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Nursing Resource Portal: Caring Science

Resources for clinical staff, researchers, and students

About Caring Science

Caring Science (also called 'Human Caring' and 'Caritas') is a model of nursing practice and a "philosophical and moral/ethical foundation for professional nursing and part of the central focus for nursing at the disciplinary level". Its focus is on a "humanitarian, human science orientation to human caring processes, phenomena and experiences".

Developed by Dr. Jean Watson, PhD, RN, AHN- BC, FAAN, it is based on a relational and transpersonal way of caring for the self and for others, emphasizing a reflective or meditative approach. In essence, the approach calls for conscious, intentional caring and loving in order to "protect and enhance human dignity", as well as balancing, connecting, and honoring the "wholeness of mind-body-spirit" in the self and in others. 

The ten Caritas processes and guidelines for putting this model into action are as follows: 

1. Practicing loving-kindness and equanimity within context of caring consciousness.

2. Being authentically present and enabling, and sustaining the deep belief system and subjective life world of self and one-being cared for.

3. Cultivating one’s own spiritual practices and transpersonal self, going beyond ego self.

4. Developing and sustaining a helping-trusting, authentic caring relationship.

5. Being present to, and supportive of the expression of positive and negative feelings.

6. Creatively using self and all ways of knowing as part of the caring process; engaging in artistry of caring-healing practices.

7. Engaging in genuine teaching-learning experience that attends to wholeness and meaning, attempting to stay within other’s frame of reference.

8. Creating a healing environment at all levels, whereby wholeness, beauty, comfort, dignity, and peace are potentiated.

9. Assisting with basic needs, with an intentional caring consciousness, administering ‘human care essentials,’ which potentiate alignment of mind-body-spirit, wholeness in all aspects of care.

10. Opening and attending to mysterious dimensions of one’s life-death; soul care for self and the one-being-cared for; “allowing and being open to miracles.”

For further information about Caring Science, check out the following webpages: 

A photo of Jean Watson


About Jean Watson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN

  • Founder/Director Watson Caring Science Institute
  • Distinguished Professor Emerita – Dean Emerita
  • University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing, Anschutz Medical Center
  • American Academy of Nursing, Living Legend, 2013
  • Recognized for pioneering work in Caring Science, The Ruth M. Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine, University of Notre Dame

An excerpt from Dr. Jean Watson's personal profile on the Caring Science Institute webpage: 

"My entire life career has been devoted to the phenomena of human caring, and inner subjective feelings, emotions and experiences. I have sought, through my writings and publications and teaching around the world, to give theory, voice, languages, and philosophical-scientific, and even spiritual credibility to this basic human experience; human caring is an experience which is invisible and often neglected within conventional models and practices of medical science. However, the phenomenon and practice of human caring and healing, are the essence of nursing practice and foundational to sustaining life itself. However, it was not until I experienced human caring from my own personal experiences from the inside did I understand my own work at another level.

While I have written books and hundreds of articles in referred journals on human caring – theory, philosophy, science and practice-research of caring, I had not lived it out myself as fully as I was called to do so. My soul life journey, purpose and learning transcended my professional world.

It was only after a traumatic eye injury and uncanny golfing accident with my grandson, (where I lost my eye, literally, metaphorically and symbolically – losing my eye/(ego)/ I, did I get it. I had to learn to be still, to surrender to all, to let go, to learn to receive, to be open to unknown mystery and miracles – it was the mystic and metaphysical/spiritual practices and inner experiences that carried me through.

It was this journey of losing my eye and losing my world as I had known it, including my beloved and devoted husband, who shortly thereafter, committed suicide –that I awakened and grasped my own writing. I was given the painful but loving, growing blessings of spiritual mystical experiences, that I have experienced and learned my oneness with all. I learned that all there is is Love. We are all energy of LOVE.

I now have not only theory, knowledge, and a professional academic background, but more importantly, I have gained wisdom, personal inner- journey, mystical experiences, passion, practices, and courage for sharing self and mystical spirituality of human caring and healing to help nurses, health professionals, educators, human service workers, and any others on their caring-healing journey.

A unitary model of Caring Science, combined with conscious intentional methods, understandings, diverse forms of inquiry, and personal practices of the 10 Caritas Processes, is now transforming self, systems and even pockets of society worldwide.

My work around the world, combined with the work of Watson Caring Science Institute, is congruent with the Conscious Global Leadership Institute, the work of One World Academy and others with this deep purpose, intentionality, and energetic field to serve global evolution of humanity at this time in human history." 


For further information on Dr. Jean Watson, please see her bio and her CV on the Caring Science Institute webpage. 

Note: The links to these articles will work for Anschutz affiliates and on-campus users. You may be prompted to log in in order to access the full text.

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