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Jean Watson's Caring Theory


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Title: Jean Watson's Caring Theory

Jean Watsons Caring Theory
  • Ogechi Iwuanyanwu, Patrece Murray,
  • Nicole Sargent, Valerie Walker
  • March 27, 2015
  • Advanced Theoretical Perspectives for Nursing
  • Colleen Marzilli, MSN, PhD.
  • South University

EducationGraduated from the Lewis Gale
School of Nursing, Roanoke VirginiaPost
Graduate University of Colorado1964- BSN,
Boulder Campus1966- MSN in Psychiatric Mental
Health, Health Sciences CampusDoctorate Univers
ity of Colorado1973- PhD in Educational
Psychology and Counselling, Boulder campus
Jean Watson
Nursing Background
  • Nursing professor, and faculty administrator at
    the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
  • Assistant dean of the graduate program.
  • Part of the early planning stages of the PhD in
    Nursing program in 1978
  • Dean- University School of Nursing
  • Associate Director of Nursing Practice-
    University Hospital (1983 1990)
  • Holder of the Endowed Chair in Caring Science-
    University Of Colorado School Of Nursing.

University of Colorado School of Nursing
Honors Affiliations
  • Board of Boulder County Hospice Founder
  • 1992- Distinguished Professor of Nursing
  • 1997- Honorary Lifetime Certificate as a holistic
  • 1998- Designated as a Distinguished Nurse
    Scholar by New York University 
  • Holds multiple Honorary doctoral degrees from
    National and International Colleges and
  • Received the National League for Nursing (NLN)
    Martha E. Rogers Award for advancing the science
    of caring in nursing and health sciences.
  • Received the Norman Cousins Award for her
    commitment to developing, maintaining, and
    exemplifying relationship - centered care practice

Published Works
  • Reflect the evolution of her theory
  • Major works by Watson include
  • Nursing The Philosophy and Science of Caring
  • Nursing Human Science and Human Care A Theory
    of Nursing 1985 (released 1988)
  • Postmodern Nursing and Beyond - 1999 
  • Instruments for Assessing and Measuring Caring in
    Nursing and Health Sciences (2002)
  • Caring Science as Sacred Science (2004)
  • Dr. Watson lectures internationally and is
    featured in several national videos on nursing
    theory and the philosophy of caring science.

Nursing Metaparadigms Watsons View
  • Every individual is subjective and unique. They
    have value and should be cared for.
  • They are not objective, predictable or
  • Each person has human need that are distinctly
    their own biophysically, psychophysically,
    psychosocially and interpersonally.
  • Individuals deserve respect, nurturing,
    understand and assistance.
  • Each person is directly influenced by their
    external environment.

  • Should be viewed in a holistic manor
    incorporating physical, social, mental, and
    spiritual needs. These parts need to function
    together harmoniously to promote health.
  • Is viewed by the patients perception, and formed
    from their unique life experiences
  • Incorporates all aspects of the persons physical,
    social, and moral perspectives
  • Watson added 3 elements to the World Health
    Organizations definition of health
  • Being able to function at an optimal personal
    level physically, mentally, and socially.
  • Being able to make daily adaptation to the
    optimal personal functional level
  • Making a distinctive effort to reach and obtain a
    level of a non-illness state.

  • The act of caring and nursing exist in all
  • A caring attitude is not automatically inherited,
    but develops from the principles of the
    profession as distinctive coping mechanisms of
    the environment.
  • The patients environment is crucial for holistic
    healing, promoting their further health and
  • The caring-health model shows how the environment
    affects both the patient and the nurse.
  • The environment should be conducive to
    patient-healing. This includes evaluating what
    noises, smells, or other stimuli impact the
    healing process.

  • Nursing embodies a meaningful relationship that
    promotes harmony between the nurse and
  • Is the restoration of health by stimulating
    holistic care, and ensuring professional and
    thoughtful interactions.
  • Complements modern medicine by providing a
    holistic practice of care.
  • Nursing concerns
  • Health promotion
  • Disease treatment
  • Illness prevention
  • Caring of the sick
  • Health restoration
  • Providing holistic care is essential to the
    profession of nursing.

A human science of persons and human
health-illness experiences that are mediated by
professional, personal, scientific, esthetic and
ethical human transactions. -Watson
Theory Concepts, Analysis, and Application
Major Concepts
A caring occasion- the moment when the nurse and
patient connect in a way that an occurrence for
human caring is created.The nurse and the
patient connect and interact in a human-human
bond.Both parties are subjective to the choices
actions inside their bond.
  • Dependent On The nurses commitment to the
    protection and enhancement of human dignity and
    development of self.
  • The preservation and honor of the embodied
    spirit, to prevent reducing the patient to an
    object or diagnosis.
  • The nurses use of their personal experiences and
    perceptions to develop a caring connection to
    promote healing.
  • Nursing practice that displays concern for the
    patients health as a whole by going beyond the
    objective assessment.
  • The nurse should have a personal goal of
    developing transpersonal caring relationships
    that protect, enhance, preserve the dignity,
    humanity, wholeness, and inner harmony of their
    patient as a human being.

  • Embraces 10 Foundations
  • 1. Humanistic-altruistic system of value
  • 2. Faith-Hope
  • 3. Sensitivity to self and others
  • 4. Helping-trusting, human care
  • 5. Expressing positive and negative
  • 6. Creative problem-solving caring
  • 7. Transpersonal teaching-learning
  • 8. Supportive, protective, and/or
    corrective mental, physical, societal and
    spiritual environment
  • 9. Human needs assistant
  • 10. Existential-phenomenological-spiritual
  • (Watson, 1988b, p. 75)

Used as a foundation to the core fundamentals of
nursing education
Clinical Caritas
Carative Factor Clinical Carita
Faith-Hope Being authentically present and enabling the beliefs of the one being cared for and the one giving care
Helping-trusting, human care relationship Developing and maintaining a trusting, authentic, caring relationship
Creative problem solving caring process Creative use of self
Expressing positive and negative feelings Being present to and supporting the positive and negative feelings with a connection of a deeper spirit
Transpersonal teaching- learning Engaging in genuine teaching-learning experience
  • Clinical caritas replaced the carative factors
    while her theories evolved.
  • Caritas in Greek means to cherish and give
    special attention to
  • Portray a greater spiritual element

(Watson, 1999, p.62)
Theory Assumptions
  1. Caring is fundamental to nursing practice.
  2. Caring involves the carative factors that satisfy
    certain human needs.
  3. Caring requires acceptance of the person not only
    in their current level of health, but inclusive
    of their future growth potential.
  4. A caring environment includes the patient in
    decisions regarding their health at that point in
    time, allowing them the potential for personal
  5. Effectively caring embodies health promotion for
    the client and their family.
  6. Caring science is a complementary practice to
    medical curing.
  7. Only through interpersonal exchange can the art
    of caring be effectively established and

Theory Analysis
Theory Analysis, cont.
Clinical Nursing Applications
  • To provide each client a caring environment
  • To be responsible for assisting with their basic
  • Having the ability to always practice loving
  • Promoting the use of creative self
  • Enabling the nurse and client to go beyond self
  • Providing the opportunity to engage in genuine
    teaching-learning experiences
  • Being open with others
  • Being present to support client/staff feeling,
    whether positive or negative.
  • Providing care for the one clients soul.
  • (Watson, 2001)

Applications for Nursing Education
  • Watsons emphasis was on the importance teaching
    student nurses methods of caring with
    nurse-patient relationships rather than on
    procedures and tasks.
  • Caring education involves the students learning
    experience to include
  • personal growth
  • therapeutic use of self
  • communication skills
  • caring towards health and healing
  • holistic assessments

Applications for Nursing Research
  • Watsons book, Nursing The Philosophy and
    Science of Caring, is one of the most widely used
    and respected sources for Caring Science.
  • Facilitates questions to research, such as Do
    patients benefit from the caring transactions or
  • Studies can be devised to focus on the caring
    relationship outcomes for validation of the
    theorys supposition that caring is a primary
    healing factor in the nursing profession.
  • The Caring Theory has been researched and
    provides evidence-based practice suggestions for
    clients afflicted with
  • depression
  • adult polycystic disease
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Perioperative needs
  • Dementia
  • The Caring Theory has aided in the development
    of other care models including  
  • The Attending Nurse Care Model 
  • The Quality Caring Model.

  • Caring is about sustaining humanity, human
    dignity and is informed by a deep ethical and
    philosophical orientation toward humanity.
  • It is a life long journey and I wish each of you
    caring and healing practices for your life and
    lifework, which embraces Love and contributes to
    peace in our heart and our world.
  • Jean Watson, RN, PhD

George, J. (2002). Nursing Theories The Base for
Professional Nursing Practice, 5th Edition, Upper
Saddle River, NJ Prentice Hall Bernick, L.
(2004). Caring for Older Adults Practice Guided
by Watsons Caring-Healing Model. Nursing
Science Quarterly, 17(2) 128-134 Watson, J.
(1985). Nursing Human science and human care A
theory of nursing. Norwalk, CT Appleton
Lange. Watson, J. (1988). Nursing Human science
and human care. A theory of nursing (2nd
printing). New York National League for
Nursing. (Original work published in
1985.) Watson, J. (1989b). Watson's philosophy
and theory of human caring in nursing. In J.P.
Riehl-Sisca (Ed.), Conceptual models for nursing
practice (3rd ed.), 219-236. Norwalk, CT
Appleton Lange.   Watson, J. (1997). The theory
of human caring Retrospective and prospective.
Nursing Science Quarterly, 10(1), 49-52. Watson,
J. (1999). Postmodern nursing and beyond.
Toronto, Canada Churchill Livingstone. Watson,
J. (2001). Jean Watson Theory of human caring.
In M.E. Parker (Ed.), Nursing theories and
nursing practice (pp. 343-354). Philadelphia