedness in later life within a unitary science perspective and his Master’s thesis focused on testing the effect of guided imagery on time experience and human field motion. He developed of two Rogerian Science-based mid-range theories (The Theory of Aging as Emerging Brilliance and the Theory of Kaleidoscoping); a Rogerian Science-based research method (Unitary Field Pattern Portrait research method) and a practice/research methodology (Unitary Field Pattern Portrait Praxis Method). Howard is the author of a wikibook on Rogerian Science which can be accessed at: that consists of 11 ever evolving chapters covering such topics as Rogerian Cosmology and Philosophy, Rogerian Theory Development, Rogerian Practice Methods, and Rogerian Practice Methods.

Dr. Butcher is the lead editor of the current 7th Edition of Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) published in 2018 which includes 565 interventions and over 14,000 nursing activities. The 8th edition of NIC will be published in 2023. The NIC has been translated into 12 languages and is integrated into the EHR in more than 1,778 healthcare agencies worldwide to facilitate clinical reasoning, planning, and documentation of nursing care. His international collaborations with nurse researchers and educators in Brazil, Estonia, Switzerland, Colombia, Mexico, and Spain has generated a multitude of publications by other nurse researchers interested in testing the validity of specific NIC interventions; testing the effectiveness of NIC on specific patient outcomes; and determining which interventions are most commonly used to treat specific conditions. He has published 63 journal articles, 7 books, and 33 book chapters.  He has presented his scholarship internationally and nationally: 4 international visiting professorships; presented 27 international and 5 national keynote addresses; 30 invited international and national presentations, and more than 80 peer reviewed presentations.

Dr. Butcher has had 15 funded grants, most on aspects of the family caregiving experience of persons living with memory loss testing the health benefits of a written emotion expression intervention (journaling) for promoting the finding of meaning and immune system function. Dr. Butcher’s caregiver research has been supported by both NINR at the National Institutes of Health and the John A. Hartford Foundation. Dr. Butcher has also conducted and published a wide range of qualitative research studies using a wide range of descriptive and interpretive phenomenological methods and thematic analysis.




  • NGR 7116: Caring: An Essential Domain of Nursing Knowledge (PhD)
  • NGR 6811: Philosophical and Theoretical Foundation of Advanced Practice Roles
  • NGR 6110: Advanced Nursing Practice Grounded in Caring  
  • NGR 7115: Philosophies of Science Grounding Nursing

Grants Awarded

Title Position Agency Duration Amount
The Meaning of Caring for a Family Member with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Principal Investigator Central Investment Fund for Research Enhancement, The University of Iowa. 1/1999-1/2000 $6,200.00
Concept analysis of dispiritedness in later life Principal Investigator Old Gold Fellowship, The University of Iowa Summer 1999 $5,556.00
The meaning of caring for a family member with Alzheimer's Disease Living in a Special Care Unit Principal Investigator Gerontological Nursing Intervention Center (P30 NR03979), Toni Tripp-Reimer (PI) 5/1999-5/2000 $7,010.00
Emotional expression and Alzheimer Disease Caregiver Burden Outcomes Principal Investigator Old Gold Fellowship, The University of Iowa Summer 2000 $5,700.00
The effect of structured written emotional expression on caregiver burden Principal Investigator/Postdoctoral Scholars Program John A. Hartford Foundation and American Academy of Nursing 7/1/2002-6/31/2004 $100,000
Evaluating the Effect of SWEE on Caregiver Burden Outcomes. Principal Investigator National Institute of Nursing Research through a grant entitled Gerontological Nursing Intervention Center (P30 NR03979) Toni Tripp-Reimer (PI) 5/2002-5/2004 $12,073.
Written Emotional Expression & Caregiver Burden Outcomes (118 priority score) Principal Investigator National Institute of Nursing Research # 1R15NR8213-01 2/2/03-2/1/05 $100,000
Testing the effect of an Internet-based Structured Emotional Expressive Writing Intervention with Alzheimer Disease Family Caregivers Principal Investigator Iowa Informatics Initiative 1/1/04-12/31/07 $29, 956
The Effects of Structured Written Emotional Expression on Promoting Health in Older Adult Informal Family Caregivers of Persons with Advanced Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial Principal Investigator Cancer and Aging Program 9/1/07-8/31/09 $29, 905
Linguistic Analyses of Structured Written Emotional Expression: Revealing What is Revealed Principal Investigator Howard Butcher-Co PI and Jean Gordon-Co PI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, The University of Iowa. 5/2014-8/2014 $6,000.00
Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines Program Principal Investigator UI College of Nursing Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence 6/15-5/16 $10,000
Improving Listening Skills in Dementia Care: Equipping the Listeners of People with Dementia with Effective Communication Strategies Co-PI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, The University of Iowa. 6/1/19-8/31/19 $9,000.00

Recent Publications

  • Butcher, H.K. (2022). The unitary-caring hermeneutic-phenomenological research method. Nursing Science Quarterly.
  • *Alselami, S. & Butcher, H.K. (2022). A Unitary-Caring Theory Perspective of Family Caregiving for Patients Hospitalized with a Stroke in Saudi Arabia. Nursing Science Quarterly.
  • *Muijeen, K., Rangsiman, S., & Butcher, H.K. (2021). The Experience of Depression Relapse among Adult Thai Patients with Depressive Disorder: A Qualitative Study. Current Psychiatry Research and Reviews. DOI:10.2174/2666082217666211210101653
  • *Guimaraes, M.C. L.P., Coelho, J.C., Silva, G.V., Drager, L.F., Butcher, R C.G. S., Butcher, H.K., & Pierin, A.M., G. (2021). Control of hypertension and treatment adherence. The International Journal of Nursing Practice, 15, 2749-2761.
  • Butcher, H.K. (2021). Commentary and Book Review of Middle Range Theories: Application to Nursing Research and Practice (5th Edition) by Sandra J. Peterson and Timothy S. Bredow (2020). Nursing Science Quarterly, 4(2):211-216. doi:1177/0894318421992031
  • *Lozano, P., Butcher, H. K., Serrano, C., Carrasco, A., Lagares, C., Lusilla, P., & O’Ferral, C. (2021) Motivational Interviewing: Validation of a Proposed NIC Nursing Intervention in Persons with a Severe Mental Illness. International Journal of Nursing Knowledge, 32(4):240-252 doi: 10.1111/2047-3095.12317.
  • Barros, A.L.B.L., Silva, V.M., Santana, R.F., Cavalcante, A.M.R.Z., Vitor, A.F., Lucena, A.F., Napoleão, A.A., Lopes, C.T., Primo, C.C., Carmona, E.V., Duran, E.C.M., Butcher, H.K., Lopes, J.L., Díaz, L.J.R., Cubas, M.R., Brandão, M.A.G., Lopes, M.V.O., Nóbrega, M.M.L., Almeida, M.A., Souza, P.A., Butcher, R.C.G.S., Jensen, R., Silva, R.S., Morais, S.C.R.V., & Santos, V.B. (2020). Brazilian Nursing Process Research Network contributions for assistance in the COVID pandemic. Revista Brasileira de Enfermagem, 73(Suppl 2): e20200798. doi:
  • Butcher, H.K (2020). 2019 Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award: Keela Ann Herr, RN; PhD, AGSF, FGSA, FAAN. Challenges & Triumphs on the Journey to Improve Pain Care for Older Adults. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 46(3), 7-8.
  • *Joseph, M.L., Blair, H., Williams, M., Huber, D.L., Moorhead, S., Hanrahan, K., Butcher, H., & Chi, N-C. (2018). Health care innovations across practice and academia: A theoretical framework. Nursing Outlook, 67, 596-604.
  • Faronbi J. O., Butcher, H.K., & Olaogun, A. A. (2019). Burden and coping ability of individuals caring for chronically Ill older adults in Nigeria: A mixed method study. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 45 (1), 39-46.
  • Butcher, H.K., & Ingram, T. (2018). Secondary suicide prevention in later life. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 44(11), pp. 20-32.
  • Frisch, N., Butcher, H.K., & Cambell, D. (2018). Holistic Nurses' use of energy-based caring modalities. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 36(3), 210-217.
  • Silva, R.A., Martins, A.K.L., de Castro, N., B., Viana, A.V., Butcher, H.K., & da Silva, V.M. (2017). Conceptual analysis of the feeling of powerlessness in individuals with stroke. Investigación y Educación en Enfermería, 35(3), 306-319, DOI: 10.17533/udea.iee.v35n3a07.
  • Ingram, T.N., & Butcher, H.K. (2016). Late life suicide: Secondary prevention. K.C Buckwalter (Assistant editor), H. K. Butcher (Series Editor). Series on Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines, Iowa City, IA. Barbara and Richard Csomay Center for Gerontological Excellence, The University of Iowa College of Nursing, Iowa City, Iowa.
  • Shields, D., Fuller, A., Resnicoff, M., Butcher, H.K., & Frisch, N. (2017). Human energy field: A concept analysis. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 35, 352-368.
  • Butcher, H.K., Gordon, J.K., Ko, J.W., Perkhounkova, Y., Rinner, A., Cho, J. Y., & Lutgendorf, S. (2016). Finding meaning in written emotional expression by family caregivers of persons with dementia. The American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 31(8), 631-642. DOI: 10.1177/153331751660611.
  • Butcher, H. K. (2016). Development and use of gerontological evidenced-based practice guidelines. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 42(7), 25-32.
  • Burnette, C. E., Sanders, S., Butcher, H. K. & Rand, J. T. (2014). A Researchers Toolkit for Balancing Rigor with Cultural Sensitivity: An Application with Indigenous Communities. Ethics and Social Welfare, DOI: 10.1080/17496535.2014.88598.
  • Butcher, H. K. (2013). Curiosity as the Engine of Scientific Discovery and the Advancement of Rogerian Nursing Science. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 19, 6-10.
  • Fuller, J.M., Davis, B.L., Servonsky, J. E., & Butcher, H.K. (2013). A Family Field Pattern Portrait of Adult Substance Users in Rehabilitation. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 19, 42-64.
  • Schumacher, L.A.P., MacNeil, R., Mobily, K., & Teague, M. & Butcher, H. K. (2012). The leisure journey for sandwich generation caregivers, Therapeutic Recreation Journal, XLVI (1), 42-59.
  • Skemp, L. & Butcher, H.K. (2012). 2010 Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award: Kathleen Coen Buckwalter, Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 38 (1), 17-21.
  • Bursch, H., & Butcher, H.K. (2012). Caregivers’ deepest feelings in living with Alzheimer’s disease: A Ricoeurian interpretation of family caregiver journals. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 5 (3), 207-215.
  • Burnette, C., Sanders, S., Butcher, H.K., & Salois, E. M. (2011) Illuminating the lived experiences of research with indigenous communities. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Aspects of Social Work, 20 (4), 275-296.
  • Butcher H.K., & McGonigal-Kenney, M. (2010). Living in the Doldrums: The lived experience of dispiritedness in later life. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 3 (3), 1-14.
  • Sanders, S., Butcher, H. K., Swails, P., & Power, J. (2009). Portraits of caregivers of end-stage dementia patients receiving hospice care. Death Studies, 33, 521-556.
  • Butcher, H.K. (2008). Progress in the Explanatory Power of the Science of Unitary Human Beings: Frubes in a Lull or Surfing in the Barrel of the Wave. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 15(2), 23-36.
  • Butcher, H.K. (2008). The effect of written emotional expression on caregiver stress. Cancer Nursing Practice, (7), 9, 25-27.
  • Butcher, H.K. (2008). Commentary on A Pilot Study of the Experience of Participating in a Therapeutic Touch™ Practice Group. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 26, 169-172.
  • Butcher, H.K. (2008). Commentary on Mystical Experience in the Context of Health Care. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 26, 93-95.
  • Lundberg, C.B., Brokel, J., Bulechek, G.M., Butcher, H.K., Dochterman, J.M., Johnson, M., Maas, M., Martin, K.S., Moorhead, S., Spisla, C., Swanson, E., & Giarrizzo-Wilson, S. (2008). Reveling the Impact of Nursing in Electronic Health Record: The Benefits of Using Standardized Nursing Terminology. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 12, (2). Available at
  • Butcher, H.K., & Taylor, J.Y. (2008). Using a wiki to enhance knowing participation in change in the teaching-learning process. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science. 15, 30-46.
  • Butcher, H.K. (2006). Re-envisioning gerontological mental health nursing education: A commentary. The American Journal of Psychiatric Nursing, 12, 116-120.
  • Butcher, H.K. (2006). Unitary pattern-based praxis: A nexus of Rogerian cosmology, philosophy, and science. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 14 (2), 8-33.
  • Butcher, H.K., McGonigal-Kenney, M. (2005). Depression & dispiritedness in later life: A ‘gray drizzle of horror isn’t inevitable. American Journal of Nursing, 105, (12), 52-62.
  • Butcher, H. K. (2005). The unitary field pattern portrait research method: Facets, processes and findings. Nursing Science Quarterly, 18, 293-297.
  • Butcher, H. K. (2005). Using metaphoric unitary landscape narratives to facilitate pattern transformation: Fires in the tallgrass prairie as a wellspring of possibilities. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science 13, 41-58.
  • Butcher, H.K. (2004). Written expression and the potential to enhance knowing participation in change. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 12, 37-50.
  • Park, M., Butcher, H.K., & Maas, M. (2004). A thematic analysis of Korean caregiver’s experiences in making the decision to place a family member in a long-term care facility. Research in Nursing & Health, 27, 345-356.
  • Butcher, H.K. (2003). Aging as emerging brilliance: Advancing Rogers’ unitary theory of aging. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 11, 55-66.
  • Butcher, H.K. (2003). Taking flight. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 11, 67-68.
  • Butcher, H. K. (2002). Living in the Heart of Helicy: An Inquiry into the meaning of compassion and unpredictability in Rogers' nursing science. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 10, 6-22.
  • Butcher, H. K. (2002). On fire flies and stars: Envisioning luminescent beacons for advancing nursing and Rogerian science. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 10, 57-67.
  • Kelly, A. W., Buckwalter, K. C., Hall, G., Weaver, A.L., & Butcher, H. K. (2002). The caregivers' story: Home caregiving for persons with dementia. Home Health Care Management & Practice, 14(2), 99-109.
  • Butcher, H. K., & Buckwalter, K. C. (2002). Exasperations as blessings: Meaning-making in family caregiving. Journal of Aging and Identity, 7, 113-132.
  • Butcher, H. K., Holkup, P.A., Park, & Maas, M. (2001). Thematic analysis of the experience of making a decision to place a family member with Alzheimer's disease in a special care unit. Research in Nursing & Health, 24, 470-480.
  • Butcher, H. K., Holkup, P.A., & Buckwalter, K. C. (2001). The experience of caring for a family member with Alzheimer's disease. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 23, 33-55.
  • Butcher, H. K. (2000). Critical theory and Rogerian science: Incommensurable or reconcilable. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 8, 50-57.
  • Butcher, H. K. (1999). The artistry of Rogerian practice. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 7, 49-54.
  • Butcher, H.K. (1999). Rogerian-ethics: An ethical inquiry into Rogers’ life and science. Nursing Science Quarterly, 12, 111-117
  • Butcher, H. K. (1998). Crystallizing the phases of the unitary field pattern portrait research method. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 6, 13-26.
  • Butcher, H. K. (1998). Weaving a theoretical Tapestry of pandimensionality: Deep connectedness in the multiverse. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 6, 51-55.
  • Butcher, H. K. (1997). In search of unitary sympathetic vibrations: A response to Parse’s investing in the legacy: Martha E. Rogers’ voice will not be silenced. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 5, 12-18.
  • Butcher, H. K. (1997). Creative realitying: Hozho, bringing forth a world, and mutual process. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Nursing Science, 5, 29-32.
  • Butcher, H. K. (1996). A unitary field pattern portrait of dispiritedness in later life. Visions: The Journal of Rogerian Science, 4, 41-58.
  • Butcher, H. K. & Forchuk, C. (1992). The overview effect: The impact of space travel on nursing science. Nursing Science Quarterly, 5, 118-123.
  • Martin, M-L., Forchuk, C., Santopinto, M., & Butcher, H. K. (1992). Alternative approaches to nursing practice: Application of Peplau, Rogers and Parse. Nursing Science Quarterly, 5, 80-85.
  • Butcher, H. K., & Parker, N. (1988). Guided imagery within Martha Rogers' science of unitary human beings: An experimental study. Nursing Science Quarterly, 1, 103-110.


  • Wagner, C.M., Butcher, H.K., & Clark, M. (in press). Nursing interventions classification (NIC). (8e). Elsevier.
  • Butcher, H.K. (2018). Martha Rogers Nursing Science: The Science of Unitary Human Beings 2.0. H.K. Butcher (Editor). University of Iowa Pressbooks at A Wiki book in development.
  • Butcher, H.K., Bulechek, G.M., Dochterman, J.M., & Wagner, C. M. (2018). Nursing interventions classification (NIC). (7e). St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
  • Bulechek, G. M., & Butcher, H. K., Dochterman, J. M., & Wagner, C. M. (2013). Nursing interventions classification (NIC). (6e). St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
  • Johnson, M., Moorhead, S., Bulechek, G. M., Butcher, H. K., Dochterman, J. M., Mass, M., & Swanson, E. (2012). NIC and NOC linkages to NANDA-I and Clinical Conditions: Supporting Clinical Reasoning and Quality of Care (Third edition). St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
  • Bulechek, G. M., & Butcher, H. K., Dochterman, J. C. (2008). Nursing interventions classification (NIC). (Fifth Edition). St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
  • Johnson, M., Bulechek, G. M., Butcher, H. K., Dochterman, J. C., Mass, M., Moorhead, S., & Swanson, E., (2006). NANDA, NOC, and NIC linkages: Nursing diagnosis, outcomes, and interventions. (Second edition). St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
  • Haynes, L., Butcher, H. K., & Boese, T. (2004). Nursing in contemporary society: Issues, trends and transition into practice. Boston: Prentice Hall.


  • Visiting Professorship (2018). Fundacion Universitaria Juan N. Corpas, Bogota, Colombia.
  • Visiting Professorship (2018). University of Sao Paulo School of Nursing, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Nursing Research Clinical Partnership Award (2018) - The University of Iowa
  • Visiting Professorship (2017). University of Sao Paulo School of Nursing, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Visiting Professorship (2016). Escuela de Enfermería de la Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia.
  • University of Iowa Collegiate Teaching Award (2009)
  • University of Iowa Catalyst Award: Men in Nursing Task Force (2001)
  • John A. Hartford Foundation Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Post-Doctoral Scholar Award (2002)
  • The Rose and George Doval Award for Excellence in Nursing Education, New York University (1999)
  • Pacific Lutheran University Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (1995)
  • Pre-Doctoral Professional Nurse Traineeship, University of South Carolina (1990-1993)
  • Sigma Theta Tau International, Iota Omicron, First International Chapter (1988)