Keynote Speakers 

  Welcome Address
Prof Fintan Sheerin, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin 

Professor Fintan Sheerin, PhD MA BSc PgDipEd RNID RGN RNT FEANS FNI MRSB is Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, where he has taught for 16 years. He is registered in both intellectual disability and general nursing, and his research has largely focused on engagement, mental health and well-being, seeking to address the issues which impact both. He has explored intellectual disability across the areas of health, social care and rights and has worked with communities in various parts of the world. He has published widely, spoken at many international conferences, has edited one book and contributed several others. He is a Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science and of NANDA International.


  Welcome and Closing Address 

Prof Jacqueline Whelan, Chair of the Trinity Spirituality Research and Innovation Group  

Jacqueline is an Asst. Professor, General Nursing in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. Jacqueline has over three decades of extensive experience both as a general and children’s nurse, clinical educator, senior management, academic, researcher, teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her research interests are centered around the themes of person centered care, spirituality, spiritual care, spiritual care education, caring science, communication, professional nurse education concerns, with research and peer-reviewed international publications and speaker at international conferences. Jacqueline was most recently involved in the Erasmus Plus Project - Enhancing Nurses' and Midwives' Competence in Providing Spiritual Care through Innovative Education and Compassionate Care (EPICC 2016-2019) as an Associate Partner where specific spiritual care competencies and a Spiritual Care Education Standard was developed for nurses and midwives across Europe. Jacqueline is currently involved as an Associate Partner in Erasmus Plus project - From Cure to Care - Digital Education and Spiritual Assistance in Hospital Healthcare, in addition to a global research project regarding Advanced Practice Nurses Perceptions of Spirituality. Jacqueline is the Chair of the Trinity Spirituality Research and Innovation Group (SRIG) in the School, and is responsible for organizing the group's Annual International Spirituality and Healthcare Interdisciplinary Research Conference and SRIG's Public Lecture/ Webinar Series. She is an active member of The International Network for the Study of Spirituality (INSS (UK), The Spirituality Scholars Network (SSN), The EPICC Network - Enhancing Nurses' and Midwives' Competence in Providing Spiritual Care through Innovative Education and Compassionate Care, Watson Caring Science Institute (USA) and the Viktor Frankl Institute in Ireland and Vienna. She currently holds the position of School Academic Lead International Winter and Summer Schools; Joint Academic Erasmus lead for General Nursing in the School of Nursing & Midwifery and is a School Lead in the College Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project.


Opening Address - Availability and Vulnerability in Healthcare: A Heretical Imperative

As we face the future in healthcare, we have a decision about how we provide care. Do we continue to move to the mechanised, task orientated approaches that leave patients feeling like a number rather than a person, or do we take the heretical imperative and choose to continue to offer care that focuses on the patient as a fellow human being to be treated with dignity, respect and value. Choosing a way of working and being which embraces “Availability and Vulnerability” is one way to ensure spirituality is fully integrated in the way we care.


Prof Melanie Rogers, University of Huddersfield

Professor Melanie Rogers is an internationally renowned Advanced Practice Nurse clinician, educator and researcher. She is the Professor of Advanced Practice and Spirituality at the University of Huddersfield, in England as well as a National Teaching Fellow in these areas of specialism. She still works clinically as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care. Melanie is currently the Director of the ICN Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nurse Academy and served at Chair of the Network for 5 years. Her international work and collaborations are extensive and well developed; she has been presented with the Queens Nurse award for her work in practice and education. She also holds an international certification as a Global Nurse Consultant.

Melanie is passionate about advanced practice as a way of providing the care needed at the point of need for patients. Her work and research has focused on how to provide truly holistic care to patients and her doctoral studies have led to a framework for Nurse Practitioners to help patients find hope, meaning and purpose during times of illness and challenge.

She has multiple publications related to advanced practice and has published three edited books; Spiritually Competent Practice, Spiritual Dimensions of Advanced Practice Nursing and Advanced Practice Nursing to Enhance Global Health. Her recent research projects have included global studies on Job Satisfaction for Nurse Practitioners in Developed and Developing Countries, Diagnostic Reasoning skills of APNs and Emotional and Spiritual Wellbeing and Resilience of APNs during Covid-19 globally. Melanie chaired the working party that developed the 2020 ICN APN Guidelines.

Professor Melanie Rogers

National Teaching Fellow for Advanced Practice

PhD, Queens Nurse, ICN Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Practice Nurse

Network Director ICN NP/APNN  Global Academy of Research and Enterprise

Spiritualty Scholars Network Chair International Network for the Study of Spirituality

MSc ANP, BSc N, RGN, Dip A&E, Dip Counselling, Dip Women’s Health, Dip HPE, PGCE, FHEA


  Stress and The Defiant Power of the Human Spirit

The aim of my talk is twofold. Firstly, I will describe the various types of stress and stages in stress, highlighting four factors in stress-management. Secondly, I will offer a solution to stress which rests on resilience or what Viennese philosopher-psychiatrist Viktor Frankl calls ‘the defiant power of the human spirit’. A philosophical story concerning snakes and ropes will conclude the presentation.

Dr. Stephen J. Costello, Director of the Viktor Frankl Institute of Ireland 

Dr Stephen J. Costello is an acclaimed philosopher, depth psychologist, and Enneagram coach. He was educated at St. Gerard’s School, Castleknock College, and University College Dublin, where he graduated with B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy. He trained in psychoanalysis (Trinity College Dublin) and subsequently in Logotherapy and Existential Analysis (USA and Vienna). He is the author of sixteen books and is the founder-director of the Viktor Frankl Institute of Ireland, which offers online practitioner courses. He holds workshops in Ignatian spirituality and the Enneagram and leads corporate seminars in the areas of meaning at work, leadership, communication, and decision-making, both nationally and internationally. His website is


  Contemplative Spiritual Approaches to Resilience In The Context of Healthcare

The contemplative traditions at their heart explore and inform the ‘transformation of consciousness’. And while the contemporary ‘mindfulness’ phenomena and their applications are lauded, some astute observers and practitioners caution as to its potential dilution, when recast through the lens of ‘modernism’, its ends, and assumptions. Therefore the practitioner is tasked with tending also to our ‘view’. This refers to our inescapable frameworks for sense, meaning-making, vision, and value. Such attentiveness can assist in reviewing ‘resilience’, potentially excavating core beliefs, hidden assumptions, occlusions, and orientations. But who has time for such within the daily pressures of healthcare? It will thus be noted that reviewing time is also core to transformation, as it critically informs our quality of ‘presence’ and the future of human healthcare in an era of exponential artificial intelligence.

Dr. Pádraic Hurley, South East Technological University 

Dr Pádraic Hurley lectures in Contemplative Psychology in South East Technological University (SETU) on the MA in Applied Spirituality (MAAS) and on a BA in Employee Support and Wellbeing. He also teaches a MA module on ‘Inner Development’, utilising the Inner Development Goals framework, which attends to the critical inner aspect of sustainable development. His research interests are on the inner developmental aspects of our planetary ‘metacrisis’ and the meta-opportunity this presents. He co-leads the Spirituality in Society and the Professions research group (SpirSOP) in SETU and the Irish IDGs hub (SIG) on the IDGs in higher education. He is a member of numerous related research groups internationally, including (ESRAD) European Society for Research in Adult Development.


  Awakening Resilience: The Role of Self-care, Personal Awareness & Mindfulness In Personal Health Empowerment

In a world where healthcare is becoming increasingly complex and interconnected, this keynote explores the profound effects of self-care, mindfulness and awareness on personal health and resilience. The talk will also highlight innovative educational strategies that incorporate mindfulness into training for healthcare professionals, aligning with the WHO Self-Care Competency Framework. "Awakening Resilience" is not just a call to integrate personal awareness mindfulness into our daily lives; it is a blueprint for a health and wellbeing revolution that empowers individuals to live a happy and healthy life in a world dominated by endless distractions and the pervasive use of technology.

Dr Austen El-Osta, Director of Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health, Imperial College London

Dr Austen El-Osta is Director of the Self-Care Academic Research Unit (SCARU), and Primary Care and Public Health Research Manager at Imperial College London School of Public Health. Austen is author of the Self-Care Matrix: a unifying framework for self-care which offers a new point of departure for self-care thinking. He remains an active member of the Self-Care Trailblazers Group and is currently working with a consortium of NGOs and international partners to advance the study and application of self-care interventions, and the development of policy prescriptions to promote vitality in ageing via the adoption of health-seeking self-care behaviours fit for 21st century living. He is principal Investigator of the Measuring Loneliness (INTERACT) study. @austenelosta & @ImperialSCARU


  Spirituality of Caring and Maintaining Compassion In The Encounter With Human Suffering Within Healthcare

A clinician’s spirituality or philosophy of life provides an orienting system to help the clinician maintain and cultivate compassion in the encounter with patient suffering as well as dealing with the stress of working in challenging healthcare situations. In this talk, Dr. Vachon will discuss the concept of a spirituality or philosophy of caring and how articulating and relying on this can be critically important for the well-being of the clinician as well as the care of the patients. Using the compassion science paradigm, he will explain how spirituality helps fortify clinician resiliency. Dr. Vachon will provide examples of how this operates across different spiritual backgrounds among all types of healthcare professionals.


Dr Dominic O. Vachon M.Div., Ph.D.
John G. Sheedy M.D. Director of the Ruth M. Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine in the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame


Dominic O. Vachon, M.Div., Ph.D., is the John G. Sheedy M.D. Director of the Ruth M. Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine in the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame and professor of the practice teaching courses in the science of compassionate care in medicine, medical counseling skills, and spiritualties of caring in the helping professions. He does research on the internal mental and emotional process of the clinician compassion mental state in patient care, mental performance in high-stress clinical specialties, clinician communication skills, and innovations in medical training applying the science of compassion. He is author of the book, How Doctors Care: The Science of Compassionate and Balanced Caring in Medicine and a co-author of The Power & Pain of Nursing: Self-Care Practices to Protect & Replenish Compassion. Dr. Vachon has devoted the last 30 years of his professional career to supporting and training physicians, nurses, residents, medical students, premedical students, and other clinicians; and providing consulting for organizations for integrating the science of compassion into clinical practice and organizational culture to improve patient care and buffer burnout.


  Harnessing Our Moral Resilience To Meet Moral Adversity

Prof Cynda Hylton Rushton
Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics / Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Dr Cynda Hylton Rushton, an international leader in bioethics and nursing, is the Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the School of Nursing, and co-chairs the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Ethics Committee and Consultation Service. A founding member of the Berman Institute, she co-led the first National Nursing Ethics Summit that produced a Blueprint for 21st Century Nursing Ethics. In 2016, she co-led a national collaborative State of the Science Initiative: Transforming Moral Distress into Moral Resilience in Nursing and co-chaired the American Nurses Association professional issues panel that created A Call to Action: Exploring Moral Resilience Toward a Culture of Ethical Practice. She was a member of the National Academies of Medicine, Science and Engineering Committee that produced the report: Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-being. She was a member of the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics & Human Rights Ethics Advisory Board and American Nurses Foundation Well-Being Initiative Advisory Board. Dr. Rushton is the chief synergy strategist for Maryland’s R3 Resilient Nurses Initiative, a statewide initiative to build resilience and ethical practice in nursing students and novice nurses. She is co-creator of the Mindful Ethical Practice and Resilience Academy (MEPRA). She serves on the Nursing Advisory Board for Corporate Counseling Associates. Dr. Rushton is a Hastings Center Fellow, Past-Chair of the Hastings Center Fellows Council, and Trustee Emeritus and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. The recipient of many awards, she received the Marguerite Rodgers Kinney Distinguished Career Award and the Distinguished Researcher award from American Association of Critical Care Nurses. She is the editor and author of Moral Resilience: Transforming Moral Suffering in Healthcare and co-creator of the Rushton Moral Resilience Scale (RMRS).


  Hope In The Dark: Connection, Compassion and High Quality Care

How connection, compassion and inclusion are at the heart of healthcare but also our existence. And why that offers hope through collective action.

Prof Michael West CBE
Visiting Fellow, Kings Fund/Professor of Work and Organisational Psychology, Lancaster University

Michael West CBE is Senior Visiting Fellow at The King’s Fund, London and Professor of Organisational Psychology at Lancaster University, Visiting Professor at University College, Dublin, and Emeritus Professor at Aston University, where he was formerly Executive Dean of Aston Business School.

He graduated from the University of Wales in 1973 and was awarded a PhD in 1977 for research on the psychology of meditation. He has authored, edited and co-edited 20 books and has published more than 200 articles in scientific and practitioner publications on teamwork, innovation, leadership, and culture, particularly in healthcare. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association (APA), the Academy of Social Sciences and the International Association of Applied Psychologists. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and an Honorary Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery. He is a member of the Advisory Council of The Global Compassion Coalition and of the Advisory Board of the Center for Compassionate Leadership.

He assisted in developing the national People Plan for the National Health Service in England focused on compassionate and inclusive leadership and in Northern Ireland in developing the Collective and Compassionate Leadership Strategy for Health and Social Care (2017). He also led the NHS National Staff Survey development and initial implementation. He is supporting Health Education and Improvement Wales to develop the national health and care compassionate leadership strategy for health and social care. He co-chaired with Dame Denise Coia, the two-year inquiry on behalf of the UK General Medical Council into the mental health and well-being of doctors Caring for Doctors, Caring for Patients (2019). He led the review for The King’s Fund (commissioned by the RCN Foundation) into the mental health and well-being of nurses and midwives across the UK, The Courage of Compassion: Supporting Nurses and Midwives to Deliver High Quality Care (2020). His latest book (2021) is Compassionate leadership: Sustaining wisdom, humanity and presence in health and social care (London: Swirling Leaf Press). He supports many health care and other public sector organisations internationally to develop compassionate, high quality care cultures.He was appointed a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020 for services to compassion and innovation in healthcare.


  Cultivating Wellbeing In Our Lives and Communities 

Wellbeing has been described as the very reason we want to be alive. In this session, Dr. Kreitzer will discuss the determinants of wellbeing, which include having purpose and meaning in our lives. Strategies will also be discussed for supporting wellbeing within our lives, organizations and communities. Dr. Kreitzer will also highlight the importance of leadership in creating organizational cultures that support wellbeing and human flourishing.Objectives:1. Describe the determinants of wellbeing.2. Identify strategies to advance individual, organizational and community wellbeing.3. Articulate leadership competencies for creating cultures that support wellbeing and human flourishing.

Prof Mary Jo Kreitzer
Founder and Director of the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, University of Minnesota

Mary Jo Kreitzer PhD, RN, FAAN is the founder and director of the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota where she also serves as a tenured professor in the School of Nursing. She has served as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator of numerous clinical trials focusing on mindfulness meditation with persons with chronic disease including studies focusing on solid organ transplant, cardiovascular disease, chronic insomnia, diabetes, and caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies include the use of social technology to enhance healing and wellbeing and the impact of mindfulness on brain-computer interface performance. Dr. Kreitzer has authored over 150 publications and is the co-editor of the text Integrative Nursing 2nd Edition published in 2019 by Oxford University Press. She earned her doctoral degree in public health focused on health services research, policy and administration, and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Dr. Kreitzer was named in 2020 as one of the 100 most influential health care leaders in Minnesota by MN Physician. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, a distinguished policy fellow in the National Academies of Practice and a Fellow Ad Eundem of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.