Nursing Jean Watson's Human Caring Theory Has Essay

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Jean Watson's Human Caring Theory has become entrenched in all aspects of nursing practice, inseparable from the art and science of nursing. Watson's philosophy of caring evolved into the science of caring, as evidence-based practice can support the efficacy of carative factors. However, Watson understood also that caring was a moral imperative of nursing care that extends beyond the traditional medical model toward a new transpersonal paradigm. To promote this paradigm in a concrete manner, Watson proposed what she termed Carative Factors, or the Processes of Caritas, which inform the science of caring. These ten factors include the following. First, practicing loving-kindness means developing a "caring consciousness," (Watson Caring Science Institute, 2010, p. 2). Second, the nurse is authentically present in the moment with the patient. Third, caring requires one to cultivate a spiritual practice with the goal of transcending the ego. Fourth, it is necessary to develop authentic relationships built on trust and genuine caring. Fifth, the nurse accepts both positive and negative emotions and supports emotional expression. Sixth, art and creativity are processes of caritas, and the nurse uses creativity constructively. Seventh, teaching and learning are ongoing bi-directional processes. Eighth, caring requires a healing environment that promotes peace and beauty. Ninth, basic needs are attended to within the context of the whole person. Tenth, the nurse is open to miracles, the divine, and to the mysteries that await the soul after its passage from this life.

Aurora University (2014) recognizes nursing as both an art and a science, requiring a multidisciplinary background. Moreover, the first program theme listed on the Aurora University (2014) mission statement is caring, defined as "the therapeutic use of self which utilizes humanistic and scientific knowledge to enable individuals, families, groups, and communities to promote, maintain, and restore health." Therefore, Aurora University recognizes the worth of Watson's caring theory in nursing instruction and towards an evidence-based practice. The difference in Aurora's definition of caring and Watson's ten Carative Factors is that Aurora recognizes the need to integrate humanistic with scientific knowledge. Researchers, including Jean Watson herself, have endeavored to fuse caring with science in creative and pragmatic ways. One way of fusing caring with science is by measuring the efficacy of caring on patient outcomes and staff outcomes. A second method of blending Caring Theory with science is by allowing the two to live side by side. In other words, the nurse becomes adept in the scientific aspects of the profession as well as in the caring aspects.

To accomplish the goal of measuring caring, Watson and her colleagues developed the Caring Factor Survey, which has evolved into the Caring Factor Survey-Care Provider Version (Johnson, 2011). The survey centers on the manifestation of caring in relationship with self, patients, families, and colleagues. As Aurora's mission states, nursing "a therapeutic helping relationship," (Aurora University, 2014). The patient does not exist in isolation, separate from the health care team, family members, or spiritual guides. Aurora's mission recognizes that relationship building and strengthening are cornerstones of nursing. This is why Watson's theories are often described as being "holistic," (Lukose, 2011, p. 27).

Moroever, caring is measured both by nurse perceptions and patient perceptions. This allows for what Aurora would recognize as the blending of humanistic with scientific knowledge. Moreover, subsequent research has found that caring theory is effective in that "experienced, hospital-based nurses and those…

Sources Used in Document:


Aurora University (2014). Mission, themes, and roles. Retrieved online:

Johnson, J. (2011). Creation of the Caring Factor Survey-Care Provider Version (CFS-CPV). In Measuring Caring. Ed. Nelson, J. & Watson, J. Springer.

Lachman, V.D. (2012). Applying the ethics of care to your nursing practice. Ethics, Law, and Policy 21(2).

Lukose, A. (2011). Developing a practice model for Watson's Theory of Caring. Nursing Science Quarterly 24(1), 27-30.

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