Jean Watson: Biography and Nursing Theory of Caring

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  • 0:02 Biography of Jean Watson
  • 1:36 Theory of Human Caring
  • 2:09 Ten Caritas Process
  • 3:57 Transpersonal Caring…
  • 4:26 Caring Occasion
  • 4:59 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Marisela Duque

Marisela teaches nursing courses at the college level. She also works as a unit educator, teaching experienced nurses about changes in nursing practice.

Upon completion of this lesson, the learner will be able to identify who Jean Watson is. Viewers should also be able to describe the general aspects of her Theory of Human Caring and the Ten Caritas Processes.

Biography of Jean Watson

Dr. Jean Watson is a distinguished professor, nurse theorist, and founder and director of the nonprofit Watson Caring Science Institute. In 2013, she was awarded the American Academy of Nursing's 'Living Legend' award, its highest honor. She is best known for her Theory of Human Caring and Ten Caritas Processes, which serve as a blueprint for professional nursing practice.

Watson was born in West Virginia and received her BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) from the University of Colorado in 1964. She went on to complete her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Counseling from the same university. She has since earned ten honorary doctoral degrees and has extensive experience working in mental health nursing and caring science. Her continued research is focused in the area of human caring and loss.

Watson created the Theory of Human Caring between 1975 and 1979 from her personal views of nursing. Her hope at the time was that her theory would help distinguish nursing science as a separate and important entity from medical science. Her work was influenced by her teaching experience and was created as a way to find common meaning among nurses from all over the world.

Watson's theory was first published in 1988. Since that time, she has produced more than 20 books on caring, and her teachings are used by clinical nurses and academic programs all over the world.

Theory of Human Caring

Nursing has changed dramatically as science and medicine have adapted to meet the growing needs of our population. It's increasingly a skill-based profession. However, it's important to remember the roots of nursing, which are based on caring and healing principles. Watson's Theory of Human Caring is a blueprint for nurses to restore the art of nursing practice and better care for their patients and themselves. The major elements of this theory are the Ten Caritas Processes, the transpersonal caring relationship and the caring occasion.

Ten Caritas Processes

The word 'caritas' comes from a Greek word meaning 'to cherish.' The Caritas Processes serve as a guide for the core of nursing practice and are comprised of the following ten elements:

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