Title of Work

Educating the Caritas Nurse: Developing Curriculum for Practicing Within a Unitary Caring Science

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date

May 2018

Source Publication

International Association of Human Caring (IAHC)

Conference Location

Minneapolis, MN


St. Catherine University initiated curriculum development of a multicultural and holistic baccalaureate (BSN) section for adult learners in 2015. Students began matriculation in Fall 2017. This initiative was founded on an “ethic of belonging” (Watson, 2005 a,b) and embraced unitary caring science. Unitary concepts of health, pattern, meaning, consciousness, caring, presence, and mutual process (Newman et al., 2008) were used to guide a conceptual/contextual teaching-learning process of spiraling from simple, to complicated, and finally complex nursing situations of multicultural groups. Development of awareness (expanding consciousness) within the student was facilitated via use of the Caritas Processes® (Watson, 1979, 1985, 1999, 2005a, 2008, 2012) and caring attributes or modes of caring first articulated by Roach (2013). This program is based on core values of social justice, diversity, ethics, caring, excellence, holism, integrity, and patient-centeredness as described by the National League of Nursing (2010). Unique approaches to developing caritas literacy (Lee, Palmieri, & Watson, 2017) are articulated in classroom, laboratory, simulation, clinical, and online experiences in this hybrid program. Students dwell within the caritas field created by faculty as they attune to their true purpose in life. Nursing is practiced as a “calling” rather than a vocation as students discover what is of value and what is real for them. Meditation, contemplative practices, reflective dialogue, and holistic therapies are shared alongside practices of Western medicine. In this way, the heart of the collective group, as social or cultural consciousness, unfolds a pattern of relating and healing that is sustainable for all. Praxis, the art and science of nursing in practice, brings forth compassionate action in the world and cosmos. References Lee, S. M., Palmieri, P. A., & Watson, J. (2017). Global advances in human caring literacy. NY: Springer Publishing Company.National League for Nursing. (2010). Outcomes and competencies for graduates of practical/vocational, diploma, associate degree, baccalaureate, master’s, practice doctorate, research doctorate programs in nursing. NY: National League for Nursing.Newman, M., Smith, M., Pharris, M., & Jones, D. (2008). The focus of the discipline revisited. Advances in Nursing Science. 31(1), E16-E27.Roach, S. (2013). Caring the Human Mode of Being. In M. Smith, M. Turkel, and Z. Wolf (Eds.)., Caring in nursing classics: An essential resource. (Ch. 9). NY: Springer Publishing Company.Watson, J. (1979). Nursing the philosophy and science of caring. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.Watson, J. (1985). Nursing: Human science and human care: A theory of nursing. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.Watson, J. (1999). Postmodern nursing and beyond. London, England: Churchill Livingstone.Watson, J. (2005a). Caring science as sacred science. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.Watson, J. (2005b) Caring Science:Belonging before being as ethical cosmology. Nursing science quarterly. 18(4). 304-305. DOI: 10.1177/0894318405280395Watson, J. (2008). Nursing: The philosophy and science of caring. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.Watson, J. (2012). Human caring science: A theory of nursing (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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