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Jean Watson Nursing Theory
Theory of Human Caring

Brenda Cohran
Richard Colfer, Jr.
Kim Houston
Karen Phillips
Saima Valiani
Amber Wall
April 19, 2015

Jean Watson, the person

Distinguished Professor of Nursing

Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing

Recipient of six Honorary Doctoral Degrees

Dean of Nursing

Researcher in Human Caring and Loss

Nursing Theory of Human Science and Human Care Published in 1988

Past president of the National League for Nursing

Founder of the Watson Caring Science Institute

Metaparadigm Concepts
Jean Watson’s nursing theory holds the whole person in highest esteem. Nursing care focuses on the physical, mental, social and spiritual elements of the human being as a whole entity.
The nursing focus is on caring for each of the elements of the person.


“Authentic Presence” is a vital component to the environment.

Being Present is a high priority to both the patient and the nurse.

Loving kindness helps the patient feel free to communicate his/her needs.

Creating a healing environment at all levels, wholeness, beauty, comfort, dignity, and peace are of highest priority and significance.

The caring environment offers the development potential and allows the person to choose the best action for the patient’s self.


Components of Health and Illness

Heart-centered healing is based on honoring wholeness of mind-bodyspirit in self and others.

Includes the patient, client, and family. •

Understanding of the patient’s health needs. •

Assistance with basic needs.

Effective caring promotes health.

Watson’s theory embraces the following elements of nursing which are relevant today.

Focus is on holistic caring, patient and family education, and their partnership in curative treatment. •

Includes a moral commitment to view patients as humans and not simply as an injury or disease state.

Practices loving-kindness and “being” the caring-healing environment.

Embraces the possibility of miracles.

Honors the patient’s needs, wishes, routines, and rituals.

Accepts the person for what he or she is now, but also as the person they may become.

Holds in high esteem that the practice of caring is central to nursing.

Example: The patient in room #320 is not simply a “closed head injury,” he is a 43 year old father, husband and sole provider for his family. NURSING PRACTICE CAN BE
Caring for the individual as a person, not as a disease state or illness.
Promoting a more personalized approach to patient care.
Focus on providing holistic care by incorporating all fundamental human needs into care process.

Ten Caritas Processes™

Embrace altruistic values and Practice loving kindness with self and others.

Instill faith and hope and honor others.

Be sensitive to self and others by nurturing individual beliefs and practices.

Develop helping – trusting- caring relationships.

Promote and accept positive and negative feelings as you authentically listen to another’s story. 

Use creative scientific problem-solving methods for caring decision making.

Share teaching and learning that addresses the individual needs and comprehension styles.

Create a healing environment for the physical and spiritual self which respects human dignity.

Assist with basic physical, emotional, and spiritual human needs.

Open to mystery and Allow miracles to enter.

First step in improving nursing practice Nursing practice can be improved by recognizing the individual is a person first, who has an illness or disease.
The illness or disease does not define who or what the person is.
To validate and recognize the cultural needs and differences in others.
To support those beliefs and incorporate into care plan.
To view person as human being, not as an object.

Provide care based on individual needs.

Protect patient rights, advocate.