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Nurse Scientist


Award-Winning Historian

"History records our humanity, heals ignorance, guides identity development, and inspires compassion."

~ Dr. Martha Libster ~

Dr. Martha Mathews Libster

Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing

PhD in Humanities - Health Care History from Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, England

MSN Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist from the University of Colorado

BS Dance Education from New York University in New York City

BS Nursing from Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles 


Primary Impact is the practice of nurse-herbalism, integrative nursing, traditional medicine, and botanical self-care has been disseminated through publications, presentations, and community events on five continents.

Three practice models on integrative nursing, health culture diplomacy, and precision botanical self-care (The Elements of Care) that have contributed to global health transformation, policy reform, and wellness innovations. 


​​NEW Textbook

​​Precision Nursing Science:

Integrative Holistic Nursing with the Elements of Care®

A groundbreaking new textbook that advances integrative holistic nursing!


Historical Research

Translational Science - Herbal Medicine and Nursing Practice

Practice Model Development

  • Integrative Nursing

  • Health Culture diplomacy

  • Elements of Care (Precision Self-care)

  • Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Nursing 

    • Educational Program ​​

    • Clinical Supervision Model Program Evaluation

Cover Kindness PMH.jpg

​​FREE Download

​​Kindness as the Remedy of Remedies:

A History of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

2005 Lavinia Dock Award
from the American Association History of Nursing 


Inspirational Stories of the Founders of
American Nursing, Pharmacy, and Health Care Reform!


Herbal Diplomats

"This remarkable book connects medical history and women's history in pathbreaking ways. All students of American women's health history will benefit from its comprehensive and careful analysis."
~ Kathryn Kish Sklar

Enlightened Charity

"We understand from this book how nurses lived their history and traditions and what has been their true legacy. I recommend it not only for the way it unearths this invisible tradition but for the analytical issues it raises and that desperately need discussion in the contemporary nursing universe."
~ Suzanne Gordon


Focus of Dr. Martha's Histories:

  • Nursing (America and Europe)

  • Culture

  • 19th-century women

  • American health care reform

  • Religious communities

  • Botanical and traditional healing

  • Community Case studies

  • Feminist history

  • Oral history

What Dr. Martha says about the nature of historical research:

  • All research begins with an historical question.

  • We gain insight when considering the context for human endeavor.

  • History is the science of data over time.

  • Understanding patterns of human behavior can be comforting and healing. 

  • People's memories of the past are fascinating!

  • Exploring history is a deeply spiritual experience.


Notes About Dr. Libster's Research and Writing

Dr. Libster has been awarded fourteen research and program grants and has served as Visiting Research Scientist at Northwest University in Mafikeng, South Africa, funded by the South African Medical Research Council (2010).  In 2013, she held the Faith Andrews Research Fellowship in Shaker Culture from the Winterthur Museum, Garden, & Library. Dr. Libster is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Integrative Nursing. She also has served as Associate Editor for Botanicals for the Journal of Holistic Nursing (2009-2013) and Guest Editor for 3 international nursing journals. Dr. Libster’s book-length histories, Enlightened Charity (2009) and Herbal Diplomats (2004), are vivid depictions of the lives of American women nurses in antebellum America, whose health care expertise, enacted in their religious communities’ infirmaries and hospitals, contributed to the reform of American health care and the establishment of some of the country’s most noted health care institutions. In addition, Dr. Libster has published 34 professional papers and 3 practice models on integrative nursing, health culture diplomacy and precision botanical self-care. Dr. Libster's innovations include utilization of modalities that lead to enduring and sustainable improvements in health and policy while furthering patients’ and nurses’ relationships with the environment, a core value in the art and science of nursing. 

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