We, the editors of this book, both have a long association with Dorothea Orem—Susan Taylor since 1976 and Kathie Renpenning since 1983. Collaboration between the two of us began in 1983 at the instigation of Orem and continues to this day through theory development activities, writing and publishing, and giving presentations in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe. As we have worked with Orem and learned of her theoretical and conceptual work, we also got to know her personally and were privileged to have access to her working papers and presentations. There is great value in these materials and we wanted to share them with the nursing community.
The papers that are included in this book are representative of Orem's thinking throughout the years. Most of the papers were developed for presentation. In a few instances notes that Orem had made in preparation for presentations, writings, or classes are included. The materials are presented in chronological order to illuminate the development of Orem's ideas about nursing theory, education, and practice over time. At the end of the book there are papers by nurses in other countries which highlight the status of Orem's theory internationally.
Papers that had been typed were scanned into the computer and edited for accuracy. Handwritten papers were edited for readability, abbreviations converted into words, transcribed by a professional typist, and edited by one of us. Some format changes were made for readability and publication style such as the format of references, lists, and publications. The original papers were not written in a particular style. However, whenever possible APA was used in editing.