Nur-501-AP4- Philosophical and Theoretical Evidence-Based research

Watson’s philosophy and science of caring has four major concepts: human being, health, environment/society, and nursing Butts & Rich, 2015). In Watson’s view, the disease might be cured, but illness would remain because, without caring, health is not attained. Caring is the essence of nursing and connotes responsiveness between the nurse and the person; the nurse co-participates with the person. Watson contends that caring can assist the person to gain control, become knowledgeable, and promote health changes.

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According to Watson (2009), the core of the Theory of Caring is that “humans cannot be treated as objects and that humans cannot be separated from self, other, nature, and the larger workforce.” Her theory encompasses the whole world of nursing; with the emphasis placed on the interpersonal process between the caregiver and care recipient. The theory is focused on “the centrality of human caring and on the caring-to-caring transpersonal relationship and its healing potential for both the one who is caring and the one who is being cared for” (Watson, 2009). The structure for the science of caring is built upon ten carative factors. Among them are human altruistic values, faith-hope, sensitivity to one’s self or other, trust, human caring relationship, and promotion of self-expression (.

Watson defines Human being as a valued person to be cared for, respected, nurtured, understood, and assisted, in general a philosophical view of a person as a fully functional integrated self. Personhood is viewed as greater than and different from the sum of his or her parts which are mind-body-soul-connection (Butt & Rich 2015)   

The personhood concept in Watson theory of caring implies that patients are not all the same. Each person brings a unique background of experiences, values, and cultural perspective to health care encounter. Caring facilitates a nurse’s ability to know a patient, allowing the nurse to recognize a patient’s problem and find and implement individualized solution on the patient’s unique needs.

Knowing the person allows the nurse to avoid assumptions, to center on the one cared for (Keller, 2013).  It also gives the nurse to opportunity to assess thoroughly by seeking clues to clarify the issue that the individual is going through.

The concept of personhood also integrates the human caring processes with healing environment, incorporating the life-generating and life receiving processes of human caring and healing for nurses and their patient. The concept put emphasis on developing a caring relationship with the person as a nurse and listen to the person’ stories to fully understand the meaning an impact of the individual’s condition. This information and understanding helps in the development and delivery of individualized patient centered care. The transpersonal caring theory rejects disease orientation to health care and places care before cure. When the nurse focuses on the person, she or he looks for deeper sources of inner healing to protect, enhance and preserve a person’s dignity, humanity, wholeness, and inner harmony.

In conclusion, theory of caring provides an excelling beginning to understand the behavior and processes that characterized caring. Patients continue to value nurses, effectiveness in performing tasks, but clearly patient value the affective dimension of nursing care. Nurses must provide presence, touch, attention to their patient. Most importantly they must know the person they are caring for because healthcare is placing emphasis on patient satisfaction.


Butts, J. & Rich, K. (2015). Philosophies and Theories for Advanced Nursing Practice (3rd edition) Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning

Watson J. (2009) Caring science and human caring theory: transforming personal and professional practices of nursing and health care, J Health Human Serv Adm3(14): 466

Keller T, et al (2013): Information needed to support knowing the patient, Adv Nurs Sci 36(4): 351

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