Jean Watson and Her Theory of Human Science and Human Care

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Jean Watson and Her Theory of Human Science and Human Care

This essay examines two scholarly, published journals and two books which explore the development of Jean Watson’s theory of Human Science and Human Care. Each one of the resources provides different details on various areas of Watson’s life and the work which went into her theory. The goal of this essay is to explore how Watson’s theory of Human Science and Human Care works, so that her theory can be understood and used appropriately by the readers. In addition, the essay will also include an entry of our group’s personal view of Watson’s theory and how we feel it effects nursing.

Jean Watson and Her Theory of Human Science and Human Care
Jean Watson is a nurse theorist whose work is the Human Science and Human Care theory. She is a very distinguished and recognized nursing theorist and has had many accomplishments throughout her career. This essay will explore how her theory of Human Science and Human Care works and the concepts which surround it. By the end if this essay, hopefully readers will understand more about Jean Watson’s theory and have acquired the knowledge to apply it in nursing.

Jean Watson’s was born in 1940 in West Virginia and grew up in the Appalachian Mountains with eight older siblings, according to the book entitled, Nursing Theorists and Their Work, by Alligood and Tomey (2009). Then Alligood and Tomey continue to describe Watson’s life up until the development of her theory. Following the text, Watson attended high school in West Virginia and after graduation she married her Husband, Douglas, and moved to his home state of Colorado. After their move to Colorado, Watson started her nursing education at the University of Colorado and graduated with her baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in psychiatric mental health nursing, and a doctorate in educational psychology and counseling. After she got her doctorate, she started teaching in the nursing department at the University of Colorado and worked as faculty and administration. She continued her career at the University of Colorado and was eventually appointed as dean of the nursing program. During her career, Watson received many achievements, including: six honorary doctoral degrees from university in the United States, three honorary doctorates in international universities, the National League for Nursing Martha E. Rogers Award, and many more. Additionally, during the length of Watson’s academic career she wrote and published two books. The first book was entitled, Nursing: The Philosophy and Science of Caring, and her second book entitled, Nursing: Human Science and Human Care-A Theory of Nursing. Watson’s second book was written to explain her theory, Human Science and Human Care, and some of the problems which she believed her theory resolved (Alligood, Tomey 2009).

Through Jean Watson’s life, education, and career, she has established for herself a lot of credibility. Caring Defined: A Comparison and Analysis, an academic, published journal by Denise Bailey (2009), describes Watson’s Caring Theory as a caring science which includes the arts, sciences, and humanities; a view which is grounded in unity and connectedness. Bailey also states: “Watson believed that it was imperative that this humanistic value system is combined with the scientific knowledge foundation that is requisite to the nurse’s actions. This combination of humanistic-scientific values and knowledge function as the underpinnings of the science of caring” (p. 18). In addition, Watson also incorporated Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs into her theory as well. Watson believed that a person’s basic physical needs need to be met just as all other needs, but have a lower importance. According to, a breakdown of Watson’s ordering of needs shows the need for achievement, the need for affiliation, the need for self-actualization, and intrapersonal-interpersonal need to be of...
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