The theory of human caring was developed in 1975 and 1979 by Jean Watson. Watson is also the founder of the Center for Human Caring. The theory is used to guide new models of caring and healing practices in diverse setting and in several countries. (Parker, 2006)
If we are to consider caring as the core of nursing, nurses will have to make a conscious effort to preserve human caring within their clinical, administrative, educational, and/or research practice. Nurses must now deal with patients’ increased acuity and complexity in regard to their health care situation. Despite such hardships, nurses must find ways to preserve their caring practice and Jean Watson’s caring theory can be seen as indispensable to this goal. Care and caring as described by Benner and Wrubel (1989, Benner, 1994), is a requirement of human being, a part of ‘what it is’ to be human. So caring is ontological. Caring endorses our professional identity within a context where humanistic values are constantly questioned and challenged (Duquette & Cara, 2000).
According to Watson (2001), the major elements of her theory are the carative factors, the transpersonal caring relationship, and the caring occasion/caring moment. The carative factors were developed in 1979; Watson views the “carative factors” as a guide for the core of nursing. She uses the term carative to contrast with conventional medicine’s curative factors. Her carative factors attempt to “honor the human dimensions of nursing’s work and the
inner life world and subjective experiences of the people we serve” (Watson, 1997). In all, the carative factors are comprised of 10 elements:
References: Duquette, A., & Cara, C. (2000). Le caring et la santé de l’infirmière. L’infirmière Canadienne, 1(2), 10-11. Parker, M (2006). Nursing Theories and Nursing Practice. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company. Ray, M (1989). The theory of Bureaucratic Caring for nursing practice in the organization culture. Nursing Administration Quarterly. Watson, J. (1997a). Artistry of caring: Heart and soul of nursing. In D. Marks-Maran & P. Rose (Eds.), Nursing: Beyond art and sciences (pp. 54-62). Boulder, CO: Colorado Associated University Press. Watson, J. (1999). Postmodern nursing and beyond. Toronto, Canada: Churchill Livingstone. Watson, J. (2001). Jean Watson: Theory of human caring. In M.E. Parker (Ed.), Nursing theories and nursing practice (pp. 343-354). Philadelphia: Davis.