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Running head: THEORY OF HUMAN CARING1Jean Watson’s Sacred Science: Theory of Human Caring
THEORY OF HUMAN CARING2Jean Watson’s Sacred Science: Theory of Human CaringDr. Watson, a woman from a small town who wanted to become a nurse, first realized that nursing education seemed to be missing something when she first began nursing school. Nursing education was all about knowing the diagnoses and what nursing interventions were needed to follow doctors’ orders, heal or cure a patient, and discharge them. But Dr. Watson knew that there was an important element lacking, that of the human connection.Theorist and Theory BackgroundThe TheoristJean Watson was born June 10, 1940, in the Appalachian Mountains as Margaret Jean Harmon. She was the youngest in a fairly large family, and grew up in Welch, West Virginia, where she attended high school before graduating from the Lewis Gale School of Nursing in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1961. Soon after graduating, she married her husband, Douglas, and they moved to his home state of Colorado, and had two daughters [Way16]. From there, her nursing education progressed and she earned multiple degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 1964, a master of science in nursing in psychiatric and mental health nursing in 1966, and finally, in 1973, her Ph.D. in educational psychology and counseling. During her time at the University of Colorado at Boulder, she served on the faculty, and eventually became dean of graduate studies [Jea18]. She also traveled the world to further her studies. In 1979, Dr. Watson wroteNursing: Philosophy and Science of Caring, her first theory publication [Nel15]. Despite losing her left eye through an accidental injury in 1997, and her husband’s suicide in 1998 [Wat18], Dr. Watson persevered, working to integrate those saddening experiences into her life and her work, especially after being on the receiving end of her own theory at work [Way16]. Dr. Watson has
THEORY OF HUMAN CARING3received multiple honorary doctorate degrees, published a plethora of scholarly articles, and authored and co-authored many books on caring. She has been a proponent of nursing educationand research, and her caring science theory and Caritas Processes have created innovative ways to perform highly as a nurse [Jea18]. She is the founder of the original Center for Human Caringin Colorado [Bio18]. Theory DevelopmentDr. Jean Watson’s theory of human caring is a middle range theory, first conceptualized in1979 in her book Nursing: Philosophy and Science of Caring. Dr. Watson has acknowledged that she drew heavily from philosophies that provide more of a spiritual and existential basis for her theory development, such as those of Buddhism and Eastern foundations. She has also attributed her theory development to utilizing Maslow’s concept of self-actualization, feminist theory, and Jungian psychology, as well as to Carl Rogers for her basis of therapeutic relationships and communication. In a personal video she recorded, she acknowledged that her