Theory of Human Caring (Watson's)

Watson's Theory of Human Caring
University of Phoenix
Theories and Models of Nursing Practice
Nursing 403
May 17, 2008
Watson's Theory of Human Caring
This paper will explore the past and present of Jean Watson’s theory of human caring. Jean Watson began writing in the 1970s in an attempt to bring meaning and focus to nursing as an emerging discipline, and a distinct health profession, with unique values, knowledge, practice, ethics, and mission (Alligood and Tomey, 2006, p. 103). Watson began her journey to present an integrated curriculum for undergraduate nursing programs that would create a structure on the basic nursing process. Watson’s quest brought her to address the impact of human caring and nursing which laid the foundation for what was to become the Theory of Human Caring and Nursing: Human science and human care (Alligood and Tomey, 2006). In Watson’s early writings from the 1970s she identified 10 carative factors that served as the foundation and framework for the science and practice of nursing.
Watson’s framework of caring brings nurses back to the basic’s of nursing. Perhaps rediscovering the reason they chose nursing as their profession. Watson writes (2001), the major elements of her theory are (a) the carative factors, (b) the transpersonal caring relationship, (c) the caring occasion or caring moment. Alligood and Tomey (2006) state, “the original carative factors, grounded in philosophy, science, art, and caring evolved into the theory of human caring.” Caring in nursing, is thought to have interpersonal and humanistic qualities. In her later years, the concept of clinical “caritas” emerged (2006). Alligood and Tomey (2006) state “caritas” means to cherish, appreciate and give special attention, and is related to, “carative” a deeper and expanded dimension of nursing that joins caring with love.” In Watson’s transpersonal-nursing-caring-healing, the nurse’s goal is to help persons gain a higher degree of harmony within the...